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Thinking hard drive died but not sure...


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#1
rayray8803

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I think my wife's laptops hard drive might be shot, but I wanna be sure. It's a Sony Vaio VGN-NS230E with Windows Vista. Just the last couple of days it's been showing the BSOD and repeatedly restarting doing a check disk. It wouldn't boot into safe mode. So I got a boot disk to see if I could possibly repair if there was missing files. Couldn't upgrade only custom repair it. So she said go ahead and reinstall Windows, as painful as I didn't want to. Got it all installed and it worked great. Computer said that it had 118 updates to install, so went ahead and started it. As it was going, I noticed that only 5 out of 70 maybe installed while the rest failed. Kinda knew that wasn't right. Then all of a sudden is shut down. BSOD. So now all it does is load up to the Windows screen and stays there for ever. Try loading the cd and it stays at a black screen. And I don't know what it means when the cd stops spinning. I'm sure and positive that the cd drive didn't all of a sudden die (at least I hope not) But I'm sure the hard drive is shot. But I do want to know from someone experienced to tell me if that's the case.
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#2
phillpower2

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Hello rayray8803

Have you checked for a recovery partition on the HDD by by starting the computer and continually tapping the F10 key.
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#3
rayray8803

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Hello phillpower2 thanks for the response back, it's very appreciated.

Doing so comes up with a screen that quotes

Edit Windows boot options for: Start VAIO Recovery Center

Path: \windows\system32\boot\winload.exe

/DETECTHAL /MININT RDIMAGEOFFSET=8192. RDIMAGELENGTH=3161088 RDPATH=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\SOURCES\vrc.m
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#4
phillpower2

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When you got to the said screen did you press Enter.

A couple of examples of the steps here and here

You are welcome btw :)
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#5
rayray8803

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Hit Enter and it goes to a blank black screen (15mins and counting)
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#6
phillpower2

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Hit Enter and it goes to a blank black screen (15mins and counting)

If you got no further than this the recovery partition or the HDD is damaged.

So I got a boot disk to see if I could possibly repair if there was missing files.

Can I ask what type of disk it is that you have and from where it was obtained.

You also mention using a CD, you may just be using a generic name for a type of all types of media disk but can I just confirm that if you are not using a genuine Vista installation disk that the disk that you are using is a DVD R/W disk, this type of disk is required due to the video content that Vista contains and so Vista cannot be burned to or installed from a CD R/W type disk.

If you are using a proper Vista disk or an ISO burned to a DVD type disk try the "Booting from the Windows Installation DVD" steps as detailed here

If you have no success with the above I will provide the Puppy Linux details for you, the program uses the system memory to boot and does not use the HDD, once it has loaded you can try and mount the HDD to see what if any data is on and can be read from the HDD, Puppy can also be run from a USB thumb drive should you have any concerns about the optical drive not working.
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#7
rayray8803

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I have a burned copy of Windows Vista coming from Digital River coming from this site http://www.raymond.c...s-vista-to-dvd/

Using the exact method it says how to burn. Used that disk initially to get the laptop to reinstall Vista and it worked, til now. It loads the Windows files and gets stuck on a black screen.
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#8
phillpower2

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Thanks for the update rayray8803 :thumbsup:

Digital River are endorsed by Microsoft and if the burn was good then there should be no problem with the ISO, not one to nag but for the benefit of others that may read this topic can you confirm the type of disk that the ISO was burnt to was a DVD R/W.

First and foremost the aim is to get the notebook back up and running but with the least amount of time, trouble and financial outlay, give Puppy Linux a try to see if you can mount the HDD and then access any data on it, burn to disk and USB thumb drive options are included.

===================
***Required Hardware***
CD Burner (CDRW) Drive,
Blank CD,
Extra Storage Device (USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive)

===================

1. Save these files to your Desktop/Burn Your Live CD:
  • Download Latest Puppy Linux ISO (i.e.: lupu-528.iso)
    Download BurnCDCC ISO Burning Software

    There are instructions on how to boot from flash drive with puppy here; http://www.pendrivel...e-from-windows/

  • Open BurnCDCC with Windows Explorer
  • Extract All files to a location you can remember
  • Double Click Posted Image BurnCDCC
  • Click Browse Posted Image and navigate to the Puppy Linux ISO file you just downloaded
  • Open/Double Click that file
    IMPORTANT: Adjust the speed bar to CD: 4x DVD: 1x
  • Click Start Posted Image
  • Your CD Burner Tray will open automatically
  • Insert a blank CD and close the tray
  • Click OK
Puppy Linux Live CD will now be created
2. Set your boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM first, Hard Drive Second
  • Start the computer/press the power button
  • Immediately start tapping the appropriate key to enter the BIOS, aka "Setup"
    (Usually shown during the "Dell" screen, or "Gateway" Screen)
  • Once in the BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Options change boot priority to:
    CD-ROM 1st, Hard Drive 2nd
  • Open your ROM drive and insert the disk
  • Press F10 to save and exit
  • Agree with "Y" to continue
  • Your computer will restart and boot from the Puppy Linux Live CD

    Posted Image

3. Recover Your Data
  • Once Puppy Linux has loaded, it is actually running in your computer's Memory (RAM). You will see a fully functioning Graphical User Interface similar to what you normally call "your computer". Internet access may or may not be available depending on your machine, so it is recommended you print these instructions before beginning. Also, double clicking is not needed in Puppy. To expand, or open folders/icons, just click once. Puppy is very light on resources, so you will quickly notice it is much speedier than you are used to. This is normal. Ready? Let's get started.

    3a. Mount Drives
  • Click the Mount Icon located at the top left of your desktop. Posted Image
  • A Window will open. By default, the "drive" tab will be forward/highlighted. Click on Mount for your hard drive.
  • Assuming you only have one hard drive and/or partition, there may be only one selection to mount.
  • USB Flash Drives usually automatically mount upon boot, but click the "usbdrv" tab and make sure it is mounted.
  • If using an external hard drive for the data recovery, do this under the "drive" tab. Mount it now.
3b. Transfer Files.
  • At the bottom left of your desktop a list of all hard drives/partitions, USB Drives, and Optical Drives are listed with a familiar looking hard drive icon.
  • Open your old hard drive i.e. sda1
  • Next, open your USB Flash Drive or External Drive. i.e. sdc or sdb1
  • If you open the wrong drive, simply X out at the top right corner of the window that opens. (Just like in Windows)
  • From your old hard drive, drag and drop whatever files/folders you wish to transfer to your USB Drive's Window.
For The Novice: The common path to your pictures, music, video, and documents folders is: Documents and Settings >> All Users (or each idividual name of each user. CHECK All Names!) >> Documents >> You will now see My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos.

Remember to only click once! No double clicking! Once you drag and drop your first folder, you will notice a small menu will appear giving you the option to move or copy. Choose COPY each time you drag and drop.

YOU ARE DONE!!! Simply click Menu >> Mouse Over Shutdown >> Reboot/Turn Off Computer. Be sure to plug your USB Drive into another working windows machine to verify all data is there and transferred without corruption. Congratulations!



Posted Image

Hopefully this will help to determine whether a new HDD is required sooner rather than later.

Unfortunately I will be offline now until much later on in the day UK time and so I must apologise for any inconvenience that this may cause.
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#9
rayray8803

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The dvd+r I used to burn the ISO is TDK DVD+R Recordable, 4.7GB/120 Minutes

http://www.officedep...pindle-47GB120/

Ok, so Puppy Linux up and running and working great so far. Having trouble connecting the laptop to my wireless router. Not sure whats going on there. Typing this on the laptop using wired connection. Did notice that highlighting the two drives (it was either the partition or the main drive) that a red box popped up saying there was serious errors saying it needed to have a Windows disk check. Hoping to show a picture of what it said, but cant seem to make it happen again.

So with Puppy Linux up and running will this tell if the hard drive is fixable or is it damaged...yes?
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#10
phillpower2

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Did notice that highlighting the two drives (it was either the partition or the main drive) that a red box popped up saying there was serious errors saying it needed to have a Windows disk check.

I do not wish to come across as being pedantic but for clarity can I offer the following, what you have said suggests that there is one physical drive that has two partitions on it, depending on how this was configured when the OS was previously installed there may have been two drive/partition letters allocated C: as the primary/boot partition and another letter such as E: or F: as two examples that may have been allocated to the Vaio Recovery Centre, the latter is not set in stone as recovery partitions are not always allocated any such a letter + it is not uncommon for users to either rename or to change drive letters to suit their preference, an example of this could be the recovery partition being identified as D: which as you will be aware is most commonly allocated to an optical drive, waffle over :whistling:

So with Puppy Linux up and running will this tell if the hard drive is fixable or is it damaged...yes?

Keeping the above in mind that the Windows installation is most likely on the C: partition/drive see if you are able to run chkdsk in Safe Mode, see details in method two here

The following from your reply #3 suggests btw that a Vaio Recovery Centre is still allocated a partition on the HDD;/DETECTHAL /MININT RDIMAGEOFFSET=8192. RDIMAGELENGTH=3161088 RDPATH=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\SOURCES\vrc.m
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