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Author Topic: Dead computer hard drive rescue???  (Read 8991 times)

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« on: November 08, 2008, 12:33 »
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I had a computer die with 3 Sata hardrives in it. 2 slave drives and one with the OS on it.
I was able to rescue the files from the 2 slave drives by attaching to the Cd rom cables in a new machine. Computer recognized them like an external hardrive, very relieved:). Bad news is, this isn't working for the 3rd drive with the OS on it...hmmm?

Does anyone know how to get the info off the OS drive? Using the above method the computer won't boot.

Any advice welcome.


dbvirago

« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2008, 13:24 »
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When I read the topic, I was going to suggest the method you already used. Not sure why the computer won't boot with the bad one as hooked to the CD. Are you on  network? You could try booting from CD, getting to DOS prompt and see if you can copy files, or reinstall OS and see if it will boot.

If all else fails, there are people that can pull 1s and 0s and reconstruct, but it is very expensive.

AVAVA

« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2008, 13:50 »
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Chris Dude,

 So sorry to here about your computer. Sounds like a Mac when you said OS. If you take it to an Apple store ( make an appointment first online for a " Mac Genius " couch-cough ) they should be able to get the info off for you and at no charge if you have coverage. If not there are companies out there that can retrieve your data from your office chair if need be but it'll cost ya.
 Just a quick slap on the hand to a friend, why . was this stuff not backed up, shame on you it must be your first big crash. I am sure everything will be in at least two places after this experience. I hope your football team fairs better than your computer experience this weekend. I feel for you man there is nothing worse than seeing the ? on your Mac.

 If I was a tech guy I would help but trust me you don't want my help. I can't get a piece of toast out of the toaster when it's stuck.

Good Luck,
J

« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2008, 14:10 »
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If your computer boots up, and you have a cd drive, I would suggest trying to download (on another computer) a copy of knoppix linux.. This is a linux OS that will boot from a cd.. You can load the cd and boot your computer into a simple to use graphical linux environment.. It will automatically detect all drives connected to your computer and mount them.. You can tehn transer to an external drive or stick or if you have 2 cdroms burn it to disk.. If the drive is not completely toast, this should work.. Just googel knoppix linux.. Make sure you get the english version..

If that doesn't work, you will need to send it in for data recovery to a certified clean room facility.. Minimun $800 dollars..

Good luck, I've been there..

Rob

I had a computer die with 3 Sata hardrives in it. 2 slave drives and one with the OS on it.
I was able to rescue the files from the 2 slave drives by attaching to the Cd rom cables in a new machine. Computer recognized them like an external hardrive, very relieved:). Bad news is, this isn't working for the 3rd drive with the OS on it...hmmm?

Does anyone know how to get the info off the OS drive? Using the above method the computer won't boot.

Any advice welcome.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2008, 14:13 by tubed »

« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2008, 14:25 »
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P.S. make sure you burn knoppix to the cd with the iso file and burn the disk as a bootable disk (otherwise your computer won't recocnise it).. Also you may need to right click on the drive will be on the desktop once into the operating system and change the permissions to read/write (will be defaulted to read)..

« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2008, 14:28 »
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dbvirago,
Thanks! no network, not sure if I'm computer savvy enough to use your advice without destroying the new computer. I thought maybe I could just switch a jumper or something so the computer would recognize it as a slave drive. Funny thing, I don't see any jumpers on the sata drives, haha! I'm guessing you have to switch it in bios??? is that right?

Might have to just take it to the shop..hmmm.


Jonathan dude, lol!!
Nope, I'm an idiot!! not the first time. Just extremely unorganized and carefree, some stuff backed up on external drives, some not  :) I'll never learn.

I'm not even sure whats on the drive exactly other than programs and misc. bs. (Its a pc btw) I was hoping for the quick press the botton dummy fix but seems unlikely. Lucky for me the important stuff was on the 2 drives I was able to save. I tried to keep the OS drive just to run programs.

USC should be fine against those hippies up north..haha




« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2008, 14:44 »
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It is not necessary to set any terminators or other settings on this drive for proper operation. The jumper block adjacent to the SATA interface connector on SATA 150MB/sec drives is for factory use only. The jumper block adjacent to the SATA interface connector on SATA 300MB/sec drives can be used to force the drive into SATA 150MB/sec mode for use with older SATA controllers that only work with SATA 150MB/sec drives.

Each drive on the serial ATA interface connects in a point-to-point configuration with the serial ATA host adapter. There is no master/slave relationship because each drive is considered a master in a point-to-point relationships. If two drives are attached on one serial ATA host adapter, the host operating system views the two devices as if they were both masters on two separate ports. This means both drives behave as if they are Device 0 (master) devices. Each drive has its own cable.
The jumper position to force the drive to SATA 1 speed (150 MB/sec) differs between Seagate drives and Maxtor drives. For the purposes of telling them apart, simply note the model number of the drive. If it begins with "ST" or "STM", see the jumper configuration for Seagate drives below. If any other model number, see the Maxtor model configuration.

Your serial ATA host adapter may provide master/slave emulation options. See your host adapter documentation for details.


http%3a//www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp%3flocale=en-US%26name=Serial_ATA_Jumpers_and_Cabling%26vgnextoid=4a02242cb043e010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD
« Last Edit: November 08, 2008, 14:47 by tubed »

« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2008, 15:38 »
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Tubed,
Ok,  how about in english now  :) that makes my head hurt.

All 3 drives are seagate coming from the dead computer. The C: drive with the OS in it is the only one that will not boot up using the same method I mentioned in my first post.

I am trying to recover the drive by installing it in a new vista 64 system, not sure if it makes a difference but the drive I am trying to recover has 32bit xp-pro on it???

Seems to me,  having the operating system on the drive is the hick-up since the other drives I recovered were recognized right away just like an external hardrive.

As for the dead pc/computer: won't boot at all, light comes on for a second and then power vanishes.

« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2008, 15:53 »
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Haha, sorry.. Basically it sais that you don't need to set master / slave, as with the sata configurations they all would run as masters.. Here is some seagate sata drive information

http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?locale=en-US&name=Serial_ATA_Jumpers_and_Cabling&vgnextoid=4a02242cb043e010VgnVCM100000dd04090aRCRD

I would say your easiest solution (if whatever you are trying with pluging into an vista machine doesn't work, is plug it into another computer and run the knoppix linux cd like I mentioned above (it's not too hard) and then transfer what's on the drive to one of the other drives on that computer.. If the drive you are trying to recover isn't recognized by linux most likely it has gone bad..

 Also just a thought, but if the computer doesn't boot up at all, it could be just the power supply, or it could be the motherboard (if so, it's shot).. but if it was just the power supply, those are fairly inexpensive to replace..

Rob


Tubed,
Ok,  how about in english now  :) that makes my head hurt.

All 3 drives are seagate coming from the dead computer. The C: drive with the OS in it is the only one that will not boot up using the same method I mentioned in my first post.

I am trying to recover the drive by installing it in a new vista 64 system, not sure if it makes a difference but the drive I am trying to recover has 32bit xp-pro on it???

Seems to me,  having the operating system on the drive is the hick-up since the other drives I recovered were recognized right away just like an external hardrive.

As for the dead pc/computer: won't boot at all, light comes on for a second and then power vanishes.


« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2008, 16:05 »
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Thanks Rob,

I will probably try the linux thing, thanks for the tip  :)

I think its the mother board because its had some processor overheating problems in the past and it does get power just won't boot.

Its amazing how much cooler the new computers are running now.

« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2008, 16:38 »
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Sure no prob.. let me know how it turns out.. I've had to do that a few times myself.. Good luck, let me know if you need some guidance with the linux stuff..

« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2008, 22:42 »
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I had a laptop hard drive die on me, and I managed to read the data off of it by freezing it and hooking it up with an external cable while it was packed on ice. I am not sure exactly why that worked, but I saw it mentioned as a possible fix online, and since it wasn't working I thought I'd give it a try. If nothing else works it is worth a try, just keep it wrapped well so moisture can't condense inside while it is cold. good luck.

« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2008, 09:11 »
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Does your hard drive ( the non working one) have the jumper pins on the backside of it? If so have you changed them from being set for the primary drive to being a slave drive? I had to do that years ago when I moved my drives to a new box.

« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2008, 09:34 »
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Ok, i realize i am a little late into this conversation, and I may not know what I am talking about but.... here is my two cents...

If the rescue computer isnt booting when you attach the third problem drive.. then it must be trying to boot from that drive or something??  That is set in the bios .. edit: oh yeah.. i bet that is it.  You have your computer set to boot from the CD first (if it can) and then try your hard drives.  Since you are attaching your problem drive to the cd spot, it tries to boot from there first.  So change it to trying to boot from the regular hard drive first (in the bios).  The other drives didnt cause a problem because there was no boot info on them.


if that doesnt work though my suggestion would be to buy an external drive case that you can just slip your problem drive into.  That makes it very simple to just stick your third drive in there and connect it to a usb port and then hopefully access your files.  Once you are done, you have a useful external drive case when the same thing happens again :)

« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2008, 11:33 »
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That would work, if the computer booted to a blank.. But the problem is, the computer does not completely power up.. From what I read from Chris earlier.. Which would most likely mean that the motherboard or power supply went bad.. If it was just a drive, it would boot to an error screen..

Ok, i realize i am a little late into this conversation, and I may not know what I am talking about but.... here is my two cents...

If the rescue computer isnt booting when you attach the third problem drive.. then it must be trying to boot from that drive or something??  That is set in the bios .. edit: oh yeah.. i bet that is it.  You have your computer set to boot from the CD first (if it can) and then try your hard drives.  Since you are attaching your problem drive to the cd spot, it tries to boot from there first.  So change it to trying to boot from the regular hard drive first (in the bios).  The other drives didnt cause a problem because there was no boot info on them.


if that doesnt work though my suggestion would be to buy an external drive case that you can just slip your problem drive into.  That makes it very simple to just stick your third drive in there and connect it to a usb port and then hopefully access your files.  Once you are done, you have a useful external drive case when the same thing happens again :)

« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2008, 13:05 »
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Ok, i realize i am a little late into this conversation, and I may not know what I am talking about but.... here is my two cents...

If the rescue computer isnt booting when you attach the third problem drive.. then it must be trying to boot from that drive or something??  That is set in the bios .. edit: oh yeah.. i bet that is it.  You have your computer set to boot from the CD first (if it can) and then try your hard drives.  Since you are attaching your problem drive to the cd spot, it tries to boot from there first.  So change it to trying to boot from the regular hard drive first (in the bios).  The other drives didnt cause a problem because there was no boot info on them.


if that doesnt work though my suggestion would be to buy an external drive case that you can just slip your problem drive into.  That makes it very simple to just stick your third drive in there and connect it to a usb port and then hopefully access your files.  Once you are done, you have a useful external drive case when the same thing happens again :)

Thanks Leaf,
I suspect you might be right that the computer is trying to boot from the cd rom drive first. The sales guy at the store mentioned the external drive case as well. Could be an easy fix without messing with my bios... At least I know there are many options.

I've put the rescue task on the back burner at the moment but will post here when I figure it out for anyone who is interested.
Thanks again everyone  :)

« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2008, 08:40 »
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I'm not sure that I am understanding your predicament.  Some more details might help.

Does the computer put up an error message on screen when it tries to boot?  If so, what is it?

Does the old computer beep when it tries to startup?  If so, count the number of beeps.  The beeps will tell you what the error is.

What are you trying to recover?  If the drive just had the O/S and applications on it, then you won't be able to do much with them if you recover them.  Almost all applications have information stored in the Windows registry and won't run properly (if at all) without it.  And you can't just move registry information from a dead drive to a new one.

You say that you attached two of the SATA drives to a CD connection in another VISTA computer.  This confuses me slightly.  Most CD connections are PATA (which are extremely different than SATA).  FYI: If you are using a PATA cable with two connectors (one on the end and one in the middle), then where you connect the drive on that cable will determine if it is a master or slave.  I'm not positive, but I believe that the connector at the end is the master and the one in the middle is the slave.

I also took a look at my SATA drives (I have 2) and they all have jumper settings on the back.  You might need to set those appropriately to have the drive configured as a slave.

See here for some additional info:

http://www.mfslive.org/setupcomputer.htm

Hope that helps.

« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2008, 12:57 »
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GeoPappas,
Thanks for your input. I'm sorry I wasn't more clear about the cd drive, its actually a DVD lightscribe device. The cables are the same as SATA hardrives.

As Tubed mentioned above there are no jumper settings to adjust on SATA drives.

The dead computer beeps once when fired up and then quickly dies after that. I'm not worried about saving the old computer. Sometimes its better for me mentally just to move on..haha!!

The C: drive did have some files on it that I wanted to recover. Nothing too important though. I also have an IDE hard drive from 6 years ago that I want to recover. External drive case sounds like it might work  :)

« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2008, 15:20 »
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As Tubed mentioned above there are no jumper settings to adjust on SATA drives.

Both of my SATA drives have jumpers, but I checked and you can't set up master/slave through the jumpers.  The jumpers are basically used for networking drives.

Are you sure that the drive itself isn't dead?

« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2008, 16:27 »
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Ok, this is really strange. The monitor from said dead computer is toast as well..hmmm??? I tried hooking it up to 2 new computers and it doesn't work at all, just says no signal. I am starting to think the crazy power fluctuations where I live did the damage. Is this possible??

I live about 10 miles from a nuclear power plant(YIKES!) and power surges are crazy. Almost everything in my house is hooked up to battery backup voltage regulator units except the dead computer and monitor. The battery backup died a few months ago and I never replaced it. Is it possible some components in the computer would get damaged and others not? Just a thought.

Geopappas, I'm not certain if the hard drive is dead or not, I only tried to hook it up once so far and when it didn't respond like the other hard drives I just shut it down and decided to work on it later.

« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2008, 17:01 »
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Yes, it is possible that power surges can fry some equipment and not others.


 

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