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Hard drive turns on and off at start up, what could be wrong?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My hard drive turns on and off when I start up my computer so I can no longer boot into Windows. Everything else stays on (fans, lights, etc.) and I still see the post screen which looks like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:POST2.png
(I don't have a picture of my actual screen, just using this as a reference)

After a few seconds a message would show up on my post screen saying "Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter". This message appears regardless if the hard drive is on or off at this stage.

So I thought I should boot into a live ubuntu cd to see if I can backup some files on the drive in case the drive is failing. When I tried booting into a live ubuntu cd, it would get to the stage of asking if I want to install or boot without install. When I choose boot without install, it would go to a black screen saying ata4.0: SRST failed (errno=-16).

I also tried booting into Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10. It would ask what language I would like, then after I choose the language it would also go to a black screen saying ata4.0: SRST failed (errno=-16).

Has anyone experienced something like this? I originally thought my hard drive may be failing but now I'm not sure what it could be.

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks.
    
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post #2 of 9
Are you using or attempting to use any form of RAID? Onboard or otherwise.
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post #3 of 9
In almost every case where I've seen that happen, the hard drive was dead and unrecoverable. The few exceptions turned out to be bad power connections, either a faulty Molex or SATA power connector, or a bad solder joint on the power connection on the HDD end.

Take the HDD out of the case and hook JUST a power connection to it, with no data cable. It should power up and stay powered up. If it spins up, then powers-off, try a different cable. If it still does it, the HDD is probably failing it's own power-on self test, and may be dead.

Greg
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
No I've never tried setting up raid before. I only have 1 hard drive on this computer.
    
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
If the hard drive really is dead, shouldn't I still be able to boot into a live ubuntu cd? Because right now I can't boot into a live cd either frown.gif
    
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by fkv View Post

If the hard drive really is dead, shouldn't I still be able to boot into a live ubuntu cd? Because right now I can't boot into a live cd either frown.gif

The Ubuntu live CD should boot and run fine with the "bad" HDD disconnected. But with it connected, it gives you an SRST failure message and stops. What's the question again?

Greg
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammong View Post

The Ubuntu live CD should boot and run fine with the "bad" HDD disconnected. But with it connected, it gives you an SRST failure message and stops. What's the question again?

Greg

Ok so I tried your suggestion to just plug a power connection to the hard drive and turn on the computer and I get the same thing. The drive just turns on and off repeatedly every 30 seconds or so. Is there any way I can salvage some of my data? Would plugging the hard drive into a USB docking station on my laptop allow me to view my files? (I don't have a docking station so just wanted to know if it would work before purchasing one)

Thanks
    
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by fkv View Post

Ok so I tried your suggestion to just plug a power connection to the hard drive and turn on the computer and I get the same thing. The drive just turns on and off repeatedly every 30 seconds or so. Is there any way I can salvage some of my data? Would plugging the hard drive into a USB docking station on my laptop allow me to view my files? (I don't have a docking station so just wanted to know if it would work before purchasing one)

Thanks

Sure, you can salvage your data off that regularly made backup you should have been maintaining.......

If that drive won't spin up and remain spinning, there's nothing you can do to remedy the situation yourself short of these two options:

1) Find an IDENTICAL hard drive and swap the PCB from the good one to the bad one. Pray the error resides on the PCB and not inside the sealed portion of the HDD.

2) Pay $1500+ and have On Track or another professional data recovery service get your data off the drive. Not cheap, but effective.

A USB dock isn't going to help at all, it's no different than plugging the drive internally. If it won't spin up and remain spinning on a SATA power connection, a dock power connection won't help.

Greg
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammong View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by fkv View Post

Ok so I tried your suggestion to just plug a power connection to the hard drive and turn on the computer and I get the same thing. The drive just turns on and off repeatedly every 30 seconds or so. Is there any way I can salvage some of my data? Would plugging the hard drive into a USB docking station on my laptop allow me to view my files? (I don't have a docking station so just wanted to know if it would work before purchasing one)

Thanks

Sure, you can salvage your data off that regularly made backup you should have been maintaining.......

If that drive won't spin up and remain spinning, there's nothing you can do to remedy the situation yourself short of these two options:

1) Find an IDENTICAL hard drive and swap the PCB from the good one to the bad one. Pray the error resides on the PCB and not inside the sealed portion of the HDD.

2) Pay $1500+ and have On Track or another professional data recovery service get your data off the drive. Not cheap, but effective.

A USB dock isn't going to help at all, it's no different than plugging the drive internally. If it won't spin up and remain spinning on a SATA power connection, a dock power connection won't help.

Greg

Best of luck on that one.
What you have to match:
Time of manufacture (cannot be skewed more than 2 weeks)
Batch
Model
Revision
Place of manufacture (sometimes if the drives are made in different plants the boards will be different).
You will likely have issues if you cannot pull the P-list from the old board to the new one.
 
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Gsvlip Dudyrm
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