Acer 5741g, Windows 7 64 home premium, 4GB ram, Hitachi HTS5459b9a300 500GB hard drive, BIOS version 1.23
A few weeks ago, hard drive crashed, which i thought was due to it losing battery power during a windows update. I created a Windows recovery disk from a similar laptop, ultimately had to use a recovery from the reserved partition to get the computer operating - wouldn't do system restore, start-up repair wouldn't work, etc., then had issues with being able to apply Windows updates (Service Pack 1).
The hard drive crashed again, would get past BIOS and then sit with a blank screen. I could boot with the Windows recovery disk. It would not find an operating system to repair. At command prompt, it would not switch drives from x: to c: or d:, returning an I/O error.
After another boot attempt to the Recovery disk, went to "start-up repair" and it did seem to at least see the hard drive, since it indicated that it was repairing disk errors and the process could take over an hour, which of course is an understatement. Went to bed. This morn it indicated that it was finished, to restart the computer, and if it was fixed, it would start windows normally, if not, the repair was not successful.
So I restart the computer, and it starts cycling - get a flash of the BIOS screen, it thinks for a couple seconds, then shuts down and restarts! It will do that over and over. It is not allowing me to hit F2 even to get into the BIOS, seems to cycle too fast or not get to that point, although I do see the F2 prompt at the bottom of the screen. The only way to stop the cycling is to remove the power cord and pop out the battery to kill it.
I didn't have much time to fiddle with it this morning, but I did try removing the hard drive completely. When it boots, it doesn't show the BIOS screen but it does start loading files from the Windows recovery CD that's in the optical drive, like I'd expect it to if i had instructed the computer to boot from the optical drive. The optical drive is the first boot device, but normally you still have to press a key to make it boot from there, otherwise it will still boot from the hard drive.
My thinking is that Windows start-up repair did further damage to the drive, to the extent that the computer shuts down when it's detected in there.
This computer was purchased at Costco so it is in the 2nd year of the 2 year warranty they provide, but apparently year 2 is through Costco, not Acer, so there's a different repair process for that.
My primary issue is that there are a few files that I'd like to get off that hard drive. Does anyone have any suggestions about using a 2.5" SATA to USB type of setup, plugging it into another computer to see if I can read the drive at all that way? Any other suggestions getting this thing going? If i can recover some of the files from the HD, I can then replace it in the 5741g and send it off for repair or replacement under warranty.
Any help/suggestions from the experts are appreciated!