General Question

nicky's avatar

What is wrong with my hard drive?

Asked by nicky (207points) June 23rd, 2010

I recently had a big computer crash. I’m not sure why it crashed exactly, but the symptoms after were issues with bootmgr and chkdisk and generally with the booting process in general. I installed a clean copy of windows 7 on one of my empty internal drives and its running beautifully. The issue is with the 1 TB SATA HD (also internal) i have on my computer which has almost all of my important data on it.

When I click on the drive in Windows Explorer, it lags really long to display the directory. When I click on a folder, it lags again, which continues to do each time you click on something new. The lag time is somewhere around 30 seconds. What is the problem with this drive now? Would a format fix it? if so, how can i back up my filez????

Any help would be appreciated!

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6 Answers

Nullo's avatar

It sounds a bit like an issue that I would sometimes have with external storage media. Maybe you’ve got a loose bus someplace.

jrpowell's avatar

It sounds like your drive is getting ready to die. My advice is to back it up if you can. The less you fuck with it the greater the odds off salvaging some of your data.

Lightlyseared's avatar

It sounds very much like the HD is damaged. I’d start backing up everything off the HD as soon as possible. Avoid accessing the files too much until you have them backed up.

Andreas's avatar

@nicky If you wish to back up the hard dive I would use a Linux live disk. What you need to do first is make sure that you can boot from the CD-ROM drive first, then hard drive second so that you boot from the Linux disk.

Then you logoff, place the Linux disk in the CD-ROM drive and your computer will boot into Linux. From there you should be able to “mount” all your hard drives, and using drag-and-and-drop, back up your damaged hard drive onto your Windows 7 drive. From there you can then check your other drive and do what you like with it back in Windows.

Where to get the disk?

I use a small Linux distro called Puppy Linux. You can go to this site and get a copy as an ISO file. The URL is

I use Puppy 4.3.1

Once you have the ISO file on your Desktop, then you need to burn it onto a blank CD at 1-speed. Any higher and the disk may become corrupted and unusable. The extra time to burn compared with burning at, say, 4-speed isn’t that great as the ISO is about 100 MB. While this may seem daunting at first, it’s really not that hard. Just take your time and you should be fine. (I had to teach myself how to do this so I know it is doable for a computer-challenged person, if that’s you :-) )

If you need to, get back to me via Fluther and I’ll help. There’s also a very good and active forum.

I just remembered: You will need to know which chip your computer has, either AMD-64 or I-386 (I think). The ISO file for each is slightly different and they are not interchangeable. In a worst case scenario download both types and burn to two disks.

By going this way you will save yourself a stack of money, maybe save your problematic hard drive (and your data!) and become a computer whizz for this fairly common problem. You might even see a value in using Linux in general for a lot of your computer work.

Also you should be able to get online while in Linux.

All the best and keep us all posted.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Reboot your computer into safe mode with command prompt, then run the command


Where D: is the drive letter of the failing disk. That will try to fix any problems on the disk that aren’t related to physical damage.

reijinni's avatar

get a new drive and copy whatever info you can onto the new drive.

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