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WinXP dead install or dead HDD?
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Hardware Junkie
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:21 am    Post subject: Re: WinXP dead install or dead HDD? Reply with quote

OldPhatDad wrote:

So I figured I'd try a repair. Popped the install disc in the drive and started it up. But I don't get the repair options. Once it loads all the drivers and files, it immediately starts up XP and I get the STOP error again. I don't even get the choice of whether or not I want to do a fresh install (and at this point, I figure reinstalling the OS is the only option).


This is usually the sign that there is something wrong with the hard drive. Either the partition table is corrupt or the MBR, something like that. The Windows setup can't detect the original windows installation, so it defaults to a fresh install option.
You should still be able to hook the drive up as a slave and copy the files off. I'd back up your data and reformat the drive afterwards.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:50 am    Post subject: Re: WinXP dead install or dead HDD? Reply with quote

Hardware Junkie wrote:


This is usually the sign that there is something wrong with the hard drive. Either the partition table is corrupt or the MBR, something like that. The Windows setup can't detect the original windows installation, so it defaults to a fresh install option.
You should still be able to hook the drive up as a slave and copy the files off. I'd back up your data and reformat the drive afterwards.


Yeah, when this first happened, I copied everything valuable onto a second drive (actually, I had most stuff backed up beforehand anyway. I just copied the latest stuff that hadn't yet been backed up). So I'm not worried about data loss. I guess there's nothing wrong with a fresh install anyway. It will get rid of a lot of crud. I'll format the disc after I install onto the new drive.

Not a huge deal, but a bit of a pain in the nether regions. Thanks for the reply. lachen
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SeagateŪ has a free program called "Sea Tools" that can check and repair minor problems on almost any hard drive.. http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools
If the drive has more than 3 years of hard service, likely some bad sectors are developing. Sure sign to replace the drive!! But if cross-linked files hamper the boot process, then the Administrative Tools in Windows may be able to correct the issue. And if the drive is not defragged on a regular basis, the loading of data may take longer than desired.. creating a memory dump and reload. The heads otherwise have to skip back and forth all over the disk, to pick up data that should be in contiguous files.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

before you try the new hdd... did you unplug its connection and plug them back in? or try a new sata cable... just a little back to the basics stuff.
also have you dl'd the hdd manufacturer's tool and check the drive with it? seagate is seatools, wd is lifeguard, and hitachi is f-tool (i think).

one more thing, are you dual booting operating systems at all?
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Karl. Checked with the Seagate utility with both a Short Drive Self Test and Long Drive Self Test. Drive passed on both. Did a CHKDSK on it and no issues. Drive is defragmented regularly.

bdub: checked the connections when I was in there swapping memory modules, so they're okay. Hmm, it's a WD drive and I used the Seagate utility. You think that would make a difference? I'll maybe give the WD utility a shot as well.

No, not dual booting this one at all. I'll report back after trying the WD utility.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, WD utility reports no errors.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While hard drive cases and "beauty" treatments may be very different, the workings and design of operation is identical. This ensures that any brand of drive similar to what was original will be compatible. Whether it be the ATA, SATA or SCSI family, the arrangement for data storage is identical, as well as the search and control mechanisms. While 'ancient' MFM hard drives used a stepper servo to access tracks, newer designs use a variable reluctance search method.. counting tracks instead of "steps".
The only major differences are the number of platters, the quantity of tracks and sectors per track. Capacity has gone tenfold over early hard drive models.. but the basics are the same. What used to be 12~17 SPT (sectors per track) now is beyond 56 SPT. And cylinder count has gone from perhaps 400 to well beyond 12,000! But the data storage per sector is still 512 bytes.
Whether it be a Hitachi, Seagate, Maxtor, Toshiba or other brand of drive.. any diagnostics program should work equally well. Only with the "in-house" variety would there be somewhat different procedures.

One major problem with any hard drive is the loss of sufficient power to spin up the drive servo. If less than +12 volts is available to that servo (only +5 volts for laptop drives), then the platters may not have enough torque to overcome head resistance.. or the spindle bearings have become "sticky". No spin-up, no ID to the POST inquiry. And "no bootable media found" error message. If the MBR (master boot record) is fouled, then the path to the OS files is not true.. and other error messages result. Doing a 'repair' process to the MBR may be all that is needed, in some cases.
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rascard2007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps is just a corrupted windows installation, sometimes the windows registry got so corrupted that U canīt even do s repair using the bootable CD because it didnīt recognizes a previous windows installation.

It can happen even if the HDD is not defective.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rascard2007 wrote:
Perhaps is just a corrupted windows installation, sometimes the windows registry got so corrupted that U canīt even do s repair using the bootable CD because it didnīt recognizes a previous windows installation.

It can happen even if the HDD is not defective.


I'm beginning to believe this is the only thing it can be. Using the CD, I don't even get the option to repair or reinstall. So there's something funky going on with the OS, I think.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In that case, a fresh install is recomended, there is some ways to repair the windows registry through the Console but itīs very tedious and it is not always successful.

So, unless U have 100GB+ of installed Programs / Games in the system partittion (that is too tedious to reinstall again) I recomend the fresh install
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