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Author Topic: Hard Drive Failure  (Read 998 times)
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Purge
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« on: February 21, 2012, 03:51:25 PM »

ARGH!!!

So, last night I decided to fire up Diablo III beta - I get the following error: "File Not Found. Would you like to remove the shortcut? Y/N" or something to that effect.

Dubya. Tee. Eff.

My system is still working, but a whole lot of my applications are non-functional.

Then I notice this:

My D: drive is missing.

You may recall that I've split my bulky (read: games) off my SSD due to a limited size.. Well, most of it (C:\Users, C:\Program Files\_slower_\, C:\Program Files (x86)\_slower_\) is on the 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 SATA drive.

Fu**, Fu**, Fu**.

My backups were also pointed to D, because I hadn't finished cleaning up the data I had on my old Windows installs. I would run out of space on D, so I constantly had errors. I was planning on mirroring my D drive, or setting up the backup to land the files on one of the other two 1TB Seagates, or even my WD1GB Black drive.

So, stupid me, I had already rebooted the box to see if the drive was recognized in the BIOS. No, it wasn't. In fact, when the drive is plugged in, it whirs and then repeats a pattern of clicks 6 times before giving up.

Fu**, Fu**, Fu**.

So I disconnect the drive and pull it from the case. I then fire up Windows, and it still boots! YAY!

I go to log in, and it takes my password! YAY!
Then I get "User profile is missing and cannot be loaded. disgust
THEN I get kicked back to the signin prompt. saywhat
THEN I boot into a command prompt mode, recreate a "Users" folder on my F: drive and correct all the directory junctions.
THEN I reboot, with the same sign-in results. crybaby
THEN I try and use my recovery disk to repair, and it (of course) finds nothing wrong, and the Admin account is disabled by default in W7HomePremium, and the bloody thing won't recreate a new user folder.

I've been running on this drive for about a year, it's still under warranty, but the data loss includes all savegames, Steam install (and my burgeoning game collection) including all driver downloads (my Users\Docs, Downloads, Desktop, etc).

ARGH!!! In a fit of rage, and not-quite-caring-about the actual-windows-install-because-I'm-oncall-this-week-and-need-a-working-pc, I reinstalled windows over the old install. I plan on running the W8RC next week, so I'm not concerned about windows itself. I just didn't want to lose all those hours (or bandwidth) for my steam games.

F***.




Do yourself a favor folks, and learn from this. If you haven't had time to set up your backups yet, Do it. Tonight.  No excuses.  My digital babies are dead. frown


crybaby
« Last Edit: February 21, 2012, 03:54:12 PM by Purge » Logged

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Misguided
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2012, 06:15:39 PM »

Purge, that sucks, man. Sorry about that.

It did prompt a related question in my mind. Does Windows 7 have some kind of utility built in to let you make a recovery disk with all of your drivers and stuff? If not in Windows, is there some other way to do that without using some kind of bloatware like Norton?
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2012, 06:17:50 PM »

System Restore will track that kind of thing, but since my D drive is missing entirely, it doesn't help much.

I can't say much for the Windows 7 Backup - I've yet to have an opportunity for it to work. crybaby. Perhaps AtomicKid has a suggestion.
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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2012, 08:22:30 PM »

Quote from: Purge on February 21, 2012, 06:17:50 PM

System Restore will track that kind of thing, but since my D drive is missing entirely, it doesn't help much.

I can't say much for the Windows 7 Backup - I've yet to have an opportunity for it to work. crybaby. Perhaps AtomicKid has a suggestion.

Sadly, once they go, they're usually gone. You can try the freezer trick, but that only works for certain types of errors. Clicking and giving up does give one a little hope that it might be the right type of error though.

For the record, I'm fond of the 'usb flash drive in a medicine bottle' backup for critical stuff. The drives are super cheap anymore, and when tucked in a desk drawer, in a sealed medicine/etc bottle/enclosure, will easily last the years until bitrot starts to set in. Since your flash drive would be part of an active backup system, this isn't a concern. (I would get two drives, of enough size to backup whatever you're hoping to backup each month. Delete and re-write the first drive  one month, and then the second drive the second, or somesuch. You get the idea)

Atomic
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Purge
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2012, 08:37:34 PM »

I meant a suggestion for Misguided's question.

My drive isn't recognized by the bios, so that pretty much rules out anything my system will do to recognize it.
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 09:09:17 PM »

Hmm... seems like there used to be something like that... lemme poke...

Quick check is revealing recovery iso's, but not anything preloaded with your drivers...

*checks for slipstreaming*

Came up with this, but it's for a windows installer, not a recovery disk.

http://lifehacker.com/5793427/how-to-create-a-custom-windows-installation-dvd-or-usb-install

Better than nothing. A little short on time atm. (off to work in a few)

Atomic
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2012, 11:48:35 PM »

If it is clicking that doesn't sound like a control board failure, so replacing that is out.  You can try the freezer trick and hope for the best. 

I don't know exactly how much of a HDD boot sequence (the drive boot, not the system boot) needs to work out for the drive to enumerate.  So it sounds pretty reasonable that it wouldn't show up in BIOS if the servo system isn't coming online or behaving correctly for whatever reason.  It probably just never returns status after phy negotiation or stalls on the ID.

The only HDD I have tried to debug was a control board failure, so in that case the phy didn't even try to come online in a protocol trace.  I believe my friend eventually found a matched drive and replaced the board.
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2012, 04:34:35 AM »

Actually it could very well be an electronics failure. The electronics control the servo's after all... and he mentioned that the bios is no longer picking it up. It might be worthwhile to pickup another drive of that type, and try to swap the electronics, assuming they haven't changed in the meantime.

Either that or just write it off.

Atomic
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 05:54:38 AM »

while this isn't an all-in-one solution, you can use driver magician to get the drivers backed up.  then use them alongside the slipstreaming builds that AK posted to get a much better windows install disk.  free version does what you need, paid version does more. 

personally, i prefer a whole disk backup option made just after the initial install/patching/base app install phase, something like acronis true image. 

and yes, it sucks to have a drive die suddenly like that.  in my case, my pc died almost instantly last year and left my hd's alone, at first.  it was only after installing steam to the old 250gb drive that i noticed issues; steam suddenly goes non-responsive, slow and common pausing while accessing the drive and horrible lag/freezing in some games.  it got to the point i used the steam mover to get anything i am actively playing off the drive and backed everything else up to an external.  now it just sits there waiting to die and be replaced.  if it wasn't for the sky high prices on hdd's i would have gotten one already. 

sorry for your loss purge. 

oh, and you will like the win 8 beta.  it's purty and the fish is back.  biggrin
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2012, 10:11:43 AM »

Any luck at all, Purge?

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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2012, 01:35:04 PM »

In my original post, I mentioned that I reinstalled. That works alright - there are kinks and missing drivers - but I only have to live with that for the next five days (hopefully).

System won't post if the drive is plugged in, ergo it's an RMA.

Seagate has a $10 option with an included prepaid waybill for advanced RMA, but they don't tell you if you're required to pay shipping if you DON'T go for that option.

What to do, what to do.
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