HDD seems to be severely damaged, possible to fix?

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I recently ran into a problem where I got a couple of blue screens then
I found out that my registry became corrupt.  Could not boot into safe
mode.  After a few more tries HDD appeared to be dead.

Putting in my Windows XP CD, it could not "detect" the drive".  Running
the recovery console yielded no results either as it could not read the

Taking out my computer diagnostics CD I ran a handful of tools to try
to see whats wrong.

Although I do not fully understand everything I have seen through the
tools I ran here is what I observed.

Everytime I boot up the computer takes awhile to reconginize the HDD
but it eventually does.

Most of the HDD diagnostics program found there were bad sectors
primarily at the very beginning of the drive which caused the
diagnostic programs to run very very slow.  I tried running Spinrite
for 12+ hours but it was still literally stuck at like 0%.  Other HDD
recovery programs detected the bad sectors but could not repair it.

Running partitioning tools such as Acronis and Norton Disk Editor I was
able to see the HDD in "hex mode"(not sure of the correct term) there
were a bunch of numbers scrambled around the screen with some weird
characters on the right  Scrolling through these I could see some words
and phrases of URL addresses and stuff that are clearly from my HDD.
This leads me to believe that maybe I can recover some data off my HDD?

Another thing I noticed was in the "hex-mode" at the very beginning of
the drive in the first bunch of sectors all I see is blank zeros.  Does
this mean a non-existant MBR or something?

Running Knoppix live CD it froze trying to mount the HDD.

Thats about all the info I can give you.  If you guys need more
information I would be more then willing to attempt to do so if you
provide me with proper directions.  I want to know if anyone out there
can help me.  I would greatly appreciate and I would not know the words
to express my gratitude if I were able to just get a few of my files


Re: HDD seems to be severely damaged, possible to fix?

Hi, I know this isn't really the kind of response you want but to be
honest its dead and for the cost of hard drives these days its not
worth the hours on end you will spend trying to get it to come back to
life. A lot of the good drive manufactures have very long warrenty
periods so it may still be under warrenty so you could return it to
them for a replacment (I think typing the serial number into goole
should help you here). I presume you're trying to recover data off the
drive, that why your so keen to get it to come back to life? Again to
be honest this is normally a very costly and slow process which
normally requires some very expensive tools and/or a lot of patience


Re: HDD seems to be severely damaged, possible to fix?

Yes the main reason is to be able to at least pull out some of my most
important files off my HDD.  I recently ran this program called:
PhotoRec it is speciallly designed to recover specific file formats and
it was able to pull off a handful of files from jpeg images, gif
images, to zip and a couple media files.  The thing is that the program
is limited in how much it can recover at once.  It will recover the
data starting from the beginning of the drive and there is no way to
specify where to start it from.  The recovered files go into the drive
from where it is ran.  For me this has to be a 50MB virtual ramdisk
drive.  As you can tell once the drive is full there is no way to
recover more of the files.

Now since I was able to pull some data off my HDD it's quite evident
that a lot of it is still there.  I just think that the MBR and a whole
lot of chunks of sectors at the beginning of the drive is damaged but
most of the other files are quite sound.

Is there really no other way?

philo: I'm running the drive as a slave to a primary hard disk now but
I'm not sure where you are getting at.  Is the new drive supposed to be
able to detect the drive when I login to windows xp?

Thanks for your help guys!

Re: HDD seems to be severely damaged, possible to fix?

johnhok@gmail.com wrote:
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diagnoses, only to discover that it was not a hardware issue. After all else
failed, I used my faithful GOBACK!  Et Voila!  Files galore. It's too late to
install GOBACK if you didn't have it at the time of breakdown. But you can use
your WIN XP RESTORE program. Go back far enough and you may be surprised.
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Re: HDD seems to be severely damaged, possible to fix?

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There would be no reliable fix.

Replace the drive and reload your OS.

You might be able to recover data on the drive if you slave it to your new

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