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PC refuses to boot up; Believe HDD could be the problem.

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm having so many fustrations over my PC this week.

My PC was having very slow boot ups lately. It seems to take around 5 to 10 minutes for the damn thing to boot up, with lots of blank screens in between. When I manage to get to the welcome screen to log in, it takes another 5 to 10 minutes to get to the desktop, plus using programs or just browsing anything on the PC takes a few minutes to load.

That was when the problems started, but now I tried booting the PC up again and now it simply won't load after the BIOS screen. I tried doing a startup repair before then, but it didn't fix the problem at all. I did some googling and sources claim it could be the power supply or the HDD. I decided to open up my PC and place my hand on the HDD to check if it was working, and internals of the HDD didn't seem to be spinning at all, leading me to believe that either the HDD is damaged or the PSU isn't giving it enough power. I'm really hoping it's not the HDD, what with all my files still on it and what not.

I'm not sure what to do at this point, since I can't even get into Safe Mode, now. Really could use some help.

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post #2 of 7
If it's of any help to you, my previous 1TB drive didn't wake from sleep either. After my SATA controller died on my previous board, it also took my 1TB drive with it to the grave. I RMA'd both parts and got both brand new products, and this hard drive actually wakes from sleep now with zero issues.

I would definitely say it's your hard drive. The only way to really find out is to plug it into any spare PC if you have one and at least see if it's detected in the BIOS.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well the BIOS still detects the HDD, so maybe the boot sector of the drive got corrupted or something?
    
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post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Bleh. Well I'm certain the HDD is the problem. I don't want to just ship back the HDD just yet, because there's a bunch of files on it that I want to recover. I decided to load Ubuntu Distro from the CD drive to see if the files were damaged. None of my files seem to be destroyed, but since the internals are working properly, I won't be able to grab them and put them on a new drive.

Is there anyway I can fix this thing or at least make it possible to recover my files? I don't want to end up pay $200-1000 bucks to some Data Recovery center just to get a couple of documents and music files.
    
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post #5 of 7
Your best bet is to connect the drive to a second computer and pull the files off. That's the quickest and easiest way to back things up.

Hmm... I wonder if it's a PIO bug? Sometimes in Windows the PATA channels get knocked down to PIO mode rather than UMDA. Then instead of taking ~1% CPU they hog 95%+. In Windows XP that would slow down the boot, making a 40 second boot take about 4-5 minutes. In Vista and Win7 the boot would take 20-30 minutes.

Note: It doesn't matter if your HDD is SATA. If you have a PATA DVD drive or are in IDE mode in the BIOS, the PIO mode bug can affect you. The solution is to go into the device manager and "Uninstall" the PATA channels. After rebooting they redetect in UDMA mode and you get back full speed.

Note2: Process Explorer reveals the PIO bug as insanely high interrupt CPU usage. Usually 95%+

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653
     
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
I don't think it could be a process issue, as I've purchased a new HDD and it works fine. Installed a new copy of Windows 7 Pro on it and everything.
With that, I did try transferring data from my messed up HDD to my new one.

It wasn't easy, though. Whenever I tried to boot up Windows 7 on my new HDD, it would try to load the messed up HDD as well, causing the Windows 7 startup screen to hang.
What I had to do to access the drive was work with the PC case open. I turned on the PC with the messed up HDD unplugged. Once I was in windows (which is installed on a new HDD), I plugged the messed up HDD back in and used "Add/Remove Hardware" to enable it. It took several minutes of stalling, but the drive became available again.

I was able to transfer a few files off the drive for awhile, but there was lots of stalls/hangs in between, and the transfer rate kept dropping every several minutes. I was trying to transfer my 1GB documents folder and the time it would take to finish changed from 3 hours to 6 hours, then to 14 hours, then to 1 day, and then it went into question marks...

Besides trying to transfer from another PC, is there any other way I can make this work faster?
Edited by Rahzzy - 12/12/11 at 12:55pm
    
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post #7 of 7
Yeah, I've had to do the same thing before - mostly getting files for friends who had dying or dead hard drives (including one with damaged boot sector blocks.

Have you run any SMART software such as HDTune or CrystalDiskInfo on the old drive?

If haven't done so already, delete ALL Windows/OS files from the old drive. That should help with some of the confusion when booting. Just make sure you back up or at least move any data you want to save that's on the "desktop" or in some other subfolder. You might also want to see if you can consolidate all the data you want to back up to a new "TO SAVE" folder. Then delete all the other folders before transfering to the new HDD.

If you continue to have problems, use an external HDD enclosure connected to the PC by USB (not E-SATA). I had to use that method once with one troublesome drive. Not the fastest method by far, but it should work unless the HDD is really dying.
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