Hard Drive Problems

1:27:00 PM |

Problem: Can't access my crashed hard drive. I have 2 hard drives on my computer, a 2 Gig, that has Windows installed on it (C:) and a 10 Gig, for files and stuff (D:). They are two totally separate drives, not partitions.
Anyway, one day I booted up the computer and Windows wouldn't recognize the D: drive. The BIOS read it fine. I concluded that my hard drive crashed. Is there any way I can recover the data? I have tried to access the D: drive in DOS, but It doesn't want to read it for some unknown reason. Any help is appreciated.
I am downloading Norton Utilities, but if that doesn't work, I'm clueless. I have a bunch of floppies, so if I could get to the data I'd be all set. I am not rich enough to spend thousands of dollars to a disk recovery company. I have documents on that drive, which is why I want to try to recover them. I have a few floppies that I could put them on, if I could only get to the data. Do you have any ideas? Any help is appreciated.
InfoHQ Answer: I suggest you visit your hard drive manufacturer's site and make sure the hard drive is set up correctly in your BIOS. Use the auto detect function in your BIOS, and if you are given several choices try different settings. Save the BIOS setting and exit by choosing (F10) and then Y. If the BIOS can set the drive up correctly you should be able to access the drive from DOS.
Does the read light come on when you try to access the drive or does the light stay lit all the time? The answer to these problems is to remove the computer case and make sure the drive cables are firmly attached.
Another possibility is that your drive has been formatted or damaged by a virus. Use a virus checker to make sure you don't have a destructive virus lurking on your system.
Try typing "dir" (don't type the quotes) at the DOS prompt to see if you can read the drive directory. If you can't read the drives' directory from DOS, either it is not correctly set up in the BIOS or your directory has been damaged. If Norton Utilities can't save your damaged drive, I know of no other way to save it.
I also suggest from now on you establish a back up routine to copy any file that is important to some kind of backup media: floppy disks, Zipdrive, CD-ROM etc.
ProblemRecovering files from a crashed hard drive. My hard drive crashed. I have to send it to the factory to get it replaced. I can get into the files through a recovery disk using ms-dos. I have several files that were not backed up on disk.
I would like to transfer them to another computer with a cable pc/PC I tried copying them to a floppy. But whatever the problem with the hard drive it won't allow me to write to the floppy. What is the best way to do a DOS to Win98/computer to computer transfer? What software might I need to do it? 
InfoHQ Answer. A small shareware file, Zipft, will allow you to transfer files between your two computers with the purchase of a $10 null modem cable.
The only catch is, Zipft has to be running on both computers (which of course is the problem with any DOS file transfer system). So I hope you can at least copy this program to a floppy and run it in your computer with the messed up drive or this method will not work.
A null modem cable is a serial cable with serial connectors on both ends. Computer stores sometimes carry them, if you can't find one locally they are available off the Internet.
You plug the null modem cable into a serial port on both computers and then you have to use Zipft to transfer the files (a Word instruction file is included in the Zipft program, I suggest you read it thoroughly). The commercial programs Laplink and FastLynx also use a similar cabling technique , and may or may not be easier to use (any time you use DOS it requires some work) and will be much more expensive.
The second possibility I can think of is to remove the drive (if it is a desktop computer) and make it a slave drive in your second computer (a friend's computer could also be used). Files could then be copied directly from the damaged drive to your healthy hard drive, onto floppies, or to Internet drives.
Procedures for removing the hard drive and reinstalling it can be found in our article,Installing a Second Hard Drive .
Both solutions discussed are not for novices. If you feel uncomfortable about the procedures, get a friend or a computer repair shop to help you.
Problem: Can't use CD-ROM after setting up as slave to a hard drive. When I boot my computer I get the message (primary slave atapi -incompatible) and I will not have a CD-ROM
InfoHQ Answer. You usually can't slave a CD-ROM drive to a hard drive. Set the CD-ROM up on your Secondary IDE channel (your other hard drive ribbon cable) either as a primary, or as a slave to another CD-ROM, Zip Disk, CD R/W, etc. Only slave hard drives to other hard drives.
Problem: How can I find out what hardware is installed inside my computer?
There is a free program called the Belarc Advisor, available for download at www.belarc.com. The Belarc Advisor will provide you all sorts of information on your motherboard, hard drives, RAM, video card, sound card, modem etc.