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Thread: SATA HDD cannot be read in any OS

  1. #1
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    Default SATA HDD cannot be read in any OS

    Hello Phoronix,

    I think I have a big problem here. Namely, my old HDD on the Acer Aspire 5710Z died a week or two ago so I bought a replacement Toshiba 320GB 1 week ago and tried installing Win7 & later Ubuntu 10.04 on it, but without any use.

    The W7 installation progressed up until about 99% by going 1% up for 5 minutes (so it took ~5hrs until it reached 99%) when it hung. I canceled the installation, I put in U10.04 and used testdisk to restore the MBR and removed the NTFS partition of Win7. Ubuntu couldn't even create a partition afterwards, I tried installing it and it hung at 5% when it was creating the Ext4 partition. I left it like that for a whole night and went to bed; the next morning the situation was the same.

    So I returned the HDD and got my money back and bought a Western Digital 320GB 2 days ago. On this one Win7 didn't even go above 1% and spawn an error, so I used testdisk again to restore the MBR and install Ubuntu, but to no avail.

    This time instead of using Ubuntu I tried creating my own partitions using gparted, but everytime I did that I got an error and afterwards the HDD disappeared from gparted or palimpset. Fixing it with testdisk appeared to have fixed it, because it did appear in gparted again, but every following attempt to partition it failed.

    And now, the HDD doesn't even show up in either and because of that I can't restore the MBR or do anything to it, even though it does appear in the BIOS.

    So what should I do? Return this HDD too? Is the jumper on my motherboard what's corrupting the hard disks (or another hw problem), is it a software problem or am I doing something horribly wrong that messes up everything?

    I'll be so glad to receive an answer, any answer :)

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default

    Step 1: boot a livecd.
    Step 2: login as root.
    Step 3: fdisk -l and identify the device file corresponding to that disk.
    Step 4: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sd? bs=8192 and wait for it to finish.
    Step 5: reboot on LINUX install disk and install.

    Important note: DO NOT try installing any MSTRASH. Chances are VERY high that it is causing your problems.

    Second note: if following this procedure doesn't work, your mainboard is cooked.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by droidhacker View Post
    Step 1: boot a livecd.
    Step 2: login as root.
    Step 3: fdisk -l and identify the device file corresponding to that disk.
    Step 4: dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sd? bs=8192 and wait for it to finish.
    Step 5: reboot on LINUX install disk and install.

    Important note: DO NOT try installing any MSTRASH. Chances are VERY high that it is causing your problems.

    Second note: if following this procedure doesn't work, your mainboard is cooked.
    Thanks for your answer.

    Here's the deal, as I said, I cannot get the OS to read the HDD in any way, so

    # fdisk -l

    returns a blank output.

    Time to get a new laptop... ;p

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Well you were talking about gparted and such graphical utilities. Not exactly the epitome of strength.

    fdisk -l definitely should have given you some kind of output if it was working though -- so I tend to agree that you've got a major failure.

    Note one more thing worth checking/trying..... a bios "reset to factory". If you haven't done this already, it might help. I don't know if acer has any common bios bugs between their different systems, but I've seen a really weird problem with an acer 5102 that was cured by just that. And it was also related to the disk. What IT was doing is taking a lifetime to detect the disk, and then crawling at sub-XT speed right up to a severe crash and burn. The bios settings were all reasonable, but it just didn't work. Reset to factory and it went back to normal function.

    So try resetting the bios to factory. Nothing to lose.

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