View Full Version : Hard drive failure, I need advice
08-23-2009, 06:43 PM
I booted up this morning, nearly finished booting, got an error that Explorer was not responding. I rebooted, but nothing happened, just got a message that there was no boot disk, I couldn't get in to "Safe Mode". I took out the hard drive and put my backup drive that hasn’t been used in a year. Both drives were running Vista. The older drive booted up fine. I then put the defective drive in so I could hopefully read it and get my pictures and documents off of it. My system saw it as “J” drive and “K” drive. “J’ drive had correct info, it was the partition with 10gigs reserved for Recovery of which 5.25gigs were used, HOWEVER, “K” drive comes up as needing formatting and not able to be read. To the best of my knowledge I had no virus, regularly check it with Avast and Malwarebytes. My system is Gateway Quad Q6600 2.4GHZ, 4gig ram, Vista.
I am backed up with Acronis (last backup 7/23) but if I can’t read this defective drive, I will loose a month of info and it was a busy month. I can use help and advice as to how to read the problem drive.
08-23-2009, 07:05 PM
Where did you back your Acronis to? I usually back mine up to a separate drive (and not use a partition on the main drive).
08-23-2009, 07:44 PM
It sounds like he does monthly backups so he can revert to last months documents but wants to recover everything since.
08-23-2009, 07:51 PM
Find a bootable CD tools disk (such as the Ultimate Boot CD (http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/) or something from this list (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Livecd)) that contains the TestDisk (http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk) utility. It has worked miracles for me at recovering partition tables.
08-23-2009, 08:24 PM
I back up to two separate external drives and all photos are also on dvd, I won't loose more than a month but I will loose a few things. Thank you Markel, I will try your suggestion.
08-24-2009, 09:49 AM
Sounds like a physical drive issue. There are tools that can be used to recover the data, but most of them cost $$.
Try Markel's suggestion first. If that doesn't work, I'd recommend R-Studio (http://www.r-studio.com/) PLUS the freezer trick. This combo has allowed me to recover many failing drives.
If you're not familiar with the freezer trick, the colder a hard drive is, the more stable it is. So put it in a plastic (non-static) bag and freeze it for a few hours (or overnight), THEN run R-Studio on it. If this doesn't allow you to see the data, then it's pretty far gone and you might be SOL. I believe the demo of R-Studio will allow you to scan the drive before you buy the full version, so you should know if it will work before you spend anything.
08-24-2009, 01:51 PM
One thing to possibly try is Vistas startup repair utility. Boot from the Vista CD and select Repair. You may have to run it more then once.
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