1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

HDD quandary any ideas?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Bluerinse, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    8,871
    167
    256
    I am trying to fix an Acer 340 model Travelmate laptop that belongs to my Father-in-law. When he purchased it second hand, there was no floppy or optical drive. The laptop does have a strange connector on the side which I think these would connect to, if they existed.

    The problem is that it is BSODing with a stop error which states that the HDD cannot be read from, this happens part way into loading up Windows 2000.

    Safe mode, same problem, as well as LKG and any other selective start up options.

    The BIOS does not have an option to boot from USB, hence I am in a pickle with this one.

    What I am considering is to buy a 2.5" to 3.5" IDE converter, so that I can at least run a chckdsk /r from one of my other PCs, this may work but then again maybe not. Even if the HDD is FUBAR'd I will need somehow to get an OS onto it without using a magic wand.

    I am thinking that with the converter, I might be able to install W2K from another computer and then run Sysprep and re-install it back in the lappy and hope for the best or maybe DOS 6.22 and copy the W2K i386 folder to the hard drive :rolleyes:

    Any other ideas are most welcome, those with the least amount of administrative effort win a VB. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  2. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

    461
    19
    49
    The connector is probably for the docking system.

    I would reset to the BIOS defaults, then disable any power management options and try again.

    Does it give you any PXE options for the PCMCIA slot in BIOS??

    supa
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    I've got that connector, as well as another connector that allows me to connect IDE and SATA for laptop and desktop-sized drives. It's come in quite handy... great tool for techs to have around, especially when diagnosing laptop drives. At the very least you'll be able to see if there's any data on the drive.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  4. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    8,871
    167
    256
    Cheers supa I will try that, as for the PCMCIA slot I will have another butchers at the BIOS but from memory I don't think so. It does have a built in NIC but I don't think it is PXE compatible as the only boot options are HDD, CD, Floppy.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  5. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    8,871
    167
    256
    Yes I have been meaning to buy one for ages but procrastination got in the way again :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  6. r.h.lee

    r.h.lee Gigabyte Poster

    1,011
    52
    105
    Bluerinse,

    According to the Certificate of Authenticity, which operating system was installed onto the computer?
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP+I, MCP, CCNA, A+
    WIP: CCDA
  7. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    8,871
    167
    256
    The lappy originally came with ME installed, like so many other computers here in Oz :eek:

    r.h.lee, do you think this has some relevance?
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  8. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    6,623
    115
    224

    I do....:

    First - my rule is *never* change the OS on a laptop. You may find that things like battery life are severely compromised if you do because of missing 'clever' drivers that conserve power.

    Second - many people 'upgrade' a laptop thinking it will be 'better'. Often this is not the case because of limited resources and drivers.

    Check with Acer on what OS they support on this machine. The problem here is that the owner is probably now used to Win2k, so you may be faced with putting it back on, even if it isn't a good 'fit' to the machine.

    Lastly - get the 2.5" to 3.5" adaptor. They are trivial cost (well here in the UK they are) and make things like this a *lot* easier!

    IMHO the USB thingy for 2.5 and 3.5 drives is less useful as USB doesn't usualy support things like partitioning. My one also isn't very good when the MBR has been scrambled.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    I haven't experienced that problem with mine. I've got this one.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  10. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    6,623
    115
    224
    Interesting. Nothing in the specs about partitioning - and AFAIK USB does not normaly support it unless special drivers are written.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  11. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    Perhaps I simply haven't tried to partition one using it. I know it read a disk I had that was partitioned... <shrug>
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  12. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    8,871
    167
    256
    Let me make this clear. The laptop has had Windows 2000 on it before my Father-in-Law bought it over two years ago. It has been working perfectly up until now. The battery life is brilliant, all the necessary drivers were working fine and it was running very reliably.

    The HDD has spat the dummy, simple as that. That would have happened regardless of the original OS.

    Hence I don't believe that the original OS has any relevance.

    And I wouldn't put ME on it even if you begged me Harry :eek:
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  13. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    6,623
    115
    224

    Aha! A very different thing. Yes - the USB units will read this quite OK - they just don't seem to be able to create them normaly.

    Of course - if anybody knows of a unit that *will*...... :biggrin

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  14. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    6,623
    115
    224
    Ah - you misunderstand me. I suspected that it had been running like this.

    The main point I want to make is that it is *easier* to restore a lappy if you are putting on an OS that the manuf has organized for.

    And I know that ME invokes much fear and loathing, but it *has* worked for many people! But I'm not suggesting that it is loaded in this case!

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  15. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    8,871
    167
    256
    Yes, for sure, I do agree with you and if there was a recoverey partition on the HDD, that had ME on it, I would be laughing. However that is not the case.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  16. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    9,915
    60
    229
    Hey Pete,

    I had what sounds like a similar prob with my bro's fairly new (< 18 months ) Dell laptop. Long story - he wanted it serviced as it had a missing key on the keyboard. Next thing, Dell return it with a brand new HDD (I won't go into the pain I've had with data recovery). Ever since then, the machine would always blue screen, despite having a new HDD, and me re-installing the factory OS (XP Home SP2) twice.

    Finally, I got my bro to get Dell to come to him, and the engineer replaced the drive AGAIN (more data recovery woes for me), but also this time, he replaced the mobo too.

    Touch wood, been good ever since (3 weeks and counting). Maybe worth considering for you ?

    HTH.:)
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  17. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    8,871
    167
    256
    I doubt that, Gav, this lappy is a tad long in the tooth to go that far with it, it's only a P3 jobby but it served it's purpose well up to now. I am waiting for the converter gadget to arrive and then I will post back with my findings and any progress I have been able to make.

    Cheers for the info though :)
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  18. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    8,871
    167
    256
    Okay here is the update.

    Finally the converter arrived so I was able to remove the lappy HDD and connect it up to another PC running Windows XP. When I booted the computer, Windows immediately reported an issue with the drive and started running CHKDSK. I let it go through it's motions and then it started to load Windows. I could access the contents through Windows Explorer and I could see all the files, everything looked as expected, all the boot files and Windows files were there and didn't appear to be corrupt. I took the precaution at this stage to back up all the users data.

    I put the drive back into the laptop but no joy, still BSOD with the same error about accessing the boot device. On further examination of the HDD itself it became apparent that something was physically amiss. The drive rattles when you move it, there is something that has come adrift inside. The drive is screwed together with tiny security type screws which I can't undo with any of my tools. So, I now believe the drive has seen better days and it's time to lay the lappy to rest.

    Cheers for all your help.
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  19. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    At least you rescued the data. Cheers for that, mate! :beers2
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  20. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    8,871
    167
    256
    True, and I get to quote for a new PC :biggrin
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

Share This Page

Loading...