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How to Resurrect a Crashed Hard Drive

#1 User is offline   PCWorld 

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 02:18 PM

Post your comments for How to Resurrect a Crashed Hard Drive here
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#2 User is offline   bendhu2 

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 07:36 PM

Thx, I really need this vid. But as a newbie, I can't play this vid.

(Firefox 3.0, plugin Shockwave Flash 10, Windows XP SP3)

What plugin do I need to play this vid?

Thank you.
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#3 User is offline   Scotsman1 

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Posted 07 August 2009 - 07:22 AM

Download Adobe Flash Player 10 and you'll be able to play the video.

get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
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#4 User is offline   wal1 

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 03:30 AM

I have Adobe Flash Player v 10,0,32,18 and I can't play it either. Couldn't this tip (and others here) be expressed in text with a few pictures? Could you offer an alternate page for the video impaired?

[If this is a new trend, next time I will try to send a video comment instead of text.]
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#5 User is offline   RandyAhdx3 

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  Posted 20 August 2011 - 06:20 PM

The video portion kicks in at approx. 30 seconds...
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#6 User is offline   GrandmasOven 

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 12:50 PM

View Postbendhu2, on 06 August 2009 - 07:36 PM, said:

Thx, I really need this vid. But as a newbie, I can't play this vid.

(Firefox 3.0, plugin Shockwave Flash 10, Windows XP SP3)

What plugin do I need to play this vid?

Thank you.


From a computer store owner/repair tech: 30 years.

A) don't worry about watching "video" or downloading flash so you can - just get the job done

B) There are several Linux tools that will read the data off the drive - in bits and pieces if required - and free step-by-step tutorials - i.e. www.pocketrocketlinux.com - that's not the only one but it does download a bit faster than the rest so there's less waiting

C) You will need an external drive to copy your data to - a USB Flash Drive is a good place to start, but you should also have a big fat external USB Hard drive - get both.

D) Go to a friend's PC with your blank USB Flash drive - use a fast download Linux - Pocket Rocket Linux is a good call - Tiny Core Linux is another good one but a little harder to use - Dump the install on there - run it (I think its called PRLSTART.EXE) - it grabs a few more files - in 5 - 10 minutes its ready to boot

E) Go to the dead PC/Laptop - turn it on and set the BIOS so it boots from a removable USB device - save BIOS settings - insert USB and reboot - the full tutorial is at the Pocket Rocket Linux web site and it will save you $500 - $5,000 or more.
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#7 User is offline   Evildave 

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  Posted 01 June 2012 - 07:00 PM

Left the most critical step for the very end: Backup the hard disk in the first place.

Including routine incremental backups.

Disk fails?

Replace defective drive and restore from backup. All done! Virtually 100% success rate.

No worry, no stress, no tinkering and desperate measures. No getting corrupted and partial files. No praying for a one in a million miracle.

It just works.
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#8 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 09:30 PM

Backup is best.
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#9 User is offline   GrandmasOven 

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  Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:16 PM

Evil Dave has a point - backing up regularly is a key and a wise place/method is using USB Flash Drives for your DATA - keeping applications (like Word or other installed programs) on the hard drive - PLUS - keep the INSTALLERS that you download on both the hard drive and a USB Drive so if the hard drive tanks you can rebuild your system from:

a) the original Windows CD (if you use Windows) PLUS
B) the installers (backed up) so you don't have to go find everything again and re-download them
Another good backup tool is an external HARD DRIVE - aka a USB hard drive.

That said - most folks get caught off guard and don't have a complete backup or its old etc. To get to the data on the hard drive use the Linux tips below - a simple USB Flash Drive is all you need and it can read the data back easily as well as get you around any Windows passwords/logins on nearly any PC or laptop (another neat trick).
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#10 User is offline   GrandmasOven 

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  Posted 20 October 2012 - 08:22 PM

ALSO - many system admins use a fresh/virgin Windows Image which is immune to viruses and guarantees a clean, fast virus free install with every boot. You can do this by:

a) booting Linux (i.e. Tiny Core or Pocket Rocket Linux above) from a USB Flash Drive then

B) use QEMU to create a Windows Image file - which acts exactly like a Windows hard drive even though its really running "inside" of Linux.

c) every time you want to "run Windows" - you just boot Linux and pop open the QEMU Windows Hard Drive system - its a clean, virus free boot and works exactly like Windows - it is Windows - but viruses/spyware don't affect it.

It does run "a little" slower than a real Windows hard drive - true - but not that much and the best part is it can't "crash" and lose data because of a Windows bug, spyware, virus etc....though you can still lose data through a full hard drive crash so back up frequently. Its a very safe way to protect yourself if you use a Windows environment.

PLUS - Microsoft requires that you pay money AGAIN for re-installing Windows (after a few free/included installs). With the Linux/QEMU/Windows method you never have that problem again since you have a fresh installed Windows system with each boot.
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#11 User is offline   TracyFortune 

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  Posted 09 April 2013 - 07:26 PM

Back it up!

Buy 2 portable drives (nice to not have to hunt for power outlets).

However often you wish to back-up---> do it. Manually. Copy what you want, paste it to your 2 drives. Unplug them & that's it. I'm not a fan of auto back-ups...had too many fail or corrupt.

RE: system image in the event of hard drive failure. Win 7 has the ability to create a system image out to external. Look in the advanced system settings for "create image". As soon as you have your new PC all installed as you like (settings, necessary programs like Office, etc) create an image. Or, do this after a fresh reinstall. That way, you can always get back to this pristine state- even with a new hard drive. :)
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#12 User is offline   LinuxBrandon 

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  Posted 11 April 2013 - 08:41 AM

As much information as was contained in this video, I have to agree with the other commenters- it saves a lot of time, money, and grief just to have a good backup system. Even if it's just setting up a backup to an external drive at night, or backing up to an online service like dropbox, it still gives you peace of mind should the worst happen and your computer dies/ hard drive stops spinning.
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#13 User is online   craigkra 

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  Posted 11 April 2013 - 02:51 PM

There's something wrong with the presentation of the video on this page. I have the latest version of Flash installed on Firefox 20.0 and nothing appears after 30 seconds or 10 minutes - never!
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#14 User is offline   YEPYTZME 

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  Posted 15 April 2013 - 08:40 PM

These types of 'handy tips' often make me laugh. They always tell you to "Download the...." and "go to www.****..." etc., etc. Hey, if my hard drive just crashed, how the blazes am I supposed to go to any site and/or download anything..MY COMPUTER CRASHED!!!!
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#15 User is offline   psyanic 

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  Posted 16 April 2013 - 12:39 PM

Quote

These types of 'handy tips' often make me laugh. They always tell you to "Download the...." and "go to www.****..." etc., etc. Hey, if my hard drive just crashed, how the blazes am I supposed to go to any site and/or download anything..MY COMPUTER CRASHED!!!!


Probably the same way you would be reading this article if your computer crashed... from another machine.

Quote

Back it up!


Absolutely. But as this is PCWorld, many of the readers of this article are either people who have already had their HDD fail and backup is not currently an option or they are IT folks who work on machines for others who disobeyed the cardinal rule of backing up.

Good tips. Having a "SATA/IDE to USB adapter" (available online for under $10) is very handy in connecting the drive to a secondary PC as it saves you having to crack the case of the good PC. It basically turns an internal drive into an external. However, I had one that had a weak power converter, so it was not as good at getting failing drives to spin up correctly.

Bad sectors - my experience has been about 50/50 that once a drive starts having bad sectors and marking them with chkdsk /r, that it will continue to gain more and more bad sectors.

Freezer trick - I've tried it on probably 5 different drives and never had any success, but a collegue has had it work at least once. Worth a try when all else fails. However, there are youtube vids that show all the condensation INSIDE the drive once it starts to thaw that the towel and plastic bag won't help with. So only try it as a last resort.
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#16 User is offline   timsource 

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  Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:20 PM

wal1 said:

I have Adobe Flash Player v 10,0,32,18 and I can't play it either. Couldn't this tip (and others here) be expressed in text with a few pictures? Could you offer an alternate page for the video impaired? [If this is a new trend, next time I will try to send a video comment instead of text.]

0

#17 User is offline   timsource 

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  Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:21 PM

Adobe flash player is fine but what if I want to download/save the video to my PC?
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#18 User is offline   RDunn 

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  Posted 24 May 2013 - 02:51 AM

Then google for a free streaming video recorder program... or mine your browser's cache for the video (by filesize is easiest... or download a cache browser... another google search).
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#19 User is offline   wlarue 

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  Posted 28 May 2013 - 08:41 AM

psyanic said:

Freezer trick - I've tried it on probably 5 different drives and never had any success, but a collegue has had it work at least once. Worth a try when all else fails. However, there are youtube vids that show all the condensation INSIDE the drive once it starts to thaw that the towel and plastic bag won't help with. So only try it as a last resort.


The condensation problem is due to moisture in the bag and inside the drive. There is not much you can do about the "inside the drive" moisture, but you can try to eliminate most of the air in the bag. If you can add a silica gel pack or two to the bag it can be of help, but the best idea is to place the towel wrapped drive in the plastic ziplock bag and zip up all but one corner of the bag. Place the bag into a bucket or sink full of water, with the open end held out of the water. The water will cause all the air to be expelled from the bag, and then you can zip the corner shut to ensure that as much air as possible has been removed. Another alternative is to vacuum seal the bag using a food sealer to remove air.
Be sure to allow plenty of time for the drive to warm to room temp before opening. If the drive is at the same temp as it was before freezing, the air inside the drive should be capable of "holding" the miniscule amount of water as vapor, eliminating the moisture problems. Best of luck with all of this. Backups are a much cheaper and easier alternative.
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#20 User is offline   fletch1 

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  Posted 29 May 2013 - 12:40 PM

GrandmasOven said:

bendhu2 said
Thx, I really need this vid. But as a newbie, I can't play this vid. (Firefox 3.0, plugin Shockwave Flash 10, Windows XP SP3) What plugin do I need to play this vid? Thank you. From a computer store owner/repair tech: 30 years. A) don't worry about watching "video" or downloading flash so you can - just get the job done There are several Linux tools that will read the data off the drive - in bits and pieces if required - and free step-by-step tutorials - i.e. www.pocketrocketlinux.com - that's not the only one but it does download a bit faster than the rest so there's less waiting C) You will need an external drive to copy your data to - a USB Flash Drive is a good place to start, but you should also have a big fat external USB Hard drive - get both. D) Go to a friend's PC with your blank USB Flash drive - use a fast download Linux - Pocket Rocket Linux is a good call - Tiny Core Linux is another good one but a little harder to use - Dump the install on there - run it (I think its called PRLSTART.EXE) - it grabs a few more files - in 5 - 10 minutes its ready to boot E) Go to the dead PC/Laptop - turn it on and set the BIOS so it boots from a removable USB device - save BIOS settings - insert USB and reboot - the full tutorial is at the Pocket Rocket Linux web site and it will save you $500 - $5,000 or more.


Are you sure that pocketrocketlinux is a legit distribution and not malware? I have never seen a legit linux distro that would not let you download the whole thing but rather force you to install it in pieces. This not only did not work, but it refused to give me the last piece saying my browser was insecure. I call bs on this software and would suggest others proceed with caution.
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