Troubleshooting Hard Drive (Official Dell Tech Support)
April 2, 2017 Jon 16 Comments
Troubleshooting hard drive issues can help you get your operating system running again if your computer is not booting up. Hard drive repair can usually be done with tests or downloads but sometimes requires manual techniques. Watch and learn how.
Hi welcome to Dell Tech Support
Heat, physical damage and time are the main factors that can ruin your hard drive. In this video, will look at some diagnostic methods to resolve some common issues with hard drives. Each method is different depending on the symptoms. For example, when you turn on your computer and the operating system does not start, you will probably get one of these error messages on the BIOS screen. Hard Drive not Detected, No Boot Device Found, No Boot Partition Found, Data error Reading Drive, Seek error Sector not found, Missing Operating System, Drive not Ready, Blank screen with flashing Cursor, Hard Disk Drive, Failure, Primary Hard Disk Failure.
At this point, there are two ways to diagnose the problem. Before tackling this process, watch these helpful videos: How to avoid ESD Damage and How do I find my Product Manual.
Unplug your computer, and for a laptop you should also remove the battery. Disconnect and reconnect the Hard Drive’s power cable and data cable. Restart your computer. If it starts normally, the problem was with the power connections.
The other way is to use a pre-boot system assessment tool called ePSA. Turn on your computer and press the F12 key. In the Boot Menu, select Diagnostics. Make a note of any error codes that appear. For more details about this test, check out our video about ePSA: Diagnose Hardware Issues on your Dell Computer.
If the operating system starts, there is still a two-step process to complete. Go to dell.com/support and enter your computer’s service tag. The first step is to ensure that the BIOS and the Firmware for your hard drive are up to date. Select Drivers and Downloads. Click on the tab Find it Myself, then on More Filters, and expand Type. Check the boxes for BIOS and Firmware to get update information. If there are any newer releases than your current versions, download what you need and install them.
The second step is to run the diagnostic on the hard drive. On your Product Support page, select Diagnostics and try the Quick Test first. If necessary, you can run the Full Test afterwards. If any error code appears, write it down and contact us through one of our social media support channels. For an introduction to this type of support, watch our video: Dell Social Media Support.
If your hard drive reboots, then you should consider backing up your as this may be an indication that your hard drive may be nearing the end of its life.
For information on how to back up your data, watch our video: How to back up Files.
If you have any questions or would like more help, please contact us on Facebook or Twitter and we will be happy to assist you. Thanks for watching, and be sure to subscribe to our channel. See you next time.
For more information please visit http://dell.com/support
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Thousands of people every day experience what at first seems that their external USB or Thunderbolt HD, either 2.5″ portable or 3.5″ desktop model is dying, is dead, or all hope is lost for it. Good news is that you have roughly a greater than 50-60% chance that your external hard drive is perfectly fine!
The great news at the end of the tunnel of an apparently failed or failing external hard drive.
When checked on another computer, and with no need for spending money on data extraction expertise or software, the very likely case is that your external USB or thunderbolt HD is in fact fine, and merely the card interface, or SATA bridge card has failed or is failing. Keeping a HD dock around handy, or cheaper still a hard drive enclosure or a SATA to USB connector can be a real life saver in getting your drive back to use, when the drive itself is fine, and merely its interface card has gone bad.
The SATA bridge card inside a USB external HD has a very high failure rate in general
What exactly is the SATA bridge card in your external HD?
In the middle to late of 2009, most all external hard drives both in 2.5″ and 3.5″ reached the shelves in SATA III. These small SATA cards or “bridges” are used to translate between the hard drives’ interfaces and the enclosures’ external ports (USB, Thunderbolt, Firewire). Additionally these small bridges not only transfer power but also of course the data. Unfortunately these SATA bridge cards have a very high failure rate as they are burdened with shuffle power and data.
Literally these little unreliable and fragile cards are the power conduits and the nervous system for all external HD data transfer.
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