[ale] OT. Dead harddrive on laptop
jdp at algoloma.com
Tue Jan 24 12:48:11 EST 2012
On 01/24/2012 11:30 AM, Cornelis van Dijk wrote:
> Hi all,
> Yesterday the harddrive on my 4 year old HP Pavilion died. No
> warranty, extended or otherwise.
> Everything was backed up so that is no problem. Now what? Is this
> thing self-serviceable? Could a shop do it? Send it to HP for repair?
> Or just replace it?
> It happened while I was installing suse 11.2, probably no connection,
> drive would have died anyway. It will still write but cannot read. All
> diagnostics (XP and Linux) tell me that the drive has unrecoverable
> Suppose I would plug in my Seagate external usb drive. Could I put an
> OS on that? Would it boot?
> Thanks a lot in advance for any response.
a) Pull the bad HDD out. You can't trust it for primary data anymore, under any
b) Replace it with a new HDD. That should be pretty cheap.
c) USB2 is too slow for most uses. USB3 has queuing issues - at least mine
does. It works fantastic for 1 operation situations, but ask for 2 operations
and it stalls ...
If you want an external, fast drive, use eSATA. eSATA connections are exactly
the same performance as internal SATA connections. It has the same instruction
set. This is what the HDD data recovery and forensics guys use. eSATA docks are
cheap - like $20 cheap.
I had a drive show corruption issues last week. Nothing "sounded" wrong, just
some of the top directories created about 4 yrs ago weren't accessible.
Obviously, all files below weren't available either. Fsck didn't help. Pulled
the drive and swapped in a spare.
Over the next few days, I let spinrite https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm have
at it on level 4 (toggle all bits) and waited. After about 30 hours the process
finished. Zero issues. No seek errors, no read failures, no bad sectors. I'm
convinced it was just lazy bits in the directory structure that needed to be
refreshed. That drive will work its way back into backup rotation. I won't trust
it for primary data, but as a backup drive, it is fine. I never trusted it for
primary data anyway - it was a "blue" HDD with a 1 yr warranty.
If there are a few bad sectors on your drive, I'd keep track of the count for
the next few months using SMART. If it doesn't change over that time, then I
wouldn't worry. If it does change - flush the drive completely with dban, drill
a hole through the platters and recycle the metal. Data is too important to
risk for a $50-$100 HDD, even on a backup HDD. There are uses for a known bad
HDD, but you didn't hear it from me. ;)
Lots of people will tell you that there is no way that spinrite can help and
that it can only harm failing HDDs. If you have $3000-$5000, then take it to a
professional and get your data back. http://myharddrivedied.com/ is where I'd
start. If you don't have $3K, the $89 for Spinrite to get back lazy-bit data is
worth it. It has been to me a few times, though I have backup religion. If it
doesn't work for you, get a refund. If you HDD just "clicks", freeze it, run
dban, and drill it.
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