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Hard Drive Failure Advice? Answered

Our family PC was on and running today, but when I left for a minute and came back; it was at a pure black screen that simply said "Hard Drive Failure" (similar to below, substituting my message in quotes). When I tried to reboot, it got stuck at the "Dell" startup screen, and wouldn't boot into the HDD from BIOS; although it did recognize it.
Powered it off, left it for an hour; and it booted up. However, it did hit a "Windows Error Recovery" screen, and has been for a while now upon a boot up here and there. The computer is three years old.
Should I ignore it, or replace it (the HDD) asap? My guts say better safe than sorry, but extra input couldn't hurt anyway.


Quercus austrina

Best Answer 4 years ago

If your hard drive is doing that, it would be prudent to replace it. You did make your restore disc(s), right? If not, contact the PC manufacturer to see if you can obtain them.

If you need to recover files from your damaged HDD, download BiNG (Boot it Next Generation) and install it on a USB thumb drive. Get a new, unformatted HDD at least as big as the original. Preferably, get 2 new drives to make it easy on yourself.

Insert the thumb drive and turn on the computer. Access the bios by pressing F8 during the boot screen. Set the boot order to start with USB. Then restart. BiNG will boot automatically. Follow the prompts and see if the OS partition is visible. If it is, shut down and install the new HDD in the 2nd drive position (as a slave drive) and start the computer again. When BiNG loads, go to the "bad drive" and copy each partition to the new drive (copy and paste). Once that is done, you should be able to access any files on the new drive so long as you have it set up as storage.

Here's where the 2nd new HDD comes in handy. Remove the USB drive and both the original and copied drive. Install the 2nd new (unformatted) drive where the original drive was and use the restore discs to get back up and running. Now reinstall the copied drive back into the slave position and you'll be able to copy and paste till your heart's content.

What to do with the original drive that went caput? You could reformat it and use it as a scratch drive / temporary storage. I don't know if I'd trust it for long term storage though.



4 years ago

Ugh! My computer just died recently of hard drive failure. Try to recover your data immediately if you can, before it is too late. Once the hard drive starts to fail, it's all downhill. It may not be long before an errant disk operation kills your operating system.


4 years ago

Assuming here...
If the HDD failed and not the motherboard or controller (or somthing simple like a faulty cable) I strongly suggest not to use the HDD at all if it contains data you have not backed up!
Otherwise replace the HDD and install Windows.

If the HDD is faulty there is a good chance it is only the electronics, so replacing them with identical electronics from donor drive will get your data back.
If there is pysical damage to the actual drive your best option is a proffessional service if you can afford it and really need to recover the data.

Again: Do not try to use the HDD until you have ways to fix it as otherwise you can do more harm than good, icluding total data corruption.