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Blinking Cursor, Hard Drive Trash?


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#1
kukuis

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So my Dell Inspiron 9300 Windows XP with a ghosted 4 month old hard drive locked up on me and gave me the blinking cursor on reboot.

I put the old hard drive back in and the new one in an external enclosure and the computer couldn't find the new one.

In a desperate attempt to get my files from the new one back, I put the new one back in the computer and after going through several blinking cursor forums, I ended up using Windows XP CD to boot from and did several chkdsk /r, fixboot, fixmbr, bootconfig /rebuild. The first time I did chkdsk /r, it found 1 thing wrong and fixed it. The 2nd and 3rd time I did it, it would get to about 70% and then go back to 50%... but then it didn't state it repaired anything.

Everytime i did the fixboot, fixmbr, or bootconfig /rebuild, in about 1/2 a second it stated it performed it and gave me the C prompt again.

All of this seemed to amount to nothing... same blinking cursor on reboots.

I tried putting the new one BACK into the external hard drive enclosure and the old one back into the computer again, hoping one of my above maneuvers would allow it to "see" it this time and Voila! It did and I'm able to recover my files.

Can someone tell me if they know what went wrong and more importantly should I format the NEW drive again and ghost my old one to it or send it back to Western Digital for a replacement?

Also, a friend said once you replace an OEM drive in laptops (which I still have my 6 year old original and working), replacements seem to go bad much more often. Is there any truth to this?

THanks in advance for your help!!
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#2
The Skeptic

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I would format the new drive and run the bootable utility of the manufacturer to test the drive. If it pass the test (which I predict it will), you can safely use it. Western Digital's utility can be downloaded from here.
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#3
kukuis

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It caused me quite a few hours to go thru all of this. Do you think even if the utility shows it good, it will likely happen again or what caused it?
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#4
The Skeptic

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The problem is the result of a damaged boot sector, either mechanically (hardware) or logically (software). If the hard disk passed the utility test then it should be OK for future use.
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#5
kukuis

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So I followed the link and performed the Western Digital utility tests after doing all of the above and the WD utility showed it was fine.

Now all of the same failures happened again! .... about 1 month later.

Uggghhh... I was able to recover again, but is it possible I just have a faulty drive and should get it replaced (since it's under Warranty) OR should I stop ghosting from my old drive (which I've never had an issue with) to this "new" drive?
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#6
kukuis

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I also thought it'd be worth mentioning for some reason my recovered drive won't slave when plugged into the USB SIDE ports of my laptop... only in the BACK ports (there are 6 total - 2 on side, 4 in back).
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#7
edge2022

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By ghosting, you mean that you keep a backup of your new drive on your old one?
At this point, I would probably get a replacement from Western Digital.
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#8
draz54

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I found if you make a USB external of a previous OS drive, you need to assign it a drive letter such as J:. This will allow your computer to see the hard drive and access the data.

Edited by draz54, 14 November 2010 - 05:43 PM.

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#9
draz54

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In explorer... Right click my computer... left click properties, manage, storage, disk management... Scroll down and right click the appropriate disk... Left click change drive letter and paths.

Edited by draz54, 14 November 2010 - 05:51 PM.

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