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Hard Drive and Vista Troubles

Hard Drive and Vista Troubles

Postby Malhovic » Fri Jan 21, 2011 2:47 pm

Hey guys, I know, its been a long time!

This issue has got me stumped, i've tried about everything I can think to do/know to do so I am hoping you can give me a hand.

Scenario:
My wife has her computer HP A6700Y which has a single, 500GB, internal hard drive. I purchased her, about a year ago, an external seagate drive to backup all of her school stuff too. She has backed up the documents that she has been creating for her undergrad as well as grad classes ever since I gave her the drive. Now, fast-forward to two days ago. My cat was walking around behind the computer and just (lovingly i'm sure) stepped on the battery backup power supply for the 10-second duration which completely killed power to her computer along with the external drive. After turning the UPS back on and powering up her computer, the internal drive was "dead"...me thinking she has the backup I went ahead and wiped the drive to start from scratch...

After wiping the drive and putting a brand new Windows Vista Home Premium x64 install on, I was getting blue screens of the 0x00000073, 0x000000a8 and some other variations which all seem to be relating to either memory issues or driver issues with Vista specifically. This problem is something I can work through on my own I think (but please share your thoughts on what it might be if you have any). I thought at that time that they harddrive was just dead so I took it out, installed a spare drive I had, and came to the same issue. During this timeframe I wanted to take a look at the external drive and copy all of the data to my computer as a backup again...this is where I need the help.

What I have done with the hard drives:
So, after connecting her external hard drive which has the VERY important backups of her school data I found that my computer refuses to detect it. I have tried it in other computers both through the USB interface it comes with, my own USB interface and then directly attached to each computer. I know, not a good sign. I can tell the drive is spinning and that the read/write head is moving, what I am wondering is can any of you think of ANYTHING that I can do to possibly recover the data from this hard drive?

Thinking, "ohh crap" (those exact words of course :whistle ) I started to run some data recovery software called GetDataBack on the original internal drive to see what it can find. Long story short on that, it found the partitions, the MFT's and the folder's/files that I wanted but when I restore them they are all junk...just random characters which is VERY annoying since it has the proper folder structure, the proper files, and the names and everything correct without any issues.

So can you think of anything, ANYTHING, I can do with the external drive to restore the data?

The original internal drive is in the process of being low-leveled as the data that was found for recovery was all *blah*.

Thank you in advance!
Malhovic

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Re: Hard Drive and Vista Troubles

Postby JabbaPapa » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:43 pm

If the hard drive has been physically damaged in a location where the allocation table is stored, it may be very difficult to keep on using it. Another possibility is that the electronics on the drive may have been physically damaged. Another possibility is - both of the above. Another is that the motherboard or some other components may have been damaged. The fact that you have the same problems with 2 HDDs would point to more extensive damage than just the hard drive. Given that you can at least boot the machine, you should let Vista do its automatic error reporting thingy, which can often provide same fairly accurate feedback from MS as to which hardware is failing.

It's possible that the PSU has taken a hit. It's the first line of defense against electric failure, and a PSU is typically designed to minimise damage to the rest of the system as much as possible.

Frankly, you may be looking at needing to test each component separately in an otherwise healthy config, if you wanted to discover which are functional, and which are faulty.

The BSOD doesn't sound like a software issue...

Regarding the backup drive, I hope that its contents were not encrypted ... though why not try Ontrack Easy Recovery as an alternative to try and get that data back ?

Good luck anyway !!
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Re: Hard Drive and Vista Troubles

Postby Malhovic » Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:17 am

Jabba, thank you for thw follow up.

The bsod ended uo being a vista specific issue with the chipset on the motherboard, with windows 7 it purrs like a kitten.

As for the hard drive, I ended up dod low leveling it and it works like a charm. The data was gone but we found a semi recent backup. The external drive is, well, toast. I contacted seagate and they are going to replace the drive for me, free of charge.


Was a very unfortunate day, but it could have ended MUCH worse.

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Re: Hard Drive and Vista Troubles

Postby JabbaPapa » Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:42 am

Malhovic wrote:The bsod ended uo being a vista specific issue with the chipset on the motherboard, with windows 7 it purrs like a kitten.


Oh, I'm glad to hear that ! ^*^

It's probably a setup issue, Vista is annoyingly hard to get an error-free installation with, when I was using it as my main OS it could take me 3 or 4 attempts to get a clean config... :blink ... it's a sign that there's still *something* not perfect in your hardware, but there's no reason at all for Vista's fussiness when finding a rig with that "lived-in" look to it :whistle

Malhovic wrote:The data was gone but we found a semi recent backup.


Oh, I'm glad you found something rather than nothing ...
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