I have had a PC fail to boot with some pretty scary messages. Apparently (I didn't see it) there was a BSOD with the classic DOS type messages in a white courier typeface. I'm told that there was mention of missing or corrupt system files.
Then it refused to boot at all.
When I saw it, there was a DOS message about "failed to find Primary HDD".
I took out the C: drive (an "old school" 110Gb IDE ATA device) and put it in a caddy to look at in another machine. I changed the jumper from one end of the pins to the other (closest to the parallel connector). I believe this changes it from Master to Slave (am I right ?).
Upon powering up I can hear the drive spinning and clicking ... then I get the usual plug 'n play "ding" noises, and the messages pop up about finding a USB Mass Storage device and disk being ready (including the name and model of HDD) ... but it doesn't appear in "My Computer".
I looked in Device Manager and there it was - saying "this device is working properly". I have disabled and re-enabled it to no avail.
I ran Check It diagnostics and got a good report on my internal drives (C: and N: ) which have info for Physical and Logical aspects, but there is no mention of logical F: (where the USB device should have appeared). There are three HDDs in the physical section (#0 is C:, #1 is N: and #2 must be the USB caddy). Worryingly, the report on HDD #2 is bizarre :
Disk Size : 2 097 151 MB (that's 2 TERAbytes !)
No of Cylinders : -1 (yes, minus !)
No of Heads : 1
No of sectors/tracks : 1
Does this mean that there is something corrupt in the FAT (or equivalent - I think that the disk is actually formatted as NTSF) ?
Can this be fixed ?
I could dimantle another PC and put this drive into it as a second internal drive directly connected to the motherboard by IDE cable - would that yield different results ?
If I could find a PC professional, would they be able to work some sort of magic to at least address the data on the disk ?
[And yes, we do back up. This drive was backed up on 3rd July and has only been back in use since the 18th - so it's "only" two week's worth of incremental stuff we are talking about here. But we'd still like to get hold of it.]
Any help appreciated.