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Hard Drive Dying, Spinrite Wont Work. Any Alternative?

by krk34677 / May 14, 2010 3:59 AM PDT

Hi Everyone,

This is the first time I'm using this forum. I would really appreciate some help. The Hardrive on My laptop is definitely dying. It has been making extremely loud whirring noises, high pitched squeals and other sounds over the past 8 months. I have a friend who is a Computer and Network technician and he told me that the hard drive is definately dying, he also reccomended that I use spinrite and he even lent me a copy of his spinrite cd. Unfortunately Spinrite refuses to run on my computer, it just goes to the screen where it prepares itself to work(Discovering System mass storage devices) and remains there for hours, it totally refuses to actually start working. I even left it on for 37 hours and it still said "Discovering System Mass Storage Devices".

Is there any alternative program to spinrite? OR is there anything else I can do to save my hard drive? Please advise. I'm a student, All my classes require a computer, I dont have a job and there is no way I can afford to buy a new hard drive, sometimes I dont even have enough money for food!

Please I would really appreciate any advise I can get on saving my hardrive. Thanks.


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Move to a no drive solution?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 14, 2010 4:11 AM PDT

Look up LiveCD solutions where you run an OS from CD or USB. Ubuntu does this TODAY. As for storage with live drive, sky drive and such with 25GB FREE STORAGE as well as GOOGLE DOCS where you have some GB you can put stuff I'd like to know why you would ever lose your files. Do tell.

So there you are. It is possible to run a machine without a hard drive.

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Obviously he's trying to recover data..
by raimundospark / June 28, 2011 4:21 AM PDT

...and even so your supercilious remark about what he should have done is unhelpful, because not everyone can chop up their data in such a way as to take advantage of free services. Still, it probably feels good to slam a poor student.

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We have the Storage Forum sticky
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 28, 2011 6:01 AM PDT

About DIY recovery software and what to do after those don't work.

Your remarks don't seem to help this poor student. I can only guess why you didn't help. And I can't write my guess because I want to give you the benefit of the doubt and ask you help others out.

My reply is helpful since they may need to get the machine working without spending time or money on a new HDD. How would that be taken as unhelpful?

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Brings the computer back up but so what?
by shotnoise / September 26, 2011 10:19 AM PDT

This helps the poor student get his computer running. So what? One has to assume from the fact that he tried Spinrite that his is an NTFS based file system... in other words, XP or Win7. Assuming he can get a CD-based bootable copy of the copy of the appropriate Microsoft OS, I would not wish the resultant performance limitations on anybody.

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"He can't"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 26, 2011 10:33 AM PDT

If the Live CD doesn't work and they didn't backup then they learn the lesson first hand. It seems a shame with today's backup systems like DROPBOX as well as the Live CD to try to regain access.

I read your reply and it seems you do not have a good answer for them. I have answers but temper them with reality. Maybe they can't afford the solutions we noted in the forum sticky. That's why we discuss the issues and see where it leads.

If you want the answer it's to send the drive to and get the system back. Sometimes that can only get the files which is enough.

--> More to the point your post makes me think you are waiting to write a critique of the industry that makes such systems that break down and lose your files.

Here's you chance. Create a new post in some forum like CNET Computer Help and tell us what you think.

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by CaptMadness / December 16, 2013 12:25 AM PST

He never actually asked that question.

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For data recovery ...
by Kees_B Forum moderator / June 28, 2011 4:26 AM PDT

other DIY programs are mentioned in
But none help if the hardware is failing. Then we need to use the data from our backup.

If it finally fails you've got to
- buy another hard disk
- find another PC (see if your local freecycle has free ones)
- go diskless as Bob suggested


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better late than never
by electrongunner / September 12, 2012 3:44 AM PDT

As your post is very old I'm sure you've long-since forgotten about this problem, but here's some ideas for others having a problem with Spinrite hanging or your main OS hanging when you try to reboot. You might consider making sure you set your bios on the pc to force standard IDE mode on your SATA controller - make sure to disable AHCI (I think that's the acronym, but not positive). If that doesn't work, try swapping to a different SATA port on your mobo, or swapping the drive into a different computer. I had a very similar problem with my Win7 os freezing when it was scanning for drives. It caused all the symptoms of a failing drive and it turned out to be a problem with the actual SATA2 port on my mobo, which has apparently been going on for a couple of years and I thought it was bad drives -- to be sure these drives were in the first stages of failure with Win7 alerting me of the SMART data exceeding safe thresholds. I have 4 internal SATA2 ports on my motherboard arranged vertically in a row. The 3rd one down is apparently having some sort of issues. I was trying to reformat an old "failing" drive for use as extra space on my HTPC. Since it's just recording TV shows, I figured I'd see if the drive would do a full low level reformat and I could just use it for until it finishes dying and at worst lose a few recorded tv shows I don't care about. Anyway, I too 2 different "failing" drives that I'd successfully reformatted on a different computer using an external enclosure and neither of them worked in my HTPC, so then just for kicks I moved the drive from the 3rd SATA port to the 4th and presto, my OS booted and the drive appeared. I could imagine Spinrite hanging for similar reasons.

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