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Corrupt Hard Drive?

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AndrewB's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-18

Hey all,

I am fixing a friends computer that runs the Windows XP, but this is more of a hardware related question.

The computer is a very nice machine, and is extremely fast Laughing out loud

Anyway, I think the hard drive may be corrupt. When booting the computer/hard drive makes a constant clicking noise, and when I look for the hdd in the bios it fails to see it.
I put in a Ubuntu live cd and tried to boot. After a couple of minutes the disk stops clicking and sounds normal. On booting I get alot of error messages about not being able to open SDA. Once booted into GUI, I can't open the harddrive, and fdisk (and cfdisk) won't load it.

I don't mind if we need to buy a new HDD, but he has alot of work on there that he wants. Any ideas how I could get this guys pictures off the hard drive? Sad

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Joined: 2006-03-28
An idea to save his stuff

An idea to save his stuff might be booting a LiveCD and then trying to slow down the hard-drive.
Maybe that's possible with hdparm, sdparm and the smartmon-tools. But if something can do that, then I guess one of the first two.
But I'm not sure if that's possible at all. hdparm has an experimental parameter related to noise, ranging from "quiet" to "fast". So that suggests that it might be able to slow down the disk.

Also a check with smartctl might give a few information, and maybe it can even save some data to good sectors.

StevenBrady's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-09
OK, click of death means

OK, click of death means the drive truly is bad.

I've done this before, and it's worked multiple times, but YMMV ... grab the drive, stick it in a bag, and put it in your freezer for a couple hours. Once it's had the time to freeze, grab it, pop it back in, and boot it up. You may only get a couple minutes, so do what you need to in a hurry.

If I can't get stuff off of the drive, as a last ditch effort, I hit the drive with the butt of a screwdriver. Truly, most of the time it makes it worse, but there have been a few times that the clicking stopped and I was able to read the drive.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04
StevenBrady wrote: I've
StevenBrady wrote:

I've done this before, and it's worked multiple times, but YMMV ... grab the drive, stick it in a bag, and put it in your freezer for a couple hours. Once it's had the time to freeze, grab it, pop it back in, and boot it up. You may only get a couple minutes, so do what you need to in a hurry.

I've never imagined putting a hardware component in the freezer could fix some computer problems (in this case at least making a backup of most important data). Laughing out loud

Thanks for the tip (in case I ever need it, you never know). Smiling

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Joined: 2006-03-28
I've heard about that where

I've heard about that where I worked before. Our IT-manager also sometimes did that when he had big trouble with a drive.
It sounds really crazy, but there seems to be something to it.

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21
I tried it when the disk of

I tried it when the disk of my laptop died. The only result was that afterwards it was both dead and frozen Smiling . At first I didn't believe this advice made any sense at all, so I asked if there would be 100 euros on the drive after freezing it (an urban legend about chipcards), but apparently it sometimes does work.

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