View Full Version : Urgent Help! Facing HDD failure

03-06-2003, 10:00 PM
Uh... what more can I say?
Hears CyberChuck blab on


Well, I don't do backups (it would take up 30 650MB CDs to back up all my HDD, which is a Seagate Barracuda IV ATAIV (ATA4, or 133) 40GB drive - plus, I don't really see a point in backing up if I have a HDD from a good manufacturer - despite hearing of Seagate drives dying within six months on some people). I've had it for approximately eight months.

Absolutely no problems up until Sunday. Booted it up, and it made weird sounds on and off, requiring three reboots before they went away (they froze the computer). I later figured, on Monday, it might be the avast! on-access scanner (had set it to scan every file, on any access, creation, or modification). Despite this being a stupid idea (what kind of HDD wouldn't withstand that kind of access? I have an older 6GB drive that's handled it for more than a year), I had only set avast! to do this on Friday...

Later, on Sunday evening, heard the same sounds again. Waited for them to go away.

My computer (Windows XP Professional) had been hanging at times noticeably since Friday, is now unusable.

Monday evening, I had to reset and ran scandisk ran at boot up. It found two folders that were corrupted (not quite the word I was looking for, but cannot remember it) and 28 files on bad sectors (28!). Made the same sound again, so I got my dad to try and identify it for the first time. He said it sounded like it was trying to access bad sectors (hence my files on bad sectors). I also mentioned how the rounded ATA133 cable (faster than standard ATA66) I had put in in the last two months had been under a certain amount of stress (due to it's shaping and design), and he also said to check if it had come loose - which could give the computer the impression there were bad sectors.

So this afternoon, I substituted back in my old ATA66 cable, booted up (booted fine), and scheduled a scandisk on both my C and D partitions, reset, and left my computer running scan disk. It found one error (assuming it's on my C partition, as I scheduled that first, but I really have no way to tell), in /FOUND.001/CHECK.0004 or something like that - one of the files scan disk had recovered yesterday. Then proceeded to check free space, and completed. It then started the check on the second partition, and I left it running with the screen off (doing my homework, and was checking back on scan disk every now and then). Next thing I heard was the sound my BIOS makes when my computer boots - wondering why it had rebooted, I turned the monitor on, and was presented with the first boot up screen - and an error message from the SMART HDD check. It said something along the lines of "Back up all your data immediately. Imminent hard disk failure".

I turned my computer off, and left it.

I ain't touching it again until I can sort it out. Unless there is an extreme circumstance where I have to do something extremely important.

I'm now faced with a very difficult situation. And I don't have Norton Ghost, or anything like it. Also don't have any other HDDs which could hold all my data, if I used a backup program.

Any suggestions? :8}

03-06-2003, 10:11 PM
1. Find someone with lots of hard drive space that will let you try to copy your HDD on to their machine.


2. Except your loss.


03-06-2003, 10:12 PM
BTW been there done that, lost 5,000 MP3s :_|


04-06-2003, 12:09 AM
good luck on the installing and asking windows and office for those registration codes again. thats why i use norton ghost. a old version will support ntfs - jus make a file for each parition than one file thats for all partitions of the drive. v worth it. :)

what i have done in the past is. hook up 2nd hdd - copy the crucial files only. u have to reinstall now..... so do not backup softwares. do not waste time now. only turn pc on when u really gonna start do this work. or else not hdd, u can try a cdrw etc... or use network. if its working that is. hdd may be easier cos the more and more u install it may fail at that sector/track. cos less software to be installed so it may not reach that track...

last resort - reinstall windows again on top. hopefully it gets windows basic working again. then dump files across to other hdd. or try cdrw or network...

04-06-2003, 12:15 AM
I've got an 50 gig partition free and live in Auckland area... you're more than welcome to drag it across our network, or onto one of our other PC's?? BTW one of my flatmates is a Microsoft Certified Engineer so knows what his stuff...

I've never been a fan of the Baracuda IV's....


04-06-2003, 12:18 AM
Oh and I have a DVD burner so can back up your data to DVD media.... 4.7gb a pop means a lot less discs to mess around with...


04-06-2003, 12:22 AM
Just take it out, as slave on someone elses computer (preferably with 80GB HDD) and try to copy, copy, copy.

That sux dude. I got a Seagate Barracuda 40GB too! :_|

Billy T
04-06-2003, 02:56 PM
Am I missing something here?:|

Surely a failng HDD means you need to buy a new HDD.:|

Remove the failing HDD & go buy a BIGGER drive to replace it. Format & partition etc, then install your OS.

Once that is all running to your satisfaction, install your old HDD as a slave and copy across as much data as you can recover to the empty partition on your new drive.

Unless of course you were planning on operating in future without an HDD:D

Later, and when you can afford it, buy another big HDD, install as a slave and set up a backup regime with Ghost or Drive Image to make compressed copies of your OS & data partitions at regular intervals. No doubt you saw the recent post on this issue.


Billy 8-{)

04-06-2003, 03:04 PM
damn, i have a segate 40gb - the 7200.7 ones, dont know if its a V or IV

fingers crossed

04-06-2003, 03:17 PM
true get urself a new HDD. then u can copy urself D: to C: all the files u like.

the stuffed HDD is now slave. hey u need the new HDD to work rite... unless ya claiming it under warranty so u want to copy files onto someone;s hdd than swap it for a new one...

04-06-2003, 03:17 PM
> Am I missing something here?:|
> Surely a failng HDD means you need to buy a new
> HDD.:|

Well, 8 months old = still under warranty... but I can't believe that people still buy the Baracudda IV's given their shocking history...


04-06-2003, 03:25 PM
i just got 2 messages on a HP so called computer that i have been struggling to fix.

message 1:
"cannot find win.com"

I rebooted

message 2:
"SMART Failure predicted on harddrive 0: ST34323A-(PM)

WARNING Immediatly back-up your data and replace your
hard disk drive. A Failure may be imminent.

PressF1 to continue

Sound familiar to you agent??

Don't you love computers?
The free plug for this place was pretty cool too!


04-06-2003, 03:28 PM
> message 2:
> [pre]"SMART Failure predicted on harddrive 0:
> ST34323A-(PM)

Oh look... it's a Seagate...


04-06-2003, 03:40 PM
True lohsing,

Although this particular seagate is atleast a few years old, which makes it somewhat more forgivable. It also explains why i've had a complete ***** of a time setting the machine up with various things not working and/or unexplicably needing to be reinstalled once i set the next thing up. I almost pulled my hair out, but atleast now things make sense.

Grumble grumble... This was a reformat/reinstall job, so at least there is a copy sitting in the HDD of Sam.

In agents case, i just hope that you can copy its contents before it fails completely.


04-06-2003, 03:46 PM
> In agents case, i just hope that you can copy its
> contents before it fails completely.

Well, the offer still stands, although I haven't heard from him which is a worry...


Billy T
04-06-2003, 05:59 PM
> Well, 8 months old = still under warranty... but I
> can't believe that people still buy the Baracudda
> IV's given their shocking history...
> Lo.

I assumed that a different brand would be purchased (unless Agent was planning on getting into hair-shirts and self-mutilation) so he does the data transfer then takes the dud back to the supplier for a credit.

Given the experience he has had, he is quite entitled to ask for a refund. It is no skin off the suppliers' nose, though they do lose the profit from the original sale.


Billy 8-{)

Billy 8-{)

04-06-2003, 06:03 PM
Oh yup. Thank you so much for the offer, Lohsing.

I'll take it up. Just wondering if you've got Norton Ghost or similar, or if I just copy my HDD (or as much as I can - depends on whether the bad sector is gone or what) over. I don't mind, it's just Ghosting is so much easier.

Please email me at "sulfwin [at] [disposable domain aka 'hotmail'] [dot] com" with some more detailed info (or is it "more details"?). Got that? Hope it wasn't confusing... :D

I'll just have to collate with my dad etc, because I am frankly not sure whether it is a bad sector or if my HDD is going to fail.

Couldn't reply because of school.

Chris> that's exactly the error I got! Just not the HDD model numbers.

Dylan (or whoever it was)> yup. Seagate Barracuda IV 40GB (but really 37.8GB) 7200 RPM drive. Model number is something like ST4... can't remember exactly.

I always trusted Seagate. They're one of the companys I have an inexplicable liking for. Eg, I like Intel over AMD. Seagate over Maxtor. ATI over nVidia. Asus over Gigabyte. I will use the less-favoured companies products, but I would prefer the favoured ones for some weird reason.

04-06-2003, 06:10 PM
Every failed HDD i have ever had contact with has been a seagate, however it seems only fair to point out that every HDD in my network is a seagate, and most machines that i fix have seagates in them. Therefore the odds are that seagate is what i will see fail the most.

I wonder if anyone has put together a resonably balanced independant study of the life expectancy of various drive brands????


04-06-2003, 06:21 PM
Perhaps it should feature in an upcoming PC World magazine :D

And if not, I suppose PC Authority, what with their good "Labs" section, could do it.

04-06-2003, 06:22 PM
Emailed ya.


04-06-2003, 06:37 PM
Got it...

Just have to ask my dad now... and find some spare time (maybe in the weekend, dunno how much my workload will be).

04-06-2003, 06:39 PM
Sweet.... let me know when, ok?