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Hard disc failure imminent

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by Wyattspop, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Wyattspop

    Wyattspop Regular member

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    Hey guys,
    I got a message last night saying "Hard disc drive failure is imminent, back up all your stuff etc"
    First, is it a foregone conclusion or should I run Chkdsk, antivirus and such? I have a 1 TB external HD but don't know what to use to do the backup, I can't just drag n drop 86 GB of family photos and my C drive says it has 560 GB in use, I only have 469 GB free on my external. If it will fail for sure, I don't need to back up the entire PC, just the pics and documents (under 100 GB)
    Please advise
    Thanks
     
  2. attar

    attar Senior member

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  3. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    I just use copy & paste thru windows explorer to my flash drives & to my external hard drive so I can copy the saved stuff to my upstairs computer. my documents folder is about 50gigs & my ships folder that is in my documents folder is about 32gigs.
     
  4. Wyattspop

    Wyattspop Regular member

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    Attar, I successfully moved my "My Documents" over to my 1 TB external HDD using "Backupper" as you suggested, but when I try to open the file to see that all my pics, vids etc are there, my PC tells me "file type not recognized" (I don't even recognize the file type and I'm on PC's daily for most of the past 20 years!). How do I open it or can you only view it when you move it back to a PC (that makes no sense)? Thank you
     
  5. Wyattspop

    Wyattspop Regular member

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    DDP. you and Attar are always my "saviors" when it's all on the line. This is every precious photo I own, my wedding day 17 years ago exactly to the day my son was born, so I'll ask for your expressed assistance please. I had them in 2 places, my attached 1 TB external HDD and this PC, now the PC is warning me "failure is imminent" so I'm down to one "backup" place. I have 1 more desktop and 3 laptops, I should obviously put them on one of these. How do I do this? Also, I managed to move them to the external using AOEMI Backuppper, but I can't open this 187 GB file to view my "My Documents" to see my pics are ok, my PC says "file type not recognized". I've never seen Backuppers file type either, "AFI"
     
  6. Wyattspop

    Wyattspop Regular member

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    I meant to tell you, nothing beyond the warning message do I have any reason to believe my drive is prepared to fail, more like the PC itself is "misbehaving". I know how a failing hard drive presents itself, and I'm not hearing or seeing telltale signs, no "noisy operations" where it's struggling to write, no overheating, no ultra-slow operating, the only things present are as follows; 1) I'm getting the messages every half hour or so. 2) My fans are not making a peep, the weather is cold now but no fan operation at all? 3) It is taking too long to do some tasks off-line, that's it. My question is obvious, is this ever a false positive? I'm on the internet, no speed issues, I just transferred 178 GB to an external, no download issues...my only "problem" is my fans are silent, so are the hard discs, if you were in my office you wouldn't know a PC was in here. Can I run anything besides Chkdsk to see what's going on? Thanks guys
     
  7. Wyattspop

    Wyattspop Regular member

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    Attar, both you and DDP are helping me, only because I don't know who has the time to reply and this is obviously a time-sensitive issue, if this PC dies before I know the transfer was a success and/or I back up my photos to another PC in my house, I'm screwed. I have every precious photo from my wedding day to the birth of my child on here, I'm guessing no less than 50,000 (so forget backing up to an online place) I do have Google Onedrive, but it's full already.
     
  8. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    pm replied so do as what I said in it.
     
  9. attar

    attar Senior member

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    AOMEI, you can view or restore the files using the 'Utilities' tab.
    The saved files are saved as an image.
    If you created a restore disk (Utilities again), you would, in a disaster situation, boot from the restore disk and open the image containing the files and copy/restore them to the hard drive.
     
  10. Wyattspop

    Wyattspop Regular member

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    Attar, I actually have a second identical PC model, can I hook that up and open up the file to see what I managed to save? BTW It's an HP Pavillion P6803W stock with one memory card and a 750 GB Seagate. The fan is in fact kicking on, the "dead" hard disk is spinning up with the normal writing/reading sounds (not "struggling") but I couldn't open into Windows the last time I tried. I couldn't recall how I did it before, only that I chose F10 which put me into bios, then I tagged something, hit save and went to Windows, I don't know about the proper boot order etc, not savvy about bios.
    Thanks again
     
  11. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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  12. attar

    attar Senior member

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    Assuming you wanted to boot the rescue disk in the second pc (with the external drive now connected to it), you enter the bios and select "boot" and make the first boot device the CD/DVD (assuming it has one).
    Save the bios change and the PC will boot from the recue disk.
    AOMEI opens and you select 'Utilities' and 'Explore image' to locate the backup image on the external drive.
     
  13. Mez

    Mez Active member

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    Unfortunately, I have too much experience with bad disks.

    Why would you want to boot up on the nearly dead disk? I would try to access it as an external drive.
    Can you read the disk as an external?
    You mentioned there are files of particular value. Deal with them first.
    Try copying the files to a new location. Moving or writing to the bad disk is a terrible idea since you don't know if writing to the old disk could be the straw that breaks the camels back. That is why you don't boot up a dying disk. he boot process writes to the disk.

    If you can't read any of the new files, then ignore the above warning.
    There are a few utilities that might help. An undelete app, Chkdsk, hard disk bad sector repair software tool, testdisk and if you can find SeaTools and have a Segate drive. My copy of Seatools will fix any drive as long as you have a Seagate drive accessible to your computer. If you meet all those conditions that would be my first choice. That will resurrect any HD that will spin up. There is a mode that fixes any sector that is readable but needs repair. It is slower than hell and as noisy because it reads and writes back to the sector maybe 1,000 times after it 'thinks' it has a repeatable value for the sector or block. This sharpens the sector making it easy to read.

    Chkdsk will repair directories. Unless you routinely defrag your HD your file is probably OK since that has not been altered since your HD started having problems. If you can't use SeaTools try chkdsk. Start with the test mode. Before you fix, I would document your files on the bad drive x:
    go to the command prompt on C: and type dir x: > c:\fnames.txt /S
    That should write a file fnames.txt to the root of c: that displays all folders and all subfolders recursively (/S).
    If chkdsk fails you may still be able to recover (undelete) what you want by quick formatting the disk which only creates a clean new empty directory but doesn't do anything with the rest of the disk. you can undelete the files since you have a complete list of the files. Every undelete tool is different but you will need the first letter of the file name to undelete the file. I have used testdisk to recover destroyed partitions. It may also recover folders in bulk unlike undelete which recovers 1 file at a time. With undelete you only resurrect the must have files. These are all valuable utilities to have on hand on a CD. CDs last much longer than DVDs.
     

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