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Windows 7: HD failure or Windows 7 failure?


11 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
HD failure or Windows 7 failure?

Today my Windows 7 Home Premium started giving me problems. After freezing a couple of times it finally wouldn't start up, directing me to Startup Repair. The Startup Repair it automatically redirected me to would freeze when I got to "System Recovery Options" without allowing me to choose one of the two options there (also not showing any Operating System listed in the middle of that screen).

I tried running the repair computer from the Upgrade DVD by rearranging BIOS and booting from the disc but am having the same issue--can't get past this "System Recovery Options step.

I am wondering if it's my hard drive or some corruption of Windows that just needs a reinstall. Of course in my infinite wisdom I haven't backed up data and have many GBs of pics and vids of the new baby. I have two hard drives in the computer, the second intended to use to back up data so of course it's mostly empty. I was wondering if I could do a reinstall of Windows 7 on the second drive and would I then be able to go access the first drive and rescue the pictures there?

Any help would be huge. I am a total amateur at this.

Thanks,

Justin

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Sep 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

First you already have a second drive internal or external you can opt to use a live for cd Linux distro like Puppy Linux or ubuntu and boot live in order to copy your important stuff over to a second storage drive.

A factory recovery disk primary works along with a hidden recovery partition on the main drive itself and wouldn't be able to install a fresh copy on a second drive. That would take another non factory Windows disk.

If you have an old XP or Vista disk onhand a temp install on a second internal would later mean wiping that if you had no plans for a dual boot. A live distro however works independently of the hard drives and allows you to access the drive if still in working shape. Use Ubuntu Live CD to Backup Files from Your Dead Windows Computer - How-To Geek
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2010   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

Since this is a Windows 7 forum here's a Windows method using Windows 7 DVD to use to copy your files out first in case you have imminent HD failure and Windows 7 proves after troubleshooting to be irreparable: Copy & Paste - in Windows Recovery Console Another method is free Paragon Rescue CD.

After the baby pics are safe, boot back into DVD Repair console to accept any offered Repair, then if Windows 7 won't start boot in again, click through to Recovery Tools list to run Startup Repair up to 3 separate times with reboots until Windows 7 starts: Startup Repair - Run 3 Separate Times

If this fails make sure 100mb System Resrved boot partition or Windows 7 partition is marked Active, then run Startup Repair again x3: Partition - Mark as Active

It sounds like you might have memory problems which are blocking repair efforts, so next test memory using memtest86 CD for 5-6 passes or overnight: Memtest86 - Download Page

Then test your HD using maker's full diag/repair CD scan: Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.

Do you have a Windows 7 Installation DVD you could use for reinstall, or factory Recovery Disks or Partition which can be run?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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12 Sep 2010   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

I have the full installation disc as I bought Windows 7 upgrade from Vista at Office Max last year.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2010   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

Ok so I rescued the baby pictures using Paragon. Once all that stuff was safe I figured it would be easiest just to do a clean reinstall of Windows 7, since I wasn't having any luck getting Startup Repair to run. However now when I try to reinstall via my Windows 7 Upgrade DVD it gets to "Setup is Starting" and just hangs.

Then I tried following the instructions to check to see if Partition is Active, using Method 2 (booting from Windows DVD). I can get to cmd.exe, but when I enter diskpart it doesn't load anything. Judging from the picture on the instructions I should see my hard drives at that point but I just see nothing. It says "On computer: MINWINPC" and the flashing cursor below but I cannot type anything.

What should I do?

Thanks,

Justin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

ps--I just ran Data Lifeguard for my Western Digital Raptor (my primary/boot drive) and the result was:

No Drive Found
Error/Status Code 0120
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and Home Premium x64
 
 

Sounds like you have your answer then that it might be a hardware failure on the hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2010   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

Try running Startup Repair x3 without marking Active since you can't run DISKPART for some reason.

If no installation shows to repair, try running bootrec.exe /fixmbr and bootrec.exe /fixboot exactly as each are typed from CMD line. Then see if it will Startup Repair.

Strange that you can access HD to copy out your pics but not to test it. You are booting Data Lifeguard, right?
Try using GWScan CD which is the best version of Data Lifeguard I've found.
http://support.gateway.com/support/d...2&uid=27543171
Unzips to c:cabs where you can browse from ImgBurn to burn ISO to CD at 4x speed
If it works to repair HD then run Disk Check afterwards.

Try also running Disk Check from CMD line if repair doesn't work as it can fix the file system if that is the problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2010   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 

I ran both of those command prompts and they both said "operation successful". I then got Startup Repair running and it's still running after an hour. I'm assuming it takes a while?

On the Data Lifeguard I made a bootable disk with the version on Western Digital's website since that's the brand of the drive (WD Raptor). I'll try the Gateway version and see if the result is any different. It is weird I was able to access data on it if the drive is failed. That gives me a bit of hope.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Sep 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karkalec View Post
ps--I just ran Data Lifeguard for my Western Digital Raptor (my primary/boot drive) and the result was:

No Drive Found
Error/Status Code 0120
Quote:
Error code: 120

Explanation: unknown error

Definition: An unknown error has occurred during testing. This may be an anomaly. Check connections and retest. If the error repeats, replace the drive.

Status: Re-Test Drive
That was the information seen at the WD Diagnostic Error Codes page. WD Support > Knowledge Base > Diagnostic Error Codes

That would also be testing the data cable by unplugging and replugging it in at both ends to insure it's all the way especially at the board end in particular. I had that happen on the last build with a storage drive suddenly vanishing.

Once I went in I found the plug only slightly lifted in the port at the board end! Once that was seen to the drive never saw another incident and is presently in use in an external enclosure on the new build since.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 HD failure or Windows 7 failure?




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