Laptop Stuffed. HD damaged by magnets?

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting Help' started by josh81, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. josh81

    josh81 Member

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    My laptop has crashed every now and then, and gone into the checking disks page, and tries to fix bad clusters or whatever it does. In the past i think this might have been couple with some signs of virus and adware/spyware virus too.
    But lately it has been happening all the time, nearly every day for the past week.
    So i used the recovery CD to re-install Windows which i've done before a couple of times, no problems (note: i've got 2 partitions, D drive has most of the HD).
    And this time it worked as normal last night, but when i went to turn my computer on tonight it tried to log on but with no success. And then it reset and came up with:
    "No bootable CD in ATAPI CD-ROM.
    Intel Boot Agent FE v4.1.09
    Intel Base-code PXE-2.1 (build 083)
    PXE-E61: Media Test failure, check cable
    PXE-M0F: Exiting Intel Boot Agent.
    Press any key when ready"

    My computer wouldn't start, so the only thing i could do was to try and use the recovery CD again, but this time after 2% (~20secs) it came up with this:
    "Error #49 Write Fault.
    OK."

    And it started making this weird clicking noise. Here is an audio recording of it.
    http://users.tpg.com.au/lisadell/Sound+clip(10).amr

    Then i tried to do it again and it before it started the recovery it had this message:
    "PowerQuest PQImage has detected error 113 on the partition starting a...(missing words).
    This partition overlaps another partition or the end of the disk. Power Quest PQImage has determined that the file system can be truncated 20487528 sectors to 20482812 sectors.
    Would you like PowerQuest PQImage to fix this error?
    YES/NO"

    I selected yes:
    "The partition table error was sucessfully fixed!
    OK."

    I was always taken back to the Non bootable CD page, and the next time it had this as well:
    "Press H to retry Hard Disk, or any other key for floppy"

    Whenever i tried to use the recovery disk, as my only solution to the problem, i would get the write error, and the clicking.

    Anyway, regarding the magents, as mentioned, the computer has been crashing and requiring a disk check all the time in the last week, which is roughly when i replaced my bed linen, and put my magnawool (a wool underlay with magnets in it to help pain relief) on the bed for the first time in a couple yrs approx. And seeing as i use my laptop on my bed all the time, i was thinking the magnets could have damaged the hard drive, and the write error and the clicking suggest that the HD is spinning properly.

    I didn't back up anything from my D drive before i chose to use recovery disk, just moved C-drive data to the d-drive because D-drive isn't erased, but now i'm afraid i've lost all my data and my laptop is stuffed, or at least the HD is.
    Help desperately needed. :(
    Why did this happen? Solution? Can data be recovered? Can replacement HD be purchased and installed? How much (40GB)?
     
  2. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

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    your hdd died, not magnets fault. im certain the magnets inside the hdd would pwn anything else in the domestic magnet using market =)

    data recovering is very very very expensive.

    a new 40gb is $80 and it should only be a few screws to replace.
     
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    josh81

    josh81 Member

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    I gathered the HD magnet is much stronger than anything domestic, but does that mean it can't be affected in any way by other magnets? This magnetic underlay has many magnets in it, each magnet about twice the size of a standard casino chip, or 4 times the volume of a 50c piece. The laptop could be in one area where there are about 20 of these magnets in one square.

    What other reason could have caused the HD to die?

    :upset: :upset: :upset: How expensive, like $100-$200? Even from D drive partition?

    That's not too bad, i expected about $100. DYI installation? Is it possible to upgrade the HD while i'm at it, say put an 80GB HD replacement?

    The kicker is, i'm buying a new laptop, probably within the next week, and i would be selling this one. I s'pose it's better that this happened before i sold it, cause i don't want to rip someone off.
     
  4. NormM

    NormM Member

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    HDD can die for a number of reasons. Hard to tell.

    Data recovery is VERY expensive, not for the average user...

    Yes you should be able to upgrade to a larger drive. I wouldn't worry though if you're going to sell it. The larger they are the more they cost..
     
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    josh81

    josh81 Member

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    Holy crap, i just had a look on the net and saw that a Hardware related data recovery was $3400, and a software related problem was $350.

    So i guess i'll have to take the HD out and replace it, sell the laptop, and then hold on to the damaged HD until i've got a spare $3400 on me. :wired: :upset:
     
  6. 4th

    4th Member

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    this is kinda unrleated but there do exist companies that actually recalled laptop bags because the magnets on the catches interfered with machines carried in them.
     
  7. INerTIal

    INerTIal Das Uber LemMinG

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    Unless the magnetic field is rapidly moving, it will not affect the HDD in any way, also the HDD in the laptop would be at least a couple of inches above the magnets in the bed, in which case the magnets would have even less effect because by that distance the magnetic field would have virtually disappeared (good old inverse square law).

    Basically the chances of the magnets having had any effect on the hdd are about as much as the chances of a meteorite taking out the hdd and leaving the rest of the laptop intact.

    What is alot more likely is that the HDD has simply died due to a mechanical failure, this is unavoidable and can happen to all HDD's, as the old saying goes "Data you haven't backed up is data you don't want"
     
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    josh81

    josh81 Member

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    The laptop HD could have been as close as only 1 inch from the magnets. But still probably not the problem. I did use my laptop on my bed a lot, and i was recently told that, that kind of use can damage the laptop. Perticularly with overheating if the bottom fan ports are blocked, so mabye that was it.

    I did have some stuff backed up on my portable hard drive, but when i was going to recover my mum's desktop i erased everything on it to make way for her data, and she never got around to saving her Outlook emails, so i never put any of my stuff back on.

    Also, my laptop only has a CD burner, so it would take over 50 disks to backup my entire HD. And i was thinking about when i get my new laptop next week i can backup all my data on DVD's. After 2+ years with this laptop it dies ~1 week before i would've backed it all up.
    Still stupid not to have all the very important stuff backed up.
     
  9. blakeyboysmith

    blakeyboysmith Member

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    always have a back up...
    for what 40gb at $80 and $20 odd for a usb case.. $100 is worth it..

    also have something that does SMART... like speedfan.. that lets you know when your HD is on the way out so you can backup and what not before the inveitable death.. also can tell you the HD temp so if you are getting it too hot you will know about it...

    let this be a lesson learned i almost ended up in your shoes a few months back..
     
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    josh81

    josh81 Member

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    Yes i know lesson learned, i didn't know a HD could just die like this, perticularly after only 2 1/4 yrs old, and also that it costs thousands to recover data.
    How can the data recovery people justify that sort of fee, is it just that they know people will pay, cause people's data can be very important to them? I know i don't want to lose all my digital photos and graphic deisgn work.
    The personal photos and videos i can wait for a few years, but the graphic design stuff i might need for carrer purposes in the near future.

    Uggh! Where's a long lost rich uncle when you need one.
     
  11. danielvh

    danielvh Member

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    The answer to this is mainly because of the time it can take to recover the data. First, pretty much all the components need to be swapped over for known working ones (this is VERY fiddly), and even then, the data recovery process can get very complicated. One hard drive might be the only project one of these guys works on for days at a time.

    Saying that, $3400 is too much. The guy I use (I work at a PC store and refer people to him if they have extremely important data on dead hard drives and we're unable to recover it even with professional recovery software) usually charges for the above sort of work around $1000.
     
  12. looktall

    looktall Working Class Doughnut

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    $3400 might seem like a high price, but what price would you put on the data that may be on a failed hard drive from a business machine?
    if it's critical data it can be worth literally millions of dollars, which makes $3400 seem quite insignificant.

    we do the occasional data recovery, but usually just to the software level and we charge whether we successfully recover data or not.
    what we charge depends on how much data needs to be recovered.
     
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    josh81

    josh81 Member

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    Oh cool, that's much more do-able, i could save up a $1000, still a horrid price to pay, but if the data's not urgent, i could save $100 a month for the next year, and then get it done.

    Yeah i see how they can justify it if they're doing it for big business, and i guess they can't charge less for single consumers.
    I saw most places advertised on the net had that "no recover, no fee" policy.
     

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