PC wont start with my HD (non boot) connected

Samsung / HD501LJ
July 30, 2009 at 00:12:56
Specs: Windows XP/Vista
Hi, one of my HDs in my pc stopped working yesterday when i tried to access a file in it. (gets stuck and after abt a minute gives a 'not responding' error, with a repeating clicking sound from the HD) After 2 or 3 more tries, i restarted my pc and it got stuck after the windows logo. the HD in question keeps on making that clicking sound. (the one HDs make after shutting down the pc)

the HD is not a boot disk, it's just filled with data

when i remove that HD and boot the system.. windows loads just fine. I tried to boot with the HD in both XP and Vista systems and still both got stuck after the win logos.

I dont think it's a problem with my PC or my OSs coz they work fine when i disconnect the problematic HD.

I need to get this hard disk working coz the data in it is important to me. but no OS boots with this HD connected. I dont think the HD is fried coz it is still detected in the bios.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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July 30, 2009 at 10:33:44
"I dont think the HD is fried coz it is still detected in the bios."

That doesn't necessarily indicate the drive is not malfunctioning.

"not responding' error, with a repeating clicking sound from the HD..."
"the HD in question keeps on making that clicking sound."

That sounds like typical symptoms you get when the drive is dying. When a drive is malfunctioning that can often cause other drives that are connected to the same drive controller to malfunction too, hence why Windows loads fine when you disconnect the problem drive.

There's only a couple of things that could cause you to get FALSE indications that the drive is failing, if other drives on the same computer work fine.

If the problem drive is HD501LJ, it's a SATA drive.

Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.

If there's nothing wrong with the connection of those cables, then that drive is probably definately failing.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

If you can't access the drive in Windows or with the diagnostic program, the only way you can get data off of it is to get an expert to try to do that, which is expensive (e.g. most hard drive manufacturers have a data recovery service - see the web site) , or to do what the expert would do yourself, which is cheaper but requires you are handy and are very careful - replace the board on the hard drive, or transfer the disk(s) (platters) inside the drive to another hard drive. Since most of us are unable to find out which board they need, the best bet is to buy a working used drive that is exactly the same model, and try the board from that, or install your internal disks (platters) in that.

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July 30, 2009 at 11:29:30
Thank you Tubesandwires!

I dont think it's a problem with the cables coz i checked it using 2 other cables.

I'm still a bit surprised coz the HD didnt give any indications of failing before. It all happened when i tried to access the file i mentioned earlier, and when i restarted the pc afterwards. The HD's relatively new. (i still have the warranty)

anyway, I'll run the diagnostic programs and see if it works.
thanks again.

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August 3, 2009 at 20:49:13
Finally i ran the diagnostic tool (had trouble getting it working)
Gave me 7 or 8 errors on the disk and it recommended that i formatted the HD. looks like i'm not going to get my data back. Talked to a professional like you said, and they are unbelievably expensive.
anyway.. thanks for the help!

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Related Solutions

August 4, 2009 at 08:13:53
Often after you run the manufacturer's diagnostics, if it finds errors (bad sectors) but they are fewer than a given number, e.g. Seagate's Seatools stops counting them after 99 and quits the test, you are sometimes given the option of having the diagnostic program repair the errors, rather than the program "low level formatting" the drive (filling it with zeros). If the Samsung diagnostics offer you that oprtion, that's one last ditch thing you could try, but it may not help.

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