Did my hard drive just die?

I’m writing this from my laptop.

My main computer (also, coincidently, a laptop) just presented with blue-screen-of-death displaying “KERNEL_STACK_INPAGE_ERROR”. I flipped the power off and turned it back on. During attempted startup, a lot of unpleasant clicking and grinding noises came from the hard drive compartment.

Am I out of luck? Time for a new harddrive? Time for a new computer? Is there something I can do with BIOS settings to fix this?

System: Windows XP SP2
Machine: HP Pavillion zd7000, about 4 years old, but with a brand new motherboard.

Possibly, but you may be able to get it going again, or at least rescue your data. If you have a boot diskette, see if you can get the system up and see your hard drive. If you can see the files on the drive, there’s a good chance of saving the data. If you don’t have a boot diskette, you can use your Windows installation CD to boot–you need to set your CMOS to boot from the CD before the hard drive. Use the Recovery Console option.

QED didn’t speak to the time for a new computer question.
Yes, time for a new computer. Repair costs approach computer value, and if you fix it the other 90% of the components are still old and on their way to the bit bucket.

If you really have to, try throwing it in the freezer for half an hour, then boot it up. Sometimes that helps with screwy drives.

Thanks for the tips, y’all. I haven’t tried to start it back up again, since I’m waiting for the system disk to arrive in the mail from dad.

Really? It’s got a brand-new motherboard, and I’ve found compatable harddrives on ebay for under $50. Plus, the zd7000 is a pretty neat machine (17-inch monitor and a 10-key on a laptop!).

It’s–let’s see-- a little over four years old. Are the rest of the components really that “old” that you’d recommend replacing them? I mean - what’s the life expectancy of a laptop screen, for example?

?!?!??!?!?!??! Really?

just in case you want to dig further


I don’t think the screen is the problem.
Odds on your next failure will be in the keyboard assembly or the power supply.
If the system has features that you can’t get in a new one, feel free to run it 'til it drops. I didn’t realize that was part of the equation.
Most folks with a system that age don’t have any substantial residual value. You repair a four-year-old system, most of the time the repairs are half the net value of the unit.

Yes, but JUST the hard drive. There are other things, particularly the screen and battery, in a laptop which don’t like to be frozen. It doesn’t always work, and I’m not even sure WHY it works, but it apparently does sometimes.

It works because a lot of times the failure of HDs is caused by heat. By getting them super-cold, you’re delaying the amount of time it will take to heat up the drive, triggering the errors. I recently had a failed HD due to heat. I let it cool down and it became somewhat usable, so I got my files off there ASAP. Once it was backed up, I continued to use it until my new HD arrived, because I knew that doing further damage to it wasn’t a big deal. I just saved stuff to my USB drive at that point.

My Toshiba laptop fried its first hard drive after about two years. Same problem as yours, except I could get the drive to cooperate by tilting the computer to where the keyboard was near vertical. After this, I was able to get a full image of my drive for easy reinstallation. The computer was tented on my desk and I had to connect a keyboard, external mouse and monitor, but it saved the day.

If you know enough about how to gain access to the HD, maybe you can look at it and post its specs (manufacturer name, style and capacity). Again, my experience showed me the failing drive liked to be “standing up vertically” to limp along well enough to make a backup. Maybe once it’s cooled down suitably you will be able to boot.

New 7200RPM 100GB HD: $105. My advice would be to clone the old drive (if possible) and move on.

NB: If you suspect the failure is heat related, please do yourself a favor and ensure all your heatsinks are in place and your fan ports are unobstructed. With a laptop motherboard replacement so many things can conspire to wreck your day.

HIJACK: I’m not using my laptop for several weeks at a time, as the desk top is better. Apart from keeping it in the case, away from the sun, heat, cold and moisture what’s the best way to store it?

Oh never mind, I think I just answered my own question. :rolleyes:

And then place it under a pyramid shaped jar and pull vacuum on it! :smiley:

You could try removing it and fitting it in one of these external hard drive enclosures. Easier to freeze it and will keep it cool, also easier to place it in a vertical position. You can backup your files to another computer and/or fit a replacement hard drive then drag your files back onto the laptop.

Be careful; for laptop hard drives, you frequently need a little adapter to get it to connect to a regular old IDE connector.

SATA should be the same, as far as I’ve ever seen.

Adapter came with it.