Is my HD really dead??

By saw46 ·
I have an 8 year old (9/2001) Dell Dimension 4100 Desktop
60 GB Ultra ATA/100 Hard drive (IBM Deskstar)
1.10gig Intel Pentium III processor
Intel? 82801BA Ultra ATA Storage Controller - 244BI
Intel Board D815EEA AAA10383-407

OS: XP Pro SP3 --Clean install Jan. 09. (9/01- 1/09 OS was Win ME)

Sept 09 I installed 256 MG of additional memory in DIMM slot 2, bringing the total to 512MG
(Dell told me what to buy but I got it from Crucial)

October 1st ---I ran Chkdsk and then started to defrag. When I returned to the computer the screen was black with ?Invalid boot diskette; Insert Boot diskette in A??.and it wouldn?t boot. It would hang on the splash screen for a very long time and then display the previous message.
In BIOS the hard drive did not show up.

Using XP setup disk to get to Recovery Console?I found ?no hard drive installed? and so using FIX BOOT or FIX MBR BOOT got no response.

I ran Hitachi?s DFT but it couldn?t find the drive either.

I would assume the hard drive was dead?except that everything I have read says that it could be either a software or hardware problem;--and more than once,? desktop has actually opened,..and then been quickly disabled by a stop error. Once I even found it listed in the BIOS,--I booted to desktop and it was stable for about 2 minutes before it changed to a long page of writing saying that:
?A problem has been detected with your system and windows has been shut down to prevent damage. Kernel-Data-Inpage_Error.
STOP: 0x0000007A

ATAPI System - address F848650C, Date Stamp 4802539d

Beginning of physical dump
(Anyone speak Greek??) Any insights?

I have also dusted the inside of the case and checked all of the connections.
I would just say it was dead and dump it, --it is obviously time for a new HD,?but if it isn?t the hard drive and I can recover for even an hour so that I can check and make certain that I have everything I need off the disk,..before I move on--I would like to do that.

It is often off for weeks at a time and I haven?t ever changed the CMOS battery..(8Yrs) there any chance that a dead battery could account of any of this??

Any ideas at all will be greatly appreciated, I really don?t know where to go from here. I guess putting a new hard drive into this old system would not be as smart as getting a new computer??

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All Answers

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yes you can copy truly dead disks

by CG IT In reply to Great Heads Up!

actually all that matters is the platters.

Data recovery companies usually rebuild the bad drive to get data off of them. Best way to make sure the data can't be removed, drill holes in the platters. you can't spin up the platters and without the spinup the heads can't read what's on the platters. Mone hear mentioned heat, that warps the platters so they can't spin.

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Well On Track managed to recover a Drive that was

by OH Smeg In reply to Great Heads Up!

On the Space Shuttle Colombia after it disintegrated on reentry. Several months after the crash they found the drive buried in a swamp which it hit at a great rate of Knots.

The Data Recovery Company managed to get all of the data off the drive and make the experiments that it was recording useful after the crash. Not sure just how much that cost but lets just say that I'm certainly glad I wasn't footing the bills.

Anyway out of 3 Drives that they where given they managed to recover data off the worst one and the remaining two had suffered so much heat damage that the data was unrecoverable. Mainly because the Magnetic Material on the Platters had broken down.

The important things are the platters and here I dismantle drives from secure locations and save the platters till I have enough and they they end up getting poured into a Blast Furnace. I suppose that someone could steal the platters and recover data off them but they would need to know which platters belonged together or take the lot and recover all of them to get what they wanted. It would be horrendously expensive and because I take no precautions when I dismantle them the Platters are scratched anyway.

On the other hand I give all of the bits to my local Data Recovery Company to use as they need to.


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Thanks to a great community

by saw46 In reply to Well On Track managed to ...

I just want to say thank you for all of your helpful responses and ideas. A couple of other sites that I belong to...really gave me nothing to go on but I think that with your knowledge I have sucessfully completed this hurdle.
1st, I ran Hitachi's DFT and confirmed that the HD had a number of unrecoverable bad sectors.
2nd, knowing that it was the HD itself, I purchased an external enclosure and put the
old HD in it. What luck,..I was able to copy all of my Documents and Settings.
3rd, I ordered an slightly larger (80GB) new HD of the same type. This I haven't received yet but feel confident that it will
work in getting the Dimension up and going.
Thanks again for all help.

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Your Welcome EOM

by OH Smeg In reply to Thanks to a great communi ...
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Freezing the drive worked once for me

by DMambo In reply to Is my HD really dead??

Freeze the HDD for a couple of hours. Wrap it tightly in a ziplock back, or preferably, a static guard bag, and cool that sucker down. Then add it as a slave to another PC and see if it comes to life. If it does, get your data copied pronto because it probably won't last too long. This has worked once out of perhaps 30 tries, but it's worth a chance.

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