Hardware Reference
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platter coatings.... I've looked). Still no go, try one more bump WHEN you first turn the power
on.… Sometimes stuck heads need the motor to move before they will spin. LAST ATTEMPT to
spin, pull the cover (This will not destroy data recovery service offerings. Just make sure
nobody smokes around you and it's fairly clean.) off the drive. CAREFULLY with power on, push
the platter to spin it. Finally, do you have another drive same model? You can swap logic
boards...just don't leave it that way. The read/write electronics are balanced to the heads
inside the drive. This MAY work if you have a bad motor chip, etc. Now you can send the drive
to the service for data recovery and the big bill. IF IT'S NOT A SPIN PROBLEM, use a drive id
software (many available) to check how the drive SAYS it's set... even though the bios does
not get this report does not mean the drive is dead to this question...! No answer, you can use
some software (like Disk Mangler-—commercial) to rewrite track 0. THIS IS dangerous, so
know what you are doing. I practiced on bad drives that I had first. Other things not quite
right, swap the PLACEMENT of RAM in the system... surprised? Shouldn't be. Ram is used for
just about anything, right from the start. Check the POWER. Use a good meter.
From: David C. Projansky
With all troubleshooting, you have to have a logical approach and be able to eliminate
problems. When I get a call from end users that a hard drive has failed I first ask several
questions that will help determine the course of my actions.
1. I first ask what were they doing before the failure, i.e. did the PC perform and illegal
operation in an application and have to be rebooted? Did the user just turn the PC on and
nothing would happen? Is the hard drive making any kind of unusual sounds?
2. I've found most supposed hard drive failures are really operating system problems, and can
easily be repaired without taking the case apart. I usually like to turn the PC and pay close
attention to any error messages that come up. Since I always have a Win95 boot disk with me,
I usually boot to DOS so I can at least attempt to recover any data by copying data files onto
floppy disks.
3. Then I usually reinstall Win95. In worst cases, I have to fdisk the hard drive a reinstall the
OS and all applications.
4. On the other hand, I've had disk drive fail because of bad cables (a good indication of this is
if the BIOS can't detect the hard drive), power supply problems, and bad power cables. It's
important to work logically and try to eliminate the easy stuff before you have to replace a
hard drive.
From: Steve Schoenecker
After questioning the user to eliminate the upgrade/jumper issues or other changes such as
playing with encryption/privacy utilities, etc.
• I'd boot from a clean floppy (watch closely for indication of an overlay program which might
say "to boot from a floppy, hold the spacebar down." This can really eat your lunch!) and then
run a dosbased virus scanner such as FPROT or something like that just to be sure. If the drive
is not detected or can't be accessed at all:
• Look inside and see if the drive configuration specs are on the drive or look them up... make
sure power is connected securely data cable etc. Make sure drive is spinning up, verify cmos
settings for HD type, and boot order, etc. Visually verify which devices are on which IDE
channel etc.
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