If you are solving computer problems at home, then you most likely do not have a lot of tools to choose from. To lower the cost of solving computer problems at home, than purchase helpful tools such as bootable CDs and DVDs. First of all, if the computer does not work properly, it is most likely due to the hard drive. Hard drive disk defects, especially if on a small region, are fixed by simply blanking the hard drive. This will cause the hard drive to remap the disk surface, and cause it to not use faulty parts anymore. This will only work when the disk surface damage is not that big. After blanking all the data on the hard drive, the information will be gone forever, so make sure to back up the data in two different places.
It is also a good thing to use the original operating system restore disks that came with the laptop or desktop. Operating system restoration will always destroy all the data on the hard drive. Driver restore disks have one more advantage in that they usually have and driver packages for the laptop or desktop computer.
The data backup kit can be bought from the internet as SATA/IDE to USB adapters. Don’t worry about spending a lot of money on the data backup kit, the inexpensive ones work just as good.
Here, you will start the CD and DVD burning process, so make sure to prepare the good computer that you will need for the disk burning process.
You can also find out if the hard drive is good or not with one of two ways. The first way is to connect the hard drive to the other computer and use the GSmartControl check with its S.M.A.R.T. data; this will enable you to boot from a bootable CD and to use programs such as Victoria or HDTune. Make sure to check the S.M.A.R.T. data without taking the hard drive out.
The first method must have a SATA/IDE to USB adaptor. If you have a desktop at home, then the adaptor is not needed. Simply take the hard drive out and connect it to the motherboard with a SATA cable, and make sure to also connect the power lead.
If you don’t have a SATA adapter or a desktop computer, then you must burn a bootable CD. The CD that I recommend is Hiren’s Boot CD. You can download it from any torrent site that you use. It should come as an ISO image. Download it and burn it to the CD disk. After this step, power on your computer, place the disk in the laptop and boot-up your computer using the CD drive by pressing F12 or Delete, depending on your model. Then choose Mini Windows XP.
This will boot your computer into a desktop. Then click on the HBCD Menu.
Choose Programs -> Testing ->Victoria HDD Info / Test
Click the S.M.A.R.T. tab and then click the Get Smart Data button
Now, let’s look at a few important numbers. The first one is the Current Pending Sector Count. If this is a number less than 10, then you need to blank the disk and install Windows. If this is a number greater than 10, then blanking the disk would probably not help. But, this largely depends on the hard disk, so try and blank the disk and then reinstall the operating system. For the blanking process, I use a program called Kill Disk.
The other number to look out for is the Reallocation event count. If this number is less than 10, that means everything is okay. If this number is more than 10, then you might have a problem. Try and blank the disk and then reinstall. If this number is 50 or higher, then make sure to back up the data and replace the hard drive. If you use GSmartControl, then you can find this in the tab entitled Error Log check, if there is any record. If there is any record and the tab is a red color, it is better to replace the hard drive completely.
Generally, if you need to boot from the Hirens Boot CD and Windows will not boot, even in a Safe Mode, then it is better to transfer all the data to an external hard drive or a USB dongle. The Hiren’s boot CD is able to do the data transfer, simply connect to the USB drive, click My Computer and then transfer the files just like you normally do.
Using the Kill Disk: Start by downloading the kill disk from the internet by typing Kill disk free in the search engine. Burn this to a CD, boot straight from this disk and navigate to Active Kill disk Free.
Message will pop up that it is free. Press ok.
Navigate down with the down arrow key right to the disk. Usually, it is 80h.
Press F10. A message will pop up saying One Pass Zeros.
This is what we need. Press F10 again. A message will pop up saying Confirm Action.
Type erase-all-data and then press enter. It will take about 40 minutes to erase the disk.
It is very important to blank on the hard drive that has bad sectors. Without it and the hard drive will think it should relocate the sector and probably will not locate it which is what we do not want. After blanking the hard drive, use the Product Restore Disk or the Operating System Restore Disk to install the operating system. After blanking the hard drive, nobody will ever be able to recover the data from the hard drive, so always make sure you back up in two different places.
Remember, your goal is to make the S.M.A.R.T. show that there is a Current Pending Sector Count of zero.
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