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Hard Drive won't boot

1708 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  justpassingby
Recently my computer stopped booting, when I turn it on it gets to the XP loading screen and no further, it keeps trying to load till the computer automatically reboots. I can hear and feel the hard drive spinning so i don't assume the problem is down to my PSU.
I've tried running it in safe mode but it loads up a few system32 files then seems unable to go on.
Since I only have 1 hard drive I have been unable to just boot from another, I had to use a version of xp bootable from a cd, this worked fine except it was unable to find my hard drive.
I tried Ubuntu next and this found my drive but was then unable to mount it, saying it was an unrecognisable format.
I have also tried to reformat my computer (loaded up RAID drivers needed for HD), however once I get to the options to repair or install xp, either option does nothing, everything just freezes.
I think my hard drive may just be dead so I plan to go and buy a new one soon, but there is data which I would like to recover on that drive so if anyone has any suggestions on how I might fix or access the drive they would be most welcome.
EDIT: Oh yeah, and I used my hard disk check utility on my motherboard (I think) which said there was a seek failure of the drive. And the thing is SATA if that makes a difference.

Thanks in advance.
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Bought new hard drive, can't install XP for some reason. Whenever I get to the options screen (install xp, recover or exit) it freezes and pressing buttons does nothing. Same as with last other hard drive. However have managed to install Ubuntu on new hard drive now.
My friend thinks I need a new XP installation disk. Anyone agree/disagree?
Hi Cthonix ! Sorry for the delay.

What's the brand and model of the computer ? If it's a custom build then what are your complete system specs, including brand model and wattage of the power supply (check the link in my sig).

What product key do you own and what XP CD did you use to reinstall ? What service pack is included on the CD ? Check that the XP CD isn't scratched, try to copy its content to some folder on the computer.

If the XP CD is ok, it may not have the proper drivers for your system (if it's some brand computer you'll need the OEM CD that includes specific drivers for your hardware) or you may want to try with an XP SP2 or SP3 CD.

Could also be some hardware problem, Ubuntu requires less ressources than XP and may start where XP doesn't.

What's the brand and model of the new hard drive ? Make sure it's set as master and hooked on the SATA1 port or on the primary IDE controller.

Open the computer case and check that there's no dust on the fans and heatsinks. Check that all the fans are spinning (CPU, video card, power supply, case fans).

Enter the BIOS at startup and look for some hardware monitor or pc health status screen. Report your temps, fan speeds and voltages from there.

Test your ram : download, unzip and burn memtest86+'s bootable .iso image file using a burning software that can handle .iso files. Enter the BIOS at startup and set the boot priority to CD-rom first. Leave memtest run overnight or at least do 3 full passes (3 times the 8 passes) on your memory. It's advised that you test one memory stick at a time, removing the others from their slot. Report if it finds any error and double-check memtest's results with windiag as it runs different tests.

If it's a custom built computer then unplug unneeded drives, pci cards and USB devices, use the onboard video if available, leave only one RAM stick in the DIMM1 port and retry to install XP with only the system drive and CD drive. You can reinstall all other devices once Windows is installed.
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