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Windows 7: HDD not recognized in BIOS?

24 Aug 2014   #1
bootwes

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
HDD not recognized in BIOS?

I am unsure if this is the right board to post in, but:
Last night I accidentally dropped my Dell XPS L401x (oops). It has had worse falls, but now when I try to boot it up there is a whirring/beeping noise as the machine tries to load, and it shows an error message:

"Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller Series v2.35 (06/14/10)
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable"
and later
"Reboot and Select proper Boot device"

When I enter the BIOS I notice the Fixed HDD says (0.0GB).
I've already tried to disassemble the machine but I do not have much experience and have no idea what might have gone wrong, so I put it back together.

What should I do?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Aug 2014   #2
DocBrown

Win7 Enterprise, Win7 x86 (Ult 7600), Win7 x64 Ult 7600, TechNet RTM on AMD x64 (2.8Ghz)
 
 

Welcome bootwes


It could be this fall actually damaged the HD making it unreadable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2014   #3
bootwes

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

I thought that was what might have happened. Darn.

Is there at least anything I can do to get back my data and store somewhere else? Or is it simply gone?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Aug 2014   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Put the disk into the fridge (not freezer) - overnight. Maybe tomorrow it will work. This is not a joke. It has worked before but there is no guarantee.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2014   #5
bootwes

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Thanks, I'll try what you said. I hope it works.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2014   #6
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

I would be astounded if it worked. Dropping a laptop while it is working nearly always causes a head crash in the hard drive. There are some "hardened" laptops that Government agencies use that can survive this, but these are not the consumer-grade laptops commercially available in retail channels. Head crash will require physical disassembly, repair, and reassembly -- costing easily $1,000 USD to have done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2014   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Mark, you are probably right. Depending on how the fall was, there may be only a small chance. That is why I always install SSDs into my laptops. Those don't break from a fall.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2014   #8
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Freezing an HD can temporarily restore operation but only for certain types of failure. I very much doubt it would help in this case. Usually it just causes further damage. Data recovery after an incident is always a chancy business. That is why you need to make backups of your data before problems develop as after may be too late. All important files need at least one backup copy, 2 or more copies if the data is of particular importance. This is even more important with a laptop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2014   #9
bootwes

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Alright, so I have read all your replies.
Here is an update:

I left the HDD in the fridge overnight and just now I tried to see if it works. It only says "Missing operating system" after the BIOS password prompt, which I suppose means "This is beyond repair, good luck, pal". It must have been a head crash as some of you have said.

Thankfully, I did have some backups ready (although few) and the data on this machine had more emotional importance than work importance, so I am not particularly in hot water.

Suffice to say, I think I have learned my lesson on being careful. Although it was a done deal from the beginning, I am still grateful for your help. Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Aug 2014   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

At least it looks like the disk is now recognized by the BIOS and can be read. So the fridge had some positive effect. Whilst that is so, you can try to recue the data with a live Linux CD or the way I do it:

Emergency Kit - save your files from a dead OS
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 HDD not recognized in BIOS?




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