[plug] Help needed ...

David Dartnall darts at dialix.com.au
Sat Jul 17 11:57:29 WST 2010

On 15/07/10 22:15, Peter wrote:
> On 15/07/10 21:35, Richard Meyer wrote:
>> Advice, I have plenty of, AND AT NO EXTRA charge...  ;-)
>> I would check the bios startup messages for any SMART info about the WD
>> disk.
>> If there were messages about how broken it was, I'd weep.
>> What I would then do (regardless of SMART results), is lash out for a
>> USB disk cage/enclosure for about $20 and put the disk in there.
>> I would then boot without it and plug it in, and see whether Linux can
>> see it ....
>> I would also run smartmon against it .. (Hmmm, I don't have smartmon any
>> more) I'm sure others will have better ideas for disk diagnostics
>> anyway ...
>> If I could access the disk, I'd back up what I needed and
>> destroy/reformat the disk as indicated by the SMART status.
>> HTH
> Following on from what Richard said, if you can get the machine 
> running either with the disk in place or in a USB enclosure, you can 
> try some of the following:
> In a console do "fdisk -l" and/or "cfdisk /dev/???" where ??? is the 
> drive in question (eg.  sdc) to see if Linux can find the disk, even 
> if it doesn't recognise any partitions.
> If the above works,
> Run 'testdisk' (eg:  'sudo testdisk /dev/sdc' if using a ubuntu live 
> disk) in a console to see if there are any recoverable partitions. You 
> may have to install testdisk first as it is not included on a standard 
> ubuntu installation.     If testdisk finds any info on the drive 
> (there is a "view files" option that sometimes works even if the 
> partitions are corrupt.  You will need another disk (mounted 
> partition) to copy files to if it finds any.
> I'm three hours out of Perth, so can't offer much in the way of hands 
> on assistance, but may be able to talk you though some stuff if 
> required....
> If none of the above works....  If Linux can not see the drive at 
> all....  the disk may be dead, however if you can hear it spin up when 
> powered on and there is no significant noise (ticking?) then you may 
> have a faulty PCB.  The drive may be recoverable but requires 
> specialist knowledge.....  I can put you in touch with someone who may 
> be able to help, if the above options fail.  I recently recovered a 
> Drive with a fried PCB.  It took weeks to recover the data (long 
> story) but only cost me $50.00 in parts.
> Cheers,
> Peter
>> On Thu, 2010-07-15 at 21:08 +0800, David Dartnall wrote:
>>> Now that the plug server's up again, below is the third of three emails
>>> which didn't get through. Perhaps someone could advise/help.
>>> Hi all,
>>> I need a linux/hardware guru. My system suddenly refused to boot, and I
>>> took it to the Windows bloke who sold it to me and who has been keeping
>>> it going over a number of years, and he got Windows running.
>>> It has XP as well as Lucid on it, and the Windows drive now boots into
>>> Windows, (very slow if the Lucid disk is connected) but Windows systems
>>> can't see Linux disks, so I tried a Jaunty CD disk that I had but it
>>> would only fully boot into a live session if the drive holding the 
>>> Lucid
>>> system is disconnected.
>>> With it connected, (it's a relatively new WD 500 gig drive), the Jaunty
>>> live session boot stops after selection of the language 'English' and
>>> drops into a initramfs root prompt.
>>> Running the live session with WD 500 unplugged, gparted found the
>>> Windows disk and also my third disk which was formatted ext3 but 
>>> without
>>> any OS on it.
>>> I installed Jaunty on this and plugged the 500GB Lucid disk in and
>>> rebooted. After a _very long_ boot time, the Jaunty system comes up but
>>> all it can see is the Windows disk... Jaunty boots quickly with the
>>> 500Gb disk disconnected.
>>> It's obviously going to cost money but I need to get the Lucid system
>>> going - I'll take the box anywhere Perth Metro area...
>>> Regards and advice please.
>>> I am unable to access the WD 500GB Lucid disk - can not see it.
>>> No I have not backed up - I'll never learn!  I sure will now tho'.
>>> Regards
>>> Dave Dartnall
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> PLUG discussion list: plug at plug.org.au
>>> http://www.plug.org.au/mailman/listinfo/plug
>>> Committee e-mail: committee at plug.linux.org.au
> _______________________________________________
> PLUG discussion list: plug at plug.org.au
> http://www.plug.org.au/mailman/listinfo/plug
> Committee e-mail: committee at plug.linux.org.au
> .
Thank you Peter, Scott and Richard,
I didn't get near the computer yesterday and won't have much time today 
but you've given me lots of avenues to follow up before I have to cart 
the machine to somewhere. Really appreciate the time you've taken to 
help - I'll advise progress as soon as I can get back to it.
It was really urgent last week when I had no system to produce the two 
weekly documents I'm responsible for (one didn't go at all) but now with 
this setup I can get by for now.
Many thanks
Dave Dartnall

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