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hdd inaccessible

By dbbower ยท 4 replies
Oct 3, 2003
  1. I have seagate IDE hdd (st3120023a) which has WinXP installed on it. Well, now when it attempts to boot it just hangs at the Windows XP logo with the status bar in motion (the indicator actually stops and starts). I've let it sit for hours with no change. Safe mode also hangs. Ran seagate's diagnostic tools and no problems appear with the drive. If I take the drive and put it as a slave in another system it makes that system hang also (putting it on the secondary ide controller produces the same results). I would attempt to format the drive, but I want several files off the drive if possible. Ran Winternals ntfsdos on the drive and it hangs. Winternals ERD commander 2002 also hangs when checking the drive. So at this point I'm not sure whats wrong. Are there any excellent diagnostic/recovery tools available for NTFS formatted drives? They must be command line utils since I can't access the drive through windows. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks, Dave
  2. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Have you tried reinstalling winxp over your existing installation (select upgrade). That at least should allow you to access your drive, and may even fix your problem. If installing fails then you would appear to have some kind of hardware issue. Try that suggestion first and post back if you are still having problems.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    When you ran the Seagate diagnotics, did you do a full surface test?

    The drive making everything hang would suggest a very messed up NTFS file system data or bad hardware/sector(s)
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Seagate's Seatools diagnoses the disk physically, but not the actual file system on it.

    It is likely your partition is corrupted.. But it depends on where the hanging is. If it hangs on the BIOS during POST, there are two possibilities:

    1.) You messed up and the jumper settings or BIOS settings are incorrect on the system you are adding this Seagate drive to as a slave.

    2.) The drive if physically bad and the test could not detect it.

    I have had one instance where a manufacturer's drive test did not detect that the drive was bad (Fujitsu), but it is obiously not working so it must have been. So while usually correct, the tests are not 100% fool-proof. They do not detect all electronic or interface errors.

    If it hangs during Windows boot in the the other machine, or blue screens, then the partition table is corrupted.
  5. dbbower

    dbbower TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks to everyone who wrote.

    Nic, I tried to reinstall WinXP, but at the beginning when it examines the HDD it hangs.

    Nodsu, I did a full surface scan no problem. Seatools did not report a single problem.

    Rick, yes I believe its either a bad ntfs or partition the question is which one. Jumpers are not an issue.

    So what I have done recently was to download several programs that can read ntfs in dos. None of them worked accept a program called ntfsrecovery at


    The demo was able to read the drive. So I bought the program and was able to move nearly 40gig of data that I wanted off the drive. Downside was my long filenames were truncated to the DOS 8.3 format, but at least I have my files.

    The other tools on the disk checked/showed the partition and everything appears ok. So at this point I don't have a definitive answer on what the problem might be. Do you guys know of any other tools that could help analyze the partition/ntfs so I can determine the problem?

    Once again thanks for all of the help,

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