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Hard drive problem


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#1
ibroussard

ibroussard

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Running W2K Pro SP4...

I shut down my PC today because one of the fans has been noisy for a couple of days and I wanted to replace it. After waiting about 10 minutes with a blank screen and shutdown not proceeding any further, I powered it down manually. Ended up cleaning the fan instead of replacing it. When I first rebooted, I got past the Window Startup "progress bar" (black and white screen), and got to the "bluish" screen, but never to any progress pop-ups. After about 10 seconds, it automatically started rebooting again. When it tried to read from the hard drive, I got...

Disk error
Press any key to restart

I pressed Enter and got...

DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER

I started up an old copy of PowerQuest DriveCopy (V4.0) from diskette to see what it thought the drive looked like. It shows the first partition as unformated/active/primary. The size looks correct (18.4G) and it shows that none of it is "used". This should have been the original FAT32 C drive. DriveCopy did not detect the volume label.

DriveCopy seems to see the other drives correctly. I have a large (112G) extended partition with four FAT32 logical partitions defined in it. The volume labels for all the logical drives are correct, and the size/used reported by DriveCopy looks reasonable.

When first starting up, DriveCopy did report a couple of read errors, but I told it to ignore it.

This is a 160G Western Digital drive.

The PC was working fine before I shut it down. It's not the first time that I've had to manually shut it down due to the shutdown process hanging, but it always comes back up okay.

Virus? Hard drive failure? Any suggestions/comments? Any good software products that I can use to further diagnose (and possibly recover) the C drive. Note that I do not have a recovery disk. I tried reseating cables, etc., but it didn't help.

Thanks,
Ira

Edited by ibroussard, 04 January 2006 - 03:17 PM.

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#2
Kemasa

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Not sure of what caused it, but you can try creating a partition of the same space and see if you can access it. Be careful with what you use since Windoze may mark it and wipe things out. Knoppix or DSL OS is quite useful for this (Live CD, boot and fix using fdisk, sfdisk or qtparted).
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#3
ibroussard

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Running Partition Commander V9 (from VCOM) from the CD shows it as a FTA32/Primary/Active partition, but says that it is unformatted. I don't see how creating a new partition the same size on top of it will help anything.

Looks to me like the FAT (or the equivalent on a FAT32 partition) has been corrupted. I guess if it was overlaid completely, it's pretty useless, but are there any settings in the FAT that would seem to make the partition unformatted? If so, any tools that can reset it?

Thanks,
Ira
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#4
Kemasa

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It depends on where the marking that it is unformatted is. If it is in the partition table, then it could help. If it is in the filesystem, then it will not. The data is most likely stiill there.

Another thing to try is to use Knoppix or DSL OS (Live CD) to see if it can see anything and perhaps repair it.
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