Laptop won't recognize hard drive

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Rick, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. Rick

    Rick Guest

    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?
     
    Rick, Apr 4, 2009
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Rick

    Paul Guest

    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
     
    Paul, Apr 4, 2009
    #2
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  3. Rick

    - Bobb - Guest

    cross your fingers: if SMART is turned on,
    go into BIOS and disable "disk diagnostics" (SMART)
    now do you at least see the drive ?

    If not - it's toast. ( the interface part of the drive has a failure) and if
    you really want to retrieve data - you're paying a professional company -
    big bucks.

    If you CAN see it now, MAYBE can recover your data if it were a SECONDARY
    ( not boot) drive ?

    You want to understand all of this so read up a bit on these items.
    If in fact your hard drive has surface damage , it will get worse quickly
    ( like when a VCR tape starts jamming - for a second or two -it's fixable:
    after 30 seconds the vcr tape is a useless pile )

    ( If some parts of this 'mean nothing to you', there's info on Google about
    each item)
    I'm reaching but these are things I'd try:

    1. On a good PC, download a copy of Knoppix ISO file from internet and burn
    to CD.
    Boot that from CD - now- can you see your data ?

    2. Can you remove disk drive and put in a desktop machine ? If so, read THIS
    message thread here
    from

    Jan 22, 2009 Laptop HDD

    "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in message
    news:glag14$fl8$...
    >I posted a few weeks ago about a failed HDD in a laptop....


    Jeff ,
    go here:
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ata notebook adapter
    for vendors - pick one like :
    http://www.shop4tech.com/user.htm?go=view_item&id=6763&r=183

    for $6.99 they make a small adapter that basically bends/aligns the pins

    With that you hook up your laptop drive to your desktop cabling.
    I leave cover off my PC and rest the laptop drive/adapter/cable on a book
    externally and copy data to desktop drive........

    Good luck.
    ===============

    "Paul" <> wrote in message
    news:gr73gl$jcd$...
    > 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
     
    - Bobb -, Apr 4, 2009
    #3
  4. Rick

    Rick Guest

    "- Bobb -" <bobb@noemail.123> wrote in message
    news:gr7dr2$pti$...
    > cross your fingers: if SMART is turned on,
    > go into BIOS and disable "disk diagnostics" (SMART)
    > now do you at least see the drive ?
    >
    > If not - it's toast. ( the interface part of the drive has a failure) and
    > if you really want to retrieve data - you're paying a professional
    > company - big bucks.
    >
    > If you CAN see it now, MAYBE can recover your data if it were a SECONDARY
    > ( not boot) drive ?
    >
    > You want to understand all of this so read up a bit on these items.
    > If in fact your hard drive has surface damage , it will get worse quickly
    > ( like when a VCR tape starts jamming - for a second or two -it's
    > fixable: after 30 seconds the vcr tape is a useless pile )
    >
    > ( If some parts of this 'mean nothing to you', there's info on Google
    > about each item)
    > I'm reaching but these are things I'd try:
    >
    > 1. On a good PC, download a copy of Knoppix ISO file from internet and
    > burn to CD.
    > Boot that from CD - now- can you see your data ?
    >
    > 2. Can you remove disk drive and put in a desktop machine ? If so, read
    > THIS message thread here
    > from
    >
    > Jan 22, 2009 Laptop HDD
    >
    > "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in message
    > news:glag14$fl8$...
    >>I posted a few weeks ago about a failed HDD in a laptop....

    >
    > Jeff ,
    > go here:
    > http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ata notebook adapter
    > for vendors - pick one like :
    > http://www.shop4tech.com/user.htm?go=view_item&id=6763&r=183
    >
    > for $6.99 they make a small adapter that basically bends/aligns the pins
    >
    > With that you hook up your laptop drive to your desktop cabling.
    > I leave cover off my PC and rest the laptop drive/adapter/cable on a book
    > externally and copy data to desktop drive........
    >
    > Good luck.
    > ===============



    I'm tempted to try some of the things you mentioned before taking it in
    (particularly booting from the Knoppix disc), but I'm concerned that I might
    be making things worse by just powering it up. We're taking it in on
    Monday to a laptop repair place that has done work for me before and is very
    reliable. I'm just not sure if me tinkering it with it could make things
    worse.

    By the way, it's the C drive (boot drive) that's bad.
     
    Rick, Apr 4, 2009
    #4
  5. "Rick" <> wrote in message
    news:nJCBl.22624$...
    > 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?


    I had a HDD fail on my daughter's computer. I pulled the drive and did a
    Google search on the part number, and found that I could get a new one for
    $50, and it's larger than the one that came out.

    You can pull your drive easily, the cover typically has only one or two
    screws holding it on, and two screws holding the drive in place. I'm not a
    big fan of the Geek Squad, but they can pull data off of the drive and put
    it onto a USB thumb drive for you. If you have a Mom & Pop Computer Repair
    in your town, they can do the same thing, and probably cheaper and faster.

    If you have any computer skills at all, you can connect the laptop HDD to
    your desk top PC and set it as a Slave. this will boot your PC to the
    existing drive C, and make the laptop HDD into drive D (or some other
    letter) and you can pull the data off by yourself. The trouble here is that
    the laptop HDD has a smaller connector than the ribbon cable in your PC, and
    you must have an adaptor to make it fit.

    If this is more than you're up to, call Mom & Pop and ask if they can pull
    the data if you bring them the drive. In the mean time, you can search for a
    source for a new drive on the 'net, get delivered to your door in a couple
    of days, and load the operating system, and you're off to the races once
    again.

    Plug the HDD'S part number into Google, and there will be lots of hits. You
    may find that your drive is a member of a family of drives of various
    capacities. In my case, the drive was the middle of three. You can buy
    another drive from within the same family -- I bought the largest -- and be
    reasonably sure it will work without any modifications to anything (such as
    the BIOS).
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 4, 2009
    #5
  6. Rick

    Paul Guest

    Rick wrote:
    >
    > "Paul" <> wrote in message
    > news:gr73gl$jcd$...
    >> 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...


    Some claim to offer 24/7 service, so you can contact them anytime
    and start the process. If you deal with a firm locally, they
    may operate during regular business hours. At least some of the
    time will be taken up in the transport of the drive to the
    company. All you need now, is a courier that is open on the
    weekend.

    This person from one of the Microsoft newsgroups, recommends Drivesavers.

    http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Viruses_Malware

    Seagate has a link on their support page. They appear to have
    changed the name of the company, perhaps to give the feeling it
    is more at arms length from the main company. See the "Data
    Recovery" link here.

    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/about/contact_us/

    WesternDigital has a page for this as well.

    http://support.wdc.com/recovery/index.asp?wdc_lang=en

    Hitachi offers their customers... nothing. They suggest
    checking Google :) I guess they're truly arms length
    from the data recovery industry, wishing to not give
    the impression they're causing the problem in the first
    place.

    The scary part is, probably every town has an entry in
    the phone book for a local data recovery service (I have
    two located here). What I can't tell you, is if it is
    real easy to set up a company for yourself, or whether
    these are storefront operations that just courier the
    drive to someone else.

    HTH,
    Paul
     
    Paul, Apr 4, 2009
    #6
  7. "Rick" <> wrote in message
    news:ehJBl.15950$...
    >
    > "Paul" <> wrote in message
    > news:gr73gl$jcd$...
    >> 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.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 4, 2009
    #7
  8. "Rick" <> wrote in message
    news:wuJBl.15951$...
    >
    > "- Bobb -" <bobb@noemail.123> wrote in message
    > news:gr7dr2$pti$...
    >> cross your fingers: if SMART is turned on,
    >> go into BIOS and disable "disk diagnostics" (SMART)
    >> now do you at least see the drive ?
    >>
    >> If not - it's toast. ( the interface part of the drive has a failure) and
    >> if you really want to retrieve data - you're paying a professional
    >> company - big bucks.
    >>
    >> If you CAN see it now, MAYBE can recover your data if it were a SECONDARY
    >> ( not boot) drive ?
    >>
    >> You want to understand all of this so read up a bit on these items.
    >> If in fact your hard drive has surface damage , it will get worse quickly
    >> ( like when a VCR tape starts jamming - for a second or two -it's
    >> fixable: after 30 seconds the vcr tape is a useless pile )
    >>
    >> ( If some parts of this 'mean nothing to you', there's info on Google
    >> about each item)
    >> I'm reaching but these are things I'd try:
    >>
    >> 1. On a good PC, download a copy of Knoppix ISO file from internet and
    >> burn to CD.
    >> Boot that from CD - now- can you see your data ?
    >>
    >> 2. Can you remove disk drive and put in a desktop machine ? If so, read
    >> THIS message thread here
    >> from
    >>
    >> Jan 22, 2009 Laptop HDD
    >>
    >> "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in message
    >> news:glag14$fl8$...
    >>>I posted a few weeks ago about a failed HDD in a laptop....

    >>
    >> Jeff ,
    >> go here:
    >> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=ata notebook adapter
    >> for vendors - pick one like :
    >> http://www.shop4tech.com/user.htm?go=view_item&id=6763&r=183
    >>
    >> for $6.99 they make a small adapter that basically bends/aligns the pins
    >>
    >> With that you hook up your laptop drive to your desktop cabling.
    >> I leave cover off my PC and rest the laptop drive/adapter/cable on a
    >> book
    >> externally and copy data to desktop drive........
    >>
    >> Good luck.
    >> ===============

    >
    >
    > I'm tempted to try some of the things you mentioned before taking it in
    > (particularly booting from the Knoppix disc), but I'm concerned that I
    > might be making things worse by just powering it up. We're taking it in
    > on Monday to a laptop repair place that has done work for me before and is
    > very reliable. I'm just not sure if me tinkering it with it could make
    > things worse.
    >
    > By the way, it's the C drive (boot drive) that's bad.




    I seriously doubt that you will hurt it. Odds favor a data error on the boot
    sector as opposed to a mechanical error. One cannot completely discount a
    problem with the drive unit for the head, or for the platter, but if the
    odds of the head and platter colliding is remote, so further damage is also
    remote.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 4, 2009
    #8
  9. Rick

    Baron Guest

    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?


    The HDD is shot ! Simplest cure is just to replace it ! You can get a
    new drive for as little as $35 !

    I hope you have being making backups and you have your recovery CD
    handy ! You will need them to put a system on the new disk and restore
    your backed up data.

    --
    Best Regards:
    Baron.
     
    Baron, Apr 4, 2009
    #9
  10. Rick

    Rick Guest

    "Paul" <> wrote in message
    news:gr85nr$41n$...
    > Rick wrote:
    >>
    >> "Paul" <> wrote in message
    >> news:gr73gl$jcd$...
    >>> 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...

    >
    > Some claim to offer 24/7 service, so you can contact them anytime
    > and start the process. If you deal with a firm locally, they
    > may operate during regular business hours. At least some of the
    > time will be taken up in the transport of the drive to the
    > company. All you need now, is a courier that is open on the
    > weekend.
    >
    > This person from one of the Microsoft newsgroups, recommends Drivesavers.
    >
    > http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Viruses_Malware
    >
    > Seagate has a link on their support page. They appear to have
    > changed the name of the company, perhaps to give the feeling it
    > is more at arms length from the main company. See the "Data
    > Recovery" link here.
    >
    > http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/about/contact_us/
    >
    > WesternDigital has a page for this as well.
    >
    > http://support.wdc.com/recovery/index.asp?wdc_lang=en
    >
    > Hitachi offers their customers... nothing. They suggest
    > checking Google :) I guess they're truly arms length
    > from the data recovery industry, wishing to not give
    > the impression they're causing the problem in the first
    > place.
    >
    > The scary part is, probably every town has an entry in
    > the phone book for a local data recovery service (I have
    > two located here). What I can't tell you, is if it is
    > real easy to set up a company for yourself, or whether
    > these are storefront operations that just courier the
    > drive to someone else.
    >
    > HTH,
    > Paul


    I found a repair shop open today and they opened up the laptop, removed the
    drive, changed the cable and then put it into another PC on their workbench
    to see if they could read the disc. It gave the same clicking sounds and
    they were unable to read the disc. They confirmed what I already suspected,
    which was that I need to get it to a data recovery specialist. I found a
    place in St. Pete with an A+ BBB rating and seemingly good references. They
    have a clean room on site, so the plan now is for me to drive down there
    Monday morning with the drive. They will charge me a flat rate of $900 to
    open up the drive in the clean room and pull off the data using their
    equipment. They estimate about a 3-4 day turnover, possibly sooner. For an
    extra $400 they give an expedite service, which means they put you at the
    head of the queue and turn it around in two days. I'll pay the extra $400
    for a $1300 total. I'm hoping Monday will count as one of the days and that
    I can get it back by late Tuesday. They do not charge anything unless they
    can recover the data, so that sounded like a good deal. They say that as
    long as the PC wasn't dropped or physically abused (it wasn't) that they
    will probably get the data off. They claim a success rate of about 85 to
    90%.
     
    Rick, Apr 5, 2009
    #10
  11. Rick

    Rick Guest

    "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in message
    news:gr862s$741$...
    >
    > "Rick" <> wrote in message
    > news:ehJBl.15950$...
    >>
    >> "Paul" <> wrote in message
    >> news:gr73gl$jcd$...
    >>> 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...
     
    Rick, Apr 5, 2009
    #11
  12. "Rick" <> wrote in message
    news:RwVBl.11465$%...
    >
    > 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.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 5, 2009
    #12
  13. Rick

    Rick Guest

    "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in message
    news:gran15$tvi$...
    >
    > "Rick" <> wrote in message
    > news:RwVBl.11465$%...
    >>
    >> 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...
     
    Rick, Apr 7, 2009
    #13
  14. "Rick" <> wrote in message
    news:HfACl.17789$...
    >
    > "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in message
    > news:gran15$tvi$...
    >>
    >> "Rick" <> wrote in message
    >> news:RwVBl.11465$%...
    >>>
    >>> 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?
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 7, 2009
    #14
  15. Rick

    Paul Guest

    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
     
    Paul, Apr 7, 2009
    #15
  16. Rick

    Rick Guest

    "Paul" <> wrote in message
    news:grejpc$oks$...
    > 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.
     
    Rick, Apr 7, 2009
    #16
  17. Rick

    Rick Guest

    "Rick" <> wrote in message
    news:DjICl.25999$...
    >
    > "Paul" <> wrote in message
    > news:grejpc$oks$...
    >> 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.
     
    Rick, Apr 7, 2009
    #17
  18. Rick

    - Bobb - Guest

    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.
     
    - Bobb -, Apr 7, 2009
    #18
  19. "Rick" <> wrote in message
    news:DjICl.25999$...
    >
    > "Paul" <> wrote in message
    > news:grejpc$oks$...
    >> 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.
     
    Jeff Strickland, Apr 7, 2009
    #19
  20. Rick

    Rick Guest

    "Jeff Strickland" <> wrote in message
    news:grgl6a$h7a$...
    >
    > "Rick" <> wrote in message
    > news:DjICl.25999$...
    >>
    >> "Paul" <> wrote in message
    >> news:grejpc$oks$...
    >>> 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.
     
    Rick, Apr 8, 2009
    #20
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