Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hard drive failure...

So Lynn's Sony VAIO laptop started failing S.M.A.R.T last week. I put in a rush order for a replacement drive on Newegg on Wednesday after spending a day or two backing up data from her laptop to mine and waiting on a response from Toshiba about whether they're able to replace the drive under their warranty or if I have to go through Sony.

After I got no response, I decided to just replace the drive myself. I really don't want to ship the laptop off to Sony and wait weeks for it to get sent back. My girlfriend in particular isn't too thrilled with that idea.

So Friday the new drive (a 320 GB Seagate Momentus) arrived. Yesterday morning, I attempted to clone the data on the Toshiba drive (250 GB btw) to the Seagate drive. Clonezilla refused to do this, stating that the drive was flagged for disk checking. Unfortunately, ChkDsk freezes when attempting to repair the drive. I tried cloning with Ghost, and while it allowed me to run the clone process, it froze not long after reporting the detection of a few bad sectors. Last night I fired up HDD Regenerator and began recovering the bad sectors. Frankly, I should probably have done it earlier; but this stuff ain't easy when you've got a 2-year-old running around.

So HDD Regenerator is about halfway done after approximately 12 hours. It's recovered 3 bad blocks on the Toshiba HDD. My girlfriend was frustrated last night about not having a laptop to use, so I burned an Ubuntu 10.04 CD and booted direct from CD. A little unnerving running an OS with a gaping hole in the bottom of the laptop where the HDD is supposed to be; it feels a little unnatural! In any case, by the time I'd burned the disc and come back to the bedroom, she was fast asleep. But hey, now she can use the laptop until I get her new drive cloned.

Hopefully once the drive is repaired, Ghost won't have any issues cloning the damaged drive. Once the damaged drive is copied over, I plan on pulling it apart and taking a look inside. I'll report back here on my progress. :)

UPDATE: After 24 hours of rebuilding data, I've given up. 12 hours has seen about another 1/6th of the data on the drive recovered, and even then, only about 2 out of 3 bad sectors are being successfully restored. I've copied the hidden Sony Recovery Volume to the new drive and I'm simply reinstalling from factory default that way. I've saved the most important data to my own laptop and I'll move it back after a clean install (once I've gotten rid of the Sony bloatware).

UPDATE 2: All went as planned. Killed all the VAIO crap bogging down startup and copied the important data back onto the drive. Lynn's happily using Windows once again. :)

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