Disk read error, can't boot as external hdd

  1. MasterJ09

    MasterJ09 New Member Bronze Member

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    Hello there

    I've got a laptop which crashed all of a sudden, and when I tried to reboot I got an error saying: disk read error, press ctrl+alt+del to restart. Obv the reboots give the same errormessage.
    So I tried to recover the data and get rid of the harddrive. I bought a König IDE to USB-adapter and connect the laptop harddrive to the adapter. It's a Seagate Momentus 40GB harddrive.
    Obviously I want the harddrive to be connected as Slave, but I don't have a jumperblock. Does the König adapter device set the hdd to slave immediately if you connect it to USB? Then this problem is solved.
    When I connect to my new laptop, I see the hdd as an external drive (as it should be!) but I can't click on it, nor rightclick. Screen freezes and I can only shut it off with task management or disconnect the usbcable...
    Could this have something to do with the disk read error before? But how can I access the data then on the disk, or even run chkdsk if I can't even rightclick?
    Any input would be nice!

    Thanks in advance

    Kind regards
    MasterJ09
  2. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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    Hi MasterJ09, welcome back, you could put the hdd back into the old laptop and try this,
    Can we check to see if we can get into the hdd from a a live cd.
    The first thing you'll need to do is download and burn
    Active@ Boot Disk. Bootable LiveCD. Backup, Data Recovery, Disk Eraser & more...
    to CD. When you download the file it will be in .iso format, do not extract this file, leave it as it is. If you don't have CD burning software that knows how to burn it you can use ImgBurn. It's free and you can get it from here. - The Official ImgBurn Website

    The next thing you'll need to do after that is done is to set your bios to boot from CD if it isn't already. To do that, boot your computer and press either delete, f1 or f2 immediately after you press the on button. Which key it is I can't tell you for sure because it's different on different computers. When you get in to the bios configuration just look for the boot order section and change it to CD as the first boot device. Before you press save go ahead and put the Active boot Disk CD in your CD drive then press save.

    When your computer reboots it will give you three options, arrow up to the first option that says "Start Atcive Boot Disk for Windows". When it asks, press a key to load Active Boot Disk.

    You will now boot in to a windows-like environment. Can you check to see if you can find your files.

    Monkeymagic...
  3. MasterJ09

    MasterJ09 New Member Bronze Member

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    So I tried your method and tried to boot the laptop with the Active Bootdisk. The laptop boots from the cd-rom, and I get the message: Windows is loading files. After that is done I got a error screen: A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
    After 3 minutes or so, computer shuts down from itself..
    WHAT DID WORK: I tried also to burn the ISO-image of the DOS-version for Active Bootdisk, and I tried scanning the local C with the NTFS recovery that appears in the DOS-menu from the Active Bootdiskcd. But when I clicked enter, he started scanning the c: drive, for like an hour but no results.. So I guess the disk read error causes this aswell.
    So no help there.
    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks!
  4. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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  5. MasterJ09

    MasterJ09 New Member Bronze Member

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    Just tried attaching hard disk to my laptop and running Recuva... He finds the drive, but is unable to open or scan. I hear the hard disk making sound though as if it's running, but impossible to enter..

    Dump and loose all the (school)files :-(? Or still a solution?

    Thanks you guys

    Kind regards
    MasterJ09
    Maxx-iT
  6. monkeymagic

    monkeymagic guinness gives you strength Tech Member Elite Member

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    Let me ask one of my colleagues to see if he knows of another way. Will get back to you ASAP.
  7. Amtech

    Amtech Well-Known Member Tech Member Elite Member

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    Sounds like there is mechanical damage to the hard drive. You should try the Active File Recovery ISO again. That or a similar product. Leave it running for at least two hours.

    Then cancel the scan (if it didn't already end) and see what has been found. This software is not free but should work:

    Hard disk drive management software, partitioning manager and partition recovery utility

    I have used Active File Recovery in a situation similar to yours and was able to recover files. The problem is that the read/write arm is stuck and can't move around to find files etc.

    But software like Active File Recovery doesn't require that because it finds files based on their magnetic signatures. And so it "should work". But maybe if the physical damage to the drive is too severe nothing will be found.
    monkeymagic likes this.
  8. Xeno1

    Xeno1 Well-Known Member Tech Member Elite Member

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    There is a possible trick if the read/write arm is stuck, but you would have to try it at your own risk, although if it's stuck you're not risking much since it's not repairable anyway. The trick is to lift the drive about an inch from the table surface and then drop it on its side. Occasionally that will free it up long enough for you to recover your data. Other than that, the only other option would be to have it professionally done where they remove the platters and use a data recovery machine to read them, but that can be very very expensive.

    Edit: I almost forgot about the freezer trick. Some people say that if you put the hard drive in the freezer over night it will free up the arm long enough t recover data also. I've tried it a couple of times without any luck, but maybe you'll get lucky. Put the drive in a Ziplock before sticking it in the freezer.
  9. MasterJ09

    MasterJ09 New Member Bronze Member

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    I think best is to ditch the hard disk... Everything I tried failed... Every program, even putting it in the freezer. Asked what it costs to recover data at a special company: Over 1300 euros (+- 1600$) :eek: lol....

    Thanks nonetheless!

    Kind regards
    Maxx-iT
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