Discussion:
[lopsa-tech] Corrupt File System
(too old to reply)
Ryan Wetmore
2007-11-13 13:32:49 UTC
Permalink
Hello All,

I recently ran into an issue where a board member brought me their
laptop to take a look at. The board member said that it took an
extraordinary amount of time to boot into Windows XP Professional, but
it would eventually get to the Desktop. At that point I thought that
it could possibly by spyware or something that was taking up to much
resources at startup. The more I examined the laptop the more a ruled
out a spyware issue. I ran the built in Dell diagnostic utilities to
check the hardware, it didn't find anything. I ran SpinRite (GRC.com)
to see if it could find anything wrong with the harddrive. It found
one bad sector and reallocated it to a new working sector. After
running SpinRite, it still booted very slowly. I decided to run
chkdsk with the repair option. 15 minutes into the chkdsk scan the
laptop blue screened saying something about a corrupt profile or
registry profile. Now the laptop won't boot at all. I booted from
the Windows XP install disk and selected the Recovery Console. I
tried to run chkdsk from there, but it says that the disk has
"unrecoverable errors". I cannot even do a directory listing. I
tried using a Knoppix CD to get the data off the laptop but it even
says that I should run chkdsk. I'm running out of ideas. Some other
things I thought of:

1. Purchase a disk recovery package from someone.
2. Send the drive off to be professionally recovered.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Ryan Wetmore
Glenn Sieb
2007-11-13 20:29:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ryan Wetmore
1. Purchase a disk recovery package from someone.
2. Send the drive off to be professionally recovered.
Hmm. What I'd do:

1) Reseat everything (memory, hard drive, etc) that you can.

2) If the drive doesn't come up--then remove drive, throw it into a USB
enclosure and run chkdsk on it on a known-good machine (w/a good A/V
program running).

3) Get a copy of Runtime Software's GetDataBack (FAT & NTFS...)
http://www.runtime.org/ I can't tell you how many times it's saved bacon
from the fire. While you're at it, make a Ultimate BootCD for Windows
http://www.ubcd4win.com/ (which you can install Runtime software onto,
with your license!)

Best,
--Glenn
Robert Nickel
2007-12-11 06:47:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Glenn Sieb
Post by Ryan Wetmore
1. Purchase a disk recovery package from someone.
2. Send the drive off to be professionally recovered.
1) Reseat everything (memory, hard drive, etc) that you can.
2) If the drive doesn't come up--then remove drive, throw it into a USB
enclosure and run chkdsk on it on a known-good machine (w/a good A/V
program running).
As part of step two, if you still can't read it after a first try in the
enclosure, I put the drive in the freezer for about 15 minutes to get it nice
and cool and then retry access with the enclosure.

The first time I heard this I swore that the advice was coming from a raving
lunatic.

The fourth time it worked for a drive that was unusable, I started giving the
advice to others. :-)

Good luck,

--Robert
Skylar Thompson
2007-12-11 13:57:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Nickel
As part of step two, if you still can't read it after a first try in the
enclosure, I put the drive in the freezer for about 15 minutes to get it nice
and cool and then retry access with the enclosure.
The first time I heard this I swore that the advice was coming from a raving
lunatic.
The fourth time it worked for a drive that was unusable, I started giving the
advice to others. :-)
Here's some more crazy advice: try dropping the drive onto a hard
surface from a height of 6-8 inches. If the spindle's seized up that can
get it spinning. Or it could just as easily damage the drive, but it's
already dead, right?
--
-- Skylar Thompson (***@cs.earlham.edu)
-- http://www.cs.earlham.edu/~skylar/
Shawn Badger
2007-12-11 16:00:38 UTC
Permalink
I have never tried dropping the drive to free up the spindle. when I come
across one that is seized I hold it flat while powered on give a quick spin
while holding it flat.

I have also done the freezer trick many times with great success.
Post by Robert Nickel
Post by Robert Nickel
As part of step two, if you still can't read it after a first try in the
enclosure, I put the drive in the freezer for about 15 minutes to get it
nice
Post by Robert Nickel
and cool and then retry access with the enclosure.
The first time I heard this I swore that the advice was coming from a
raving
Post by Robert Nickel
lunatic.
The fourth time it worked for a drive that was unusable, I started
giving the
Post by Robert Nickel
advice to others. :-)
Here's some more crazy advice: try dropping the drive onto a hard
surface from a height of 6-8 inches. If the spindle's seized up that can
get it spinning. Or it could just as easily damage the drive, but it's
already dead, right?
--
-- http://www.cs.earlham.edu/~skylar/<http://www.cs.earlham.edu/%7Eskylar/>
_______________________________________________
Tech mailing list
http://lopsa.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tech
This list provided by the League of Professional System Administrators
http://lopsa.org/
Lynda
2007-12-11 16:24:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shawn Badger
I have never tried dropping the drive to free up the spindle. when I
come across one that is seized I hold it flat while powered on give a
quick spin while holding it flat.
Let me recommend against dropping a drive, from any height. I have
actually taken a drive, placed it on cardboard, placed cardboard above
it (so as to prevent dents, and to disperse the blow), and then tapped
it firmly with a rubber mallet a few times. I *only* do this when the
drive had been making the evil *click*-*click* sound. I have had
consistent success with that. Please note that you are more likely to
have success with this method if you turn the drive upside down; once
you've struck it once, or twice, *leave it upside down*, and plug it
back in to the machine that you are going to use to retrieve data from it.

Dropping is a bad idea because you are not able to control the force
applied. In addition, if the head is just stuck, you then run the risk
of having it jam in that position. BTW, I have run a drive, upside down
(out of curiosity), for six months after having retrieved the data,
before it finally died.

Oh, and add another stick in the freezer as a last resort person to the
list.
--
...Deep Hack Mode -- that mysterious and frightening state of
consciousness where Mortal Users fear to tread.
Matt Welsh
(also see: http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/hack-mode.html)
Richard Chycoski
2007-12-11 17:57:53 UTC
Permalink
The old 'stiction' problem (drive won't start spinning - a favourite of
certain drives in old Apple Macs :-) is usually curable with a good
twist-of-the-drive at power on. I've seen people successfully start a
drive by dropping it a few inches (just picking up the front of the
drive about two or three inches and letting it go), but I prefer not to
risk the heads and mangling the data worse than they already are.

I've also had success by using a beefier power supply, which usually
means that the system's power supply is either too small or just can't
supply enough starting current to get the sticky drive started.

- Richard
Post by Lynda
Post by Shawn Badger
I have never tried dropping the drive to free up the spindle. when I
come across one that is seized I hold it flat while powered on give a
quick spin while holding it flat.
Let me recommend against dropping a drive, from any height. I have
actually taken a drive, placed it on cardboard, placed cardboard above
it (so as to prevent dents, and to disperse the blow), and then tapped
it firmly with a rubber mallet a few times. I *only* do this when the
drive had been making the evil *click*-*click* sound. I have had
consistent success with that. Please note that you are more likely to
have success with this method if you turn the drive upside down; once
you've struck it once, or twice, *leave it upside down*, and plug it
back in to the machine that you are going to use to retrieve data from it.
Dropping is a bad idea because you are not able to control the force
applied. In addition, if the head is just stuck, you then run the risk
of having it jam in that position. BTW, I have run a drive, upside down
(out of curiosity), for six months after having retrieved the data,
before it finally died.
Oh, and add another stick in the freezer as a last resort person to the
list.
Richard Chycoski
2007-12-12 04:13:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Chycoski
The old 'stiction' problem (drive won't start spinning - a favourite of
certain drives in old Apple Macs :-)
Now I remember - our Apple techs used to call it a "Miniscribe Holiday". :-)

Apple eventually came out with a firmware upgrade that temporarily
overloaded the motor drivers to help get them going - but even that
lasted only so long...

- Richard

Brad Knowles
2007-12-11 18:24:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lynda
Dropping is a bad idea because you are not able to control the force
applied. In addition, if the head is just stuck, you then run the risk
of having it jam in that position.
The cure for "sticktion" used to be using a hot hair dryer on the
drive mechanism itself. See the re-post of my "Stiction FAQ" from
1989 at <http://www.sunmanagers.org/archives/1991/0311.html>.

I don't know that any modern drive has the same problem with the
spindle lubricant tending to become too thin and leaking out over the
platter, however.


That said, I still cringe whenever I hear people talking about
slapping, hitting, or dropping their drives -- I have seen the
insides of these things under a microscope, and I know what happens
to them when you rip the heads off the actuator arms. It's not
pretty.

Moreover, vendors can take one look inside a drive and see what has
happened, and they can easily decide not to honor any warranty on a
drive that has been mistreated in this way. So, I would not do
anything that might do detectable damage to the drive unless your
plan was to throw it away anyway, and therefore it wouldn't matter
that the vendor would refuse to honor the warranty.
Post by Lynda
BTW, I have run a drive, upside down
(out of curiosity), for six months after having retrieved the data,
before it finally died.
It used to be the case that drives were warranteed for operation in
any orientation -- except upside-down. This is because the heads
weighed so much that the actuator arms had to compensate for gravity
in their design, and putting the drive on the side did not cause the
heads to be raised too far out of alignment, but putting the drive
upside down would cause gravity to pull the opposite direction on the
actuator arms and the heads would be pulled out of alignment.

I don't know if this is still the case.
Post by Lynda
Oh, and add another stick in the freezer as a last resort person to the
list.
I've heard this a number of times on the sage-members list (where
this item has come up multiple times before), and on this list.

I remain skeptical, although I like to think that I can keep an open
mind on this subject.
--
Brad Knowles <***@shub-internet.org>
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
John BORIS
2007-12-11 18:52:22 UTC
Permalink
Most of the drive failures I have encountered have happened imediately
after a power outage for a long duration on servers that have been up
for months. So in my other life as a Machinist, I always thought that
the drives cooled down and everything shrunk back to a smaller setting
or closer tolerance then they were while operating. This the drive
wouldn't spin up to speed. You could hear it try to start and then stop.
I must confess I was never able to get them back up and running.

I had one unit that had a bad bearing , so bad you could hear it whine
big time. They had a power outage and I tried to get the unit started to
retrieve the latest data from that day and although never thought of the
hair dryer, we moved the unit by the heater (no the unit wasn't in a
controlled Network room) and after an hour or two hit the power buttun
and got the screamer back up.

I have tried tapping those drives with the rubber part of my screw
driver, taking them out and spinning them but have never been lucky
enough except for the one time with the heater.



John J. Boris, Sr.
JEN-A-SyS Administrator
Archdiocese of Philadelphia

"Remember! That light at the end of the tunnel
Just might be the headlight of an oncoming train!"
Post by Lynda
Dropping is a bad idea because you are not able to control the force
applied. In addition, if the head is just stuck, you then run the risk
of having it jam in that position.
The cure for "sticktion" used to be using a hot hair dryer on the
drive mechanism itself. See the re-post of my "Stiction FAQ" from
1989 at <http://www.sunmanagers.org/archives/1991/0311.html>.

I don't know that any modern drive has the same problem with the
spindle lubricant tending to become too thin and leaking out over the
platter, however.


snip ....
Lamont Granquist
2007-11-14 00:17:22 UTC
Permalink
Friend of mine has a laptop with those symptoms. Problem started after
dropping the laptop, and the error logs had a huge pile of disk warnings
in the hours after dropping it. It seems to have stabilized now where it
runs horribly slow until you open the device manager and then it magically
fixes itself. Something is clearly corrupt in a very odd way. Given that
it is XP about all I can recommend is reinstalling the O/S and/or
replacing the hard drive...

( I discovered the open-the-device-manager trick after doing a lot of
fiddling with the hardware and disabling things trying to find the device
that was causing the issues, but it turned out that all i had to do was
open the device manager and it fixed everything... )

Also found that sometimes one of the windows processes would spin at 100%
now but that killing it doesn't appear to harm the functioning of the
system...
Post by Ryan Wetmore
Hello All,
I recently ran into an issue where a board member brought me their
laptop to take a look at. The board member said that it took an
extraordinary amount of time to boot into Windows XP Professional, but
it would eventually get to the Desktop. At that point I thought that
it could possibly by spyware or something that was taking up to much
resources at startup. The more I examined the laptop the more a ruled
out a spyware issue. I ran the built in Dell diagnostic utilities to
check the hardware, it didn't find anything. I ran SpinRite (GRC.com)
to see if it could find anything wrong with the harddrive. It found
one bad sector and reallocated it to a new working sector. After
running SpinRite, it still booted very slowly. I decided to run
chkdsk with the repair option. 15 minutes into the chkdsk scan the
laptop blue screened saying something about a corrupt profile or
registry profile. Now the laptop won't boot at all. I booted from
the Windows XP install disk and selected the Recovery Console. I
tried to run chkdsk from there, but it says that the disk has
"unrecoverable errors". I cannot even do a directory listing. I
tried using a Knoppix CD to get the data off the laptop but it even
says that I should run chkdsk. I'm running out of ideas. Some other
1. Purchase a disk recovery package from someone.
2. Send the drive off to be professionally recovered.
Any ideas?
Thanks,
Ryan Wetmore
_______________________________________________
Tech mailing list
http://lopsa.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/tech
This list provided by the League of Professional System Administrators
http://lopsa.org/
Benjamin Feen
2007-12-11 16:57:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ryan Wetmore
Any ideas?
See this classic:

200 ways to revive a hard drive
http://www.midwayisd.org/PDFs/help/200ways.pdf
Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...