1 Y.O. Laptop - suspected hard drive failure - help needed  

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  1. Posts : 927
    Win 10
       #11

    @ArthurDent
    This computer may have 2 drives, A standard SATA HD and an m.2 cache drive. The great thing about your computer it is easy to get to the drives and replace one or both.
    If the m.2 drive went bad the data is on the standard 2.5 in drive. You "might" be able to remove the m.2 drive and boot into Windows.

    legion y530 hard drive - Google Search
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 338
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 21H2 (OS Build 19044.1766)
    Thread Starter
       #12

    Try3 said:
    Art,

    I thought it also worth mentioning that I lost some files because my backup plan had a big hole in it.
    - Apart from a few key files for which I had special backup procedures in place, most of my files were only backed up when I deliberately got out one of the external drives I keep backups on. I had backed up the day before the failure but had been busy later on so I knew that new/edited files had been lost.

    - I have plugged the hole so now I'd only lose, at the very most, some files that have changed in the last hour.
    - - I realised that I had an SD card reader sitting there with a small card in it & doing little more than protecting my few key files [finances, Outlook, some IS logs].

    - - I replaced the small SD card with a 128GB one that is big enough to hold all my documents and video/audio files that have not yet been backed up to my external drive.

    - - I get Task scheduler to run a batch file every hour on the hour to RoboCopy all my Docuemnts folder contents to the big SD card.


    Just food for thought, nothing more,
    best of luck,
    Denis
    Hi Denis,

    You say: - - I replaced the small SD card with a 128GB one that is big enough to hold all my documents and video/audio files that have not yet been backed up to my external drive.

    - - I get Task scheduler to run a batch file every hour on the hour to RoboCopy all my Docuemnts folder contents to the big SD card.

    Would it be possible to tell me EXACTLY how to do this? It sounds like an ideal solution.

    Interstingly, my wife last did a backup to an external drive in November and had got her external drive out yesterday to do another backup only to find that the HDD had failed when she turned the pc on to do this!

    Many thanks,

    Art

    Porthos said:
    @ArthurDent
    This computer may have 2 drives, A standard SATA HD and an m.2 cache drive. The great thing about your computer it is easy to get to the drives and replace one or both.

    If the m.2 drive went bad the data is on the standard 2.5 in drive. You "might" be able to remove the m.2 drive and boot into Windows.

    legion y530 hard drive - Google Search
    Hi Porthos,

    That is a good point - I do believe that the laptop does have a small m.2 SSD drive. I don't know what data/programs it contains.

    I will open the laptop up and give that a try.

    Many thanks for the suggestion.

    Art
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 927
    Win 10
       #13

    I don't know what data/programs it contains.
    It would be just a cache drive to speed up frequently used programs. Kinda like a hybrid SSHD does.

    If I owned it I would replace it with one of these and load Windows from scratch.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 338
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 21H2 (OS Build 19044.1766)
    Thread Starter
       #14

    Porthos said:
    @ArthurDent
    This computer may have 2 drives, A standard SATA HD and an m.2 cache drive. The great thing about your computer it is easy to get to the drives and replace one or both.
    If the m.2 drive went bad the data is on the standard 2.5 in drive. You "might" be able to remove the m.2 drive and boot into Windows.

    legion y530 hard drive - Google Search
    ArthurDent said:
    Hi Porthos,

    That is a good point - I do believe that the laptop does have a small m.2 SSD drive. I don't know what data/programs it contains.

    I will open the laptop up and give that a try.
    Well, it was worth a try.

    Opened up the laptop and removed the m.2 Optane drive. Laptop still wouldn't boot. Came back with same message about "Default Boot Device Missing". Went into BIOS (F2 on power-up) but the only options for the Boot Device Order are UFEI (greyed-out), USB Boot (Enabled), PXE Boot to LAN, IPv4 PXE First (??) (Enabled) and EFI PXE Network (with the network card's MAC Address). I can't see how to change the boot order so it tries to boot from the HDD rather than the m.2 Optane drive.

    On the upside, I removed the HDD and connected it to a USB caddy. Windows could SEE the drive but couldn't read it because of permissions (and I didn't want to grant access to the HDD in case it screwed up something else). So I swapped the HDD in my (working) laptop for a test HDD containing Linux Mint 19.3. Booted the laptop into Linux, connected my wife's HDD and was able to see and transfer documents to my pc. They are now sitting in a folder on the Linux Mint desktop.

    The documents were deleted from my wife's HDD and this was returned to the non-booting laptop. Yes, I know that simply transferring the files doesn't actually remove them from the drive and that any half-decent recovery program would bring them back but a repair guy isn't going to look at an empty documents folder and try recovering the data when he's got 3 more machines to fix before clocking off at 4pm. If s/he does, there is nothing 'sensitive' in the data that s/he'd recover.

    In passing, the m.2 drive was only 16Gb. How easy (and what hardware do you need) to clone it onto a larger drive?

    Art
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 927
    Win 10
       #15

    How easy (and what hardware do you need) to clone it onto a larger drive?
    The m.2 has no real data it just caches the most used files. I am assuming this is an intel based computer and the drives are controlled by the intel management program.

    I am not really good at explaining things all typed out and like I said I would get a new M.2 NVME drive and load Windows from scratch by creating a Windows USB with the media creation tool from MS.

    Do you have another Windows computer at your disposal so you can create the install disk?
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 338
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 21H2 (OS Build 19044.1766)
    Thread Starter
       #16

    Hi Porthos,

    The 16Gb m.2 drive had Windows on it and since this drive has gone south, the pc can't boot into Windows.

    The larger (and slower) 1TB Seagate Barracuda Pro has all the data (documents, photos, music, etc) on it. I was able to remove this, place it in a USB caddy and transfer all of my wife's most recent documents to another pc, so it doesn't really matter if the manufacturer buggers about and re-formats the 1TB drive although, since this drive is fine, I don't see why they would.

    I'm just wondering where MS Office was installed. I don't recall when I installed it having the choice of where to put it on the Optane drive (and don't know how to access that drive in any case) as it didn't appear as a separate drive in 'Computer' , nor I seem to recall under Admin Tools > Computer Management > Disk Management (as I remember wondering where this m.2 drive was and indeed whether it was fitted to the mechine as the specification said).

    I have a 10 y.o. Sony Vaio laptop which is currently running Windows 7 (the OS is soon to be replaced by Linux Mint) and also another laptop running Windows 10, so I can use the Media Creation Tool to create a Windows USB.

    Another query - If I changed this Optane drive for a larger version (say 64Mb or 128Mb) and used the Windows USB, what would happen about the license as I don't know the license key. That is why I asked about cloning the Optane drive since the clone would already contain the key and Windows would already be activated.

    Art
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 15,944
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.3324
       #17

    About your question concerning regular backing up to an SD card


    Art,

    I have attached my advice in a pdf file. It was, I thought, too much of a distraction to post it all here.

    SDCard backup.pdf

    The sample batch file I suggest is given in the document and repeated here

    I called it SDBackup.bat but you can call it whatever you want.

    Code:
    Set BackupDrive=G:
    RoboCopy "D:\Desktop" "%BackupDrive%\Desktop" /S /R:10 /MT:1 /DCOPY:DAT /XA:SH /MIR
    RoboCopy "D:\Documents\Work" "%BackupDrive%\Documents\Work" /S /R:10 /MT:1 /DCOPY:DAT /XA:SH /MIR
    RoboCopy "D:\Documents\Home" "%BackupDrive%\Documents\Home" /S /R:10 /MT:1 /DCOPY:DAT /XA:SH /MIR
    RoboCopy "D:\Documents\Cooking" "%BackupDrive%\Documents\Cooking" /S /R:10 /MT:1 /DCOPY:DAT /XA:SH /MIR
    RoboCopy "D:\Documents\Friends" "%BackupDrive%\Documents\Friends" /S /R:10 /MT:1 /DCOPY:DAT /XA:SH /MIR
    RoboCopy "D:\Documents\House" "%BackupDrive%\Documents\House" /S /R:10 /MT:1 /DCOPY:DAT /XA:SH /MIR
    RoboCopy "D:\Documents\Odds N Sods" "%BackupDrive%\Documents\Odds N Sods" /S /R:10 /MT:1 /DCOPY:DAT /XA:SH /MIR
    RoboCopy "D:\Documents\Suppliers" "%BackupDrive%\Documents\Suppliers" /S /R:10 /MT:1 /DCOPY:DAT /XA:SH /MIR
    Pause to look at the results until you are confident in the file.  This line makes the batch file stay open when it has finished its job.
    ∷ Put two colons in front of Pause after you decide you no longer want it to remain open when it has finished.  Or just delete the Pause line and this line.

    I imagine that you will only wish to consider this subject when you have finished sorting out your disk issues.

    Denis
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 338
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 21H2 (OS Build 19044.1766)
    Thread Starter
       #18

    That's fantastic Denis, thank you.

    I've had a quick skim read through the .pdf and it seems reasoably clear as to what I have to do. That's not a criticism of your document at all, more like "I've read it and I don't see anything outwardly complicated."

    I've ordered a couple of 256Gb SDXC cards from My Memory and the laptop that has the failed drive (I am 95% sure that the drive that has failed is the 16Gb m.2 Intel Optane SSD drive and not the 1TB Seagate Barracuda Pro) went back to the retailer this morning.

    I may have a 'test' with my laptop (the one that I'm writing this post on) which currently has Windows 7 on it.

    Just 2 questions ...

    1) I'm assuming that the batch file works with any version of Windows (e.g. 7 / 8 / 8.1) as well as Win 10.

    2) I don't recognise 'Robocopy' - is that an 'internal' Windows command (i.e. one that you could run from a command prompt) or is it an application that I have to download?

    I don't have any 'awkward' applications like Outlook or the need to backup video files so that makes things somewhat simpler.

    Once again, many thanks for taking the time to write and post the document.

    Kind regards,

    Art
      My Computers


  9. Posts : 15,944
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 22H2 Build 19045.3324
       #19

    Art,

    ... the laptop that has the failed drive (I am 95% sure that the drive that has failed is the 16Gb m.2 Intel Optane SSD drive and not the 1TB Seagate Barracuda Pro) went back to the retailer this morning.
    I don't know your computer.
    - My m.2 drive can take a full-sized drive and it can boot from it. So I installed Windows on that one and my HDD is for my own files.
    - It seems a waste of M.2 technology for it only be to capable of hosting a cache thing. But the others who have responded probably know more than I do about this topic.
    - If your computer manual does not clarify matters then try checking with your computer maker's support site & any user forums they host.

    I'm assuming that the batch file works with any version of Windows (e.g. 7 / 8 / 8.1) as well as Win 10.
    Yes.

    I don't recognise 'Robocopy' - is that an 'internal' Windows command (i.e. one that you could run from a command prompt) or is it an application that I have to download?
    - Yes, it can be run from a command prompt or within a batch file.
    - It is built in to Windows 7 & 10. I have a vague memory that it worked with XP as well but it was a separate download.
    - The terms "internal" and "external" actually have a tightly-defined meaning when referring to Windows commands but I think you just meant built-in vs downloadable anyway so I can gloss over the fact that I cannot remember the original definition.
    - You can open any command prompt and see RoboCopy Help by entering RoboCopy /? but I find the SS64 link I gave you to be much better.

    256Gb SDXC ... don't ... need to backup video files
    I'm surpised that you have that much data to back up if you don't have video files. Audio files, perhaps? 200,000 copies of my pdf file?

    Denis
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 13,301
    Windows 10 Pro (x64) 21H2 19044.1526
       #20

    Optane memory is primarily a cache for a spinner HD usually 7200rpm hd.
    But it is a drive, and is set in RAID formation with the hd.
    In order to use it as a separate drive it has to be set in ahci mode in the bios .
    and the windows has to be set in the same as windows will continue to look for the raid.


    Switch from Raid to AHCI
      My Computers


 

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