Solved Laptop HDD Failure Help

Toshiba / Satellite c650 19t
July 25, 2013 at 10:13:30
Specs: Window 8 Pro 64-bit & Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit, Intel i3 350M (2.27Ghz) 6GB RAM
OK, I got frustrated with my laptop (the one in the specs) and ending up hitting it in the bottom right side, below the keyboard, beside the trackpad. Immediately it froze and I waited a few moments before force shutting it down. I powered it on again but it spent a long time on the BIOS Toshiba Splash Screen (before Windows, immediately after powering on) so I shut it down and powered it up again, this time I waited and noticed that there was a strange sound coming from the hard drive, I couldn't tell if it was a grinding or electronic sound. I left it and eventually it went into some Intel Atheros Network Driver (I later worked out it was trying to network boot). After about a minute it would move on and say "No boot device found, please insert one and press any key". I've been trying for the past few days to get it to boot but with no luck.

I'm pretty sure it's the hard drive (it was in the area I hit, the strange noise and the BIOS setup doesn't recognise there's a hard drive there)
I could try booting from a CD but at the moment I don't see the point, because if the BIOS can't get it, it's unlikely Linux or an install CD would either.
I took the back off the hard drive compartment and nothing looked wrong (looked like this http://www.irisvista.com/tech/lapto...)

Planning to open up the hard drive itself soon. Any advice on how I could get it working or is it completely dead?


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✔ Best Answer
August 3, 2013 at 14:23:26
The original issue occurred because you jarred the computer. That crashes the read/write heads. If the printed circuit board on the hard drive were bad, you wouldn't have been able to see the hard drive at all. You could originally see it.

If you have download access to the internet I suggest you download a live version of Linux, like Puppy. Live versions run from an external source, like a flash drive. You boot to the external source and run Linux that way.

That will put your mind at ease as far as the rest of the laptop goes. Get Puppy for flash drive at the link below.

http://puppylinux.org/main/tutorial...



#1
July 25, 2013 at 10:34:30
Opening up the hard drive will totally contaminate it. Nothing to be gained by that.

You could try booting to Seatools for DOS, which can determine hard drive fitness. If Seatools can't see the hard drive either, then you have damaged the drive, which I suspect you have done. Most likely, the read write heads are damaged and/or knocked out of alignment. The clicking probably indicates the heads are touching the platters.

If the Windows boot files were the only thing damaged then the hard drive would still be un-bootable but should show in the BIOS.


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#2
July 25, 2013 at 10:55:51
OtheHill: Nothing to be gained by that.
I beg to differ. Those magnets are great.

iforgot: I couldn't tell if it was a grinding or electronic sound.
It was the sound of the bits being ground off of the platters by the destroyed heads.

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#3
July 25, 2013 at 12:24:03
So don't open it up? Would there be much chance of rescuing any data from it? Guessing it wouldn't be as simple as moving the head back to the right place?

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#4
July 25, 2013 at 13:21:03
When you hit the laptop it transferred the shock through the drive. The head slammed in to the spinning platters and it caused damage to the head as well as the platters. There is no "moving the head back to the right position, the drive is damaged beyond repair.

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#5
July 25, 2013 at 14:05:42
As the others have said, the HDD is toast. Your fit of rage cost you a HDD plus all your data. There's little chance of recovering anything unless you wanna pay buku bucks to a recovery service & even then, there's no guarantee. Wait, I stand corrected - if you open the drive, I guarantee you will NOT be able to fix it.

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#6
July 25, 2013 at 14:09:46
I didn't hit it THAT hard. I'm actually surprised I caused any damage. I'm planning on at least taking the hard drive out of the laptop to see if there is any visible damage.

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#7
July 25, 2013 at 14:10:29
There is no harm in trying Seatools for DOS. As I stated above, most likely Seatools won't see the drive. I did have an occasion where half a drive showed up. I assume that was because that drive used one platter but wrote to both sides but only one side was damaged.

Seatools for DOS runs off a CDR or pen drive and you boot to it.

How old is the hard drive? It may be under warranty. If so, you would need to run a drive fitness test on it anyway, in most cases. Opening the drive will void the warranty. Opening anywhere but in a clean room would contaminate things. One spec of dirt can knock a head out of alignment.

I'm guessing that you have no backups of your personal files. Consider this a lesson. Backup, backup, backup. No need to mention anger management.


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#8
July 25, 2013 at 14:18:19
Thanks, I'll try Seatools. Got a backup from a while ago. There's nothing too important on the drive. Just getting it working would save a bit of hassle. If not, could I try opening it up in a clean room with latex gloves and no magnets anywhere near? Know it wouldn't be perfect but would it do?

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#9
July 25, 2013 at 16:40:06
YOU CAN'T FIX IT!!!

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#10
July 25, 2013 at 17:49:05
You have physically damaged the head and platters, what do you think opening it up will do to fix it?

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#11
July 25, 2013 at 20:05:54
Look, you have to keep a distance of 3 nanometers between the heads and platters. Do you have anything that can measure nanometers?

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#12
July 30, 2013 at 14:02:31
Well, I opened it up, with a lot of trouble but when I eventually got down to the platter and the head, nothing looked out of place. No obvious scratch marks and the head was just above the disc. Put everything back together and still didn't boot. Motor dead? Anyway, getting a new HDD probably, just would have liked to try and recover the data. Still might try the freezer trick.

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#13
July 30, 2013 at 16:39:36
Once you dismantled the drive you ruined ANY chance of recovery.

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#14
August 2, 2013 at 13:49:14
I know you're probably sick of my optimism about my HDD, but one last thing. Is the hard drive recognise thing (data that makes it say the name of the hard drive, make, size etc) stored on the hard drive somewhere along with all my other data or on the circuit board on the bottom. When I connect it, the BIOS says that there is no hard drive. Basically, is it a possibility that the hard drive itself is fine and it's the board, connectors or possibly even the connectors in the laptop's motherboard causing the problem.

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#15
August 2, 2013 at 17:35:23
Once you opened that case and removed the platters there is absolutely NO possibility that drive will ever work again. You don't seem to understand what you are dealing with. The size and delicacy of the read/ write heads is such that you no doubt destroyed them. Not to mention contaminating the platters.

Give up on it. Get into the habit of backing up your personal files.


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#16
August 3, 2013 at 11:54:45
I didn't touch or remove anything inside the hard drive itself. Just looked and made sure it all looked in order (although I understand it could easily have been contaminated by dust particles). I asked if there was a possibility of it being the connectors instead of a problem with the read/write head or the platter. I just want to know so I don't spend money on a new hard drive only to find it was the motherboard instead. I asked if there was a possibility that it could be the hard drive's board or connectors somewhere, that's all.

message edited by iforgot


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#17
August 3, 2013 at 14:23:26
✔ Best Answer
The original issue occurred because you jarred the computer. That crashes the read/write heads. If the printed circuit board on the hard drive were bad, you wouldn't have been able to see the hard drive at all. You could originally see it.

If you have download access to the internet I suggest you download a live version of Linux, like Puppy. Live versions run from an external source, like a flash drive. You boot to the external source and run Linux that way.

That will put your mind at ease as far as the rest of the laptop goes. Get Puppy for flash drive at the link below.

http://puppylinux.org/main/tutorial...


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