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How do u tell when hdd is dead?

By Teaser261 ยท 8 replies
Apr 2, 2007
  1. My pc goes to the windows page then goes black. Will it go that far if hdd is dead? It won't go in any of the safe modes. i blew out the dust and reseated the agp card and still nothing. Any kind of info is appreciated, maybe I'm not even posting in the the correct board. Thanks in advance. I didn't have time to search the site tonight to see if this is some where else and I apologize for imposing on your time if this a dumb question.
  2. russ

    russ TS Rookie Posts: 39

    since no one answered, I would try a install cd of some sorts to see if can boot up on a cd drive and read the hdd. You might try one of the "live cd's" like knoppix or Puppy( an 80mb download). You can bootup the live cd and try to mount the hard drive. If you can read some of the files on the hard drive then it is probably still good but would need to be formatted and install windows again to be used. Sometimes the "master boot record" could be ruined and can be fixed by booting up with a "windows intsallation cd" and type "fdisk /mbr" or "fixmbr" at a boot prompt.
  3. Teaser261

    Teaser261 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 121

    Thanks for the reply Russ, I've tried 3 or 4 boot cds that I've made in the past for emergencies and when I power up, the cd drive spins for about 10 or 15 seconds and then nothing. I also tried my windows cd and nothing. That's why i was thinking hdd. It was working fine and I did a reboot after downloading some updates and then nothing. So I don't know. Thanks for the input.
  4. russ

    russ TS Rookie Posts: 39

    Is this a desktop or laptop? If it is a laptop it could be that the power supply is not getting power to the computer and it is trying to run on the "discharged" battery. Is your bios set to "boot from cd then hdd"?
  5. Teaser261

    Teaser261 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 121

    It is not a laptop and I have to check my boot sequence. Thanks. I went in and changed the boot sequence and the cd spins up and then stops. There is no hdd activity light blinking. My question, will the windows xp screen show if the hdd is dead or should I be looking at something else? Could it be the cpu and I'm just running off the cmos and bios?
  6. russ

    russ TS Rookie Posts: 39

    The only place windows is located is on the hard the only time you should see a windows logo is if the contents of hdd is loaded into memory. For some reason your cd drive's contents (XP boot disk) is not being loaded into memory. The boot cd may not be good or the cd drive not good or not connected to the ribbon cable. To test the cd drive you could try another live cd or try the boot cd in another machine (to see if the cd is good). A live cd will boot into another operating system like linux and it will completely run in memory so no need for a hard drive. But you can use this booted up linux to get files off of the hdd if it (the hdd) is still good enough to spin. The hdd will not spin if it is setup to load the cd first and thinks there is a bootable cd in the cd drive. It may start to boot the cd and get to the point where the cd is no good and stop. This could be a memory problem too especially if it gets to a windows screen and no further and also that it will not load the contents of the cd into memory. If there is any chance you could switch out memory with another computer you might try that. Or if you have 2 memory sticks take one out and try to boot the computer, if it won't boot use the other stick. Remember there is a primary slot for memory and that slot has to be occupied for the computer to use the memory.
  7. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    It's dead if it doesn't breathe! nyuk nyuk nyuk....

    seriously.... if it won't read or boot, then assume it's dead. HD's tend to make grinding noises before they die, but not always.
  8. russ

    russ TS Rookie Posts: 39

    Your hd may be dead but you can run a computer without a hd as I am doing right now. I have taken my hd out of my laptop and am using Puppy linux "live cd" to get on the net and write and send this message. If the cd is working and you have a good copy of windowsxp or a "live cd" the computer should respond with some kind of boot screen. If you have no bios bootup then maybe your motherboard is suspect but if you have a bios self test and something is being displayed on your screen(like "Toshiba"), chances are your motherboard is okay and either your cd boot disk is no good or your cd drive is not working. If you have a "live cd" like I am using and your cd drive is good then you maybe able to get stuff off of your hard drive to save before finding a good XP disk to try to format the drive for windows installation. If you can "see" the info on the hd with the live cd then your hd is good.
  9. Teaser261

    Teaser261 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 121

    Thanks for all the help.I was thinking memory too. I will try all your suggestions this weekend. Thanks again.4-6-07 I have pulled all three sticks of 256 memory out and tried each one in slot #1 to no avail. I also changed the hdd ribbon cable. I have run out of Ideas. I guess I am going to order a hdd and do a fresh install of xp and put my old hdd in as a slave and see what happens . I'm still open to suggestions though. Thanks to all ,I love this place.
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