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Mmm.. I've got a question. (Computer related -_-) 12 replies

Rhunyc said on: 2007-08-27 01:39 am
4071 Days, 8 Hrs, 57 Min, 58 Sec ago
I'm curious about something.

Well, I've got a problem and I might as well tell you what that is first, so you know why I'm wondering this.

What's going on is, I've got a laptop, and have had it for a year. It recently (as of a month ago or so) started randomly not booting up. It'd take a few restarts and then it'd be okay. But now it's gotten to the point where I spend a half an hour restarting it over and over until I can finally get it to recognize my hard drive.

Which is the problem, it's having a difficult time recognizing there's a hard drive and such. I just don't know if it's because the hard drive is just dying (probably the case) or something else may be wrong.

If you have any suggestions for that, let me know, because I'd be glad to try something other than restarting it over and over. But! That's not what I'm here for.

What I'm here for is I'm wondering if there's any way I could make a duplicate of my C: drive (with all the data) onto an external hard drive, and just boot Windows and everything from the external hard drive. Is there?

Or am I just an idiot for asking and not knowing why? :] :D

Either way, a response would be handy (hopefully that of the nice kind).

[Added at 08/27/2007 03:46:12 by Victor_Troska]
And, I know how to use Google and the like, I'm just asking if anyone knows off the top of their head. I'm not really in a hurry to fix this or anything, I'm just wondering. :/

Feel free to look it up though, if you'd like.
GuildaMage said on: 2007-08-27 09:32 pm
4070 Days, 13 Hrs, 5 Min, 12 Sec ago
I know how to do it, just not the exact steps to tell you.

It does sound like either your hard drive is going out, your cables are loose or have dirty in them, or maybe you have some conflicting software (install anything recently?).

If you want to boot from another device, all you have to do is select it under the setup screen from the boot up of dos (assuming you use dos/windows) after that just select what boot device you want used as your primary.

Im not an uber computer tech, so i was waiting for others to answer the question for you...but seeing as how nobody has..thats about the best i can tell you offa the top of my head.

Hope it helps. =D
Dondon said on: 2007-08-27 10:23 pm
4070 Days, 12 Hrs, 14 Min, 10 Sec ago
Very likely Guildamage is right. It's also possible that it's a power issue. When it boots successfully, does your HD work like you'd expect? If not, it's probably going or the cable is. The cable's easy to fix (unless your laptop was assembled by an origami artist), but a dying HD is like trying to outrun a fast fire. I suggest you get another HD (USB is fine) that has enough room to hold important stuff before trying to boot again. Then, if you find the HD is dying, get everything off it and worry about fixing your laptop later.

You may be able to buy more time from a dying HD by freezing it. Yes, you read right. Put it in a Ziploc bag, get all the air and moisture out, seal it tight, and freeze it overnight. Quickly connect it and proceed to recover anything you can. This does in fact work, though it may only buy you 5 minutes or so at a time and will probably do serious long term damage.


[Added at 08/28/2007 00:24:33 by Dondon]
I should say it again: ONLY power on the laptop when you know you'll be ready to recover data. Starting it unnecessarily will only worsen the HD's condition if it is dying.
Shadowsguy said on: 2007-08-28 11:15 pm
4069 Days, 11 Hrs, 22 Min, 20 Sec ago
Guilda hit the nail on the head.

If you buy an external drive with enough space you can back up your C drive completely. But I wouldn't turn your laptop on until you have that external drive, because as dondon pointed out you're only going to worsen the condition if it's going out.

Another option is copying the data to another computer on a network if you'd rather do that then spend money on an external drive.

It could just be loose wiring, but to be honest most(basically all) of the time when I've worked on laptops the hard drives slide into slots for connection instead of using wires.

After and ONLY after you have backed up your data, try pulling the hard drive out and dusting it off, then reinserting it. That may fix the problem. If your hard drive is going out though, it may prevent you from using that drive again, which is why I said back everything up before you try it.


[Added at 08/29/2007 01:17:03 by Shadowsguy]
And yeah, the freezing thing actually works, I've used it before.

Really weird, huh?
Dondon said on: 2007-08-28 11:19 pm
4069 Days, 11 Hrs, 18 Min, 45 Sec ago
Those cables are so tight it's unlikely they'd come out.

So is it:
Guil Damage
Guild Damage
Guild a Mage
Guilda Mage

I see everyone call you Guilda but that makes no sense.:/
LagunaCid said on: 2007-08-29 12:33 am
4069 Days, 10 Hrs, 4 Min, 42 Sec ago
well maybe hes latino :O
Arch-Devil said on: 2007-08-29 01:22 am
4069 Days, 9 Hrs, 15 Min, 8 Sec ago
you forgot
Guildam Age
GuildaMage said on: 2007-08-29 05:56 am
4069 Days, 4 Hrs, 40 Min, 51 Sec ago
To be honest its a non-sense name i made up during D&D play. Ive always pronounced it Guild-a-mage though.

So i guess option #4. =D
Cronus said on: 2007-08-29 09:35 am
4069 Days, 1 Hr, 2 Min, 46 Sec ago
Dondon is right on target. You could also get a copy of Norton Ghost and try a disk to disk copy. It would take between 5-10 minutes and it was back everything up to your external hard drive exactly the way it is now. Then you could even boot to that external hard drive after its done.
Rhunyc said on: 2007-09-11 07:39 pm
4055 Days, 14 Hrs, 58 Min, 24 Sec ago
Sorry to bump this old thread, but I'd just like to thank all for your help. :]

And, it wasn't that the hard drive was failing (I popped it in my cousin's laptop and it works perfectly fine). I don't even know what's wrong with the damn thing, it'll randomly decide to not boot up even the BIOS. Whatever it is, I've pretty much given up on it.

Just wanted to say thanks. :]
TrueX2 said on: 2007-09-14 07:41 pm
4052 Days, 14 Hrs, 56 Min, 33 Sec ago
If it's not your hard drive, VERY likely that your laptop's RAM may be failing.

What I suggest is to download a software called MemTest first from here: and burn it to either a CD or a floppy and boot it on your laptop. It will do some tests on your memory, and wait till it finishes and see if there are any errors.

If there are, try replacing the RAM modules.
If there aren't, I guess you can try to make MemTest search the whole RAM (I can't remember what it is, you can look it up on settings), or maybe I'm just crazy.
Gemz said on: 2007-09-15 07:58 am
4052 Days, 2 Hrs, 39 Min, 5 Sec ago
Do me a favor.

Power it up and see if the fans are running, any lights. Anything that the power supply runs. If none of it works its your power supply.

Also, whoever said something about ram may be correct too. If all your ram went bad it will not start up into windows for nothing.

If nothing else. Take the ram out if you can and put it in your cousins laptop if its the same kind.
Rhunyc said on: 2007-09-15 07:22 pm
4051 Days, 15 Hrs, 14 Min, 50 Sec ago
Well, the fans will spin for a second, and I've got this horrid QuickLaunch bar, and the lights on those are on. So it's definitely not the power supply.

I don't know about RAM though, I'll have to try that out here later tonight.