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Windows 7: Hard Disk Failure Help

28 May 2014   #1

Windows 7 64 bit professional
Hard Disk Failure Help

Hi All!

I have a SONY VAIO and recently I managed to drop my laptop and I think I damaged my hard disk.

Now when I try to log on, my computer screen gets to the Starting Windows screen, but no logo and then automatically restarts. It will not start in Safe Mode in any of the three options (just kind of sits in the loading windows files screen and then restarts.)

Trying to start from last good configuration does not work.

Right now, I've obtained a windows 7 professional installation disk, and I can boot from disk up until the screen where it says install windows? I choose "repair my computer" on that screen and the window disappears, leaving me with the standard windows 7 blue screen in the background and my cursor.

I just really want to move my files to a different hard drive. Is it impossible without sending it to an expensive data recovery place?

Any help is appreciated.

Thank you!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2014   #2


Boot into BIOS setup to see if the HD is detected anywhere: SATA or IDE storage drives, Boot Priority order, etc. If not then google how to replace your HD or disassemble your laptop to see how to access it, or read the Manual on the PC model's Support Downloads webpage for this information. Try reinstalling the HD to see if it can make better contact and be detected. If not you'll need to replace it.

Whether data can be recovered depends on how badly damaged it is. It may only be unable to be seated in the laptop's port contacts correctly. You can try a SATA cable plugged into a PC tower SATA port to see if that can read the data. If you don't have one then I'd take the drive into the Geek Squad and ask them if they can read it at all. Call ahead and ask an agent when he'd have time to do this for you. They usually are helpful and shouldn't charge you just to test it for read/write. But if it reads and writes then They'll want to charge you a bunch, in which case I'd then find an adpater cable to plug it into a SATA port on a tower which sometimes works better than a USB adapter to get your data easily.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2014   #3

Windows 7 64 bit professional

So I entered the boot menu and in the main, it says that it can recognize a hard disk drive with 640 GB and in the boot it says that the second boot priority is the internal hard disk drive, so I'm getting from this that the system is able to detect my hard drive.

I will try to use a SATA cable to see if I can get the data. Thank you so much for your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 May 2014   #4

Windows 7 64 bit professional

I've tried using the SATA cable and the drive is recognized but windows 7 wants to reformat the disk before I do anything with it. And I know that will wipe my drive. How do I get the data out?

Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2014   #5
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

That implies that win7 does not recognize the filesystem(s) on the drive -- not a good sign.

To see if anything could be recovered, I would use a good Windows data recovery app -- like RecoverMyFiles. You would have to connect the drive to your PC, install the app, and do an in-depth search to see what folders and files it can find. IF it finds stuff worth recovering, you would have to purchase a license to do the recovery.

There is a free data recovery app know as Recuva -- you could also try that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2014   #6


The drive is apparently mechanically damaged so there may be no way to access it to try to rescue or recover the data without having it taken apart to get to the platter itself. As you suspect this is very expensive.

You can try runnning data Recovery like Recuva - Features or partiiton recovery like Partition Wizard to see if either miraculously discover the drive to rescue the partitions or data. But I would not get my hopes up.

I think you probably realize as we all do that dropping one's laptop usually results in the worst. I would never expect to be able to get away with it, no matter how far it fell. Just ldropping it an inch or two on the table is risky. Dropping it on the floor is almost always a fatal fall, usually for the HD.

And not having one's data backed up in real time is always extremely risky since your HD could die at any time for any number of reasons. A good free way to do this will Sync, Backup and Store your Files to the Cloud with Skydrive - Windows 7 Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Hard Disk Failure Help

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