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Bigtime hard drive help!


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#1
Kerryman87

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Ok so here's the story. I recently purchased a bunch of things from Newegg to build my own computer. I put it all together and everything works just fine. Here's where the important stuff starts:

I took an old 20 gig hard drive from my old PC with Windows XP Pro and everything still on there. I removed it from my old PC and put it in my new PC. Plugged in the molex connector and the IDE ribbon cable and hooked everything up. Then I turned on the power for the first time and the BIOS loaded up. It detected my hard drive so that was a good sign. So I exited the BIOS and little BIOS voice goes "now loading operating system." Here's where the problem starts. All of a sudden this really really quick blue screen flashes with some words on it (it goes by so fast I can't even read it) and my computer just reboots. It never loads the OS. It does this over and over and over again.

Now somebody told me that this was probably happening because you can't take some random old drive with an OS and put it with a new motherboard and expect it to just work. Is this correct?

Well anyways, now the problem get's terribly worse. I got sick of that blue screen so I decided to just put the hard drive back into my old PC just so I could use that one for the time being while I figured out what was wrong with my new one. I plug the hard drive back into my old PC, FAILING TO REALIZE THAT THE POWER CABLE WAS STILL PLUGGED IN. Nothing happened while I was plugging it in, but as soon as I hit the power button I smell smoke. I see this orange light coming from my case, and I look down, and there's a flame coming from my hard drive!!!! I take it out and I find that one of the chips on the PCB or whatever its called on the bottom of my hard drive has a little white scorch on it....

So now I'm freaking out that if I turn the power of my old PC back on, the same thing will happen. But I needed to test the hard drive to make sure it still worked. I unplugged it from my old PC and put it back into my new PC, remembering that even though the OS wouldn't load, the BIOS of the new PC still recognized it. Well this time it didn't. I think because that one little tiny chip got fried I won't be able to load the drive anymore.

So my three questions are:

1) Why wasn't my old hard drive not loading my OS when I just placed it in my new PC? Can you do that?

2) What can I do about recovering the data on this hard drive? Will I ever be able to use it again?

3) This is a slightly off-topic question, but can you transfer the contents of an entire hard drive, OS and all, directly over to another hard drive without reinstalling Windows and everything else? I mean can you transfter EVERYTHING directly?

Thanks so much. I really appreciate any help anyone has to offer! :tazz:

Edited by Kerryman87, 06 July 2005 - 06:08 PM.

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#2
peterm

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1) when you insert more then 1 drive you have to set 1 drive as master with slave. You have to set the second drive as slave. You do this with jumper settings.
2)Ask a local tech shop can they replace the burnt bit- but I would look at
maybe a tv repairman he should be able to reconize the part that blew.
and will be a lot cheaper.
You should have the power cable plugged in this helps keep the computer earthed so you just need to touch some metal to zap the static out of you.
3) to transfer everything including windows you would need a 3rd party software that loads before windows once windows loads you can not copy all windows files as they become locked - however you can copy everything else with no trouble. you just can't copy all of windows. Some microsoft product like Office don't like to be moved as they leave registry bits behind. Your best bet is to use a clonning software like ghost or
Power quest drive image.

Edited by peterm, 06 July 2005 - 06:46 PM.

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#3
Kerryman87

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About the first question, that was the only hard drive in there, I didn't need to set it as a slave because it was the master drive. So why wasn't it loading then?

And I'm thinking of getting Ghost..if I do purchase it will I be able to copy pretty much every part of the OS, settings, etc?
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#4
peterm

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if you are not copying windows then you do not need ghost.
but 1st yoy have to get that diode or whatever flashed repaired
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#5
gtippery

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...

I took an old 20 gig hard drive from my old PC with Windows XP Pro and everything still on there. I removed it from my old PC and put it in my new PC. Plugged in the molex connector and the IDE ribbon cable and hooked everything up. Then I turned on the power for the first time and the BIOS loaded up. It detected my hard drive so that was a good sign. So I exited the BIOS and little BIOS voice goes "now loading operating system." Here's where the problem starts. All of a sudden this really really quick blue screen flashes with some words on it (it goes by so fast I can't even read it) and my computer just reboots. It never loads the OS. It does this over and over and over again.

Now somebody told me that this was probably happening because you can't take some random old drive with an OS and put it with a new motherboard and expect it to just work. Is this correct?

View Post


Yes. For one thing, the drivers will be wrong. You'll be lucky if the motherboard even starts up, never mind the video, sound, etc.

Well anyways, now the problem get's terribly worse. I got sick of that blue screen so I decided to just put the hard drive back into my old PC just so I could use that one for the time being while I figured out what was wrong with my new one. I plug the hard drive back into my old PC, FAILING TO REALIZE THAT THE POWER CABLE WAS STILL PLUGGED IN.

View Post

Are you referring to the AC power cable to the computer's power supply, or to the DC power cable to the drive? Either way, it shouldn't have been a problem, unless you managed to get the DC connector on backwards, or the pins in the connector got swapped around somehow.

Nothing happened while I was plugging it in, but as soon as I hit the power button I smell smoke. I see this orange light coming from my case, and I look down, and there's a flame coming from my hard drive!!!! I take it out and I find that one of the chips on the PCB or whatever its called on the bottom of my hard drive has a little white scorch on it....

So now I'm freaking out that if I turn the power of my old PC back on, the same thing will happen. But I needed to test the hard drive to make sure it still worked. I unplugged it from my old PC and put it back into my new PC, remembering that even though the OS wouldn't load, the BIOS of the new PC still recognized it. Well this time it didn't. I think because that one little tiny chip got fried I won't be able to load the drive anymore.

So my three questions are:

1) Why wasn't my old hard drive not loading my OS when I just placed it in my new PC? Can you do that?

View Post


Not unless the old and new PC are practically identical. See above.

2) What can I do about recovering the data on this hard drive? Will I ever be able to use it again?

View Post

The data's probably OK, but you'll have to have the drive's circuit board(s) replaced. Or send the drive to an outfit that specializes in data recovery -- be prepared to spend several hundred dollars in that case. There's practically zero chance of repairing the drive by replacing the obviously burnt component UNLESS it's just the terminating resistor pack, which is not what it sounds like you've described. Chips don't just go bad and catch fire. Probably the voltage was reversed or the +5 and +12 were swapped, in which case probably every transistor and IC on the board is fried.

The more you mess about with the drive after it fails, the less chance of recovering the data.

3) This is a slightly off-topic question, but can you transfer the contents of an entire hard drive, OS and all, directly over to another hard drive without reinstalling Windows and everything else? I mean can you transfter EVERYTHING directly?

View Post


As another person said, you can do it, but it's not simple. You need special knowledge (to do it manually from DOS or Linux) or special software. And, as already explained, it still won't boot properly on a different computer. Most simply, you need to make it the second HD on the new computer, boot from an installed and working OS on the first (new) drive, then access the data on the old drive.

Thanks so much. I really appreciate any help anyone has to offer! :tazz:

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#6
gtippery

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About the first question, that was the only hard drive in there, I didn't need to set it as a slave because it was the master drive. So why wasn't it loading then?

And I'm thinking of getting Ghost..if I do purchase it will I be able to copy pretty much every part of the OS, settings, etc?

View Post


(Why it wasn't working has been answered.)

Ghost, and other programs like it, are intended for copying an "image" of a drive -- all the bits in exactly the same place -- either back to the same drive, in the case of a "restoration", or to a similar, preferably identical new drive. (If you copy the image of a 20GB drive onto a 300GB drive, it then appears to be a 20GB drive.) They don't "fix" anything on the drive to work on a different computer. You wind up with the same thing you started out with. It'll work the same on the old computer, and "not-work" the same on a different computer.

They're mostly useful for situations where you are setting up several identical systems, either all at once or one at a time. Including restoring a computer that's gotten messed up back to exactly the way it was when you imaged it.
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#7
StrongBad

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I don't know if this will help, but a couple of years back I got the exact same problem on XP, with the blue screen flashing up for a split second just before the logon screen, and restarting the PC. It happened because I tried to do a service pack upgrade, but it crashed during the install (while it was editing system files). So if you know what files might have been affected, you might be able to use the recovery console to replace them, but if not, then your OS might be lost.
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#8
Rockster2U

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(If you copy the image of a 20GB drive onto a 300GB drive, it then appears to be a 20GB drive.)

Not so with 2003 Ghost and later - it will resize. If you copy an image of a 20GB drive to a 300Gb drive it will appear as a 300GB drive (assuming your OS and BIOS can handle a 300GB drive). Earlier versions may resize also, I just can't say with certainty.

;)

Note: qtippery was being kind re: cost of data retreival - you should be prepared to spend several hundred to $1000+ if you send this out to salvage files. Also, if you want to try and repalce the HDD controller, you will need an exact match. Not just mfg, capacity and model#. This may be your best bet if the data you have is that important but you're going to have your work cut out for you finding an exact match. :tazz:

Edit after StrongBad post: It certainly appears that the HDD controller has been fried on the drive itself so anything short of replacing the controller isn't even an option. Assuming a new controller can be located and installed there remains a question as to the drive's physical integrity that can't be answered until the drive is tested. Then and only then can Kerryman87 try repairing things and retrieving data.

Edited by Rockster2U, 07 July 2005 - 06:33 AM.

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#9
gtippery

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Not so with 2003 Ghost and later - it will resize. If you copy an image of a 20GB drive to a 300Gb drive it will appear as  a 300GB drive (assuming your OS and BIOS can handle a 300GB drive). Earlier versions may resize also, I just can't say with certainty.

:tazz:

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Yeah, I shoulda made it clearer that I was generalizing. Main point is, it won't "move Windows" to a different kind of computer.
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#10
Kerryman87

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Thanks for all the help, you guys are really helping me get through this lol So I contacted Geek Squad today, knowing for a fact that I would get a considerate discount on the data recovery since I work at the same Best Buy they run out of. When I checked the employee price and saw it was more than half off what the standard service cost, I was excited. But then they told me the exact same thing you all are saying: because the hard drive controller is damaged, their computers won't be able to read the drive, and therefore they can't recover the data. So it seems the only way I will be able to recover the data is professionally, but that will cost way, way too much, and it's just not worth all the money to do that.

So I guess the only thing I have left to try is to find a matching controller for the drive. Here's what I can tell you. The hard drive is a Quantum Fireball lct20, Quantum part number QML20000LD-A, Rev: A01. Apparently this drive is rare itself; I think it's gonna be humanly impossible to find a new controller for it. BUT, if I were to buy a new hard drive of the exact same model, would I be able to take the controller from the new hard drive and transfer it to the old one? Would that work (assuming the internal data was still intact)?

So all I basically need to know is if I were to buy a new hard drive of the exact same model, would I be able to take the controller from the new hard drive and transfer it to the old one? And if not, does anyone know where I could find a new controller for the drive? And as a last resort, does anyone know the cheapest place I could send this to to get the data recovered professionally? Oh yeah and I'm just curious why it lit on fire, I just don't get that.

If this helps I can tell you the general specs of my new PC:

ASUS P5AD2-E Premium Motherboard
3.4GHz Intel Pentium 4 550 Prescott 800MHz FSB
2GB CORSAIR ValueSelect DDR2 SDRAM
Western Digital Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM SATA
AcomData 160GB 7200RPM USB 2.0
AcomData 60GB 5400RPM USB 2.0
Quantum Fireball 20GB 4500RPM IDE (If I can get it fixed ;) )
NU Tech. Dual Layer DVD Burner
Some other crappy CD Burner
Some crappy floppy drive
XFX GeForce 6800GT 256MB PCI-E x16
Aspire 520W PSU
Raidmax Scorpio 668 w/ 6 exaust fans
19" LCD

That should be all you need to know but if you need other specs let me know. (I know giving you that above info probably doesn't help at all, but I wanted you all to envy me :tazz: ;) ) Thanks so much for your time, I really appreciate it. I love this forum haha, you all know so much

Oh yeah, and I'm going to try and take a picture of the controller on the drive to show you where it is burnt, so it's easier for you to tell me what exactly was damaged

Edited by Kerryman87, 07 July 2005 - 03:35 PM.

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#11
peterm

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try a tv or electronics repairman it's all the same just cheaper
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#12
Rockster2U

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Also, if you want to try and replace the HDD controller, you will need an exact match. Not just mfg, capacity and model#.

What part of this didn't you understand? I'll give you more information if you'll first post the answer that your buddies can come up with using their collective genius.

:tazz:
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#13
warriorscot

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What do you have on the thing nuclear release codes. I would just say scrap it software is easy reinstalled and music downloaded etc.
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#14
Kerryman87

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What part of this didn't you understand? I'll give you more information if you'll first post the answer that your buddies can come up with using their collective genius.

:tazz:

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You don't need to be rude...geez..but I don't get what you are saying I misunderstood. Are you saying it's not possible to replace the controller because I would need an EXACT match of it, not just another controller from the exact same model of hard drive?

What do you have on the thing nuclear release codes. I would just say scrap it software is easy reinstalled and music downloaded etc.

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Well I actually don't remember everything I had on there, at least if I could see what was on there I could redownload it all. And I also had some important documents as well. Understand that this wasn't the hard drive with all the games and such; it was the one with the important stuff.

Edited by Kerryman87, 08 July 2005 - 05:42 PM.

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#15
Rockster2U

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Are you saying it's not possible to replace the controller because I would need an EXACT match of it, not just another controller from the exact same model of hard drive?

How else do you want me to say this? How many times are you going to ask the same question? I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just having trouble understanding what it is that you don't understand when I was very specific in saying, "Also, if you want to try and replace the HDD controller, you will need an exact match. Not just mfg, capacity and model#. "

:tazz:
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