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Old 06-30-2010, 02:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PC Won't Recognize Hard Drive - Strange Noises

Hey, guys... I came home from running errands today to find that there had been a bit of a storm, causing a brown-out, causing my PC to shut down/reboot. It was stuck in mid-boot, showing the same error message that I'd been receiving for months whenever I tried to do a cold boot: "Verifying DMI Pool Data. Hard Disk Boot Error", etc. Normally, I just restarted the machine a couple of times, and it would eventually boot and all was hunky-dory. But this time, the wretched machine simply refused to boot unless I unplugged my secondary storage drive, at which point it booted like a charm and all was well. Unfortunately, now I cannot get my PC to see this secondary drive at all (used only to store personal files and such, no OS). BIOS shows no sign of it, and when I plug it in, it sounds like it's trying to get going, and then just gives up.

I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium on a custom-built rig. EVGA board, Intel i7 920 CPU. The bad drive is a Western Digital 500GB Caviar. Here's what it's doing:

(play in 480p)

At this point, I don't care about the drive. I just want to recover the data that's on it. Any software recommendations?
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Won't Recognize Hard Drive - Strange Noises

I would recommend recuva, Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download.

Also try a new sata or ide cable on the your hdd and see what might happen.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Won't Recognize Hard Drive - Strange Noises

Thanks for your suggestions, Mike. I tried switching out the SATA cable, putting the drive on a known good port, and even a different power cable, but it was returning the same spin-click-spin error. I did download Recuva, but until I can somehow get the PC to actually see the drive, I won't be able to try it out.

I have the drive setup as IDE in BIOS, and when the drives are listed during boot, all empty ports are marked [None], but the port with the bad drive is blank. There's nothing listed. The only way I can actually get the machine to boot is either by unplugging the drive, or manually changing the SATA port with the bad drive to [None].

I'm just trying to figure out why the head keeps snapping back and forth. It's not stuck; it just won't sit on the platter long enough read anything. What does this indicate?
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Won't Recognize Hard Drive - Strange Noises

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkttt87 View Post
Thanks for your suggestions, Mike. I tried switching out the SATA cable, putting the drive on a known good port, and even a different power cable, but it was returning the same spin-click-spin error. I did download Recuva, but until I can somehow get the PC to actually see the drive, I won't be able to try it out.

I have the drive setup as IDE in BIOS, and when the drives are listed during boot, all empty ports are marked [None], but the port with the bad drive is blank. There's nothing listed. The only way I can actually get the machine to boot is either by unplugging the drive, or manually changing the SATA port with the bad drive to [None].

I'm just trying to figure out why the head keeps snapping back and forth. It's not stuck; it just won't sit on the platter long enough read anything. What does this indicate?
Well to be honest, it sounds like your hdd maybe gettin ready give in and die real soon.

Like you said if you went into bios and a saw a hard drive with a unknown name but no capacity count such as, 80gb or 120gb and etc, then yeah it is failing soon.
However I wouldn't give in just yet, shut down that pc and take out the messed up hdd.

If it's still under warrantie which I am hoping it is, ask the maunfacturer to see if they can recover any data and replace the hdd.

They may so no, but it doesn't hurt to ask about data recovery, if they yes it's gonna cost you some depending of how much stuff you want back.

Give the manufacturer a call right now and see what they, heck by friday morning you might be able to ship it off and get it fixed.

________________________________
EDIT:

I just looked at your video on youtube, why didn't you state you took apart your hdd ?
When you dismantle your hdd you void your warranty with the manufacturer if you have any.
Your best bet is to move on and get a new hdd, check newegg.com site for new hdd under 52.00 your bound to find something you might want.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Won't Recognize Hard Drive - Strange Noises

Thanks, Mike. I checked the manufacturer's web site, and after putting the S/N in, it looked like the HDD would, indeed, have still been under warranty. However, as you saw from my video above, I did open the case up, which probably rendered any warranty null and void. I wasn't really looking to take advantage of the warranty, though, as I don't know that the manufacturer would do much in the way of data recovery. I couldn't care less about the drive. Like you said, they're plenty cheap to replace. Just want the data back.

After doing more research I concluded (and am hoping) that the drive has a bad head. That kind of repair is definitely beyond my level of expertise, so I took it to a data recovery specialist. My broker is going to kill me (), but I'm hoping the specialist can do a full recovery. Now I just have to play the waiting game for a week (darned holiday weekend). Thanks again for your help, Mike.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:39 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Won't Recognize Hard Drive - Strange Noises

Not a problem man, if you need any more help, you know where to find me.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: PC Won't Recognize Hard Drive - Strange Noises

Just to update, I took the drive to my local Data Recovery Group office, and the technician there replaced one bad head (out of five) on the drive, and was able to do a 100% recovery. I lost the drive, but the data is fine. They are pricey, but I recommend DRG's services if you're in a tight spot. Also, I now have a Mozy.com subscription. All's well that ends well. Thanks, again.
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