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Last night I was doing what a usual gamer does (emulating old systems), And when I settled down for the night my harddrive started making noise. It runnings in a pattern... First the harddrive starts to spin, then there are 3 clicks, then the harddrive stops spinning. It repeats that pattern 3 or 4 times, and then I get a message saying:

Disk Read Error
Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart


Any ideas?

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Last Post by DMR
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And Now sometimes I get a message saying Bad "Boot.ini" file, try to boot from c:windows/


I'm lost

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I've seen this problem before, it is usually a sign that a hard drive is beginning to fail. This particular sound/problem usually occured on Western Digital hard disks, and it's looking like you have the second symptom in the form of a file that has become corrupt due to a bad sector appearing on the disk platter. You can try running Scandisk, (if you have it, any other disk scanner would work, just be sure to have it check the disk surface), and seeing how many bad sectors it finds. A typical pattern would be it will find, and fix bad sectors, but then more will appear later.

Some drives failing this way would just fail to boot, perhaps a sign that the first bad clusters occured on the boot sector. Other drives would just randomly go into that clicking sound, but it would get worse over time, until the drive eventually failed to boot.

Again, I've only ever heard Western Digital drives fail this way. That doesn't mean no other drive could fail that way, but if your drive is a Western Digital, I wouldn't be surprised.

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My hard drive does the exact same thing. Spins up, clicks 3 times, then stops and repeats.

The only difference is the first time this happened was during a boot, and I can no longer boot my system. (Maybe it was the 2nd time.. I came home yesterday to find a black screen with only my mouse pointer. Not being able to get anything to display, I rebooted...)

I would back-up any sensitive data now.

I'm looking at major data loss if I can't recover my drive. I've gotten lots of tips on recovering data. Everything from changing the orientation of the hard disk (make it vertical, its narrow sides pointing up and down). Manually spin the disk, etc.

My best hope seems to be using Knoppix (a linux distro fully contained on a bootable CD). I'm going to boot from the Knoppix CD, and try to mount my drive. If I can read data, and I can copy it to another drive or even a network.

I thought I would post to let you know what I've found. I'll let you know how it goes.

Hopefully, your system won't crashlike mine did. :mad:

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I've gotten lots of tips on recovering data. Everything from changing the orientation of the hard disk (make it vertical, its narrow sides pointing up and down). Manually spin the disk, etc.

Tapping/rapping on the drive with your knuckle or the handle of a screwdriver might get the drive to engage; just don't whack it too hard.

Also- as crazy as this sounds, putting the drive in your freezer for a few hours might get it functioning long enough to copy off the data:

- Remove the drive and place it in an anti-static bag.

- Place that bag inside two zip-lock freezer bags; suck as much air out of the bags as possible.

- Leave the drive in the freezer for at least a few hours.

- With the drive still in the baggies (keeps the cold in longer), hook the drive back up to the computer and power up.

If the drive comes up, you may only have about 20-30 minutes before it heats up and stops working again, so get copying quickly. I'd suggest you start by copying your most critical data first just in case the drive dies during the copy process.

I performed the above proceedure on a client's drive last week, and it worked.

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i just found this thread and site through a google.com search....your solution (DMR) worked beautifully and i was able to recover what data i really needed. im going to try and defrag the drive and see if that might also help prolong general usage until i get a new drive. also to post this will be the 2nd time this year i have to replace my hard drive due to the same problem (both maxtor) i was sent a replacement but my warranty expired and i never sent the old one back.

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i just found this thread and site through a google.com search....your solution (DMR) worked beautifully and i was able to recover what data i really needed....

Glad we could help! :)

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