Hard drive problem in Laptop

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by djg05, May 22, 2015.

  1. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    I am trying to help out a friend with his Dell Laptop 1525 (Vista) where it no longer boots up. He has asked me to recover all his pictures from it. I had previously told him about backups - deaf ears.

    I have managed to recover the majority of the pictures and now want to get the m/c working again. I suspected it might be some malware he had picked up and ran it on a docking station with mbam, but came up clean. Chkdsk also only found a few faults.

    It will now boot up but is slow as molasses and will mostly freeze when it gets to the desktop but that takes up to 5 mins. Then it may or may not load a program.

    I have run Hirens toolkit on it and used the hd checker - a few faults were found.

    It would seem that the hd is corrupted in some way and was hoping to get the Dell recovery to work but all the keys at boot up that I have found do not work. There is a hidden partition on it but the files there do not seem large enough to restore the system.

    I know that the m/c is ok since I put a spare hd in it and it worked fine.

    I am a bit lost now. Would it be that the hd is stuffed and should be replaced, or is there some other way to sort this.

    Thanks for any help
     
  2. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    run either CrystaldiskInfo or HDTune pro and see if there is any bad sectors. I guess it's time for that HDD to go, it's dying.
     
  3. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Probably the best option is to buy a replacement hard drive and then clone the failing drive to it with EaseUS Disk Copy. There is a free version of Disk Copy and you can make a bootable USB flash drive with it which you use to clone the drive. There is a silent mode option which will let it continue when there are errors found. The newly cloned drive, more often than not will be fully bootable, but there may a few minor errors on the drive which can be fixed with chkdsk.
     
  4. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    I did try Hirens HDAT2 and that did not show any errors, but both the programs you suggested showed problems. HD Tune on a scan shows 2 bad blocks, so end of story for this HD.
     
  5. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    I am not sure if disk cloning is the best way. He has so much rubbish on it that it might be better to go for a clean install. The problem finding a copy of Vista. Presumably I can install any copy and use the reg no off the m/c to make it legal.

    Thanks
     
  6. Infected

    Infected Registered Member

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    Try running another scanner. Maybe a hidden rookit somewhere. Boot with Kaspersky RD or HMP.
     
  7. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    OK I think that's it for this HDD. It's gone. No need to consider reinstalling Windows on it. Time to replace it with a new HDD.
    But at least you have recovered all the data, that's all that matters.
     
  8. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Run chkdsk with the "repair" option. Then create a backup image.
     
  9. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Yes - agreed. Thanks for your help on this.

    Out of interest I am running the Kapersky disk to see if it finds anything - Thanks infected.
     
  10. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Yes I have tried that and it repairs errors, but cannot get an image - it stalls, presumably when it encountgers the bad blocks.
     
  11. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Try to run chkdsk a second time, sometimes it needs several runs to "repair" all the problems, then try the image again.

    If bad blocks remain but you still want to create an image, you could use an image program with the option to omit bad blocks from the backup.
     
  12. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Thanks - I will try that. Kapersky is running at the moment and is going to take some 13 or so hours to complete. I notice that it has already found some suspicous Java files.
     
  13. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    R-Drive Image is the only product I've found that will make an image of a drive with errors. It's not free, but have a fully functional 30 day trial.

    Doing a clone will the be the easiest way, as there should be no need to setup or reinstall anything. However, if you want to do a clean install, as long as you have the same edition of Vista as what is installed, then you are right, you can just use the product key, on the cerificate of authenticity sticker to install it.
     
  14. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Also, for now the most imortant thing to do is to either create at image of the drive or clone it.

    Don't run any malware scans on the drive, as using it could make it worse, and you could possibly end up with a badly damaged drive that you can no longer access the data on.
     
  15. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Also Terabyte programs and O&O DiskImage.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
  16. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions.

    After running the Kapersky disk it found a rootkit and an adware Java which it says it removed. It boots a bit better but still locks up soon after logging in.

    I don't have any spare 3" drives. I have got a small SSD but after using it for a short while it self destructed, at least Win no longer recognises it in dismanagement so will be send that back under warranty.

    Not sure if cloning is a good idea. If it still has malware on it I don't want it to proliferate. Never sure how contagious these are.
     
  17. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    Cloning or imaging is the best option right now as it seems that the drive is failing and you accordingly you need to retreive the data from the drive as soon as possible. The more you use the drive the more likely it is to fail, so it is important to keep drive access to a minimum.

    It does not matter if the cloned drive has malware on it, as you can remove it from the cloned drive, without any worry that the drive may suddenly die.
     
  18. djg05

    djg05 Registered Member

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    Ok - thanks.

    Will have to order one this week. I have managed to capture a lot of data using a recovery program which should be enough for them. In the meantime they have bought a new laptop and since the old one is worth very little they have gifted it to me - so I have a little project to play around with.
     
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