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Plastic bag in the sea
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Basically today my PC froze, rebooted and I've been getting "Disk Read Errors" intermittently ever since. I've not been able to boot into windows so far. :(

Startup repair is telling me that it's a problem with the system volume, and I've tried to repair it several times but it isn't working. I'm no computer whiz, but I'm guessing the drive is failing (rather than it just being a disk error, bad sector something like that). Once I've gotten an error that specifically mentioned a hardware i/o error.

So, I gather this is not going to be fixed easily, but my question is can anything be done at all to save my data? As I am an idiot, I've not done a backup of this drive, but thankfully the last time I had troubles I moved most of my data to a seperate drive (which I assume is fine). So I'll be losing my OS installs and a little bit of data if there's nothing to be done, but nothing really important (except my minecraft saves :().

Would it be worth taking it to a computer tech? Or would there be any chance of recovering files by say running a linux install from a CD/DVD? I've had to do this once years ago, but I think this is a different kind of problem.

Sorry for the essay! I'd be really grateful if anyone can offer up any advice, my technical knowledge extends to things I've googled or found out when things have gone wrong :scream:
 

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NSLALP
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13,286 Posts
Unless you have a pro friend, I'd recommend calling some reputable computer techs and explaining what's going on. It's probably your only hope. :(
 

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ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹɐln&#38
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5,486 Posts
Is it making any strange noises? A software corrupted hard drive can make it seem like a hardware issue. Judging by your post, you didn't mention any noises so I think it just might be corrupted.

If you have the resources (another computer, internet, and a blank CD), download and build your own UBCD (Ultimate Boot CD for Windows).
UBCD for Windows

When booting to it, if your machine has multiple drives and you can access the corrupted hard drive, you can then transfer files over, then erase that bad drive.

Hope this helps.
 

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Plastic bag in the sea
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sami, no strange noises I can think of, although I do recall that occasionally the drive seems to make a lot of noise. Not sure if it's just a normal level of HD noise (it is quite old, so perhaps my other newer drive is just quieter in comparison). I'll try that UBCD, thanks! I am posting from my laptop, however it is in horrible condition. Half the keys don't work (typing this out is a nightmare :lol:), there are coloured lines all over the screen and it is slow as hell (it's about 6/7 years old!). It should be up to making a CD though :lol:

Ryan, yeah I considered that might be the case :( If I've exhausted all attempts at fixing/salvaging the data myself I'll probably give someone a call tomorrow.

I've just got that I/O error again now, left it on the screen as I can't be bothered running through the futile startup repair over and over anymore. It mentions a failing hard drive as a possible cause, here's the details of the error:

File: \Boot\BCD

Status: 0xc00000e9

Info: An unexpected I/O error has occurred.
 

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Premium Member
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Thermite :agreed:
That is the least helpful, yet most awesome, suggestion in a computer help thread yet. :yesway:
 

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ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹɐln&#38
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5,486 Posts
An i/o error can definitely be caused by a corrupted drive, so there's hope that it's okay still.

UBCD has lots of HD utils and tests. You can erase it then see if it's really hardware or not.

I don't know if UBCD's site has a pre-compiled CD you can just download and burn, plus my CD build is a few years old. Should still be good stuff (and free). Their site looks the same.

Good luck!!
 

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Plastic bag in the sea
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
An i/o error can definitely be caused by a corrupted drive, so there's hope that it's okay still.

UBCD has lots of HD utils and tests. You can erase it then see if it's really hardware or not.

I don't know if UBCD's site has a pre-compiled CD you can just download and burn, plus my CD build is a few years old. Should still be good stuff (and free). Their site looks the same.

Good luck!!
Aaah, no worries! I just had a look at the UBCD site and it seems easy enough to build a CD. Think I still have an XP cd kicking around somewhere! Thanks man :D

Run spinrite on it - GRC|Hard drive data recovery software

it can repair your disk.
Thanks for the link man, I'm dirt poor right now though so I'm gonna stick to what free programs I can find just now :yesway:

Leon, :lol:
 

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Registered
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39 Posts
the writer of spinrite is a cool guy, if it doesent work, get a refund.

"Absolute Satisfaction Guarantee — We stand behind our products proudly and would never want you to regret your purchase. If you are unhappy with anything you purchase from us, for any reason, we will refund your purchase without question."
 

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MG.ORG Irregular
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9,747 Posts
Usually read errors are problems with the disk itself and not the stuff on the disk. At least from when I had mine :lol: was like fffuuu at least I had nothing on that disk.
 

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I MG.org salute you.
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2,501 Posts
Does the drive by chance work for a while upon first boot but fail later? If the drive is pending imminent failure you might be able to salvage some crucial data with a stay in the freezer.

It sounds stupid as hell but I've had it work on one failing drive, I could only get about 20 mins out of it before have to freeze it again but I managed to get critical files off an otherwise dead drive.

If all else is lost it might be worth a try. :shrug:
 

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Plastic bag in the sea
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Mike, it hasn't booted at all since it first froze :( I'll bear that in mind if all else fails though, thanks!

Whilst I have been bored out of my mind today I did sculpt a Dragon/Lizard/thing out of blu-tac though :lol: He's eating his own tail n shit, it's all like...infinity man. You know?

It also kind of looks like he is fellating himself, but that's neither here nor there :lol:

(Excuse shitty/blurry iphone pic)
 

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DOO)))M
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7,435 Posts
Mike, it hasn't booted at all since it first froze :( I'll bear that in mind if all else fails though, thanks!

Whilst I have been bored out of my mind today I did sculpt a Dragon/Lizard/thing out of blu-tac though :lol: He's eating his own tail n shit, it's all like...infinity man. You know?

It also kind of looks like he is fellating himself, but that's neither here nor there :lol:

(Excuse shitty/blurry iphone pic)
Uroboros my lad ;)
 

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Plastic bag in the sea
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have failed pretty hard at making a UBCD :lol:. Currently running Spinrite, so far one recovered sector and quite a few cabling errors. Might try switching the cables on my drives after I see what it says when finished :yesway:

Cheers for all the help so far guys!
 

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ɹǝqɯǝɯ ɹɐln&#38
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5,486 Posts
Ahh damn man, sorry for suggesting something that'd waste your time!

And I've never checked out Spinrite, but I will now!
 

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Plastic bag in the sea
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280 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Don't worry man, I was mostly let down by the fact that I only have a Dell OEM XP disc. Seems they are nothing but trouble for UBCDs.

Spinrite also started hanging about 4% away from finishing the drive, found some errors saying there was a physical defect on the disk in that sector. Now Spinrite doesn't see the drive :lol: Just keeps getting better and better! I think it's in for a trip to the fridge and/or freezer before I call it quits.
 

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I MG.org salute you.
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2,501 Posts
:lol: Sorry to hear of your troubles though. I've been there.

Just remember if you try the freezer thing that you've got to leave it in there for a good long time, overnight worked best for me, and you'll only get a few minutes out of it...if it even works at all. Worth a shot though if you don't have back ups and can't stand to lose your data.

Best of luck.
 
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