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  1. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Canada
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    For quite awhile I have had a hard drive that was failing. I didn't know exactly how to remove it. I was able to get all the important stuff off that drive quite sometime ago. Well anyway for quite a spell my computer has been buggy, for example deleting stuff from the recycle bin was very slow. This morning the computer froze up and before this there was a clicking sound which seemed to be coming from the power supply. I was able to get the side off the computer and thought that if I disconnected the cables to that failing drive that the computer would start up again. That didn't seem to work so I put the cables back on the drive, this was the bottom drive.

    Well anyway I can get Windows XP to load in but it takes quite a long time. I noticed that my C Drive shows up in My Computer and a small 250 gb hard drive that has the letter D. My capture drive which was drive E has disappeared and it was working up until now. The F Drive is gone but that was the failing drive.

    My Computer Tech guy seems to be closed, I am guessing until Monday. Any advice is appreciated. Thank you in advance for any help you can be on this matter. I would hate to have lost all the data on my Capture Drive. It was a 1.5 TB or 2 TB drive.
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2007
    Location: United Kingdom
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    The 'clicking' noise AFAIK is the sound of a dying drive.

    The slow XP response is often caused by registry corruption and the only solution is to format the boot drive and reinstall XP.

    As long as it was not the capture drive that died, it should be possible to get the data back. You will need software such as GetDataBack or ZAR (Zero Assumption Recovery) and a another drive as large as the one you want to recover from - you can not recover on to the same drive.

    But I am concerned of your somewhat cavalier approach to repair and you could have caused some damage by pulling those cables out. Leave all this to your Tech guy.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Canada
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    DB83: Thanks for your advice and for the information you have provided. Yes I am rather ashamed that I got so rambuckious as I may have made the problem worse. I will drop it off for the tech guy to sort out. This may be for the best. I was capturing way too much stuff, mostly Soaps and got way behind on editing and archiving. I was thinking the other day, that is was a waste of hard drive space, time and effort. What I should be doing is archiving stuff off our VHS tape collection and getting rid of the tapes to save room. Then there are our digital video camera tapes to convert.

    If the tech guy can access the capture drive, I should get the best of the stuff off of it and let the rest go.

    It helps that I am using my HD PVR on my other computer which is a Windows 7 i5 HP computer.

    Back to the old computer. I was able to delete a bunch of files on the C Drive in a folder in My Documents quite quickly. The problem seems to be the really slow start up and of course the disappearance of the two drives.
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  4. What you are describing is EXACTLY what will happen with a drive going bad. I do not think there is any registry issue.

    What I would do is this - with POWER OFF, remove power and data cables from all drives other than C:. Power up, enter BIOS, remove all drives except C:. Test, 3-5 complete boots, try a few operations that are noticeably slow before change.

    Then, add other drives, one at a time, and only one other drive besides C:. Boot and test as before.

    When you describe the slow boot, is this BEFORE the XP logo shows, or AFTER? Likely before, indicating no involvement of the OS but the hardware taking extra time to recognize the failing drive. Or to attempt to recognize it, apparently this is failing.

    Also try a different SATA cable and connector, also different power connector. If using any splitters, eliminate. What you want to do is boot with only C: and the suspect drive, on different cable, mobo port, and power. You change everything you can so it is the bad drive and ONLY the bad drive which is identified as the problem. Then, you can do exactly what your tech would do, which is run a recovery software.

    Try multiple boots, if it recognizes copy important files fast, have the space available on C: FIRST, the freezer trick is worth a try. Wrap drive in paper towels, put in ziploc bag in freezer for a few hours. Make sure it is DRY, attach, boot, copy files QUICKLY, repeat if necessary.

    Pull cables off in a straight line with slight horizontal rocking motion, check for locking clip on SATA cable, ground yourself by touching the metal case of the PLUGGED IN power supply first, there is really very little chance of doing real damage unless you use a hammer. Do NOT flex either connector on the drive in a downward motion, this can crack the board. Very, very rare.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Canada
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    Nelson37: Thank you for this advice. Yes the slow up is before the Windows XP loads in. At first there is a black cursor blinking on the screen and after a long while the Windows XP screen comes up with the little bar with the little icon moving left to right, that last five minutes or more. Then comes the log on screen. I click on that and then it loads the desktop quite quickly. The F: Drive was pretty much cleared off long ago, as I was able to copy everything of value off of it. The F Drive used to be the C: Drive. My Capture Drive was labeled E. I had it practically filled. About a month or two ago the computer would constantly have a pop up telling me that the F: Drive was failing. I am hoping the E Drive wasn't going at the same time. Those pop up eventually stopped, but there was the problem with deleting stuff. You could send stuff to the recycle bin and then go to open the recycle bin to finally get rid of stuff you deleted but it would take a long time to actually delete it. As I was saying the positive thing is after this what has happened the fast delete without a lengthy wait is back. It is just that the C: Drive and a small D drive which is showing up.

    I am rather obsessive about recording mostly 2 half hour English Soaps and 2 hour long U.S. Soaps. I suppose it is because so many Soaps get cancelled and I wanted something to fall back on to watch in the event the rest went. Though as my friend asked me one day. You tape all this stuff, edit it, shrink it and archive it, but do actually ever watch it. The answer was no, but I guess it was the idea that I could. But I fell way behind. I am thinking now, I should just tape special Soap events as I can't possibly keep up with the amount of shows. It has become kind of a burden. So if I can get the E capture drive back I think I will just select a relatively few files and delete everything else.

    I just kept filling up 2 TB drives with unedited Soaps, and now I am thinking go to one of those drives delete Soaps and take that drive to the Tech to copy important files to and let him figure out this mess. It is a lot quieter in my computer room that Windows XP machine was very loud, especially on the start up it would sound like a tractor, I think that has something to do with the power supply fan.

    The Tech guy usually isn't too hard on me. If he can fix it in a short amount of time, he will. Besides times are hard and business can be sometimes a bit slow. I really want him to fix it, and to be able to capture again, but the test for me is to start backing up our Home Video Recordings and some old VHS tapes.

    Thank you for some advice. I will send a link to this thread to the Tech guy, as even though he is a smart guy, he isn't so arrogant that he isn't willing to learn additional techniques to get things accomplished.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Canada
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    Nelson37: I think I will attempt a few of the things you described, I am assuming the C Drive is at the very top. I assumed the F drive was on the very bottom. The Tech guy isn't in until next week I believe. Thanks once again for your advice.
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: United States
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    I had similar issues with a failing sata drive discussed at http://forum.videohelp.com/threads/360988-Is-hard-drive-failure-iminent. I've experienced everything from failure of bios to recognize the drive to very slow copy of files and some other things in between. I tired different cables and connecting to different ports, but nothing seems to help much. The drive is recognized by bios about 80% of the time, but I have to disconnect and reconnect data cables from time to time to get bios to recognize it. I think it's best to backup data and replace it asap.

    Speaking of replacement drives I'd recommend against ordering from Tigerdirect because I've had 2 Seagate 1TB drives doa from them and am awaiting a third replacement. They are willing to exchange and pay return shipping, but it's a pain to go through all those returns not to mention waiting weeks to fix the problem with a good drive. The problem isn't with Seagate drive but rather with Tigerdirect's crappy packaging. The drive I ordered comes in a plastic pack with a hole to hang on a peg, and they package it in a box about twice the size of a shoe box with practically no packing material which allows it to bounce all around the large box during shipping. I have little doubt the drives are being damaged during shipping, and no telling how long before I might get one that works. I tried telling them to package the drive more securely on this last return, but the person I spoke to seemed to not understand English very well and just kept telling me "No problem sir, just attach return labe to the package and take it to a UPS store" despite my 3 times trying to tell her the drive being shipped to me needs to be packaged better. Other drives I've ordered from other vendors have either been wrapped in bubble wrap or came in a manufacturers box with plastic spacers inside to secure the drive, and Tigerdirect needs do something like that too. Has anybody else had this kind of problem dealing with Tigerdirect.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Canada
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    bevills1: The computer froze up yesterday with the clicking sounds while I was doing a capture. I had to push in the power button and hold it to get it to shut down. I am hopeful the tech guy will be able to figure it out. I am nervous about doing anything additional myself. If I can get one folder with about 100mb of captures of the capture drive I will be content with that. I sympathize with your problem and I will avoid Tigerdirect. I usually order from Futureshop. Thank you for your advice and I hope your computer problems get all sorted out and behind you soon.
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  9. Member awgie's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland
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    FWIW, a failing hard drive can disrupt and even damage a power supply, which - left unchecked - will damage other components. A defective power supply can also make it look like a hard drive is failing, even if it isn't. Case in point: I have one user who replaced their hard drive three times before finally replacing their power supply, only to discover that all the hard drives they had replaced were suddenly in perfect working order.

    Bottom line: if you think your hard drive is failing, then by all means replace it. It's better to be safe than sorry. However, if you're having problems outside of that drive, or if replacing that drive doesn't solve your problem, don't overlook the power supply.

    And FWIW, for data recovery, DB83 mentioned a couple programs already. I use Active@ File Recovery from LSoft Technologies. If you're having your tech guy do it for you, he probably has his own recovery software, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
    Do or do not. There is no "try." - Yoda
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Canada
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    awgie: Thanks for your input. I am going to have the power supply replaced for sure now. With what you have written and the fact that it makes so much noise. I have had the Windows XP computer sitting next to the HP i5 one and now that I don't have the Windows XP one turned on, I notice that the HP i5 is nearly silent.

    The Windows XP one was extremely noisy, especially if you shut it off and turned it back on. It would wail out and then eventually settle down to it regular noise. But like Michigan Frog the last time I had a problem and had to have a drive replaced, it didn't make that noise.
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  11. How many physical hard drives do you have, and do you know if they are divided into partitions?

    If two drives with two partitions, the letters will go C:=Drive1 partition1, d:=drive2 partition1, e:=drive1 partition2, f:=drive2 partition2, unless the letters have been specifically assigned. Control panel, Admin tools, computer management, drive management will show you the structure.

    This is important as the letters may, or may not, line up with the drives as expected.

    The cable swap I described should be done. To determine C:, just keep booting single drives until you find it. There is no particular reason it would be on top, in fact I usually put C: on the bottom for better cooling. Once you find C:, just proceed as described until you locate the problem drive. It is quite possible that the physical drive that is failing does not contain anything you need.

    The work is easy, simple, and very low chance of damage. Also, from your past descriptions of your available technical help, I have not been impressed.

    The fan noise you describe is usually what the CPU fan does, high-speed at boot-up and quieter after short time. One easy test is to briefly stick your finger in the CPU fan to stop it spinning, to determine if that is the source of the noise. Actually just put your finger on the spinning logo, some fans will smart a bit with your finger in the blades. Do NOT stick a rigid object into the blades.

    Older PC are often noisier, if the noise level has always been this way I wouldn't worry about it. Possible the power supply is involved but I doubt it.
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  12. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Canada
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    Nelson37: Thank you so very much. I started disconnecting drives and there was a drive hidden at the very top on a slideable tray. When I disconnected that, when I booted back in the computer told me of some configuration changes and showed that there are three drives. When I got back into Windows and checked My Computer it showed that I have my C: Drive, D: Drive and my capture drive which is the E: Drive. Now I better get to backing some stuff up and freeing up room and testing that drive. I better remove that F: Drive. Thank you once again. I suppose that prayer I said probably helped as well.
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  13. Member p_l's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: Montreal, Canada
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    Originally Posted by bevills1 View Post
    Has anybody else had this kind of problem dealing with Tigerdirect.
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  14. Member awgie's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Lanarkshire, Scotland
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    Originally Posted by bevills1 View Post
    Has anybody else had this kind of problem dealing with Tigerdirect.
    I avoid discount houses like TigerDirect for any sensitive equipment for just that reason. I've heard far too many horror stories that just lend credence to the old adage "you get what you pay for." I've heard complaints from people about even simple cables that are either sub-standard quality, or so poorly handled that they are damaged by the time they get to the end user.
    Do or do not. There is no "try." - Yoda
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  15. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Canada
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    An update on the Windows XP computer. I have been deleting mostly Soap recordings and freeing up room on my capture drive. I had if for months with only about 1 to 3 percent from being full. I now have it 46 percent free of files. I defragged that hard drive yesterday and there is quite an improvement in it. Thank you once again to all those who gave me advice on what to do to remedy the problem I had with this computer. The computer is running with less noise now as well.

    I am resisting the temptation to tape more Soaps, and am contemplating hooking our mini camcorder up and recording our home recordings into the computer through the capture card and archiving them.
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  16. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2006
    Location: United States
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    Running a DiskCleanUp and Defrag in All Programs/Accessories/Systems Tools may further help if you've not yet done that.
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  17. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2004
    Location: Canada
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    Originally Posted by bevills1 View Post
    Running a DiskCleanUp and Defrag in All Programs/Accessories/Systems Tools may further help if you've not yet done that.
    Thank you for this advice. I have some more organizing and such to do but when done, I will look into the DiskCleanUp and additional Defragging.
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