No Bootable Devices Found

No Bootable Devices: Strike F1 to Try to Reboot, F2 for Setup Utility

If you press F1, the computer reboots back to the same message and F2 will take you the BIOS setup screen.  If you do go into the BIOS, check and see if the system is seeing your hard drive under the IDE or SATA device screen.  If the hard drive is seen here then Windows is likely corrupted.  However if the drive is not in the list, then there are only a few other options.  First, check for any loose cables inside the computer (assuming desktop.)  Replacing the cables may fix the problem.  The other option is that the hard drive is dead or the motherboard is failing.  Hooking up the hard drive to another computer will determine this.  If the hard drive is dead, getting your data back may prove challenging.  If the operating system is corrupted, getting the data back could be as easy as hooking it up to another computer and copying the data over from it.

Simple Answers:

 •  Software Failure:  Reinstall the operating system.

•  Hardware:  Time to buy a new hard drive.  May need to send the drive to a professional for data recovery.

 

S.M.A.R.T. Error: The kiss of death

S.M.A.R.T. Error: The kiss of death

Hard DriveS.M.A.R.T. short for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology is typically the kiss of death warning for a hard drive.  This built in function of a hard drive is to let the user know that there is major problems with the physical structure of your hard drive and that failure is imminent.  If it is possible for to back up the data by booting into your operating system, do so as soon as possible (Now!).  This could be the last time the drive will boot, spin, or work altogether, so taking this time to backup data is essential and very critical, as for it may the the last time.  If you are not able to recover your data, we encourage you to visit DataRecovery.com to discuss options to recover your data.

 S.M.A.R.T. Error Messages:

 •  Status BAD, Backup and Replace

•  Hard Drive Detects Imminent Failure

•  Drive/controller time-out error

•  Drive seek error

•  Controller failed

•  Drive sector not found error

•  Write fault error

•  Drive track 0 error

•  Head select error

•  Error Correction Code (ECC) error

•  Sector buffer overrun

•  Bad address mark

•  Internal controller diagnostics failure

•  Data compare error

•  Drive not ready

•  Track 0 indicator failure

•  Diagnostics cylinder errors

•  Surface read errors

•  Hard drive type error

•  Bad diagnostics cylinder

•  Data compare error

•  Controller error

•  BIOS undefined error return

•  Bad command error

•  Data corrected error

•  Bad track error

•  Bad sector error

•  Bad initialization error

•  Bad sense error

•  Drive verify failure

•  Drive read failure

•  Drive write failure

•  Drive random read test failure

•  Drive seek test failure

•  Controller failure

•  Controller Error Correction Code (ECC) test failure

•  Controller head select failure

•  Seek failure; drive 0

•  Seek failure; drive 1

•  Controller test failure

•  Diagnostic cylinder read error; drive 0

•  Diagnostic cylinder read error; drive 1

 What Causes a Drive to Give These S.M.A.R.T. Messages?

 •  A known mechanical part is currently failing: spinning mechanisms, head movement, etc.

•  Major defects on the disk’s platter(s) (Known as bad sectors)

•  Electronic failure in the circuitry.

 What To Do about S.M.A.R.T. Errors:

 •  If the drive is working, don’t waste any time getting data off of the drive onto to another media source, IMMEDIATELY!

 •  If the drive is not working and you hearing noises, turn off your system immediately and call for professional help to recover your data.

 •  In the end, you will need a new hard drive to replace the existing.  S.M.A.R.T. errors are permanent errors and will not self-heal.  You are on borrowed time to retrieve your data of the drive.

 Worse Case:

 •  If your drive is beyond recovery that files are not retrievable,  you may want to send the drive to a recovery specialist such as datarecovery.com.  Remember the first attempt to recovering data is the best attempt.

 •  If you did manage to get the data backed up to another medium (DVD, CD, external hard drive, or flash drive) then relax.  All you need to do is replace your existing hard drive with a new Seagate brand hard drive.  Seagate is the industry leader at this time with superior warranties and technical support.  So when you choose your next hard drive, go with a Seagate hard drive.

While S.M.A.R.T. attempts to give you a predicted warning of failure, it may not give you the time you need to backup your data inevitably. In our (RCCS) experience we have found that some SMART crashes are not conventionally recoverable.  This is why it is a great idea to always have the data on a computer backed up periodically to another source other than the hard drive inside the computer.

Data Recovery Services Have you lost your data by...
~ Dropped your laptop or hard drive
~ Disk read error, no boot device detected
~ Power surge
~ Failed circuit board
~ Data corruption
~ Dropped in water (laptop, computer, and or phone)
~ Phone will not turn on or otherwise cannot access
~ and many other possibilities.

Datarecovery.com, goal is to provide fast, reliable, and affordable data recovery solutions while providing an outstanding customer experience. Call now us now at 800-237-4200 or click here to immediately open a ticket immediately. Be sure to mention Ryan's Computer Consulting Services for a 10% discount for your recovery services.

Invalid Drive Specification

Invalid Drive Specification

This can be a simple little fix, because most of the time the CMOS (complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor), or the chip that keeps track of the date, time, and all the basic settings of the motherboard, simply needs a new battery. I know it sounds weird that a computer has a watch battery in it, but they do. They are typically are only about $5 to $10 bucks at your local watch battery store. A simple way of testing to see if your battery is not keeping charge is to enter into the BIOS and set the settings to recognize the hard drive. If the hard drive recognized, save your settings, reboot, see if it goes into your operating system. If all goes well, power off your system for about 5 minutes and unplug it from the wall. After this time reconnect the power to your computer and see if the settings kept. If they did not you will get that error message again and it is time to get a new battery for your computer. These batteries are internal to your computer, and are separate from your main battery if you have a laptop.

Data Recovery Services Have you lost your data by...
~ Dropped your laptop or hard drive
~ Disk read error, no boot device detected
~ Power surge
~ Failed circuit board
~ Data corruption
~ Dropped in water (laptop, computer, and or phone)
~ Phone will not turn on or otherwise cannot access
~ and many other possibilities.

Datarecovery.com, goal is to provide fast, reliable, and affordable data recovery solutions while providing an outstanding customer experience. Call now us now at 800-237-4200 or click here to immediately open a ticket immediately. Be sure to mention Ryan's Computer Consulting Services for a 10% discount for your recovery services.

Disk Boot Failure Error

Boot Disk Failure, Not Detecting in BIOS

Hard DiskIf you turned your system on and come to screen that says “Boot Disk Failure”, you may have problem, or maybe not.  When you computer powers up it goes through a process called POST (Power-On Self Test).  During this time there a many things happening, to keep it simple, your hardware is being recognized at a basic level of the computer’s functionality.  If there is a problem with the operating system loading you get the infamous error:

 “Boot Disk Failure” operating system not found (or similar)

 There are few things to consider before you think all is lost and it is the end of the world as you know it.

 •  Check and make sure you do not have any removable disk inserted into your computer.  These devices include, but are not limited to:  floppies, flash cards, usb storage, external hard drives, iPods,  etc.  It is possible that your computer is searching for an operating system on one of these drives before it proceeds to the primary hard drive and is stuck on it.

 •  Be sure all cables from the hard drive and to the motherboard are snug and in known to be working.  Sometimes trying a new cable does the trick.

 •  There may be a recognition problem within your BIOS (Basic Input-Output System).  This is all the gibberish that flies across and down your screen as the computer first boots (during POST). Consult your user manual to check to see if the hard drive is registering with your BIOS.  If it is not this can mean there is a mechanical failure with the hard drive and you will need to consult a professional such as DataRecovery.com to recover your data files.  If the drive is posting, the drive may just have corrupted files and data may be recoverable by conventional means.

In past experiences, we have had old and new hard drives come up as “unknown device” in the BIOS.  If you getting this message check out the suggestions below.

 •  Could be a motherboard failure

 •  Drive capacity is too large for BIOS to recognize it.  See if there is a new BIOS release for the motherboard and flash it (refer to manufacturer on how to perform this procedure.)

 •  Board on hard drive may be electronically bad, return the hard drive if it is new or under warranty.  Otherwise you will need a new hard drive.

Data Recovery Services Have you lost your data by...
~ Dropped your laptop or hard drive
~ Disk read error, no boot device detected
~ Power surge
~ Failed circuit board
~ Data corruption
~ Dropped in water (laptop, computer, and or phone)
~ Phone will not turn on or otherwise cannot access
~ and many other possibilities.

Datarecovery.com, goal is to provide fast, reliable, and affordable data recovery solutions while providing an outstanding customer experience. Call now us now at 800-237-4200 or click here to immediately open a ticket immediately. Be sure to mention Ryan's Computer Consulting Services for a 10% discount for your recovery services.

How and Where to Buy a New Hard Drive?

How and Where to Buy a New Hard Drive?

Hard Drive Purchase

Step 1:  What kind of hard drive do you have?

First of all, let’s see what kind of interface you have.  The most common is SATA, however legacy is IDE.  This can be easily distinguished by seeing a wide 40 pin ribbon cable going into the back of your hard drive and two “L” shaped plastic connections.  SATA drives can be easily identified with their unique USB like connection for both the power and data connections.

For laptop users, your interfaces are much like desktop hard drives, just smaller.  If your drive has 40 pins on the back, it is an ATA/IDE and   likewise for the SATA interface.

NOTE:  Some older systems have limitations on the drive capacity it can handle, likewise with older versions of windows.  Please consult your systems user manuals and manufacturer to see if these limitations apply to your scenario.

Step 2:  What kind of hard drive do you need?

Depending on what your need is,  will be the size and type/performance of the drive you purchase.  Are you replacing your hard drive because of a system crash?  If you are and you know that  you did not use much of the storage space that you used before the crash, maybe you should simply replace the drive with the same capacity instead of upgrading.  This would save some cash.  I don’t recommend it entirely, only because any upgrade in a system it always a good thing.  However, if you are a person that is always adding video, pictures, or mp3’s to your collection, it would be a good idea to invest in the most you can afford. This leads to the next section of discussion, specifications.

Step 3:  Specifications of the hard drive

While the intentions of this page is not to review every hard drive out their (impossible to do….sort of),  there are a few common specifications to consider first.  In my humble opinion, I think the most important item to consider is the manufacturer’s warranty and the life cycle of the drive.  This says a lot about the quality of the manufacturer and their products.

  • Seagate and Western Digital provides warranties from 1 to 5 years from the manufacturing date of the unit.  If the drive fails naturally (you didn’t slam it to the floor)  they will replace it under this warranty period usually very painlessly.
  • Next to consider (assuming you know what interface hard drive you have) is the cache and rpm’s.  The more cache (on-board memory) the better the performance of the hard drive’s reading and writing abilities to keep up with the rest of the system or visa-versa.  If you are going with a solid state hard drive, pay close attention to the read/write speeds, this will vary the pricing of the drive greatly for something that is a entry grade SSD or enterprise.
  • Today’s standard in rpm’s (revolutions per minute) spin rate of a hard drive is 5,400-10,000.  The mechanical 7,200 drives are typically sufficient for every day use.  If you are a laptop user, you will find that there can be a big cost difference from 5,400 to 7,200 for the same drive capacity.  I would ask the question to yourself, “Does it matter if I wait a couple of more seconds for data or do I need it as fast as possible?”  If you are looking for performance, of course hands down is 

Sounds of a Bad Hard Drive or Going Bad

 

Sounds of a Bad Hard Drive or Going Bad

ListenIF YOU ARE HEARING ANY OF THE SOUNDS BELOW COMING FROM YOUR COMPUTER THEN TURN OFF THE COMPUTER A.S.A.P., YOUR DATA DEPENDS ON IT!

If your drive is clicking, grinding, or making unusual sounds, it is very   important that you shut down the computer immediately.  These sounds   can very well be the read/write heads physically hitting   or scraping the platters of the hard drive.  Severe or complete data loss can  result from this. DON’T RISK IT!  This applies too as well if your drive has been exposed to fire, flood, physical shock (earthquake), etc.

  • Remember that hard drives are very sensitive to static electricity and physical jarring or jolts.  Handle them like a new born baby, gently.  Always unplug the power before removing the hard drive or any component inside a computer.  Discharge yourself by grounding to the metal of the computer chassis or a static strap to a grounded object.
  • If you are certain that the above is your situation, then contact a reputable data recovery service like DataRecovery.com.  The first attempt at recovering your critical, sensitive  data is always the best.  Don’t fool around with software recovery tools if your drive is physically failing.  It is a really bad idea, you will only further damage the drive and further lose your data.

Data Recovery Services Have you lost your data by...
~ Dropped your laptop or hard drive
~ Disk read error, no boot device detected
~ Power surge
~ Failed circuit board
~ Data corruption
~ Dropped in water (laptop, computer, and or phone)
~ Phone will not turn on or otherwise cannot access
~ and many other possibilities.

Datarecovery.com, goal is to provide fast, reliable, and affordable data recovery solutions while providing an outstanding customer experience. Call now us now at 800-237-4200 or click here to immediately open a ticket immediately. Be sure to mention Ryan's Computer Consulting Services for a 10% discount for your recovery services.

 

What is a Solid State Hard Drive, SSD, Flash?

What is a Solid State Hard Drive, SSD, Flash?

solid-state-hard-driveSolid state hard drive (SDD) is the newest type of hard drive on the market at this time.  Currently only being produced for laptop systems, these hard drives are based on flash memory and have no moving parts like the standard hard drives we know today.  While they are much faster, cooler, and more energy efficient, the price is much to be desired per gigabyte.  The intentions of this page is not to detail out what all a SSD drive is made of and how it works, but rather to show  the pro’s and con’s.  Maybe latter on (a couple of years) we will re-evaluate and include specifications of the such, when they have become a defacto in the hard drive industry (if it happens).

Solid State Hard Drive Pro’s:

  • Very fast start-ups and data transfer, no spinning components
  • Fast read/write times
  • Heat generation is minimized compared to a mechanical drive
  • Mechanical failure is reduced to electronic failure only, not both
  • Don’t weigh as much as counter part laptop drives

Solid State Hard Drive Con’s:

  • Cost more per gigabyte, then traditional mechanical drives
  • Storage space is behind the mechanical drives
  • Further acceptable to magnetic fields and static electricity
  • Could “wear out” sooner than a conventional drive, if read/writes (data) is written in the same area over and over instead of the entire drive.  This issue is known and is addressed with software and firmware to prevent such things from happening.

As you can see these drives have potential along with their disadvantages too.  The consumer (you) will ultimately decide the fate of this new technology in the years to come as they are tested for durability and longevity.  If you are interested in purchasing a Solid State Hard Drive, may we suggest you check out Tiger Direct first for pricing before you shop around elsewhere.  Remember SSD’s are much more in cost than the conventional drives at this time.

The future of hard drives is ever changing. One trend we are seeing at is that Solid State Drives (SSDs) are slowly replacing electromagnetically, spinning-platter hard drive mechanisms as the standard storage device installed inside new laptop and desktop computers.

SSDs have no moving parts inside and data is stored using non-volatile memory; data loads faster, less power is used than with current hard drives and they have a longer life span.

Although SSDs offer benefits over current hard drives, data is still at risk from problems such as directory corruption, virus attack, accidental file deletion, impact, electrical spike and fire or water damage. DataRecovery.com engineers are skilled in recovering data from SSDs and stand ready to recover from these problems and worse

 

Why Does My Hard Drive Storage Capacity Seem to Show Wrong Size?

Why Does My Hard Drive Storage Capacity Seem to Show Wrong Size?

Have you ever noticed that maybe you bought a computer that advertised that it said “250 gigabytes” of storage and when you got home and booted it up for the first time to find out that windows is reporting it less than that? No, you have not been ripped off. The idea happened some year in the distant past when the idea of kilobyte arrived. Kilo in the metric system means 1,000. Unfortunately, in the computer world kilobyte means 1,024. First lets get comfortable with understanding the system. Below is a chart to review for the moment.

Binary DecimalAs you can see above there is a difference between the decimal binary value and the decimal only equivalent.  Hard drive manufacturers use decimal only.  They believe in the true metric system.  Meanwhile there is a confusion between computer lingo and the real thing.  Let me show you an example of what I mean.  Below is a graphic out of windows xp pro.  (This is found by going to your my computer, and right clicking on the local disk drive icon, go to properties.)

Disk Properties

What is an ATA or IDE Hard Drive

What is an ATA or IDE Hard Drive

This drive is more commonly called the IDE  (Intelligent Drive Electronics or Integrated Drive Electronics). This is by far at the moment the most commonly used type of hard drive out there.  primarily used in desktops.  This drive will soon become a thing of the past being replaced by its new cousin the SATA (Serial-Advanced Technology Attachment).  ATA is limited in a few areas.  The first is that it is limited to 133mbps (megabytes per second) data transfer rate.  Secondly, it has a very bulky 40 pin data cable versus the SATA 4 pin much smaller cable.  With that said ATA has all been called Parallel ATA for its size.  IDE connection types require a jumper to set the type of drive whether it is a master, slave, or cable select.  Below are some pictures of an IDE/ATA hard drive.

IDE Hard Driveide cableAs you can see in the images on this page, the cable is not exactly small, an ide cable measures about 2″ wide.  This can cause a air flow problem in a chassis.  Today’s computers need a lot of air flow to reduce heat traps, unless you have water cooled system  these ribbons restrict air flow.  IDE/ATA is an obsolete technology and has limited use in legacy application/computers.

What is a Hard Drive

What is a Hard Drive? | How Do Hard Drives Work?

Hard DriveA hard drive is a hardware device within a computer or external chassis that spins (a solid state drive does not spin, and is an altogether different technology) a magnetic disk that reads and writes information to and from it.  The illustration on this page show the internal parts of a hard drive.  This is a typical illustration, while most hard drives work identically, they may vary a bit in style and looks.

Hard drives are not typically accessed by the user physically and are normally internal to the computer case.  The only exception today, is that if one were to use an external hard drive to carry from place to place or for backup purposes.  External hard drives that are used for portable storage are usually in an enclosed casing.

In the illustration on this page, you will see that the four main parts of a hard drive are the disk platters, head arm, disk actuator, and the chassis.  Not much has changed in the thought of how a hard drive works from it’s early days of conception, albeit the size of the drive has been standardized to both desktop and mobile sizes.  The density of how much can be written on the platters have changed tremendously as well over time.  I personally remember a 1mb hard drive out of an old IBM word processor with a 8086 cpu.  It was state of the art back then.  As new technologies are explored, someday even this style will change as barriers of physical and mechanical impossibilities become possible.

What is not shown in the picture is the connectors and circuit board below.  Since the introduction of the SATA connector & power connector, the old school IDE & SCSI connection types have since faded into the past.  No doubt someday, even SATA will become obsolete.