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Windows 7: catastrophic hard drive problem

20 Apr 2014   #1
harleynut97

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit sp1
 
 
catastrophic hard drive problem

I got the worse easter present today.... the internal harddrive which holds 99% of all my data has COMPLETELY disappeared. I have a sickening feeling that it has died.

I have not installed any new programs I do remember a virus update was done yesterday by Mcaffee.

All of my programs/ drivers ect are housed on my c:drive (internal) I had a second internal harddrive 2tb seagate (f drive) that held all my data. That is the one that has disappeared.

Basically, the f drive does not appear at all in either windows explorer or Speccy.

I have opened up the box, unplugged / replugged both the power and data cables that go into the back of the hard drive. Restarted computer, still no harddrive.

1) What other things can I do to try and troubleshoot, particularly if somehow a software problem could be causing this?

2) Also what other things should I troubleshoot from a hardware perspective.

Any and all help would be appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Apr 2014   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

From your post #1
Quote:
virus update was done yesterday by Mcaffee.
I would do a restore point before the Mcafee update.

By Brink:

System Restore
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2014   #3
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Is the drive seen in the BIOS?

You could go to Seagate web site and download and run their disk diagnostic program. I think it's called Seatools.

Try Layback Bear's system restore idea first. A lot of people would tell you that McAfee is a virus.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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20 Apr 2014   #4
harleynut97

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Thank you both for the quick replies.... before I do the system restore, I need to ask a question.. when I go to do the system restore and pick a point, there is an area that says drives.... the only thing that shows up is the c:drive (nothing shows regarding the F drive (the one that has disappeared) should I still go ahead and do it?

The other thing, is in the past, system restore would usually show me a calender window, now I just see 4 options for past events (like when I downloaded turbotax a week or so ago. How do you access the calendar so that I can see if a restore point is available closer to the time this problem occured?


Just to add something if it matters ... I read on some post to check drive management.... the drive doesnt show there either.

EDIT: I also downloaded that seatool tool and when it scanned for hardrives on the first step, it didn't even show the seagate drive (f drive) only my Hitachi C:drive. I didn't proceed to let it scan or do whatever it does, because if it can't recognize it's own drive, how would it be able to repair it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2014   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by harleynut97 View Post
Thank you both for the quick replies.... before I do the system restore, I need to ask a question.. when I go to do the system restore and pick a point, there is an area that says drives.... the only thing that shows up is the c:drive (nothing shows regarding the F drive (the one that has disappeared) should I still go ahead and do it?

The other thing, is in the past, system restore would usually show me a calender window, now I just see 4 options for past events (like when I downloaded turbotax a week or so ago. How do you access the calendar so that I can see if a restore point is available closer to the time this problem occured?


Just to add something if it matters ... I read on some post to check drive management.... the drive doesnt show there either.

EDIT: I also downloaded that seatool tool and when it scanned for hardrives on the first step, it didn't even show the seagate drive (f drive) only my Hitachi C:drive. I didn't proceed to let it scan or do whatever it does, because if it can't recognize it's own drive, how would it be able to repair it?
The idea of doing the System Restore is that perhaps the recent McAfee update has caused some change on your C drive that has rendered the F drive invisible. It's a long shot, but if you want to try it, pick some date prior to the McAfee update.

Not sure what you mean by "calendar window". I see a list in System Restore, with column headings for date/time, description, and type. With a checkbox at the bottom that says "show more restore points". Make sure that checkbox is checked.

Not a good sign that Seatools didn't see the disk. I assume you mean Windows Disk Management rather than "drive management".

You could try a fresh set of drive cables or connect the drive to another port on the motherboard in case the cables or current port have gone bad.

I'd prepare for the worst case. Someone else may have other ideas.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2014   #6
harleynut97

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit sp1
 
 
Update... nothing but bad news

1) Well, I just went ahead and did the system restore... after thinking about it, the F drive holds nothing but data.. so I figured it couldn't hurt anything. Unfortunately the drive does not show up after system restore.

2) As mentioned in the previous posts edit ... I tried the seagatetool but it didn't even show a seagate drive, only my c drive.

3) I went into the bios ... and the drive does not show up there either

I'm getting sick to my stomach as I write this just thinking about the data, I know I've lost if the drive is infact dead.

Is there any other things that can conclusively prove that it is dead, or that I can further try to bring it back to life?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2014   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Got another PC or a friend with a PC?

See if the drive is seen on another PC. If not, that's nearly conclusive, assuming the other PC is capable of seeing 2 TB drives.

Not sure what else to tell you other than I understand that file recovery services from dead drives is expensive---$1k on up.

I would not give up on the idea of a bad port or bad cable.

Someone else may have another idea, but I assume the drive platters aren't spinning, so I'm not sure what you can do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2014   #8
harleynut97

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Let me ask another question regarding your suggestion about trying the drive on another computer.

1) As this is an internal drive, does it have to be internally mounted into the other computer or can I break open the friends box, and leave the drive outside of the computer?

2) As I don't want to screw up the other computer, I really havent added internal drives before... He is running windows 8.1, as this other computer was a midline HP model, I don't know how I would determine if it is capable of seeing 2 tb drives?

3) what would be the steps to do this test.... what I'm not sure about is if I just open his computer... plug in my drive what is going to occur and what I would have to do to get his computer to recognize the drive? His computer only has a c:drive with a factory restore partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2014   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by harleynut97 View Post
Let me ask another question regarding your suggestion about trying the drive on another computer.

1) As this is an internal drive, does it have to be internally mounted into the other computer or can I break open the friends box, and leave the drive outside of the computer?

No, it doesn't have to be mounted formally. You can leave the drive on the table or in your hand and just run the appropriate cables from the drive to the other PC's power supply and motherboard.

2) As I don't want to screw up the other computer, I really havent added internal drives before... He is running windows 8.1, as this other computer was a midline HP model, I don't know how I would determine if it is capable of seeing 2 tb drives?

His operating system shouldn't matter. Your drive is just a data drive, so his PC should quickly recognize it if connected properly. If his PC is reasonably current, it should see a 2 TB drive.

3) what would be the steps to do this test.... what I'm not sure about is if I just open his computer... plug in my drive what is going to occur and what I would have to do to get his computer to recognize the drive? His computer only has a c:drive with a factory restore partition.

Turn your PC off and remove your drive. Make note of the type of cables and connectors used to connect your hard drive to the motherboard and power supply of your PC. There are 2 connection points on the hard drive. DON'T use your cables on his PC, because they may be defective and the cause of your problem.

Shut his PC off. Open the case. Inspect his motherboard and power supply and identify where the cables would have to connect. His motherboard likely has 2, probably 4 proper connection points for hard drives.

His power supply cables should have at least one spare usable connector that can be used to connect to your hard drive.

You may need to buy cable to connect the hard drive to the motherboard as the current cable is suspect. It's likely a "SATA" cable and costs a few bucks.

After you connect the hard drive to his power supply and motherboard, you would boot his PC and look in Windows Disk Management and Windows Explorer, hoping that the drive is recognized.

You could also look in his PC BIOS to see if it's recognized there.

This shouldn't have any effect on his hard drive or PC at all. You are just making a temporary connection as a test. Data drives should be seen right away without any configuration if the PC/motherboard is capable of seeing drives of that size. Most are.

I'm probably leaving something out, but that's what I'd do.




My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2014   #10
harleynut97

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

Thank you so much for these quick replies Ignatzatsonic, I'm in friggen panic mode right now.

- I need to slow myself down ... and tackle this thing logically and slowly.

-First off... how do I post a screenshot without having to use some photo hosting program? When I hit the image icon, it asks me for a URL ... I just want to upload it to the post directly.

-Luckily I do have a full backup of my system from about 2 weeks ago. ( I don't do incrementals) Not screwing anything up that will prevent Acronis recovery from recognizing my computer properly being able to restore that drive is the number 1 priority

-My second priority believe it or not is maintaining that F: drive letter, this may sound strange but here is why. I am a graphic /3d motion graphics designer.... So as an example ... I have a 3d file .... These graphic programs don't store all the elements you included in the main program... instead when you open the master file ..it goes and seeks out all the other files it needs to build the project, based on the location those files are kept on your HD example f://3d project/background_elements . so it would seek out that file on your HD.

So bottom line it is critical if I have to replace this HD when I replace it... windows has to be able to name this the f:drive

-My motherboard has like 6 Sata ports... but I don't know if you can just mix and match them. Can you plug any drive into any sata port? Just trying to rule out a bad port. But again, I don't want to do anything that will prevent Acronis from being able to recover my data from the backup.
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