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How to overwrite HDD that hangs the machine when plugged in (either directly through motherboard's SATA or external USB port)?


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#1 bp2017

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 08:59 PM

Hello, everyone!

 

Since (being newly registered user) I'm not allowed to post in "Hardware" forum, I'll be posting my question here.

 

My laptop's HDD became non-responsive after I ran CHKDSK with /F command from Windows 8.1 OS that was installed on it. The system couldn't boot from the disk thereafter. It hang every time at start-up screen where manufacturer's logo was displayed. Not only couldn't the OS boot from the HDD but it also couldn't boot from the DVD although BIOS settings had been set appropriately to allow OS installation in this manner (and this startled me).

 

At that point I decided to use a USB enclosure to connect the disk to another laptop. Now every time I connect the disk via USB, I can see it in the Windows Explorer under "Devices and drives" section. However, my system slows down considerably (Task Manager shows high disk usage) and I can see a progress bar (built-in into the background of the path field of the Windows Explorer window) moving fast at first and then slowing down at the end but not disappearing. Fortunately, I've been able to transfer the data.

 

The part I consider to be the most interesting: when the disk is plugged-in via USB I neither can launch DISKPART nor management console's "Disk Management". DISKPART halts at copyright banner. Mangement console's "Disk Management" displays blank window instead of disks and status bar with "Connecting to Virtual Disk Service..." message. When the disk disconnects, everything works as it normally does: disk usage drops, DISKPART launches properly and Disk Management lists all the disks.

 

Turning the original laptop on with no disk inside makes it possible to launch OS installation from DVD but as soon as the disk is plugged-in (USB), the cursor switches to "wait" status (can be moved around) with installation window hanging (buttons and links not clickable) until the disk is disconnected. When the disk is disconnected, all becomes normal: cursor is an arrow, "Refresh" link and other buttons work.

 

I've tried to format the disk by right-clicking on it in the Windows Explorer. The "Quick Format" was set as default so I went with this option. What surprised me again was that formatting progress bar wasn't moving and completed in an instant a few minutes later when the formatting ended successfully. This procedure haven't changed the odd behavior of the disk but freed-up its space.

 

Windows Explorer being the only means of interaction with the disk, one thing I can do is try to format it again but this time with "Quick Format" box unchecked and wait up to several hours with my fingers crossed (no progress bar). Another option is to ask for your advice.

 

P.S. I've launched CHKDSK with the disk's volume as parameter but so far it looks like it's stuck showing "The type of the file system is NTFS" message for the last 15 minutes or so. I think it's the furthest CHKDSK is going to go.

 



#2 Zoso_The_Internet_Tard

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 09:07 PM

You can try overwriting it with the dd command in a live Linux distro. Or with any other suitable utility that can boot from USB (I mean Windows being not booted, has nothing to do with the Net). Since you say it hangs within your Windows installation. Or maybe from another PC. I personally boot Jetico BCWipe from USB for this purpose. The free trial is good enough for what you need, it allows one-pass wiping. Or maybe you're more interested in salvaging the data or keeping the volume(s) intact?

#3 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 07:20 AM

@bp2017

 

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but all the symptoms you report are compatible with a failing hard disk. :(

 

From what you report it is also doubtful that you may be able to recover from it data. :ph34r:

 

It is well possible that the issue is only with some particular sectors (like the first absolute one, the MBR) or with some areas only of the hard disk platter(s), Diskpart (or a booting OS) attempts to access them and since no data (or corrupted data) is returned the system hangs or becomes irresponsive.

There is a teeny-tiny probability that the hard disk (the platters and heads) are just fine and there is an issue in the electronics of the controller, in such cases it is usually possible to "transplant" a controller board from an identical disk drive, but since several years this implies the need to desolder a chip from the original board and re-solder it on the "donour" one, not something that can be normally considered DIY.

 

The usual procedure in this case is:

1) procure yourself a disk larger than the original one and attempt making a forensic sound (or dd-like) image of the failing disk, in case use ddrescue or similar programs more suitable to failing hard disks

2) procure yourself a similar to the original disk mount it in the device and reinstall the OS

3) attempt recovering files from the image

4) once (and only once) you are satisfied with the results of the file recovery or you are reasonably convinced that no (more) files can be recovered use the hard disk manufacturer's test tools to check the disk thoroughly (as an example  the Seagate software can make two tests, a "short" test and a "long" test, BOTH need to be performed and give a "pass") 

5) if (and only if) the test is successful, wipe the disk completely

6) run again the tests as in #4 and if (and only if) the tests give a positive result, you can re-use the disk (say as backup)

 

Depending on the value you attribute to the data on the hard disk, you may want to consider to put the matter in the hands of a professional data recovery firm.

 

:duff:

Wonko


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#4 RoyM

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 12:34 AM

Good Job Wonko.

We'll make a tech outt'ya you yet.

 

Good PC/HD Troubleshooting techniques:

First, Check BIOS settings, make sure they are appropriate for target boot.

Boot to 'known good' OS or G4D, minus the suspected failed hardware. 

Test all Hardware, and/or substitute for 'known good' hardware.

If all hardware is good, continue.

(If you have sensitive material to recover, STOP HERE, and consult a professional.)

 

Replace HD cables with 'known good',  connect HD.

Power on, Make sure BIOS sees it, and includes it in setup.

(Now would be the time to image the drive, before you proceed.)

 

Measure PC voltage input to device with a good meter, under load, say, while trying to boot.

This is where you should already have substituted a 'known good' PSU into bench test, but check just for shits and grins.

 

Boot to a GOOD Partition manager. (PartGuru, Gparted, etc.)

Then, check Partitions and formatting of suspect HD, if possible.

Run integrity checks and check SMART status.

You can even do low level tests if necessary.

 

Standard hints of a failing HD.

Excessive heat, grinding noise, continual head search, or activity light always on.

 

Happy TShooting folks.

RoyM



#5 alacran

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 02:45 AM

@bp2017

I strongly suggest follow all recomendations (from Wonko and RoyM) ON A DESKTOP and internally conected by Sata cable if possible, (unless PC do not boot when this damaged HDD is conected), this is always better than from USB to avoid additional sources of potential troubles.

Another tool you may use is Partition Guru Free, direct link to free edition download page: http://www.eassos.co...onguru-free.php

There is also an option for check and repair HDD, on top menu open "Disk" tab and you can select "Verify or Repair bad Sectors", this runs a sector scan to let you know your HDD health, once if finish doing this and shows you the actual status of your HDD, you may select "Repair" if you want (but it advices you there will be some losses during repair), I am not sure this is available on free edition but you can check by yourself, please make note I am suggesting you FREE edition, I AM NOT IN ANY WAY suggesting to buy any software for attemtimg to repair a HDD that very possible is already dead.

Good luck

alacran



#6 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 07:06 AM

That hard disk is NOT responding under Windows, all Windows tools are likely to have the same issues as Diskpart (and hang).

 

The only way out (maybe) is some of the programs RoyM calls "low level" run from a non Windows NT OS, a number of manufacturer's tests run from DOS, and just for the record, they are all available on the UBCD:

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

as well as MHDD and HDAT2 which are more or less the only programs (besides the Manufacturers Tools) that may be useful.

 

:duff:

Wonko



#7 alacran

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 08:30 AM

You are right, bp2017 already said in first post Win tools are not working and hang.

This seams to me as a zone of bad sectors at the begining of HDD.

Yes, UltimateBootCD is a very good collection of tools, AFAIR it contains some tools to recover and/or rewrite MBR also HDD manufacturer tools in it (don't know if recent versions have updated this manufacturer tools, but for IDE disk were very useful), seams like the last software resourse for users, if it hangs on DOS, a Recovery Company may be the very last option, but this is very expensive and almost always home users prefer to loose the info than paying for a Recovery work.
I learned this lesson long time ago: BACKUP important info in more than one external source, you never know when this is going to pay the effort, but when it happend you are safe.

alacran






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