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Windows 7: Black screen and constant reboot - hard drive failure?

18 Jul 2014   #1
Rixterz

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 
Black screen and constant reboot - hard drive failure?

Hello there,

A few days ago, my computer started up as usual and showed the Packard Bell logo. The underscore cursor blinked 3 times and then the computer rebooted. This continued all day so it's definitely not temporary. I plugged the hard drive into another computer, and it had the same problem. The PCB on the hard drive has no visible signs of damage; the hard drive IS displayed in the BIOS, and there are no unusual sounds coming from the hard drive. What could the problem be?

-Rixterz


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jul 2014   #2
krustykobb

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Sounds like the hard drive could potentially be corrupted, if that is the case, my advice is to plug the hard drive into another computer and backup your personal data, and then do a fresh install on the hard drive. If that doesn't work, then the hard drive has most likely failed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jul 2014   #3
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

First do a test: disconnect the suspect hard drive and then start the computer. It should start but end at a message that tells you there is no bootable device. And you should be able to get into your BIOS settings.
The test is to see if the rebooting stops and the PC will run indefinitely (until you shut it off with the power button).

If that test determines that the hard drive causes the problem then you probably do not want to connect it again. The reason being that one of the causes for this kind of failure can be a short circuit which could damage the motherboard.
There are other reasons of course, but you should be aware of that one.

If you want to test further you could try the drive with the power cable connected but not the data cable. See if it still does it like that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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18 Jul 2014   #4
RogerR

7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

Its possible you just have a corrupted boot sector on the drive. Run some diagnostics on it from the manufacturer, and /or use Partition Wizard (Free) to repair the boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2014   #5
Rixterz

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

I sure hope it's a corruption issue and not a physical break in there somewhere. I'll buy a HDD connector soon, but in the meantime, I need to tell you some more symptoms that it had for quite a few months prior to the reboot loop. Whenever I tapped the area to the bottom-right of the keyboard (where the HDD was located), the computer would power off immediately and reboot. It was so sensitive that when my plastic mic fell about 10cm onto it, it rebooted. This, unfortunately, makes me think it's physical damage :C
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2014   #6
krustykobb

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Rixterz View Post
I sure hope it's a corruption issue and not a physical break in there somewhere. I'll buy a HDD connector soon, but in the meantime, I need to tell you some more symptoms that it had for quite a few months prior to the reboot loop. Whenever I tapped the area to the bottom-right of the keyboard (where the HDD was located), the computer would power off immediately and reboot. It was so sensitive that when my plastic mic fell about 10cm onto it, it rebooted. This, unfortunately, makes me think it's physical damage :C
Are you sure that the hard drive is connected properly into the connector within the machine or there is no damage to the connectors on the hard drive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2014   #7
Rixterz

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

I tried the HDD in another computer and got the same issue; I can't inspect the terminals yet, but I should be able to this weekend. One thing's for sure: the HDD was fitting well into the connectors on both computers so again, this seems more internal
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2014   #8
krustykobb

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Yeah it does sound like it, as mentioned previously run something like Partition Wizard to try and repair the boot sector, and if that fails, you may be looking at physical damage to the drive
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jul 2014   #9
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

On many laptops the standard 2.5 inch hard drive is fitted with an adapter that allows it to be connected to the motherboard. The adapter snaps over the standard SATA connectors and can look like it is a normal part of a hard drive.

If the adapter is loose, cracked, or broken it could cause your symptoms also. You could check to see if it is connected properly or if you can see any physical damage.
I've also seen laptops where the screws that secure the hard drive to the chassis were missing. That would cause your symptoms for sure.

You can also remove the adapter and then connect the hard drive to a desktop PC using the standard SATA connectors to test it. This would rule out the adapter if the problem persists.

Your approach should be to determine whether the problem is mechanical or software related. You can't run chkdsk or any other test program until you can access the drive anyway. The tests I've mentioned are all meant to determine whether you can access the drive at all.
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 Black screen and constant reboot - hard drive failure?




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