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Unresponsive Hard Drives in Birmingham

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As if once wasn’t enough I’ve just had to deal with another computer problem…

As readers of my blog will know, I work all over the UK and when this problem occurred I found myself in Birmingham. After my last computer problem experience with the data port working loose on my hard drive (see my previous post), this time I had an ageing Windows XP computer and its power unit failed. Rather than spend money on a repair, I removed its two Seagate 160GB hard drives which had been working perfectly and scrapped the rest. I bought a HDD docking station with USB connection into a new computer to retrieve the data but my new computer failed to recognise the existence of one drive and for the other it displayed a message that the drive must be reformatted! before it could be used!

Being in Birmingham I decided to look up my old friends at Data Clinic Birmingham who have previously helped me out with a hard drive that had become unresponsive with all my data saved on it.

Before I went along to see them I made a little bet with myself: I reckoned I’d diagnose what the faults with the drives were first and then see if what I thought matched their diagnoses. For the Seagate disk that was needing reformatting my guess was that I had a corruption of data, perhaps in the filesystem. I thought this because the hard drive was working fine, the problem came when the Windows were trying to read it.

For the second hard drive, I went for a firmware fault. Why? well as while ago Seagate drives had a firmware problem on their 7200.11 hard drives and my drive was a 7200.11 disk, so I thought it a logically assumption.

Well was I right? Well, I was totally wrong on the firmware fault issue. It wasn’t a firmware problem, rather it was a broken PCB. The guys at Data Clinic fitted a spare and my drive came back to life along with the data on it. For the other Seagate disk, I was sort of write – there was indeed a corruption, specifically of something called the Master File Table (known as the ‘MFT’) which keeps a record of the location of the files on a hard drive. When the MFT becomes scrambled the data can not be accessed anymore and Windows wants to format the disk. I learned that it’s possible to repair the MFT and this was done and my data was retrieved. For more information about the MFT check out this Microsoft link

Written by Betty

January 26th, 2016 at 3:28 pm