View Full Version : New Computer, old hard drive gives error when trying to read

05-08-2003, 01:41 PM
Just yesterday I got a new computer. Athlon Xp 2600, 784mb 333mhz ram and gigabyte Triton K7 400 board.

Got a 60gb samsung 7200rpm as well.

I want to copy my old files across right from my old 40gb samsung 5400rpm drive but when I plug it in etc and installed Win2k on the new one, I go to my computer and it shows the old drive as like um E: and when I try to open it it says drive not formatted, would you like to format.

What should I do? I really need the data off the hard drive does this error mean the hard drive won't work? please help!

05-08-2003, 01:55 PM
Have you gotten rid of the old computer - does it still work in that one?

If it does you could use a network connection between the two.


05-08-2003, 02:01 PM
Your old hard drive is fine if it's been picked up, problem is the hard drives geometry, it's probably out of line, which is why Windows wants to format it to straighten it up.

You have to get into your BIOS and change the settings of your old Hard Drive to one of these options LBA, Large or Normal. If it's on Auto then no doubt it'll be using LBA which isn't the right one, so you should try Large and if you can't access the drive using Large, try Normal and if that doesn't work, then you should go with the other suggestion suggested.

05-08-2003, 05:06 PM

I'm wondering, how old was your old computer? When the 40gb was installed in the old machine did you have to install some kind of drive overlay to enable your machine to read the larger drive? If so, then this will still need to be loaded for you to access that drive. Once you've got all the stuff off the old drive you can format and remove the overlay, but until you've got the data off it you'll need to somehow load the overlay program before you boot.

The easiest way to do that is to put the old drive back into the old machine and transfer all your data over via a network.


05-08-2003, 06:49 PM
Ok Sup guys thanks all for the reply, specially person 2; I didn't think about that but I'll try that as soon as I get home.

Ok my old computer was.

Gigabyte G-8Tx or something along those lines it was a p4 board and My cpu was Pentium 4 1.4 and no i didn't have to install a driv eoverly thingy ma bob um yup yea so I had 384 ram (128x3) RD ram the one with the metal casing.

And um yea I put my old hard drive in a new case new motherboard a gigabyte triton 400 something something and um Athlon Xp 2600, (784 333mhz ram 512 + 256) and um connect old hard drive. Doesn't work.

Windows picks it up right, but then says needa format it. So yea do you guys think if I try that lba thingy in bios that it'll work???? Coz yea that hard drive has like my last 3 years life on computer on it so I'll do anything to get the data off it. So the lba thing I should try???

05-08-2003, 06:51 PM
Oh yes almost forgot.

Real weird right. The old hard drive, samsung 40gb 5400 the one with data on it.

I put it in my old comp, plug it in turn comp on. Nothing. PSu don't turn on nothing does. Disconnect hard drive. Turns on 0_o?????

Does this mean the hard drives screwed? The other dude said that windows picks it up so that it's fine so yea I'll try that bios thing right???

05-08-2003, 08:23 PM
Ok tried all modes.

Tried Large, LBA and bios had no um Normal, only CHS which I think was the equivalent.

Anyway, tried all of them. But still everytime I get into windows. My computer.

I click on the drive. And on the left where it shows stats. Blank. Click. "drive not formatted"

I remember my old board was a Ga-8TX and my new mboard is a


I'm kinda getting desparate here coz I'm running out of options on what to do. Do you guys think that drive overlay thing might work? If so how do I do that?

05-08-2003, 11:56 PM
Time to spend some money and get a professional to recover the data if the contents are important and no backups are available.

Men are four:
He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool--shun him;
He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple--teach him;
He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep--wake him;
He who knows and knows he knows, he is wise--follow him!
- Lady Burton (wife of Sir Richard Francis Burton), given as an Arabian proverb

05-08-2003, 11:58 PM
So it can be recovered?

Can you please tell me a real good place that can do stuff like this when all odds are against it?

06-08-2003, 12:04 AM
Search here - http://www.searchnz.co.nz/ - using "data recovery auckland"

I don't live in Dorkland.

Men are four:
He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool--shun him;
He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple--teach him;
He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep--wake him;
He who knows and knows he knows, he is wise--follow him!
- Lady Burton (wife of Sir Richard Francis Burton), given as an Arabian proverb

06-08-2003, 12:06 AM
Didn't work very much....

Couldn't find like any usefull places.

Does anyone actually know of any places in Auckland preferably North Shore where you can get data recovered etc???

Robin S_
06-08-2003, 12:44 AM
Initially I would persist with trying to get your drive going again in the old computer. Did you check all leads, connectors etc to see if something was dislodged during drive extraction/replacement? Did you set the master/slave jumpers correctly (a) on both drives in the new computer (b) on the old drive when you returned it to the old computer?
If the drive was going OK when you took it out it should go again back in its old bed. If you can get it going there, then you can look at networking as already suggested or using file transfer software such as Fastlynx (but these need special cables - about $20 - 25 ea).
As a last resort use a data recovery specialist but be aware that this can be an extremely costly option - up to $150 or more per hour for possibly several or more hours! There are a few listed in the Yellow Pages (I think under Computer Services) - there was at least one on the Shore a couple of years ago.

06-08-2003, 12:50 AM
Yea well in the old comp, the comp turns on without the drive. Plug the drive in. Comp doesn't turn on.

So ye I tried all the tricks in the book and all the suggestions made.

So yea I guess it comes down to specialist. So can specialists actually fix like this kinda stuff it is like physical damage or whatever??? I saw the website of one place.


They seem like they know what they're on about. I emailed them asking if they think they could fix my drive. Anyone had any experience with them or another recovery place that are like really good and stuff????

Billy T
06-08-2003, 10:54 AM
Hi Kibito

Computer Forensics are good, but recovery can cost, I paid around $1000 to recover the contents of a dead 1.2GB drive. I would start by taking the drive to a professional computer service comany for starters and see if they can test it. If it doesn't work for them, it's time to go the data recovery route.

Of course, you could just transfer your backup data instead, that is, if you made backups. If you didn't, now is the time to put a backup regime in place before you lose the next few years work. Put two drives in your machine and keep backups on different drives to the source data.

The following information is copied from previous posts I made on a similar subject. This will set you up with a system that will protect your data from anything except theft, fire, flood, lightning or maybe earthquake! I deal with those by having one drive removable so that I can take it off site.

>It was suggested that you partition your single hard drive into three "virtual" hard drives i.e C:\, D:\ and E:\ and keep an "image" copy of your C:\ partition on the E:\ partition so that if your original OS/program data gets corrupted for whatever reason (and it does happen) you can copy the image from E:\ back to C:\ and be working again in just a few minutes.

Now, this is a "very good idea" and I recommend it highly, but if you go this path you need to do a little more than that.

The second partition (D:\ ) would have to hold all your data (that is, any files you create or documents you store) because if it is all lumped in with your C:\ drive OS and programs, when you restored the image all your data created since your last image would be gone forever. Also, if your hard drive failed completely you would not be able to access any of the data or the image of your OS and programs so all would be lost.

Here is the best way to set up this system:

1) Have your existing hard drive partitioned as C: and E:

2) Have a second hard drive installed and partitioned as D: and F:

3) Transfer all your data to D:, including the files for your email (outlook.pst for Outlook 2000). Don't forget to reset the target drive for your email & other program data files so that it knows where to store the data.

4) Once your computer is set up as you want it and working well, create an image of your OS and programs on C: using Norton Ghost or Drive Image and store it on the second hard drive in the F: partition. Name this file as the "original" and keep it unchanged. This is then your ultimate "return to go" option. You can keep an even earlier image of just the bare OS on its own if you like and that will save future reinstallations.

5) Make regular images (back ups) of your data on D: and store these on the E: partion of your original drive. Before creating an image, delete all temporary & redundant files, run scandisk then defrag to ensure that you have the smallest & cleanest file structure. Verify that the disk is ok by booting for OS or data checks for a data disk before creating the image, and use Ghost Explorer to check that the files are similarly accessible after the image is created.

6) If you want a belt n' braces backup system, keep a copy of your current C: image on the main drive in the E: partition, and a copy of your current D: data on F: on your data drive. That way you have multiple redundancy options.

I actually store spare backups on another computer on the network as well, that way if I suffer fire, theft or other (unspecified) disaster in my office, I can commandeer another computer and image it as per my defunct box inside of an hour and be back at work. Note that this will only work if the second computer has the identical hardware profile to the first. The C: drive image is otherwise only usable to restore on the original drive, or a new drive in the same system.

7) Every time you make a significant change to your OS or programs, such as installing a service pack or video driver update, create an new image and store this in F: along with the most recent backup. Once you have verified that the update is OK you can delete the previous image (but not the original "return to go" image).

Using this system, if your OS or program files get corrupted or one or the other drives fails completely, you can be back to normal in no time at all.

For example, if your C: & E: drive dies, you can have a new drive installed and partitioned, then dump across your C: image from the still working F: partition and away you go. Similarly, if your D: & F: drive fails, you can install and partition a replacement, then dump your data back from the image on E:, and transfer your current C: image

I have been using this system for some years now on all my computers and I have never had to reinstall an OS or programs. However, I have used images several times, mostly on my children's computers as a quicker option than finding what was wrong, especially for failed installations.

I actually got into this after my original computer needed reformatting and reinstallation of programs about once every six weeks for about a year. The cause was finally diagnosed, but I bought the original Ghost Personal Edition the minute that it was first released and I have never looked back since. It offers great peace of mind!


Billy 8-{)

06-08-2003, 08:13 PM
$1000 for 1.2 gig of data.

How long ago was this and what exactly was wrong with your drive?

Billy T
06-08-2003, 08:31 PM
About 2 years ago and it had dropped dead, i.e it wouldn't even spin.

Cost was high but the value was there for me, I needed the commercial data it carried. Cost is not about the amount of data either, once they can read it the recovery is quick. The cost relates to what has to be done to get the data stream flowing. They will quote of course.

However, that is why I recommended you get somebody knowledgeable to see if the drive will run for them in another installation.


Billy 8-{)

06-08-2003, 09:00 PM
I see ok so they can quote it for me then? How much is quote? My dad does have a computer shop which has been open since 1989. So yea he's real good with comps so he's gonna have a look at it tommorow but I"m just thinking ahead so that if he can't get the data off it coz yea the drive I know works coz it picks up in bios etc and in windows so yea just gotta wait and see so yea how much is a quote?

Billy T
07-08-2003, 02:18 AM
Phone 0800 567 843 for a quote.

Sounds like you have in-house skills to retrieve the situation anyway, but once everything is working again, do think about backups and drive imaging. It really does make computing a no-sweat and fun activity.


Billy 8-{)

07-08-2003, 05:24 PM
So they can give me a quote over the phone???

Well my hard drive like isn't dead coz it gets picked up by windows etc so yea hopefully it won't be that expensive.

How can they give me a quote over the phone without seeing the drive and testing it?

Also, do they have an outlet coz on the website it doesn't have any address down.

But yea hopefully if I do get the data off my drive I will definately to heck start backing up!!!

Billy T
07-08-2003, 07:48 PM
They run from a small office in Auckland and you can deliver or courier drives to them

Obviously they cannot quote for a specific case without seeing the drive, but they can qgive an idea of pricing for different dgrees of difficulty. Rebuilding the electronics would be more expensive than simply overcoming data corruption, while getting down and dirty at disk platter or read/write head level would cost big dollars.

I go back to my original point, if you have skilled help available that can take non-destructive look at your drive and see if it can be read then you should use that first. Unless very skilled indeed though, there should be no use of "special utilities" that claim to recover dead disks and no disk "write" actions.

Read up the examples on Computer Forensics' web site and also do a search for others overseas. That will give you a good overview of data recovery prospects and the types of services available.


Billy 8-{)