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mheisig 06-22-2006 07:27 PM

Laptop Hard Drive Problems
So the other day my wife's laptop hard drive went on the fritz. She came home from work and it had evidently rebooted and all it showed was "Operating System Not Found." I had a similar problem with my desktop about two months earlier and was able to recover the data from the drive.

It's a Seagate 40GB 2.5" drive. So far I've tried using a 2.5" to USB adapter, and two different 44 to 40 pin adapters. I've tried all three adapters on two different systems, and none of them will recognize the drive. Not recognized in BIOS with either 44-40 pin adapters, and not recognized as a USB device with that adapter. From what I looked up online the jumper setting for the Seagate drive as a slave device is no jumper on at all, which is what I have it as.

When connecting it to my desktop I've tried it as a slave device on both the primary and secondary IDE channels, with 4 different ATA cables.

One weird thing: on my desktop I have two hard drives (master and slave config) and two DVD drives (master and slave). I've connected the laptop drive as the slave chained to both the master hard drive and the master dvd drive, but when I boot up the entire channel isn't recognized (in other words, both the master and slave device aren't recognized in BIOS). If I take the laptop drive off from the slave position and boot up with no slave device at all, the master is recognized.

Sorry for the long winded explanation. My wife has alot of pictures and stuff on there that she wants to recover, and I'm running out of ideas.

Any suggestions?

That Guy 06-22-2006 07:46 PM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
I've had that happen before. killing or making an entire chain slow isn't unusual.

best shot is to put it back in the laptop and boot off a bartPE CD and run chdsk, scandisk, and ghost (for a bit by bit backup in case nothing else works). I did that and got the filesystem back on my mom's laptop, though the windows install got hosed and had to be redone.

If the hard drive isn't spinning at all, you can also try freezing it (place it in the freezer for a couple hours) and then try booting it up again (what that fixes is cases where the grease or glue or whatnot leaks onto a moving part. freezing makes it brittle so it'll come loose when the disk spins up, instead of holding it in place. once spinning, the drive can keep it hot enough not to harden again).

That Guy 06-22-2006 07:48 PM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
bartPE page:

its a boot disk with networking, GUI, and access to any windows app. due to IP laws, you need a windows CD of some sort (XP preferred) along with the bartPE download to make a working boot CD.

That Guy 06-22-2006 07:50 PM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
if that doesn't help, I can basically gaurantee the data is still there and in no real danger of being lost, but you may have to go to a pro data recovery shop and pay out yer arse (per MB) to crack open the drive and recover the data straight off the platters.

mheisig 06-22-2006 08:03 PM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
Thanks man, I'll give it a try.

I got a few quotes from data recovery specialists - lowest one was like $750, and they went up real fast.

That Guy 06-22-2006 08:15 PM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
yeah, it's always much cheaper to keep backups, but most people just don't bother.

mheisig 06-22-2006 08:16 PM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
Yeah, that's what I told my wife. Fortunately she backed everything up about 2 months ago, so it's not catastrophic if we lost it, but still I'd rather not lose 2 months worth of data if I can help it.

mheisig 06-22-2006 08:42 PM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
Got BartPE going but BIOS still doesn't recognize the drive, so I obviously can't run chkdisk or anything like that on an unrecognized drive.

Guess I'll try freezing it like you said.

That Guy 06-22-2006 10:05 PM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
bummer, maybe the motor failed :(

PWNED 06-23-2006 09:19 AM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
hook it to an external enclosure, get file recovery pro and make sure the drive is found somehow in windows.

mheisig 06-23-2006 09:32 AM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems

Would that do the trick?

Just out of curiosity, how will this help as opposed to hooking it up as a slave device? I'm willing to give it a shot, just wondering if it will make a difference.

TheMalcolmConnection 06-23-2006 09:34 AM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
That sounds reasonable, where I work, we use those things all the time and they work wonders. PWNED is right, you DO need to get some kind of recovery program. Typically, those will work great.

mheisig 06-23-2006 09:37 AM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
I'm not finding anything on Google for File Recovery Pro...never heard of it myself.

TheMalcolmConnection 06-23-2006 09:40 AM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
Apparently they changed the name...


mheisig 06-23-2006 09:44 AM

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Problems
Groovy. I'll give it a shot. Just placed an order with Newegg.

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