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Corrupt Hard Drive - Is data recovery possible?

I am working on an old Compaq Presario 3000 (XP Home) laptop that has a corrupt hard drive. When it boots up, it makes it to the Windows XP splash screen then reboots indefinitely. I tried booting from disc into repair mode but as soon I press "r" I get a blue screen. I have tried "safe mode", I have "Disabled auto reboot on fail"(which throws the blue screen), I have taken the drive out and used a USB to IDE adapter to plug it into another PC but it causes the subject PC to throw the same blue screen (tried this in safe-mode also to no avail).

I believe the only solution is the replacement of this quarter-pound paper weight. I am open for suggestions; any input is appreciated.

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If you place in your adapter and it still produces a blue screen, are you trying to boot from it? If so, that's not necessary, boot the other PC as it should normally and then access the ext. HD(old HD). Make sure the jumper(s) is set for whatever for dual HDs present, its not a solo HD on working PC. You may want to look at an ext. USB case to mount old HD in. If it still causes problem, be sure no virus/malware is at work here. Of course, if you have a true h/w fault, no amount of fiddling will get it to work. Also, if the data is that corrupted, the damage is too far gone, data wise. Excluding the data is that's all wrong with it, and if all else fails, then you may recover the old HD for use again. Data is unrecoverable, then proceed to wipe the old HD clean, using KILLDISK or DBAN s/w for this purpose. If the data is that important, then use a paid for service to recover such, not cheap. Further user recovery attempts may only worsen the situation, thus stop then contact recovery service. Now you know the value of a "backup" and hopefully do this in the future. Wink

tada -----Willy Happy

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re:

This laptop isn't mine, it's one that I'm working on. The owner did not have any backups.. I have no idea why not. I'm not booting from this faulty drive and I've properly set the jumpers. I suspect a virus played a part in its initial fail but there's just not much I know to do. The data is very sentimental to the owner (pictures).

The drive is spinning, but I think it is just sending out dirty data. As soon as I plug it in to the USB port (XP on the functional PC) it begins to install the device then kicks. I've tried another hard drive with the same adapter and it works fine.

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Looks like you solved this one.

"I've tried another hard drive with the same adapter and it works fine."

Dead drives are something every tech runs into. What I find is that new techs tend to not know what to do next. Let's share this clue as a link -> http://www.drivesavers.com
Bob

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