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Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

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Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Old 07-01-19, 01:38 AM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

My 8-9 year old Dell 8700 before even getting to the log in screen got a blue screen error. It will restart after getting to 100%.
After it reached 100% I waited & waited for like 15 minutes the Dell 8700 desktop would not restart.I powered down the
computer & powered back up. Power light comes on the hard drive light comes on.but i get no signal to the monitor. The
power light just keeps blinking. I'm sure the power supply is working. I pulled the internal 2TB HD & plugged it into a
external Cable Matters USB 3.0 HD (USB to SATA Docking Station). Tested it on my very old HP desktop & hard drive works.
Change Hdmi cables and switch from Hdmi input 1 to input 2 on my LG 29" monitor & still no go. I even tried to plug in from the
dvi port to a different monitor, a 24" Dell but realized the power button does not work on it. This computer only has Hdmi & Dvi
port on the video card. IF it had VGA I would test my other Dell 24" Monitor. I do have a DVI to VGA adapter but have no idea
where it' at. This will be my 2nd Dell desktop that has died in the past 16-18 years.
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Old 07-01-19, 06:40 AM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Originally Posted by kahuna View Post
This will be my 2nd Dell desktop that has died in the past 16-18 years.
Are you saying you've only bought two PCs in the past 16-18 years? If so, 8-9 years of use out of one PC is pretty darn good.

What Windows OS are you using?

Are you sure you have the model number right? The only Dell 8700 I can find is the Dell XPS 8700, which is about 6 years old, and has HDMI and Displayport as standard on the motherboard.
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Old 07-01-19, 02:15 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

I have gotten about ten years out of every computer I've owned.

In fact, I've never actually had one crap out on me; I'll "retire" them before they stop working.

I always remember hearing Mac people bragging about how they're still using their Mac after five or six years, and I've always wonder why that's impressive. Are people frequently dropping their computers or rolling them down stairs?

And I'm still using my Windows 7 Dell that I got in 2010 (with a designer skull lid), though I did replace the HD with an SSD. It now boots in under a minute, where before it took about ten to get everything sorted and it no longer overheats. Only problem with it is that it doesn't want to eject flash drives and SD cards (it claims they're still being used by a program when I click to remove them) so I have to shut down to pull out the USB drives. Other than that, everything still works perfectly.
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Old 07-01-19, 03:30 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Originally Posted by Josh-da-man View Post
I always remember hearing Mac people bragging about how they're still using their Mac after five or six years, and I've always wonder why that's impressive. Are people frequently dropping their computers or rolling them down stairs?
If they're laptops, sure. My wife has had her laptops fall a few times. One time it was her fault, the other time the cat's fault.

For Windows PCs, people are often so technically inept that once Windows becomes laden down with all the programs they've installed/uninstalled over time, and malware infected and removed causing damage to the registry and other areas, they'll often replace the PC instead of doing a clean install of Windows. It historically helped that PCs became so much faster over time that by the time the previous PC was showing problems, new PCs were notably better. And most people don't know how to do RAM upgrades or HDD->SSD swaps.

I think MacOS/OS X tends to not need clean installs as often, and the free upgrades after 10.6 help people keep the OS current without additional cost/complexity, something Microsoft didn't' catch onto until Windows 10. Again, people either didn't know how to perform, or didn't want to pay for, a Windows OS upgrade, So they would look into buying a new PC when switching from XP to 7, or from 7 to 10.

For casual use, PC demands aren't increasing as exponentially as they used to, and with Windows 10, people aren't going to have to worry about their OS "expiring" as soon. We'll probably see desktops PCs getting used for longer, although as more people transition to tablets and laptops, physical damage is likely going to cause the replacement cycle to be a bit faster.

At work, we'll often get off-lease/used PCs that are 3-5 years old, and use them for another 5 years. RAM upgrades were often a good cheap stop-gap solution to improve a PC. I recall the first XP PCs having 256MB of RAM, which we upgraded over time to about 1 or 2 GB before switching to Windows 7 PCs. Now I get used PCs with a valid Windows 7 or 8.x Pro license, and do a clean install to upgrade them to Windows 10 Pro. 4GB of RAM is standard, although we're upgrading some to 8GB, and we're replacing failing HDDs with cheap SSDs.
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Old 07-01-19, 04:05 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
Are you saying you've only bought two PCs in the past 16-18 years? If so, 8-9 years of use out of one PC is pretty darn good.

What Windows OS are you using?

Are you sure you have the model number right? The only Dell 8700 I can find is the Dell XPS 8700, which is about 6 years old, and has HDMI and Displayport as standard on the motherboard.
I thought for sure this was more than 6 years old. I could check my RR email but I have not installed it in my old HP computer. I brought the HP to replace my Dell Dimension 9150 that crapped out. I believe this one was a HD or power supply problem. The HP had to have the motherboard replaced 4 times to get a good one from HP. I still have the backup & recovery disc(3) for my 9700. Also for my HP-6710f which I'm using now but I gave to my Mom years ago. Even have backup & recovery dvds for the Emachine ET132-53 that I paid $299 for. Lastly I have then original dics that came with the Dell 9150. All of them I added more memory & either a bigger hd or another hd. The HP I added also better more powerful power supply. The old Dell got a better video card.

The OS is Win 8.1. I was getting some type of errors I checked online & it was over heating problems. Open up the computer & could not believe how much dust was in it. Cleaned it all up & problems went away.

Last edited by kahuna; 07-01-19 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 07-01-19, 10:14 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

The Owner's manual for the Dell Dimension 9150 is copyright 2006.
https://www.dell.com/support/home/us...n-9150/manuals

The HP-6710f is from 2010.
https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c02628226

Emachines ET132-53 ... doesn't exist. Or at least there's zero info on it on the internet. Are you sure the model number is correct? eMachines the company was founded in 1998, and eMachines the brand was retired in 2013, so your PC can't be more than 21 years old, and can't be less than 6 years old.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMachines
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Old 07-01-19, 11:03 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
The Owner's manual for the Dell Dimension 9150 is copyright 2006.
https://www.dell.com/support/home/us...n-9150/manuals

The HP-6710f is from 2010.
https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c02628226

Emachines ET132-53 ... doesn't exist. Or at least there's zero info on it on the internet. Are you sure the model number is correct? eMachines the company was founded in 1998, and eMachines the brand was retired in 2013, so your PC can't be more than 21 years old, and can't be less than 6 years old.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMachines
I guess taking care of my Mom who is in the advance stages of alzheimer's. I take care of her 24/7 I today she told me her husband a number of times.
I guess the dates I brought computers are way off. Maybe I am starting to get alzheimer's. Anyway I was just looking for some info as to what the
problem could be.

I almost brought a HP 460-P274 yesterday when it was on sale at $480 but jumped back up to $800. Also looking at the HP 595-P0084.

Last edited by kahuna; 07-02-19 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 07-02-19, 06:54 AM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Originally Posted by kahuna View Post
Anyway I was just looking for some info as to what the problem could be.
It was just overheating, and the problem is fixed once you cleaned the dust out, yes?

Originally Posted by kahuna View Post
I almost brought a HP 460-P274 yesterday when it was on sale at $480 but jumped back up to $800. Also looking at the HP 595-P0084.
If you're still looking to get a new PC, Slickdeals listed a Dell Inspiron 3670 with Intel i5-9400, 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD, & 12GB RAM for $459.99 shipped after coupon code:
https://slickdeals.net/f/13187557-de...?src=catpagev2

The Intel i5-9400 is better than the CPU in the HP 460-P274, though not as good as the CPU in the HP 595-P0084.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare...51vs3414vs3099
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Old 07-02-19, 04:07 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
It was just overheating, and the problem is fixed once you cleaned the dust out, yes?

Over heating problem was a year ago & fixed.


If you're still looking to get a new PC, Slickdeals listed a Dell Inspiron 3670 with Intel i5-9400, 1TB HDD + 128GB SSD, & 12GB RAM for $459.99 shipped after coupon code:
https://slickdeals.net/f/13187557-dell-inspiron-3670-desktop-intel-i5-9400-1tb-hdd-128gb-ssd-12gb-ram-459-99-ac-fs?src=catpagev2e



The Intel i5-9400 is better than the CPU in the HP 460-P274, though not as good as the CPU in the HP 595-P0084.
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compare...51vs3414vs3099
Dell Inspiron 3670 is now sold out. That would of been all I needed except maybe more ram & extra HD I could of added.
I d/l about 55-70GBs of K-drama files a week. Plus once in a while burn a few dramas to dvd using ConvertXtoDvd. For
friends or family members that still want them on dvd.

Last edited by kahuna; 07-02-19 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 07-02-19, 04:22 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

There's other sites to check for deals:
https://www.dealnews.com/c48/Computers/Desktops/
https://www.techbargains.com/categories/desktops

There might be some good deals over the 4th of July weekend. Likewise, someone in the Slickdeals mentioned that once Ryzen 3 comes out, older systems could be heavily discounted.

I think just getting a large external drive would be good for storing your K-dramas.
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Old 07-02-19, 04:49 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Originally Posted by Jay G. View Post
There's other sites to check for deals:
https://www.dealnews.com/c48/Computers/Desktops/
https://www.techbargains.com/categories/desktops

There might be some good deals over the 4th of July weekend. Likewise, someone in the Slickdeals mentioned that once Ryzen 3 comes out, older systems could be heavily discounted.

I think just getting a large external drive would be good for storing your K-dramas.
Yep I'm just going to wait the old HP is doing the job except for no 3.0 USB ports & slow d/l speeds. I'm just about to fill up
my 15 external HD. Most are 1-2 TB in size. And then I have all those backup to 8TB Hard drives.

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Old 07-07-19, 12:49 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Okay, so I decided to roll the dice and I'm going to send in my corrupted hard drive that I mentioned way early in this thread to $300 data recovery here in Los Angeles.

https://www.300dollardatarecovery.com/

I really hate to lose all those video, photo and music files that I have on it. I sent in an inquiry to them and they said they give it about a 93% chance from their experience working on my hard drive for recovery. If they can't recover anything, I don't pay a dime.

It's expensive at $300 plus shipping, but I'm going to take the gamble. This company has good marks and seems to have a good success rate.
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Old 07-07-19, 04:47 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Originally Posted by DJariya View Post
Okay, so I decided to roll the dice and I'm going to send in my corrupted hard drive that I mentioned way early in this thread to $300 data recovery here in Los Angeles.

https://www.300dollardatarecovery.com/

I really hate to lose all those video, photo and music files that I have on it. I sent in an inquiry to them and they said they give it about a 93% chance from their experience working on my hard drive for recovery. If they can't recover anything, I don't pay a dime.

It's expensive at $300 plus shipping, but I'm going to take the gamble. This company has good marks and seems to have a good success rate.
Let us know how it goes! It'd be good to know of a (relatively) inexpensive place that does drive recovery. At least with the fixed $300 rate, you know what you're getting into.
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Old 07-08-19, 04:39 AM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Finally, a data-recovery service that seems reasonable all the way around. That company seems to be in the right place at the right time, and obviously isn't preying on the psychology of woe-be-gone users who "will pay anything" to get their data recovered. I'd only ever send a drive to *any* data recovery service if it isn't recognized by BIOS / has hardware faults. Software solutions, particularly of the Linux variety (= ddrescue and its ilk) and cloning software has greatly improved, but no software solution will recover data from a drive with bad heads without those heads being replaced first in a cleanroom, etc.

Let us know how it goes, I'm curious as to the result.
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Old 07-10-19, 04:30 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Sent in my hard drive a few days ago as I mentioned. The techs got back to me and this is what they said in their e-mail. I just cut and posted what appears to be the more important stuff.

The problem with your drive is that 1 of the 4 heads inside the drive is bad. If you're not familiar with how hard drive's work, here's a quick summary:
- Your data is written to the "platters" inside the hard drive.
- A "head" reads the data on the "platters."
- One "head" is required to read the data from each side of the "platter."

Due to the high cost of donor parts, we couldn't replace the bad head or swap the platters to a hard drive with all good heads. Instead, we were able to disable the bad head and recover the data off the remaining platters using the good heads. Due to the number of "good" heads vs "bad heads," we were able to image 76% of the sectors on your drive.

When we "disable a bad head," we do so by manipulating the drive's firmware, without opening the hard drive's cover. Our methods for disabling heads are temporary, non-destructive, and will be reset back to normal after the recovery is finished. The drive will come back to you in the same condition as when it arrived.

You mentioned "user files" as being the most important filetype, so it's important to realize that some user files may span across several platters. When a head is bad (and, therefore, the data from a platter is missing), large user files (usually greater than ~200MB, but this varies) are more likely to be corrupt. Small user files are more likely to be successfully recovered because they are small enough to be entirely contained within a single platter (not spanning onto the unreadable platters).

If most of your user files are small, we estimate around 76% will have been successfully recovered (best case scenario). If more of your user files are large, then we estimate closer to 60% (these are only estimates, and the actual percentage of successfully recovered data could be lower or higher).

Since your drive has 1 bad head, we are unable to provide a file listing of which files will be corrupt and which will be okay. The only way to tell which files are corrupt is to pay for the data recovery and try to open them manually. Folder Structure (including file/folder names) may not be recoverable (or, only partially recoverable), so the result may just be "raw" files organized by file types (e.g., Documents, Music, Pictures, etc.), without their original names/structure.

So this "Bad Head" appears to be the cause of my Blue Screen from Page 1.

As they said, they can only guarantee about 76% of my data could be recovered because of the bad head.

If I choose to pass on this, I'm out $100 due to the labor of figuring this out. If I choose to proceed, I have to pay the full $300 plus shipping. I already sent them an external drive.

So I guess 76% is better than 0%. They did say it's possible some of the large files might be corrupt. But, most of these files were photos, music and video that were barely or even less than 200MB each.

So what do you all think? I think I'm gong to answer their e-mail and proceed. They said to fix/replace the bad head in order to get more than 90% would be way too expensive.

I'm no tech geek, so a lot of this reporting from the technician is braille to me.
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Old 07-10-19, 05:37 PM
  #66  
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

So any thoughts for those here who are tech savvy and understand this? I would appreciate some input before I reply back to their e-mail.
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Old 07-10-19, 08:45 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

I'm actually a bit surprised to hear about the donor parts, I don't think those were mentioned on the site the first time I looked at it.

Going back to it now, it looks like their pricing schedule got a bit more complicated:
https://www.300dollardatarecovery.co...covery-prices/

I see there's now a "donor drive fee":
About 25% of drives we receive have bad heads (these are most often drives that have been dropped). We always try to offer our customers the option of an affordable partial recovery, by disabling the bad head(s) and recovering data using the remaining good heads. But sometimes, the only way to recover any data is by replacing parts inside the drive. If the cost of donor parts is too expensive (more than $50) then the recovery is not feasible for us to perform (assuming we don’t already have the donor part in stock and cannot disable the bad head and provide a “partial recovery”). In these cases, we may offer you the option of providing/paying for the required donor part (which could cost $50 or more). You can also decline our attempt and pay nothing.
Did they offer for you to pay for a donor part, and quote a new price?

With only 3 good heads, one would think they'd only be able to recover 75% of the drive. It seems like maybe they were able to get 1% from the platter with the bad head.I wouldn't really trust that the 1% from the bad head has meaningful, contiguous data, so it's probably more like up to 75% of meaningful data, but that's just quibbling.

Now, while they recovered 76% of the drive's "data," that doesn't mean you're guaranteed to get back 76% of your files. In terms of drive recovery, all the unused space on the drive counts as "data," so if your drive was only, say 50% full, 50% of what they recovered could be empty space or files you previously deleted. You could have really good luck and all your user files were on the good platters, or have really bad luck and the bulk of your user files were on the bad platter. However, I think drives tend to spread data out evenly among the platters as they write files, so their estimate of up to 76% of your files is probably accurate.

If they can't recover the folder structure, you're going to have fun sorting through potentially hundreds of files with random, generic names to figure out what they are. There's some batch renaming utilities that might help with this. Picture and music files typically contain info about themselves within the files. Picture files often contain the date/time the picture was taken, as well as the location it was taken if taken with a smartphone. Music files typically store the artist, album, track, etc info inside them. I've never used this, but the free tool Advanced Renamer looks like a good one to use for such a situation.
https://www.advancedrenamer.com/

Now as far as file corruption, what they say is true. I'm not sure where they got the 200MB thing, but that's probably from experience. Note that smaller files can still be corrupted/missing data, or may be missing completely .There are tools to help repair corrupted photos, videos, documents, etc. They'll be an additional cost, but you could do it later once you sort through and figure out what needs fixing. Here's a review of a photo (JPEG) repair tool:
https://www.disktuna.com/stellar-repair-for-photos/
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Old 07-10-19, 08:54 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

From what I recall it's a 1TB drive and was about 70-75% full.

Here's the excerpt from what they said about a "Donor part"

Alternatively, if you can afford to pay the high cost of a donor drive, we could attempt a "head swap" and try to recover more of your data (hopefully closer to 99-100% of your data). If you want to get back as much data as possible, and can afford the cost, this is your best option. Even though the labor required to perform a head swap is time-consuming and highly specialized, we do not charge an extra fee to perform this type of ("Level 3") repair. If interested, let us know and we'll find out exactly how much a compatible donor drive would cost.
They didn't specify cost, but it does sound expensive. I know this type of data recovery is normally very expensive, so $300 was already pushing it for what I was willing to pay.
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Old 07-11-19, 10:01 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

So, the donor head for my drive would cost an extra $75. They emphasized that there is no guarantee it would work. They said they have a 50% success rate using it. Plus, it would add 1-2 more weeks of labor.

So I passed on that extra feature. I went ahead and gave them the greenlight to do the 76% recovery. I already paid the fee, which was $310, which includes shipping. They said the 76% is only approximate and could end up being more.

We'll see what happens. Hope to get my drive back next week.

I looked on other sites and this type of data recovery could cost anywhere from $400 to 1600. So this flat $300 rate seems to be a really good deal. Hope I will be able to get all or most of my files back.
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Old 07-12-19, 08:42 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

They essentially didn't open your drive at all, used their hardware tools to disable the bad head, and imaged the data that could be read with that bad head disabled. If your drive had a lot of fragmentation, and / or a lot of big files, the recovery of that 76% of data could be next to worthless. Since they didn't need to open your drive, the whole proccess from start to finish probably took them about one hour, and most of that time was "imaging" (ie, copying the good sectors from your bad drive to another good drive, as an .img file, then reconstructing the NTFS file structures from the image and copying the found files) However, since you stated that the lost files are mostly small (photos, etc) chances are great that a good amount of your data will be recovered fully intact, even if the files were fragmented (ie, spanned multiple heads, and therefore platters on the drive). If any part of those small JPG files spanned the part of the drive with the bad head, though, those files will be unusable.

So, overall I think you did OK, and will recover some of your data (just WHAT part and HOW much is a wildcard, though). The "magic" they worked is that they have tools to manipulate the firmware on your brand of drive (ie, to disable that one head on your brand of drive). I don't know of any consumer software tools that can do this directly.
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Old 07-12-19, 08:47 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

^^ Thanks. I usually don't agree with your opinions, but I appreciate your feedback in this thread. That was pretty much the gist of what they explained to me in another update.

They said it should be completely done in about 3-5 days. So I'm guessing by the middle to the end of next week I should get my external drive back with hopefully most of my files recovered.
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Old 07-12-19, 09:17 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

Originally Posted by zyzzle View Post
The "magic" they worked is that they have tools to manipulate the firmware on your brand of drive (ie, to disable that one head on your brand of drive). I don't know of any consumer software tools that can do this directly.
I mentioned a while back in this thread the hardware Rapidspar tool that's available commercially. It starts at $2,000, but you'd realistically want the Data Acquisition Add-on and some adapters, so closer to $3,000, and an annual $350.00 for updates, so it's obviously aimed more at IT shops to do drive recovery for customers:
https://rapidspar.com/

That tool does drive head disabling. See the 19:40 mark on this video:

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Old 07-13-19, 06:54 PM
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Re: Got the "Blue Screen of Death" on my desktop...Time for a new PC?

I suppose each drive manufacturer has in-house tools (even software firmware tools) which can disable heads, manually switch back to PIO mode, disable read-ahead cache etc), but those tools are of course not released to the public. I do wonder if any of these firmware tools have leaked, however.

Running ddrescue on a drive with a known bad head disabled would be a piece of cake, and the fastest way to quckly image the good data.
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