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- Thinkpad problem
January 27, 2007, 5:09 pm
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me and told me that his Thinkpad A30 (I think) won't boot up. It says
that it can't find ntdetect or boot.ini or something (it might alternate
between those two messages as he reboots it over and over?) He said
this happened after he defragmented the drive. This computer has been
running really slow for a long time and he filled up his hard drive just
last week and had to delete some stuff in order for it to run properly.
I'm just wondering if the hard drive died, and what I should do about
it? I don't want to send it to IBM because they'll just replace and
hard drive and we'll lose all the data.
I guess the first thing I need to know is, how do I find out if the hard
drive died? I don't think we have a Windows XP CD. Should I take it to
a data recovery specialist?
Re: Thinkpad problem
No, don't be rash yet. It is quite possible that only a small amount
of data on the disk was destroyed and that if you "fix" that, the
system we be back in good shape. Most imortantly, don't do anything
permanent until you have figured out what needs to be done.
If I were in your situation, I would first download and burd a CD of
the "gparted liveCD". It's free and you can stick it in your CD drive
and it will tell you what partitions are still available on your hard
drive. With any luck, there will be just the partitions you expect to
be there. You can also use gparted to make a copy of the partitions
onto a nother drive. Making a backup is always the first thing one
Now, depending on what you find and how bad the damage is. You may
need to either simply "repair" the XP installation (that will require
an XP CD). Or you may have to have the data "recovered" and build a
whole new hard drive.
Now, you may want to get a recovery specialist to do all of the above
steps, but like everything else get an estimate of how much it will
cost and what they will do (and what order they are likely to do it
in) and find the specialist that seems to do exactly what you want for
a price that is reasonable.
Re: Thinkpad problem
Well, I'm kind of lost here. What can I use to make the backup? This
is an 80Gb hard drive or something; it's quite large and like I said is
Is it possible to buy another hard drive and hook it up to the same IDE
cable (or whatever they're called nowadays) on a laptop? I mean, can I
install two hard drives at the same time?
Are all laptop hard drives compatible? Can I just buy a laptop hard
drive anywhere and expect it to work?
Or should I be looking at tape drives or will one of those huge external
USB drives work if I can't boot the computer?
Thank you so much for the advice!
Re: Thinkpad problem
You've got lots of options on the backup.
An a30 has two bays you can stick 2nd (and 3rd hard drives in). You
can get such hard drives on ebay (at least that's where I got mine)
and you can get a variety of sizes, so another 80Gb drive is an
option. Note, when going that route, you get a drive and an
enclosure/caddy. The drive sits in the caddy and the caddy goes in
one of the bays where you currently probably have either a CD, DVD, or
floppy drive. Also, note that the actual drive is a 2.5" drive and is
the same size and shape as the primary drive in your a30 laptop.
thus, once, you have a caddy, you can put either drive in it, or buy
extra drives etc. I have 3 a30/a31's (1 dead) and a t23, plus one
caddy, and a couple of extra drives, and I can mix and match them.
Note that the caddy's for t40 units are different (although the drive
is the same) and you want one that fits an a30/t23.
You can also put the same 2.5" drives in a USB enclosure. So, that's
another option, getting that enclosure and putting a drive in it.
Those kind of enclosures you such be able to find at a local computer
city or similar store. I have one of those also. Again, you can buy
an 80GB 2.5" drive (or a 100GB one, or perhaps bigger these days).
You can but an of-the-shelf USB drive--I have an old one that is 80GB
and a new one I bought at Target that's 250GB.
Any of those options should work as your backup device. You should be
able to copy your partition to any of them. In addition, unless your
a30 bios is different than mine, you should also be able to configure
the system to boot from any of them also, either by changing the setup
or the "boot list" that you can select by pressing the f12 key as you
power on. I use the f12 method to select between two different boot
disks on one of my machines, which I use for work and home use.
However, you probably don't need that.
One last thing, the way thinkpads are setup you don't need to mess
with the cable, that's all internal. If you hook the drive up, the
system is already cabled correctly.
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