Hard Disk File Corruption

  • wpas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello

I have a strange situation that I hope someone can help me with.

I installed ubuntu 13.04 OS on my hard drive with no other OS but this linux one.

It installed with no problem.
I updated software, restarted and everything was fine.

I used the computer for hours with no problems.
When I finished, I shut down the computer and then turned it on the next day.

The computer would not boot int the OS
It kept saying No boot device available.
I installed OS several times with the same results after leaving the computer off for a day.

I used gparted live cd to look at the hard drive and it showed the complete disk was unallocated with no partitions.

I have a seagate barracuda 250GB drive and I used the manufacturer's tools to test it and they said I had a healthy drive.

It appears then my hard drive is OK and something is corrupting all my files on hard disk so it cannot boot.

Anyone have any ideas that could should some light on this

This
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • wpas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Would appreciate a response from any one.
I really need to get my computer up and going
  • ScottG
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I know little to nothing about Ubuntu but in doing a search I kept seeing GRUB come up

I'm not sure if this will be any help or not
http://www.techdrivein.com/2011/06/howt ... after.html
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=862986
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions ... 175468505/

And this one almost seems to be the same issue your having
http://geek.co.il/2013/04/22/how-to-fix ... stallation
  • wpas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hi ScottG

Ubuntu is just a Linux system.

On my computer, I used to have Windows Vista.
One day, it just would not boot anymore.

I contacted Dell, had vostro 220s, and they sent me disks to reinstall the softwware.

No matter how many times I tried to reinstall windows it would always hang up at the point where it copied files or expanded files.

I gave up and decide to use a linux based system which actually works pretty good and was quick and easy to install.

I know my hard disk is ok as I did every test you could think of to determine if it was healthy.

The disk and CD rom were initially on SATA 0 and 1 and I moved the cable over to SATA 2 and 3 positions and it appeared to work a little better, but I still could not install windows.

I noticed sometimes when I boot up that there seems to be some hesitation before the system boots up to desk top.

This seemed to tell me there may be something wrong with the sata controller maybe. Cable looks fine. Cannot get another one to replace so I make assumption it is OK.

Is there a bootable CD I can use to check the communications between the controller and hard disk. If there are cliches, maybe that is why my hard disk becomes corrupted.

Fortunately for me, I found how to recover my partions and put the disk back to what it was.
There is no order to this. Sometimes everything works great for a while and then I lose my partitions.

I noticed when I shut my computer down and turn it on the next day, there always seems to be hesitation before computer boots to desk top. If I simply restart computer, it seems to work fairly good, It is only when it has been off for a long time that problems seem to enter the picture
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

So you have determined this isn't an OS issue.

You have determined your hard disk is good.

The next logical step would be to replace your cables. If the problem still exists then it would be your motherboard.
  • wpas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

How can it be the cables.

I never opened the computer until it started to act up
Then I only changed position of cable to other SATA port.

Is there a bootable CD that I can use to test the motherboard
How does one go about testing a motherboard
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Have you tried checking the cmos battery?
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

wpas wrote:
How can it be the cables.

I never opened the computer until it started to act up
Then I only changed position of cable to other SATA port.

Is there a bootable CD that I can use to test the motherboard
How does one go about testing a motherboard


Don't know but I am just following logic. Cables can go bad just like anything else, they could have been poorly made and just now starting to cause issues. New cables are a lot cheaper than a new motherboard, that is why I suggested it.

As far as I know I don't think there is a program you can download and run to tst the motherboard. You may want to check with Dell and see if they have anything.
  • wpas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

With respect to the CMOS battery.

I assume it is OK to just take it out
Will anything get screwed up if I take the battery out.
Is there a time limit on how long th CMOS battery can be removed.

I just do not want to corrupt anything and make matters worse

Please advise
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You are perfectly fine removing the CMOS battery. Worst case scenario, you might have to reset the time in the BIOS. Your PC already doesn't boot, how much worse can you make it?
  • wpas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I opened up the computer and managed to find the CMOS battery. I measured the voltage and found it to be 2.3V down from 3V so I bought a new one.
Before I installed the new battery, I shorted out the CMOS Reset pin to reset all CMOS settings.
I put the battery in and then closed the computer, powered up and then turned it on.

I must say it did seem to work a little better after putting in the new CMOS battery.
However, when I tried to install a bunch of updates, the computer froze. This happened a few times and I had to restart windows.

When I had bought the battery, the computer guy had told me to run the computer without the DVD drive connected since this is all I had on the computer.

I opened the computer and disconnected the SATA serial cable and then ran the computer for a few hours.
With the SATA cable off, I again installed a bunch of updates, but this time everything worked fine. In fact the computer froze a couple of times, I think, but it quickly got going again. Overall, the performance of the computer was greatly enchance.

It seems that the DVD was actually affecting hard disk performance. I would never have thought of this.
Is this really possible?

Does this mean then I should install a new DVD drive or is there something else I can check or do.
DVDs are not that expensive anymore, but I want to be sure that this could actually be the problem before I go to all the trouble of reinstalling a new DVD.

Anyone have any comments?

Thanks
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You could see if there is a firmware update for the DVD drive before plunking down some money.
  • wpas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This computer is really starting to drive me bonkers.

I replaced the CMOS battery, shorted the CMOS reset pin, replaced the CD drive and replaced the SATA cable.

The computer had 4 SATA control positions and I tried each one.

When the computer works, it works good but then freezes.
The light on the hard disk either stays constantly on or constantly off instead of flashing to indcate hard disk activity.

Sometimes it unfreezes itself and everything works again and sometimes it freezes so bad that nothing works and I have to physically turn the machine on and off.

Does anyone have any other things I can look out.

The motherboard, mobo, was mentioned but how can I check this.
This is a big deal to do and I want to make sure it could be the mobo before I take things apart and try to get a new one if I can.

Would appreciate some comments on this also

Thanks
  • piloteer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Seen this a number of times in customers computer. There's a strong possibility the hard drive is defective. There are several parts to a hard drive that cause it to malfunction in the way you described. Heat affecting sa sensitive component on the logic board is just one of them.
Another is the spindle. If it seizes up it will slow up or even stop all together. Do you notice if the issue arises with b increase in temperature? I just repaired a customers computer with the same problem about two weeks ago. It occurs when the drive is asked to work harder. The problem was so bad on the hard drives I could never completely back up her data. I finally did it in spurts.. Installed a new hard drive and transferred her data into the new drive. Problem solved. Customer happy.
  • wpas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I actually did install new hard drive but I still got the same problems.

This is why I do not think it is the hard drive.
  • piloteer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

WPAS Have you tried cleaning out the caches including the java cache?
The JAVA cache is accessed through the control panel. Look for JAVA then click on it. Then find the Temporary files option click on it.
Click delete files. See if that solves the problem.
  • wpas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

As I had indicated I installed new hard disk and it had nothing on it yet still gave me the same problem when I tried to install some software.
  • piloteer
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Then the only other things I can think of is a weak power supply.
Do you have a load tester? Also have you run diagnostics on the RAM?

The power supply load tester puts a couple of AMPS load on it. Testing every voltage--5 VDC, 12 VDC and 3.3. Wish I had it on my work bench to trouble shoot.
  • wpas
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I do not have a load tester. Anything else I could do

I used the MemTester program to run about 4 passes on my RAM and it showed everything passed.

I am just a home computer user and not a computer tech so there is only so much technical stuff I can do

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