HD failure, but not...

a couple days ago i was having windows problems, so i rebooted. Windows got to the xp logo screen and just sat there doing nothing until i turn my box off. i have tried booting windows up several times, i get the same thing every time. At first i thought “oh great, time to buy another HD”, so i grabbed my craptop (which, for some reason, was throwing fits of a different nature) and managed to install DSL (damn small linux) to my USB stick.

right now i am connecting from my USB stick, which is quite cool. I managed to mount my HD, and to my surprise i am able to see (i havent tried using anything yet) every one of my files. this has to be a Windows problem, Dell has a hardware testing utility set in another partition of the HD which i used, and got an OK from everything i tested. i dont see why windows wont boot up.

does anybody have ANY idea what is going on here?

Boot from a live cd. Like ubuntu or something. Then you can try to mount the drive, and back up your files. If that runs fine, it’s a windoze problem.

i am running linux just fine off of my USB drive and have been able to mount my drive sucessfully. i am sure backing my files up and reformatting wont be a problem, but i want to try and see if i can get windows to start up normally again. i just did a reformat about 2 months ago.

Instead of formatting, why don’t you just do a reinstall, or a Windows Repair?

well, because i hadn’t thought of that :D. good idea(s)

Also - when you get into Windows download and run speedfan. One of the tabs allows you to check on the S.M.A.R.T monitoring for the drive. If the fitness level is below 80% then your drive is on the way out, and I would get all your important data onto something else and get a new one. Below 60% and you should move fast.

The S.M.A.R.T stuff is really useful - has allowed me to notice HDD failure in time to save the data before.


Have you also tried re-booting in safe mode?
This would boot without any additional drivers that might be causing the issue. Also, you’ll get to see the boot process (stuff dumping to the console) so you might see exactly what part of the boot process is hanging (if it still hangs in safe mode).

Yes, 86point5 is right, and I would have already given several other advices, if frig hadn’t declared it as being an “HD failure” !..
But in fact, frig, have you been explicitly warned of an HD failure, or do you just think it is one ?..

frig: when you try to start up windows, does it freeze at the blue Dell logo? or at some later point?

i’m no computer expert, but a while back, my pc often times wouldn’t go past the blue Dell logo, so i just pressed Ctrl+Alt+Delete any time that happened, and it booted up fine.

i dunno, i suck with pcs.

yeah, i have tried booting in safe mode, it hangs there too. Right now i am fairly certain that it is a Windows problem, and that my HD is still usable. every method i have tried of accessing my files has been sucessfull (linux from USB and windows recovery console).

later i will probably just do a repair install. thanks guys :o

When booting in safe mode, what is the last thing it does before it hangs?

Is “agp440.sys” the last thing that it shows?
If so, this seems to be fairly common, but not necessarily actually related to the agp video drivers. It’s just that’s the last thing that loads right before it moves onto other stuff, like USB - so if it dies there, the last word was from the video driver loading.

If so, try unplugging any external peripherals and rebooting. Also, if you boot with a Knoppix (or other live CD) are you able to access all the peripherals?