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Is My Hard Drive Really Dead?

This is a discussion on Is My Hard Drive Really Dead? within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I'm working on a very old HP machine. The owner only wants to retrieve some old pictures. I plugged it


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Old 06-24-2018, 06:48 PM   #1
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I'm working on a very old HP machine. The owner only wants to retrieve some old pictures. I plugged it in and got a message that no OS was found. Then I plugged the HD into another computer. It was not recognized. The HD is warm and I can feel a slight vibration. It makes an almost inaudible hum but I don't hear the customary whirring of the platter.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:38 PM   #2
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Sounds like the head is stuck.

What I would try is....if you have a HDD docking station, use that, if not connect it to a 2nd PC (tower) keep the primary HDD connected, then make SATA/power cable connections and then boot up and see if shows up in the BIOS and file explorer. If so, then see if it can be read. If not then it's probably dead and data irrecoverable.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:46 PM   #3
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I did connect it to a tower. That's when I detected the warmth, vibration and faint hum. I thought maybe with all that activity, it was still alive

Thanks for your time.

Oh, I forgot to mention, there is a stamp on the HD that says Disk Wiped. I'm sure though, that stamp was placed there before my friend used it for several years.

Thanks, again
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:09 PM   #4
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With it plugged into the 2nd PC tower, boot into Setup (Bios) in the System Information Page or Hard Drives is the drive recognized? If so, you can use recovery software to recover the files. If it is not listed in the Bios and in Disk Management, then it has failed.
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:45 AM   #5
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I'll try once more just to be sure, but I couldn't get it to show up anywhere.
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:47 AM   #6
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This computer has been setting idle for years. That may come into play here. This time, when I plugged the HD into 2nd PC tower, I heard the customary whirring of the platter. As I stated, I did not hear this the first time.

So, I looked into the drive and saw documents. My sister will be thanking you. I was going to ditch the drive. I think it would be nice to get this computer running so she would have a spare in case her Win7 needs to be put into the repair shop.

(But, the drive didn't show up in System Information and when I first booted the computer).

Later. I reinstalled XP. The machine works fine. It would make a good emergency spare. There is just one glitch. I cannot get it to connect to the Internet. I will start a new thread on that subject.

Thanks
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Old 06-27-2018, 05:37 PM   #7
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What is the model # of the old HP?
In XP, go to Start/Run and type devmgmt.msc and press enter.
In the Device Manager, any devices with yellow flags need to have drivers installed.
If you are using an Ethernet Cable, Under Network Adapters, if Ethernet LAN device has a yellow flag, then, on a Internet Computer, go to the HP Drivers site.
Type in your model#, choose your version of Windows and download the Chipset driver and the Ethernet/LAN driver, save it to a USB Flash drive. Install the Chipset driver first to the troubled computer, then Ethernet/LAN once you have internet, you can return to the HP drivers site with this computer and download the remainder of the drivers for this computer. Then do Windows Updates etc.
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Old 06-27-2018, 06:24 PM   #8
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a335w is the model number. I will give this a try. First, I've gotta make room. I'm surrounded by computers while my Win10 has startup problems I can't fix. That's gonna be my next thread.

Thanks
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:26 AM   #9
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First go to the Device Manager, see what you need.
Unfortunately, this computer is so old that HP no longer has a drivers page for it, But you can download drivers for it here: https://www.nodevice.com/drivers/pc/hp/pavilion-a335w
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Old 06-28-2018, 04:49 AM   #10
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Nice Link Spunk that is one I have never heard of!
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Old 06-28-2018, 01:07 PM   #11
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(David Russell Schilling, in an article for Industry Tap, tells us, 'nanotechnology knowledge is doubling every two years, clinical knowledge every 18 months. On average, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. And according to IBM, the Internet of things will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours'. And to think, David wrote this, Apr 19, 2013.)

For three days, I've tried to get this computer to connect to the Internet. Microsoft gave me two choices for connecting, Internet Explorer and MSN. Neither would work.

I spent two hours on the phone with my ISP. They were very thorough, but in the end, could not help. They suggested the problem was within Internet connection settings on this computer.

I checked for yellow flags in Device Manager. I found three and I will download new drivers for them. But they did not pertain to my connectivity issue.

As a last resort, I connected an external hard drive to the computer. I looked in it for a Firefox executable in my Setups folder. I found one for version 19.

I clicked on the exe and it opened an Internet connection to download Firefox. Afterwards, it updated to the latest version written for this computer's software (52.9).

I don't know what transpired here. I'm sure some TSF staff members will know. I'm thinking it had to do with the very old MSN and Internet browsers. And of course, I could not get on the Internet to update them. Catch 22.

I'm posting this in the event that someone else might be able to use the little discovery I made. I will discover more and more, and I will learn more and more. But as the opening statement implies, due to the speed knowledge is increasing, the more I discover and the more I learn, the farther behind I will be.

Some neuroscientists say we are very limited in the amount of knowledge our mind/brain can hold. Other neuroscientists think there are no limits. Until we find which theory is correct...

All we can do is the best we can do.
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Old 06-28-2018, 05:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
I checked for yellow flags in Device Manager. I found three and I will download new drivers for them. But they did not pertain to my connectivity issue.
You forgot to tell us what devices had yellow marks in the Device Manager?
As you know, Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. The latest version of Internet Explorer for XP is IE8 and cannot be updated. This also is not supported by most web sites, so it is not a surprise you could not get online to most web sites. Though you could probably still go to Google.com, but that doesn't help.
All other browsers, including Firefox, will stop supporting XP in the next few months if it hasn't already. Opera browser may still work for a few more months.
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Old 06-28-2018, 05:49 PM   #13
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No, I didn't forget.

One was Multimedia Audio Controller
One was Video Controller (VGA Compatible)
One was WD SES Device USB Storage

I couldn't get online to any websites, not even Google, Now I can go anywhere, at least for a while.

I have just about talked my sister into a new computer with Win10. Then she can use her Win7 as a spare instead of this HP/XP.

I have no negative thoughts about the whole issue. It has exhausted me, but in the process, I have learned a lot. I like that.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:12 PM   #14
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Two questions before I put the cover on this antique. I refuse to buy canned air. Is there another good way to remove dust from all those delicate components.

I found a black wire when I opened the case. One end was not attached. Does anyone know what it's for or where I should plug it in?
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by likekinds View Post
Two questions before I put the cover on this antique. I refuse to buy canned air. Is there another good way to remove dust from all those delicate components.

I found a black wire when I opened the case. One end was not attached. Does anyone know what it's for or where I should plug it in?
Wow...really, you won't buy compressed air. The only other alternatives are; an actual air compressor (my personal choice - mine works great), small dry paint brush, Vacuum cleaner - not recommended but people do that, leaf blower (gas or electric).

As for the picture; it looks like it to be a front panel USB connector and looks to connect to the white usb header right below it. Just trace back the cable to where it connects to.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:45 AM   #16
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I'm not stingy. It's just that I never thought I got my money's worth from those cans of air. They run out so very soon.
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Old 06-29-2018, 02:10 AM   #17
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Then use an Air Compressor, or if you have a shop Vac that reverses (ie) blows as well as sucks.
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Old 06-29-2018, 04:51 AM   #18
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I'm afraid the alternative is $75 or so but the Metropolitan Air Compressor is a nice little product that you can use forever as an alternative, I use one in my shop.
https://www.amazon.com/Metro-Vacuum-...18939744&psc=1
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