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Old 22nd Jan 2017, 20:10   #1
jonjon825
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Hoovered my pc, now got a disk read error

Hi,

I decided to clean my pc tower today using a hoover and a spray can of compressed air. After googling a bit I realised the hoover was a bad idea.

On the first boot after cleaning I noticed the pc making some unusual noises (fan noise I think). I reached the desktop screen, where it seemed sluggish for a bit, a few errors popped up and then had to reboot. That was the last I saw of the desktop screen.

Upon further reboots I get a black error screen with this message:

A disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

...and sometimes a similar message asking for the system disk to be inserted. I tried inserting the Windows 8 installation disc (which is what was installed), but just got a blank black screen after a while.

I have checked the connections, but still get the same error screens described above.

I'm no expert but am guessing the hard drive has failed? It is recognised in BIOS though.

I am thinking of buying a new hard drive to reinstall the OS on, recovering my data (if possible), then using the failed hard drive as a secondary drive. Is it likely that the failed hard drive will still be usable?

Any help will be appreciated, thanks for reading.
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Old 22nd Jan 2017, 21:01   #2
LennyRhys
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Hard to say - it all depends what happened when you hoovered your system. If it was me in this situation I'd probably pull everything apart and reassemble outside of case just to be sure, because it could be something else causing the problem (that's why problem solving is such a PITA most of the time).

As for recovering data from your HDD, take it to a specialist. My dad had to do it a couple of times and has had a 100% success rate (I believe it's because the specialist actually dismantles the drive to access the data).
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 14:00   #3
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Maybe you knocked the drive? Could also be static from the hoover but hardware is hardy these days. I do sometime hoover the case of my PC and I've had no issues, but I always make sure its grounded with the power cable plugged in but with the power turned off.

I know you've checked connections but try a new data cable from the drive to the motherboard. If that doesn't work you might be able to access the drive using a USB caddy or another PC. If its a mechanical drive things tend to get worse the more you use it depending on the type of fault, so don't mess around too much with trying to boot from it.
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Old 23rd Jan 2017, 22:04   #4
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Maybe you fried your HDD for good. You could try eg. some sort of Linux Rescue CD (eg. a older version of Parted Magic) and perform some Tests.

Also check the disc for bad blocks with a full surface test.
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Old 14th May 2017, 13:45   #5
jonjon825
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Thanks for the replies all.

It took me a while to get round to. Fortunately my tech-savvy friend did some checks in BIOS and determined the drive wasn't being recognised so it may have been a loose connection after all. All seems ok now.
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