HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Computers & Internet » Computer Help and Support (Group) » ? Hard drive failure

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 04:36 PM

? Hard drive failure

My inspiron 660 gives me this info when I try to boot it up using my emergency boot files. My question is , is the computer history or can I get a replacement hd installed? and is it financially feasible?I have documentation for OS . I have done some research on cloning the drive but its too late for that,right? Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

6 replies, 875 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply ? Hard drive failure (Original post)
ronatchig Jun 2020 OP
Best_man23 Jun 2020 #1
CloudWatcher Jun 2020 #2
ronatchig Jun 2020 #3
aryankanse6 Jun 2020 #4
CloudWatcher Jun 2020 #5
ronatchig Aug 6 #6

Response to ronatchig (Original post)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 04:52 PM

1. Backup first, More info please

If you can get to the hard drive file structure, first priority is to backup any and all data, browser favorites, etc.

Your message did not give any detail as to the issue your computer is experiencing. If you can boot it up with the emergency boot files, then its likely hard drive. If you can't get to the disk drive, then it may be something else, like the motherboard.

Given the age of the computer (those systems were released when Windows 7/8 was popular) and your current financial situation, I would opt for replacement. If cash is tight and the issue is the hard drive, I would replace the hard drive with a solid state drive. They're fairly cheap (under $100 for some 500 GB SSDs) and will provide extra life and better performance to the computer.

If the issue is not the hard drive, replace the system.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ronatchig (Original post)

Fri Jun 12, 2020, 08:08 PM

2. Odds

A failure like this unfortunately can reflect any number of problems ... ranging from the easily fixable to a motherboard failure.

- It's probably a hard drive failure. Either the drive's built-in electronics or something physical like the disk heads crashing. The rest of the machine could be fine and "all" you need is to replace the drive (with a hard disk or a faster SSD drive) and do a restore from backups. If you can get an ear close to the drive, you should be able to hear it spin up when you turn on the machine. And then a second or two later they often make a "clunk" sound as it "seeks" (positions) the heads to go read something off the disk. One typical failure is where this first read fails, and it tries again. And again. And again. So one thing to do is to listen and see if you can hear a repeating clunk (about once or twice a second). If you hear it trying over and over again, the drive is toast. The converse is not true, you might not hear it clunking and it could still be good or bad.

- It could be a 'soft' failure of the hard drive, where it has scribbled over the information needed to boot for some tbd reason. This could be "easily" fixed by reformatting the disk and restoring from backups. The cause could have been something like a power "brown out" or spike while it was writing data to the drive. The problem with reformatting is that then you own a system with a hard drive that is of unknown quality ... it might fail again soon.

- It could be a failure of the power supply, that converts your wall power to the DC voltages needed by the motherboard and the drive. This is unlikely if it can boot to the BIOS or off of a thumb drive (e.g. boot with a stand-alone Linux on a thumb drive and just ignore the hard disk).

- It could be a failure of your motherboard .. so it's claiming that the hard disk is dead, but really it's the motherboard that has failed. Of course this is more likely if you can't boot off of something else.

- It could be bad cables between the motherboard and the hard drive. Or even cables that just aren't plugged in well (internal cables between the hard drive and the motherboard).

Most repair folks should be able to quickly narrow down what's wrong before quoting you a price to fix it. And also possibly recover some (or all) of your files off the hard drive, even if it won't boot. E.g. you might be "lucky" and the OS files are useless but your personal files might be readable.

Cloning the disk is unlikely. But it's not that hard to pull the disk out of your machine and add it as an extra disk on another computer, and then try and see how much (if any) of it can be read and copied out.

Hopefully you have good backups of anything you need. Getting data off of a failing/failed disk can be time consuming and expensive. And the cost of someone's time to look at this will quickly exceed the replacement cost of an older computer. A decent hard disk can be bought for around $100, but time charges add up quickly.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ronatchig (Original post)

Sat Jun 13, 2020, 08:12 AM

3. Thanks fellas

I think I'll be shopping for a new machine. I don't know anyone who is qualified to do the work. I may use this machine to explore the hardware. If I have any questions I'll post them here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ronatchig (Original post)

Tue Jun 16, 2020, 02:46 PM

4. What can I do to prevent hard drive failure?

 

Recently, the drive in my laptop failed 3 years after I bought my laptop. I just got another installed and learned there was a bit I should've done but didn't, like defragmenting for example. I know all hard drive die at one point but what can I do to prevent it from happening so often?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to aryankanse6 (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 16, 2020, 03:14 PM

5. What to do ...

The only real and best thing to do are backups. Lots of backups. Also offsite (physically or in the cloud) backups.

It's not just the hard drive that can fail. Think stolen machine. Or a fire or flood in your home. Or your cat walking across your keyboard at just the wrong time. Or you deleting something important by accident. Or malware that takes over your computer and wants payment before you see your files again. Or just the gods deciding that it's time for it to take yet another coffee bath. Backups, they let you sleep again.

Btw, defragmenting is normally not needed. People that claim otherwise are trying to pick your pocket. And it's a (usually minor) performance optimization, not something that will keep your disk from failing! On MacOS it's completely not needed, the OS does it for you invisibly. I would hope Windows (et al) do the same thing.

A couple of iffy things to do ... may not help depending on your computer:

1) When your machine is connected to power, be sure it's attached through a surge-protector, or even better, a UPS. If your computer's power supply isn't well designed, a power spike (or brown-out) can get through to your drive and cause it to write garbage on the disk. This "shouldn't" be a problem with well designed machines. Again, "shouldn't."

2) Heat. Try and be nice to your computer. If you can cook your breakfast on the case, perhaps it's not so great for the computer components inside. Again, if your system is well built, it will both crank up the fans and slow the CPU so this "shouldn't" be a worry. "Shouldn't."

3) Sleeping. Let the machine sleep when you're not using it. Avoid programs that use "idle" cycles (e.g. SETI@home) unless you understand that they're also consuming electricity and reducing the lifetime of your machine.

Hope this helps

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ronatchig (Original post)

Thu Aug 6, 2020, 06:46 PM

6. Well fixed it.

New hd(digital)500gb. Lost all my files mostly movies and photos. Lucky I still have my pics on camera and sandiscs . Cost me 225$ but I'm basicly back to like new.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread