Repairing a hard drive

By circusboy01
Sep 17, 2012
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  1. Hope this is the correct forum. A while back I got a thing from World Start that you could use to take the hard drive out of a computer you're not using and use it as an external/backup hard drive on the computer you are using. It also said you could run scans, and use your anti virus/anti malware stuff from the good computer to try to fix the one you took out of the other computer. That's what I need to do. But I can't figure out how. I know I have it hooked up correctly, because I show that I now have an E drive. It's also ready to be used as a backup.But considering the HD is messed up using it for a backup would be a dumb idea. If I can get the HD fixed I will either keep it as an external hard drive for the computer I'm using now, or put it back in the old computer, and have 2 good pc's Can anyone give me help on how to fix, or run scans on an external hard drive? As always thank you.
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TechSpot Paladin Posts: 5,773   +1,429

    If there is physical damage with the drive, no software application is going to fix that. If there is not any physical damage, a format or possibly re-partitioning the drive could fix the issue.

    Sure you can format/scan a drive and flag bad sectors. However it has been my experience once a drive starts showing bad sectors, the count of bad sectors continue to grow. This is not to mention several sectors that barely pass testing and are not flagged as bad which severely hender HDD performance.

    Short(long) story;
    I once was having issues with an external drive. I formated the drive and no luck, I was still loosing access to my files. I was no longer able to read some of the files which were stored. I had deleted the partition and created a new one which didn't seem to help either. The format was not showing anything wrong with surface scans.

    I then preceded to remove the drive for physical servicing (what little I could actually do anyway). I pulled the printed board off the platter housing and check the contact for tarnish between the board and platters. No luck, I then decided there was little hope for the drive and also pulled the platter cover off (yes it is highly recommended not to do) and looked around on the inside of the platter chamber. I could not see anything wrong with the drive. There was no tarnish, nothing was loose, no bad sectors, but yet my files were not safe when stored on the drive.

    At this point I had just about given up on the drive and an idea crossed my mind. I deleted the partition and created two partitions. Low and behold, for the first time I was able to use the drive again. Well now that the drive is working again lets see if it continues to work when I re-partition back to one partition. I don't have a clue why deleting and creating the one partition didn't work. I had to actually change the partition structure to find a way out of the problem.

    Even though I broke the seal on the platters the drive continued to work. I was even using the drive for my OS partition for several months. This was nearly 5 years ago and the drive is still perfectly functional. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the hardest to find. As I found a simple re-partitioning is not always a solution either.
  3. circusboy01

    circusboy01 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 804   +9

    Okay. I didn't really understand much of what you said. Here's the kind of dummy I am when it comes to this stuff. I opened up the computer to take out the hard drive. I saw ( or so I thought) that the hard drive looked too complicated to remove. So I decided to remove the DVD player instead.So I could have 2 of them in the computer I'm using now. After I removed (what I thought was) the DVD player, I saw that it was actually the
    hard drive. So just by dumb luck,I got the hard drive out. Which is what I wanted to do in the first place

    Okay I'm going to try to explain what happened to the computer I took the hard drive out of. Now I really don't exactly know what happened, so this is a lot of speculation.. I was trying to install Ubuntu, was having trouble getting it to work. ( you may remember posts about it. Mostly between me and Leeky.
    Anyway I had Ubuntu on the computer, but it wasn't working correctly. I had a function on the computer that every so often would scan the computer to try and find, and fix problems. It had ran before and everything turned out all right. But when it ran, after I had tried to install Ubuntu, I started having problems. Lots of messages that things were wrong. Can't remember details. It's been too long. If I can remember right. I don't think it blue screened.
    To make a long story short. I think the computer scan saw Ubuntu as a threat, and tried to get rid of it, thus messing up the computer. But like I said this is speculation on my part.
    I took it to Best Buy to see if they could fix it. They hooked it up to something, and in about 2 minutes. They told me it would cost over $300.00 to fix. For that price I decided to just buy another computer.
    Hope this info helps. I'm going to read your post again to see if there's anything I understand enough to try.
    Thanks again Ray

    Me again.replying to my own thread I notice you talk about reformatting the hard drive. Is that hard to do?
    Can I do it while the hard drive is hooked up to my working computer, as an External hard drive. Or will I have to, first, put it back in the computer it came out of? If anyone could give me step by step instructions, that would be all the cool in the world plus 3 Thanks again Ray.
  4. circusboy01

    circusboy01 TechSpot Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 804   +9

    Hey it's me again circusboy. I reformatted my hard drive. A while back, while I was with WS, someone suggested that I try to figure things out for myself, before I asked someone else how to do it. To day I decided to do that. I Googled "How to format an external hard drive." I got lots of answers. Picked the one that said "How to reformat an external hard drive in windows 7" Followed the instructions. Plug in drive--Right click the drive "E" --click format--
    Got a warning that said Everything will be erased.--clicked start-- clicked O.K. when it was done.
    If I would have known the hard drive would be so easy to take out of the computer, and it would be so easy to reformat. my computer wold not haveset on the closet floor for about a year. I'm going to but this hard drive back into the computer., so I will have 2 working computers. I have another old computer that will work wired, but not wireless. I might take the hard drive out reformat it, and use it for an external hard drive/backup for this one.
    Now I do realize that I might have did something wrong, and when I put the hard drive back in it will still be messed up.But I have a real good feeling that it's fixed. I'll let you know :D


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