Dead PC / HDD

  algernonymous 11:12 12 Jan 2011

Have a friends PC which will not start, initial thought was dead PSU however, before buying a new one I read some threads on here and tried some suggestions. The one that made a difference was unplugging HDD. On switching on, the fans started and monitor worked. Apparently theres a few pictures on this drive the owner would like, is there ANY way of retrieving them? Is the drive completely kaput?

  xania 12:00 12 Jan 2011

It may be that the HHD is dead and you will need to send it off for a professional to recover the files. This could be very expensive circa £500 so first look at the options. I would try to load the HHD on another PC to ensure that the problem is not with the cables or with the Mobo. Once/if you do get the HHD working, I would stongly recommend you backup all the important material before you do anything else - could save much time, moeny and heart-ache!

  Catastrophe 21:21 12 Jan 2011

Having had up to 8 desktops at a time I have had frequent instances of one which 'will not start'. So far they are still now alive or accounted for.

For instance, one common problem is that the screen goes to a black with flashing light. This could indicate failure of graphics card or other problems stopping gc working, such as CPU failure. There is a current thread on this failure.

I would suggest there are odds on that there is not total failure but I may be wrong. I bought a board/CPU/RAM in total working order (eBay) for one Eurocent - less than a penny - because the guy had a virus on his HDD and bought a new computer.

However, I am a bit surprised that disconnecting the HDD seemed to bring the system back to life. I am no expert but I would like to see suggestions as to how this could happen. What is the wattage of your PSU? Could HDD be taking power from system needed to boot?

This may be nonsense. As I say, I am no expert.

Cat :)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:51 12 Jan 2011

Seized HDD motor or faulty electronics can overload the 12 / 5v line from the PSU hence no power available for the motherboard and no boot.

  Catastrophe 21:55 12 Jan 2011

'Will not start' means so many things.
What in this case? PSU not dead. What next?

  algernonymous 19:02 13 Jan 2011

Well 'what next' for me was buying another HDD off ebay last night for under a tenner, receiving it this morning and everything works fine. (thanks to woodchip for that tip). Now I just need an XP Pro disc to reinstall the OS...
So the question remains, are there any things I can try (apart from xania's £500 suggestion) to access any data on the seemingly dead HDD?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:37 13 Jan 2011

Try attaching to a external caddy to see if it will run.

if won't run then electronics / motor
buy another of same model and swap electronics board / motor.
if still won't work then £550 + to a professional data recovery service is what your looking at.

Backup Backup Backup can't be said enough times if your data is valuable to you.

  algernonymous 19:58 13 Jan 2011

Oh I do, as I said in first post, its a friends PC.

Just wondered if anyone has experience of 'HDD Regenerator' or similar software that claims to read good sectors on duff drives- or would that require there to be some sign of life present...

  rdave13 19:58 13 Jan 2011

One thing to try. Tap the hard drive a few times. Insert in a caddy and see if Windows now recognises it. This happened to a drive I was given. Windows then recognised it as a raw disk and asked to format it. With the owners permition I did a quick format and then used a file recovery program (recuva) to recover photos and some music.
The owner then used another recovery program, don't know the name, and got more documents off it. Just luck but he was pleased with the outcome.
It's risky but if the hdd is seized then worth a try.

  algernonymous 14:10 14 Jan 2011

Problem. Went to install OS with an XP Pro disc I have, but it wouldn't accept the key supplied on the case. I need an HP one don't I...
Anybody got one we could arrange to be sent/emailed please?

  onthelimit 14:20 14 Jan 2011

One PC - one key. You cannot use someone's key on that PC.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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