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Vista Corrupting Hard Drive (count is now 3)

Folks, your help is tremendously appreciated:

I have a Compaq laptop running Vista Home Edition with one large vista partition on the 320GB HD (11GB recovery partition, 50GB Unix partition). I also dual boot to Ubuntu Linux.

In November, my hard drive crashed after hard rebooting. The hard rebooting was needed because I couldn't get the computer to respond after an hour. I am not a fan of hard reboots...but had no other choice. The drive came up with errors and then eventually never came up. The drive was two years old and chalked it up to being a bad drive.

In February, after reinstalling everything, I came out of hibernation and the computer hung again. Again I needed to hard reboot, again I was told the disk was corrupted. After two or three reboots - the drive was unrecognized. I tried booting to Koptix and it didn't see the drive either. I bought an external enclosure and attached it to another computer. I could see the drive for awhile - but various hdd tools said the drive was corrupted or needed to be reformatted. Reformatting failed. Eventually, I couldn't even see the drive. I chalked this up to a cheap drive.

In March, I replaced the drive - created a dual boot windows/linux system. Again, I came out of hibernation and the computer froze. Again, tenatively, I hard rebooted. Again, the drive came back corrupted when trying to get into windows. For awhile, I could boot into linux. Linux told me the drive was failing - but I could see all in the windows partition and linux. At one point, linux didn't see a drive error anymore. So, I rebooted into windows. At that point, the full drive failed. I can't even boot to linux now. I tried looking at it on my other computer via the enclosure - and it can't even find the disk.

I am so frustrated for wasting all this time and money. Does anyone have a clue on what's going on? Are these drives really dead or can I salvage the data - or at the very least the drive?

There are similar hibernation problems MS reports with large partition vista drives. However, the errors they repot coming up aren't what I get. Hell, I can't even see my drive and don't even get a blue screen of death or the request to do a chkdsk.

One last point - using the bios scan of the HDD comes up (with all three HDD failures) with a request to replace the corrupted drive.

Please help. Your patience and help is very much appreciated in advance.

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Comments
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Got the make.

Compaq laptop but no other details to see if others are having issues with that model or make hard drive.

The vanishing drive is consistent with heat issues I see but without make, model and knowing if you do the yearly vent cleanings and a much longer story about how it is used on a coach I'm left with more questions than answers.

The one thing we know is that hard drives fail. Common reasons are heat, shock and a few bad models.
Bob

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More

It's a Compaq V6000 - about 2 years old, I think.

I thought it might have something to do with the power supply. As for the heat issues. This laptop has always run hot. I did clean the vents out about a week before the latest hard drive issue - and it's been running much cooler.

This drive was literally no more than three weeks old - so heat killing it over time seems unlikely. I also don't buy the 'lucky' factor. So eerily similar..and three different brands of drives, not sure that is one I believe.

I keep going back to the power supply and maybe it's the reason. Would the power 'shock' be so much that the whole drive would end up as a paper weight with no other use? I mean I can't see the drive, can't format the drive, can't fix the drive.

If there is any other info I can provide, let me know.

Thanks gentlmen..I appreciate the rapid response.

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(NT) Grinding it finer.
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Not Sure of more specific model

Not near the computer at the moment. So, from a layman's perspective, how is the chipsets causing these catastrophic failures? Is there anyway to save the hard drive or is it physically destroyed?

I appreciate the help. I readily admit I am not a contributer to these forums, but do appreciate the time and effort everyone puts in trying to solve my, and others, issues.

Thanks again. Will get more model info when I get home.

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How is actually well known.

It's a combination of the change in manufacturing with the removal of lead from the boards and other factors. You can research it with a google of DV6000 RECALL, Nvidia Defective GPUs and more.

The moment I spotted that chipset I knew it was yet another of a failed design or model. The issue is wide spread but afflicts the older laptops so many are far out of warranty so many count it as the usual old laptop problem.
Bob

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actually not sure I understand

I've done the research on the HP and the NVIDIA cards. I understand the boot issues - the driver fails causing the computer to hang and video to terminate. But nothing points to a hard drive issue, that I've come across. It does seem odd that a GPU would cause catastrophic failur of the hard drive to the degree I've seen three times.

Again, perhaps I am ignorant...can someone elighten me. I haven't had any of the issues described by the DV6000 or NVIDA problems - including WLAN issues or typical blue screen of death.

Thanks.

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Let me be clear.

I've seen this issue pop up on many variants of that model. I take it that unless a google finds your model then it doesn't apply? Maybe I misread what you wrote.

The model's makeup is consistent with failures my buddies see in the repair shops. It's a shame this issue is so widespread and there is no incentive for the makers to share the failure rates or causes.

I can however write more freely about it.

As to the hard drives, the heat accelerates the aging process. Another area that you should find good details about. That is not machine specific and if you need your files try external USB cases and if that fails you call up http://www.drivesavers.com

But I must ask this. Since backups are so cheap compared to data recovery, why do people forgo backups?
Bob

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Thanks

I actually do backup....online and it has been a life saver. External HD doesn't work well for me to backup because I forget. But I do backup. I just forgot to reconfigure on folder.

I have tried to recover via USB hookupto another laptop and it doesn't even show up.

I don't doubt the issue just trying to understand how it causes the failure. His drive is only three weeks old - it is just so hard to believed it aged that quickly and coincidently each time waking from hibernation.

Anyway..as always thanks.

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Putting on my electronic design hat.

A side effect of heat is that electrolytic capacitors age at a fast pace. These are the parts that take the ripple out of supplies and an aged design can have voltage overshoots, dips and high ripples causing other components to fail on power up. (think "light buld" deaths)

All this is rather academic but why I write is that you may want to distance yourself from machines with this design. I know I did. I have one of the famous dv6000's but after seeing the story unfold we removed it from active duty at the office. It will be used as a spare but never on the front line.
Bob

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Ah Ok

So it sounds more like on the power supply side rather than the NVIDA GPU? Or does the NVIDA card have the capacitors on it.

Thanks. I really do want to learn and understand.

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Sorry I typo'd

I meant light bulb. To understand all this would take a few years in the usual failure diagnosis labs. Which is what I did for years.

Understanding may not cause the drive or machine to get fixed. But understanding the consumer electronics industry is going to be hard for some. Let's try this statement. Almost all gear you see today is a five year design.

Given that almost every part of the machine and electronics is a five year design we will see some machines take an early exit.

You may wonder if it's the nvidia or such. My background is electronics design, firmware and more. My take is it's a bad intersection of lowest costs, heat, the removal of Pb from solder and the rush to market and most of all, changes made after it exits the engineering design area.

What we get from all this are machines that are great values but short life spans.

Proof? Look at the warranties. Just try to get a 5 year warranty.
Bob

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Ok

I get most of it - I grew up with an electrical design engineer - so I understand the general concepts, if not the technical details. The part I have trouble reconcilling is how the drive dies so quickly - if it's a heat issue. If anything, this last hard drive got the benefit of a much cooler laptop, as I had just cleaned out the fan vents.

It's not that I doubt the rationale you describe - it's that I do want to understand before I throw a $500 computer and another $200 invested in hard drives away. The NVIDA and v6000 issues you list - based on the symptoms and effects listed around..doesn't seem to describe hard drive issues. I am still confused how the GPU will kill the drive - and that might be my lack of understanding of architecture.

Those issues seems to always relate to video output and wlan access. I know you mentioned that it's on the down-low..but can't even find anybody to mention corrupt hard drive and the NVIDA/dv6000 problems.

Thanks. Again - I just really want to understand it before I go drop another $500-$600 on a laptop today.

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Remember

That none of this brings back the dead.

You need a long chat with an electronics designer to explain why bad conditions such as heat and design in one area cause failures like yours. I read what you are asking but maybe you are searching for a fix as well as why.

Why? Because the heat and aged caps can cause power issues through out the machine. The light bulb is my everyone's analog I think is best since most know that if we put too much voltage to a light bulb what happens. There is deep explanations to be done here but let's cut to the bottom line. We know about this design's failings. But what to do with those that want google to show, prove their machine failure is not in line with other failures. That is one I can only offer my best advice to cut your losses sooner than later. Feel free to keep feeding it drives?

How to fix? While we could put in a new motherboard the costs of that plus we are only going to repeat the failure means I don't suggest that.

Hope this explains it simply enough.
Bob

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Thanks Everyone

It's a V6719NR if it matters, at this point.

So - the next question. Are my drives really THAT dead or are they salvagable? Any suggestions how to get the data back?

I was smart enough to mozy most - but after the second disk failure, I forgot to reset the back-up to include my picture drive with probably 500 pictures I'd like to get back (though, not paying professionals to do it). If I can't do that..is there anyway to reformat and reuse?

I presume the solution, from a laptop standpoint, is to take it to pasture? Probably not worth changing the chipsets, etc.

Thanks guys. Truly, again - you guys are graet for helping me out. Hopefully I am not being too ignorant here.

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It sounds to me like

It sounds to me like your issue is with the system hardware killing the drive more than it is you just being supremely "lucky" to get three bad drives in a row.

Check HP's site, see if they have a diagnostic program you can run on the system. Neither HP or Compaq was ever known for quality when they became a single company, and the old adage about tying two sinking ships together comes to mind.

My guess is that there's an issue with the laptop's power supply, or possibly the DC inverter, which is sending something OTHER than the nice sine wave of electricity devices want. The fact that it hasn't killed any other components is a small wonder, but it may well have and you just haven't noticed the symptoms, or you've attributed them to something else.

If you've had this thing for 2+ years, it's likely out of warranty, so if I'm right... Repairs would likely be prohibitively expensive given the cost of a new laptop. But be sure to check into the possibility of diagnostic program and see if that turns up anything first.

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More details, per request

One is a seagate drive 5400rpm, 320GB - ST9320325AS
the current is a WD3200BEVT - also 5400, 320

Not sure I know where the third drive is, offhand.

Nothing else has any poor symptoms. Memory has no errors, no random reboots or blue screens of death. other hardware/software works fine.

Linux reboot was fine until I tried to go back into Windows again - that's when things got worse.

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