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Windows 7: Slow (probably damaged) Hard drive keeps computer from starting

07 Jan 2014   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
Slow (probably damaged) Hard drive keeps computer from starting

The problem is with a Toshiba Laptop and a 500 gb SATA hitachi hard drive (Of which around 80 gb were used, the rest was empty) From which I want to recover some files.

Problem started:
Completely randomly, the computer was working fine, it ran out of battery and next time it wouldnt start.

When you start the computer, it starts loading windows, but once it gets past the logo it just freezes there, it takes like 10 minutes and then shows a black background and the cursor. After that I left the computer on for 4 hours, and it didnt get past that, all the time however the HD led was constantly on (As if it was trying to read the hard drive)

Same or similar behaviour when trying to start in safe mode, last known configuration and others.

Same behaviour when trying to boot from a windows 7 installation disk (It makes it all the way to showing the blue background of the installer but then stays there)

I disconnected the hard drive and plugged it via an USB adaptor to another computer, the device manager recognizes it immediately, but then it takes AGES to show in my pc, and if you try to open the drive or anything, it just freezes windows explorer. The hard drive manager has similar behaviour, it takes around 10 minutes just to show the drive.

I plugged the drive to another laptop as a secondary hard drive and it just doesnt lets the computer start, again it freezes when trying to read the hard drive. However now I was able to start chkdsk, I left it working for around 9 hours trough the night and it didnt get past 2%. At first it was just checking the segments at a VERY slow rate, but then when I saw it this morning all the last segments that show as checked appear as "unreadable"

So my thinking is:
The hard drive seems to be damaged beyond recovery, tho I dont know what could have caused it since the computer only ran out of battery (There was no power surge or anything of the kind, the computer wasnt even plugged) But I'm a bit confused as to why it CAN read enough information to actually try and start windows (Show the logo and such)

My thinking is that the first sectors of the hard drive are okay (Maybe the first 100 mb or something? including of course bootsector) but that the rest of the information is simply beyond recovery.

Thats my thinking so far, But obviously im still looking for ways to recover the information in the hard drive, Next step I'm going to take is download a hitachi diagnose tool and try to run it with the hard drive connected via USB to another computer.

Is there any other steps or tools anyone would recommend to try and recover the information of this hard drive?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Jan 2014   #2

Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit

Since you said you plugged it into your laptop; and it took ages to load once recognized; i would have to say that drive unfortunately is on its way out. However; you can attempt to recover the data you need using some of the free data recovery programs out there

I just googled for free recovery software; and since i am not a expert in the use of data recovery programs; I will let you look through the results and decide what route to go:
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Slow (probably damaged) Hard drive keeps computer from starting

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