Acer laptop HDD malfunction

September 27, 2011 at 15:29:41
Specs: Windows XP
I was using an acer laptop and it had had some fan problems with parts getting stuck in it but everything was working fine. I had droped it a couple of time accidetnly and nothing happened. Then today, I dropped it and everything was working except I heard a ticking noise and thought it was the fan. 10 minutes later, my laptop freezes and i get the BSOD and im not sure but i think it said beginning physical dump drive or something. So i turn it back on and I realize it is not the fan, its the hard drive! It wont recognize the hd. It just says PXE-E61 Media Test Failure. Check cable. Then it restarts. I took out the hard drive and put it in a PC and same problem except in the pc it wont go passed the HP screen. Tried it in ANOTHER PC and the same exact problem. Can somebody tell me what to do to fix it? Is it because I dropped it? If so can I just unscrew everything on the hard drive and try to find some dislocated parts or will that mess it up even more. Im more worried about getting the data from the hard drive then the actual hard drive itself.

Oh and p.s. the ticking isnt constant. It like click....clickclicklick...clickclick.................................clclclclick

THANKS IN ADVANCE!


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#1
September 27, 2011 at 15:55:24
Hard drives are sensitive components. From your description it sounds like yours is broken. You need a new hard drive. If you did not create the restore disks when you first got the laptop you will need to contact Acer to buy a set of restore disks.

Why do you continue to drop your laptop? You should NOT be using it on your lap. In addition to the problems you have experienced you can also overheat it because the cooling vents are on the bottom.

As far as recovering data from the hard drive goes, if you can't see the hard drive when it is connected to other computers then the only method of data recovery is for a company to dismantle the drive and run the platters in specialized equipment to POSSIBLY read it. This is extremely expensive. $500 and up.

You should have been making backups of your personal files.

Go to the link below and compare the sound you drive makes with the samples to try and determine what type of defect is present.

http://datacent.com/hard_drive_soun...


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#2
September 27, 2011 at 16:00:21
I definitely have the Hitachi/IBM laptop drive with bad heads making clicking sound and my hard drive is also hitachi. Are you saying there is no way to fix it myself and retrieve some data?

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#3
September 27, 2011 at 16:03:05
Also idk how much sense this makes but is it possible that I pay for a hard drive repair service raather than data recovery? Where they would repair it and I would backup the files myself

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Related Solutions

#4
September 27, 2011 at 16:17:37
No, you cannot fix it yourself and no, no one will repair the hard drive for you to recover. The hard drive needs replaced. To try retrieving the data yourself, put the hard drive in a functioning unit and copy over the files if you run into issues you can try recuva or pc inspector to recover your files, they are free and work well. As mentioned to send that away for a physical recovery is big $$$, a new hard drive is much cheaper but try and save your data...........if you try undoing the screws and fixing this yourself you will likely make it so no files are recovered. I would be trying to save my files!

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#5
September 27, 2011 at 16:20:17
But when i connect the hard drive to a functioning unit the computer wont start. Is there anyway to start the computer and then put in the second(non working) hard drive?

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#6
September 27, 2011 at 16:23:39
"But when i connect the hard drive to a functioning unit the computer wont start. Is there anyway to start the computer and then put in the second(non working) hard drive?"


The reason it won't start is because it can't identify it. Likely there is boot-sector damage.

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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#7
September 27, 2011 at 16:34:37
Your bad drive has to be installed as a secondary drive in a functioning system,

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#8
September 27, 2011 at 19:07:25
Exactly, If you are trying to BOOT to the drive, it will not work in another machine. You MUST leave in the original hard drive to boot to and add the drive as a second hard drive. If it is recognizes it, IMMEDIATELY copy the files to the other computer's hard drive (fastest transfer rate) ASAP (you do not know how long it will continue to be available) and worry later about transferring the the files back through portable media. If it is not recognized the you are out of luck, or if the files are important enough then you will have to spend big money with only a chance of success (here, reputation of the service is your best indicator of your chances for success, but no guaranty). If you are not into spending the money then this suggestion I heard of (never needed to try it) might be worth the bother: Put the hard drive into a ZipLoc bag, remove as much air from the bag as you can. put the drive into your freezer for a few hours, then immediately on removing it from the freezer, try it again in a waiting desktop (as the second drive again). IF this works, it will be short lived.
Replace the drive.

Back up, Back up, Back up.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#9
September 27, 2011 at 19:57:19
Ok is there any specific way to boot as a secondary drive? Becaeruse the computer acts differntly when I plug in the bad drive and the working drive. I switch the cables and still its the same thing

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#10
September 27, 2011 at 20:13:40
Go to the bios and make sure in the boot device priority the proper hard drive is selected. If both drives are sata it may the boot changed so make sure the working drive is the one you boot to and the damaged one is the slave.

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#11
September 27, 2011 at 20:16:03
PS if it's clicking frequently your odds on recovery go down.......if you are prone to accidents.....you need to be prone to doing backups of important files....but we all learn the hard way once.........

goodluck.


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#12
September 27, 2011 at 20:18:15
ok I will try. oh one more things. when they recover files, do they keep a copy of my files or sort through them or anything? or do they just recover it and give it back to me

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#13
September 27, 2011 at 21:19:07
There is a place here that I have heard will keep a copy if you ask. From what I gather you have to fill out some form for them to do this. I don't know if this is the norm for these data recovery places. As far as sorting they really have no honest way of knowing what you want or need saved. They will save all they can and give that to you in some form or another which you mostlikely will choose before the job starts ie: flash drive, cd's or dvd's, and maybe even another harddrive.

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#14
September 27, 2011 at 21:58:50
Ok. Thank you your help.
For anyone who has prior knowledge.
How much do you think it would reuld cost to repair a 160 GB hitachi laptop hard drive that most likely has a bad head

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#15
September 28, 2011 at 03:15:31
and one more thing. can i hear anyone's opinon on the freezer ttrick? are there any downfalls or potential errors it might causwe

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#16
September 28, 2011 at 07:20:50
The freezer trick is not recommended by data recovery experts, having said this, it can in few instances work. I think if you cannot afford to send it to data recovery and other attempts have not worked....you have nothing to lose. The freezing of the drive and subsequent thawing can cause moisture in the drive, but as I say if you have nothing to lose but your data it's worth a shot. If you do plan to send this out for data recovery do not do the freezer trick as it may affect their ability to recover files.

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#17
September 28, 2011 at 08:16:03
The freezer trick is best used when the hard drive will not spin up due to tight or seized bearings. In your case the drive is clicking, which is an indication of crashed heads. I doubt the freezer trick will work.

As was stated above, you have learned a herd lesson. There is no guarantee that even a data recovery service can recover any files. You need to be more careful and also perform regular backups. Especially for irreplacable personal files like photos. IMO the best option is to burn to disk, check the disk for integrity and then make at least one duplicate. Keep the duplicate somewhere else. I keep mine in a fire safe.


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#18
September 28, 2011 at 09:35:12
Do not try to boot off the drive. Connect it to another system as a slave, boot into the primary drive, then see if you can access your files. If that doesn't work, try using an external USB adapter. You can try the freezer trick somewhere along the way. If none of these work, that's it. Your data is lost. If it was that important, you should have been backing it up. The cost of retrieving the data from a damaged HDD will be very high, minimum of $200. However, some vendors have a "no recovery, no charge" policy.

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#19
September 28, 2011 at 12:32:36
I really wanna do the slave thing bu t it does not work. It always tries to boot from it instead of the other hd

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#20
September 28, 2011 at 13:01:48
You may need to change the boot order on the computer you are connecting it to. The BIOS will automatically set a newly introduced hard drive as the first hard drive to boot to. Set back to the original drive.

Is the hard drive a SATA or PATA (IDE/ATA) type?


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#21
September 28, 2011 at 13:02:57
Both are SATA i believe
the ide/ata i dont really understand. They both take the exact same cables though

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#22
September 28, 2011 at 13:25:41
Also i just plugged it in and it was doin the same non working thing but i didnt hear any ticking. So I put it in the laptop and the ticking sttarted again

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#23
September 28, 2011 at 13:39:33
Sounds like you have a SATA type. Your laptop may only have one connector that provides both power and data connections. Desktops, on the other hand have separate data and power connectors. Are you supplying both when connecting to a desktop?

When booting the desktop you need to immediately enter the BIOS (setup) screens. In addition to a BIOS setting for which device to boot in what order, there is also a selector to choose WHICH hard drive to boot first. This is on a later screen. As I stated above, the first hard drive the BIOS will attempt to boot to will be the last hard drive connected. You need to change it back to the hard drive that resided in the desktop before you connected your laptop drive.

I suspect you are not connecting a power cable to the drive and that is why it is not clicking. If that is not the case then perhaps the clicking is from the cooling fan in the laptop and NOT the hard drive. You stated in your first post that you had some issues with stuff hitting the fan. "fan problems with parts getting stuck in it".

How are you connecting it in the desktop?


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#24
September 28, 2011 at 13:43:40
Im 100 perfect sure it is the hard drive. I have tried it in many different desktops. I am connecting it in the desktop the same way I am connecting the hd already in the desktop

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#25
September 28, 2011 at 14:35:57
Well, then follow my instructions on changing the first hard drive boot device. Then look for the hard drive in Windows Disk Management. If the partition table is FUBARed then it won't show up in Computer.

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#26
September 28, 2011 at 14:51:20
When I do that, the boot order selection thing does not show up. Just a black screen with a blinking line after I press F9 to get to that boot order area

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#27
September 28, 2011 at 15:23:40
You shouldn't need to hit any F keys if you are already in the BIOS (setup) screens.

What kind of computer do you have the laptop drive connected to?


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#28
September 28, 2011 at 15:44:07
No when I turn on the pc, it shows the regular boot screen where you can choose to press the F keys. Then it just stays there. If you press one of the f keys, it goes to a black screen with the _ _ _ _ _ flashing thing

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#29
September 28, 2011 at 15:48:36
Oh and I did the freezer trick, no luck at all. I only kept it in there for like 15 minutes and in a sandwhich bag

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#30
September 28, 2011 at 16:53:16
So the hard drive is no longer spinning up then?

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#31
September 28, 2011 at 17:17:47
Its ticking so I believe it is still spinning

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#32
September 28, 2011 at 20:59:47
When you have the drive in the desktop and turn it on to boot up at that first screen push the Delete key instead of one of the F keys. That should get you into the bios setup. On some computers this is done by pushing F2. On some computers, mine in fact, if you push F8 at the right time you get a boot order menue. This all depends on the manufacturer of the mainboard I believe.

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#33
September 28, 2011 at 21:22:21
Well, your last chance would be to connect the laptop drive after the host computer is booted into the OS. SATA hard drives are supposed to be hot swappable but it may be dependent on how the drive is configured in the BIOS.

If i were doing it, I would have the power cable connected and then after the computer was into Windows I would connect the SATA data cable.

All that said, it sounds like you are not using the right keystroke to boot into the BIOS. If connecting the laptop drive doesn't stop the computer from starting up then booting into the BIOS shouldn't either. I think you are using a keystroke to select what drive to boot from and as stated by many above, you can't boot to the laptop hard drive.

You may not be hitting the proper keystroke early enough. I can't say what the correct keystoke is because you have not told us the model of the desktop computer you are using to connect the laptop hard drive to.


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