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Windows 7: Dell BIOS nag screens after harddrive failure


29 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 
Dell BIOS nag screens after harddrive failure

Apologies, I'm not very good with tech speak.

I had a single OEM Seagate Barracuda SATA harddrive that failed while playing Skyrim. I ran checkdisk and it reported 5 bad clusters. It said it couldn't repair an active partition unless I rebooted, which I did. The damage apparently kept the drive from booting.

Next I tried some things with Startup Repair, none of which were succesful as it reported that repair wasn't possible and system restore bluescreened after circumventing the American Megatrends BIOS screen(no idea what the error message said).

Then I purchased a new Western Digital drive and installed Windows on it. I then used the application GetDataBack to extract all my old files to my new drive...then I formatted the damaged drive, elliminating the Dell recovery partition but leaving the OEM system partition, and ran checkdisk in full repair mode on the large main partition(it excluded 260 bad clusters from Windows).

Then I used Diskpart.exe in DOS to remove the OEM partition as I was prohibited from doing it in Administrative tools>Disk Management(after all this is Dell's computer, not mine, I guess). This seemed to remove a repetitious popup in Windows that kept warning me to backup this disk because it had errors.

Now the only problem I have left is that every time I boot I get the Dell BIOS American Megatrends nag screen. The only workaround I've found is to F2 into BIOS setup and exit...then it boots into windows. Although everything works properly if I disconnect the old damaged drive's cables.

I noticed in Disk Management that my new drive w/Operating System is listed as Drive 1, while the old (now storage) drive is listed as Drive 0. Is this causing problems with my boot order, or is there something else causing the nag screen and how do I stop it?

I realize this disk could well fail again, but that's not a primary consideration to me, as I'm only using it for redundant file backup. Thank you...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jun 2012   #2

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

Bad clusters, bad sectors can sometimes be fixed by a paid for program called Hard Drive Regenerator as long as the damage is fixable by software means. The removable of the hidden recovery partition from the first drive wasn't a good idea however.

The first best thing once you knew the drive was failing would be trying to snap an image of the entire drive to restore onto the replacement. Seagate offers their form of free version of the Acronis True Image Disk Director suite free of charge for customers. WD does the same.

As far as keeping the old drive plugged in if that is in the exact same sata port on the board it will continue to be seen as the Disk 0 in the DM as well as any other partitioning program. It will be seen as Disk 0 in the DiskPart tool as well. The Dell nag screen is likely due to something Dell placed in the recovery partition on the Seagate you didn't preserve for the new WD drive. Dell has their gimics as far as any hardware changes to contend with.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I changed data port, so that shouldn't be causing the Seagate to register as Disk 0.

I'll read up on Hard Drive Regenerator...thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Jun 2012   #4

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

The Disk 0 reference is according to how the drives are plugged into the board. That would be the first drive when seeing the Disk 0 indication.

The boot order setting in the bios setup however decides which drive will be booted from regardless of which port it is plugged into. The Windows installer on the other hand will always look for what it sees as the first drive to place the boot loader, boot files, and write the boot sector information there however.

The best thing to do now is what you already did earlier by simply unplugging the defect drive so that won't be getting flagged by the Dell bios at post time due to it being on the way out. If you are able to repair the bad sectors on it by chance I have to point out plugging it back in later shouldn't end up seeing the Dell nag which sounds more like a hardware failure alert of some type.

The HDD Regenator was pointed at me by someone who took over for a pc repair shop where that one came as recommendation as far as a retail product. The 2011 version does have a demo you can try out however to see it helps any. HDD Regenerator 2011 - Free Download. HDD Regenerator is unique software program for regeneration of physically damage

The home page is seen at HDD Regenerator - Exclusive Price | Review | Testimonials with the full version on sale for $51 presently as far as buying it outright.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2012   #5

W7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

There is another utility called SpinRite, by Steve Gibson (grc.com), which can also resurrect some drives. This one has been around a long time and gone through five versions. Solid program.
Works off a clean boot cd.

First time purchase is $89 however vs. Regenerator's $60, now $51. Watch out for pirated versions of that one with "cracked" keys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2012   #6

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pscowboy View Post
There is another utility called SpinRite, by Steve Gibson (grc.com), which can also resurrect some drives. This one has been around a long time and gone through five versions. Solid program.
Works off a clean boot cd.

First time purchase is $89 however vs. Regenerator's $60, now $51. Watch out for pirated versions of that one with "cracked" keys.
You forgot the link for the product page for that one! GRC*|*Hard drive data recovery software**

As far as anything "dumped out in the wild" I never point anyone there. If they elect to take that route they are on their own in that regard.

The alternate download site for the demo version if you have any concerns for the HDD Regenator is seen at a site where nothing "bogus" is to be found. Download HDD Regenerator 2011 Free Trial - Easily repair bad sectors on hard drive surface - Softpedia

For simply getting data off of the drive if you decide to no longer chance it another program meant to be looked over would be File Scavenger. Data recovery tool for Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003/2008, XP, 2000 and NT

That's not too bad of a price seen for the full version there since many run upwards of $70 or more at times.

One thing I did when planning out the present build here was to have two OS drives as well as two for storage and backup purposes in case one decided to go belly up! One of the previous build's drives was used on another 7 build while the second of the pair is now in an external enclosure and used for backing up a pair of laptops lately! Those saw bugs as well as drive fails recently.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

The best clue as to what is going on is probably contained in that "nag screen".
(The system is not nagging - it's trying to help you!)

Can you post what that screen says exactly?

If you need more time to read or write down the message just use the PAUSE/BREAK key on your keyboard to pause the screen from flashing by.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2012   #8

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Dell's do a "POST" (Power On Self Test) and apparently that is where you are getting the message.

Usually on Dell's there will be an option of F1 or F2 depending on the error.

I agree with TVeblen, post the exact message you are getting.

I used to do a lot of free user support on the Dell forums.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2012   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

American Megatrends message:

NOTICE - hard drive self monitoring system has reported that a parameter has exceeded it's normal operating range.

Primary Master ST31000528AS CC45 Ultra DMA Mode - 5
S.M.A.R.T. Capable and status BAD

****************************************************************************
This is the meat of the message, I wrote it down on paper when it first appeared. I currently have a scan in progress that I can't interrupt to verify that it hasn't changed any wording since reformat.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

The hard drive's SMART monitoring system is reporting errors which the system BIOS is reporting.

Download and run Seagate's "SeaTools" diagnostic program on the drive. That may give you some indication of the extent of the problem.

This does not change previous advice. Even after running the repair program suggested by Night Hawk, still run the Seagate diagnostic, as well as Windows CheckDisk utility.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Dell BIOS nag screens after harddrive failure




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