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Laptop won't recognize hard drive

 
 
Rick
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      04-05-2009

"Jeff Strickland" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:gr862s$741$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Rick" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:ehJBl.15950$(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>> "Paul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:gr73gl$jcd$(E-Mail Removed)...
>>> Rick wrote:
>>>> My daughter tried to boot up her laptop today and it made a clicking
>>>> noise and gave a "media test failure" message. That sounded to me like
>>>> the hard drive was going bad or already shot. I tried to boot the
>>>> computer using a Windows XP disc and use the "repair" option, hoping it
>>>> was just corrupted software, but it gave a message that there was no
>>>> hard drive present. The computer turns on okay and will let you go
>>>> into the bios, but the bios does not see the hard drive at all. The
>>>> computer had been working fine up to this time and not given her any
>>>> problems. It's a Compaq 2311 and it's around 4 years old.
>>>>
>>>> My question is this. I would think that if the drive were going bad,
>>>> the bios would still be be able to see the drive, but just wouldn't be
>>>> able to read from it. The fact that the bios doesn't see the drive at
>>>> all makes me wonder (hope) if it is just a loose cable. Does this make
>>>> sense or am I just being overly optimistic? My daughter is a
>>>> college senior expecting to graduate in a few weeks and there are
>>>> several files on the computer she desperately needs in order to
>>>> graduate.
>>>>
>>>> There is not much we can do this weekend, but on Monday we will take
>>>> the computer to a laptop repair shop and hope they can somehow get the
>>>> data she needs off the drive. Is there anything else I can do in the
>>>> meantime?
>>>
>>> Since the data on the drive is important, and is time sensitive,
>>> then it's time for "data recovery". There are firms which
>>> are capable of opening the HDA and doing things like
>>> replacing the head assembly or installing a new motor.
>>> The price they charge is variable, because in some cases,
>>> they can achieve data recovery from the outside of the
>>> drive (by doing stuff to the controller board). Some
>>> of these firms will offer no cost analysis (no charge to
>>> you, unless they recover the data). The price could be
>>> $500 to $1000, depending on the work done, or the amount
>>> of data recovered.
>>>
>>> The drive will not respond to outside queries, until
>>> some amount of internal housekeeping has been completed.
>>> That means spinning up the platter, moving the heads down
>>> the landing ramp and "loading" them to the platters. Then,
>>> identify info, spared sector info and the like, is loaded
>>> from "below sector zero". A short SMART test and a few
>>> simple seeks may also run at this point, and then perhaps,
>>> the drive is ready to talk to the outside world.
>>>
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_drive
>>>
>>> The clicking you're hearing, means the platters are up to
>>> speed, the heads are loaded to the platters, but the
>>> controller isn't able to get data from the platters.
>>> The "clicks" are "seek to zero" attempts - the controller
>>> is trying to find the info it needs, but cannot locate
>>> it. The controller is "lost in the woods". That could happen,
>>> for example, if the heads have been ripped off the end of
>>> the actuator arm, or there is damage to some part of the
>>> platter.
>>>
>>> HTH,
>>> Paul

>>
>> What do you think is the likelihood that a data recovery company can get
>> the data off in a timely manner? At this point, the cost involved
>> isn't really an issue since my daughter's graduation depends on getting
>> the data back. And do you know of any firms in Florida that have a good
>> track record with this?
>>
>> Thanks...

>
> My daughter took her drive to a friend she knew in high school that does
> computer work, he pulled the files in a few minutes.
>
> There is no way to tell from here, but odds favor the boot sector being
> bad. There's a possibility that the drive can simply be reformatted and
> you can continue to use it. the problem is, you have to pull the files
> from it first.
>
> A HDD can be a Master or a Slave. Currently, your drive is the master. To
> make it into a slave, all you do is (either) install or move a jumper.
> It's really not difficult. When the drive is a slave, it will be ignored
> during boot-time, meaning the bad boot sector will not be accessed. The
> data can easily be pulled off and moved to another drive, or to a flash
> (usb) drive. The programs on the affected (slave) drive will not run, for
> example your MS Office apps won't work, but the files they generate can be
> copied over to another destination.
>
> The restoration you need is not complicated, but it is more than most can
> do because most don't have the adaptors and stuff needed, and computers
> are spooky.
>
> Consider the work you need as only something you don't know, not as
> something that is complex. Mom & Pop down on the corner won't have any
> problem at all, if the trouble is as I think it is.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


As noted in another post, I took it to a mom and pop repair shop today, and
they were unable to read the disc, even after pulling it out of the laptop,
changing the cable and putting it into another machine. It gave the same
slow clicking noise. So next stop is data recovery in a cleanroom...

 
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Jeff Strickland
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      04-05-2009

"Rick" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:RwVBl.11465$%(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> As noted in another post, I took it to a mom and pop repair shop today,
> and they were unable to read the disc, even after pulling it out of the
> laptop, changing the cable and putting it into another machine. It gave
> the same slow clicking noise. So next stop is data recovery in a
> cleanroom...


Good luck.

That's more than I know how to fix. The HDDs that I've had trouble with were
not having mechanical problems as yours seems to be having.

Your kid might consider emailing her important files to herself at a
web-based emali service, such as Yahoo or AOL. These services store the
files on their servers instead of locally on your own machine. Personally, I
do not like the we-based presentation of my mail, but the storage of files
is a useful feature.

Of course, that strategy only helps for tomorrow, and your problem came
yesterday.

My kids come home and do homework, then email the result to themselves. The
next day, they go to school and pull the email down and hand it in.







 
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Rick
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      04-07-2009

"Jeff Strickland" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:gran15$tvi$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Rick" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:RwVBl.11465$%(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>> As noted in another post, I took it to a mom and pop repair shop today,
>> and they were unable to read the disc, even after pulling it out of the
>> laptop, changing the cable and putting it into another machine. It gave
>> the same slow clicking noise. So next stop is data recovery in a
>> cleanroom...

>
> Good luck.
>
> That's more than I know how to fix. The HDDs that I've had trouble with
> were not having mechanical problems as yours seems to be having.
>
> Your kid might consider emailing her important files to herself at a
> web-based emali service, such as Yahoo or AOL. These services store the
> files on their servers instead of locally on your own machine. Personally,
> I do not like the we-based presentation of my mail, but the storage of
> files is a useful feature.
>
> Of course, that strategy only helps for tomorrow, and your problem came
> yesterday.
>
> My kids come home and do homework, then email the result to themselves.
> The next day, they go to school and pull the email down and hand it in.
>
>
>
>
>
>
>


I found a data recovery facility that was able to recover all her data and
copy it to an external disc drive. Crisis over...

 
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Jeff Strickland
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      04-07-2009

"Rick" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:HfACl.17789$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Jeff Strickland" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:gran15$tvi$(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>> "Rick" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:RwVBl.11465$%(E-Mail Removed)...
>>>
>>> As noted in another post, I took it to a mom and pop repair shop today,
>>> and they were unable to read the disc, even after pulling it out of the
>>> laptop, changing the cable and putting it into another machine. It
>>> gave the same slow clicking noise. So next stop is data recovery in a
>>> cleanroom...

>>
>> Good luck.
>>
>> That's more than I know how to fix. The HDDs that I've had trouble with
>> were not having mechanical problems as yours seems to be having.
>>
>> Your kid might consider emailing her important files to herself at a
>> web-based emali service, such as Yahoo or AOL. These services store the
>> files on their servers instead of locally on your own machine.
>> Personally, I do not like the we-based presentation of my mail, but the
>> storage of files is a useful feature.
>>
>> Of course, that strategy only helps for tomorrow, and your problem came
>> yesterday.
>>
>> My kids come home and do homework, then email the result to themselves.
>> The next day, they go to school and pull the email down and hand it in.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>

>
> I found a data recovery facility that was able to recover all her data and
> copy it to an external disc drive. Crisis over...



Excellent. How much did it cost?

And, are you going to buy and install a new HDD?





 
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Paul
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      04-07-2009
Rick wrote:

>
> I found a data recovery facility that was able to recover all her data
> and copy it to an external disc drive. Crisis over...


And pretty quickly too.

Did they mention how hard it was to get the data back ?

Paul

 
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Rick
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      04-07-2009

"Paul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:grejpc$oks$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Rick wrote:
>
>>
>> I found a data recovery facility that was able to recover all her data
>> and copy it to an external disc drive. Crisis over...

> And pretty quickly too.
>
> Did they mention how hard it was to get the data back ?
>
> Paul
>


Apparently, it was totally straightforward. The company says they can
recover data in 85 to 90% of the cases. The biggest problem is cases where
the drive was actually dropped or physically abused (not the case here).

They got it done quickly because I paid an expedite fee. The cost of the
recovery was $900 plus a $400 expedite fee ($1300 total). Without the
expedite fee, they were quoting a 3-4 day turnaround.

 
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Rick
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      04-07-2009

"Rick" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newsjICl.25999$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Paul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:grejpc$oks$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Rick wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> I found a data recovery facility that was able to recover all her data
>>> and copy it to an external disc drive. Crisis over...

>> And pretty quickly too.
>>
>> Did they mention how hard it was to get the data back ?
>>
>> Paul
>>

>
> Apparently, it was totally straightforward. The company says they can
> recover data in 85 to 90% of the cases. The biggest problem is cases
> where the drive was actually dropped or physically abused (not the case
> here).
>
> They got it done quickly because I paid an expedite fee. The cost of the
> recovery was $900 plus a $400 expedite fee ($1300 total). Without the
> expedite fee, they were quoting a 3-4 day turnaround.
>


Forgot to mention...as is apparently standard in the industry, they only
charge you if they recover the data.

 
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- Bobb -
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      04-07-2009
That's great.
Could you give us the company info ?
( I KNOW someone will ask me for such info - so I'd like to have the
name/number)
Thanks


>>> Rick wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> I found a data recovery facility that was able to recover all her data
>>>> and copy it to an external disc drive. Crisis over...
>>> And pretty quickly too.
>>>
>>> Did they mention how hard it was to get the data back ?
>>>
>>> Paul
>>>

>>
>> Apparently, it was totally straightforward. The company says they can
>> recover data in 85 to 90% of the cases. The biggest problem is cases
>> where the drive was actually dropped or physically abused (not the case
>> here).
>>
>> They got it done quickly because I paid an expedite fee. The cost of the
>> recovery was $900 plus a $400 expedite fee ($1300 total). Without the
>> expedite fee, they were quoting a 3-4 day turnaround.
>>

>
> Forgot to mention...as is apparently standard in the industry, they only
> charge you if they recover the data.



 
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Jeff Strickland
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      04-07-2009

"Rick" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
newsjICl.25999$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Paul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:grejpc$oks$(E-Mail Removed)...
>> Rick wrote:
>>
>>>
>>> I found a data recovery facility that was able to recover all her data
>>> and copy it to an external disc drive. Crisis over...

>> And pretty quickly too.
>>
>> Did they mention how hard it was to get the data back ?
>>
>> Paul
>>

>
> Apparently, it was totally straightforward. The company says they can
> recover data in 85 to 90% of the cases. The biggest problem is cases
> where the drive was actually dropped or physically abused (not the case
> here).
>
> They got it done quickly because I paid an expedite fee. The cost of the
> recovery was $900 plus a $400 expedite fee ($1300 total). Without the
> expedite fee, they were quoting a 3-4 day turnaround.
>



I hope your kid starts emailing her school stuff to herself. My kids would
be working through the night to do the project over again.


I'm gonna start a business recovering your data.

 
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Rick
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      04-07-2009

"Jeff Strickland" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:grgl6a$h7a$(E-Mail Removed)...
>
> "Rick" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> newsjICl.25999$(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>> "Paul" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news:grejpc$oks$(E-Mail Removed)...
>>> Rick wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>> I found a data recovery facility that was able to recover all her data
>>>> and copy it to an external disc drive. Crisis over...
>>> And pretty quickly too.
>>>
>>> Did they mention how hard it was to get the data back ?
>>>
>>> Paul
>>>

>>
>> Apparently, it was totally straightforward. The company says they can
>> recover data in 85 to 90% of the cases. The biggest problem is cases
>> where the drive was actually dropped or physically abused (not the case
>> here).
>>
>> They got it done quickly because I paid an expedite fee. The cost of the
>> recovery was $900 plus a $400 expedite fee ($1300 total). Without the
>> expedite fee, they were quoting a 3-4 day turnaround.
>>

>
>
> I hope your kid starts emailing her school stuff to herself. My kids would
> be working through the night to do the project over again.
>
>
> I'm gonna start a business recovering your data.
>


Unfortunately, it wasn't just one project. She's in her last semester of
college, and data and reports she needed for virtually every class was on
the drive. That included data she'd been compiling for her senior design
project, data for her honors thesis and data for an independent study course
she's been taking. Some of the reports she could have redone, but there was
also raw data she had collected over time for her research projects that she
couldn't possibly recreate.

The email thing is a little cumbersome - she actually has a jump drive which
works very well for storing data and transporting data; she just wasn't
using it.

Before you start that data recovery business, you might want to consider
that it costs around $1 million to set up the cleanroom environment that you
need to do the recoveries.

 
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