I have a nearly new Inspiron 2200. Microphone input isn't working\nright. Dell chat line representative insists on scheduling technician\nto replace the motherboard.\n\nUnfortunately, the technician leaves two screws loose when replacing\nthe mobo. I have the tech come back to fix this mysterious new buzzing\nnoise.\n\nThis time, I make the mistake of handing the laptop to the tech while\nit is still in hibernation mode. I do not realize this is a mistake at\nthe time, but I soon find out. The tech doesn't check the machine's\npower status; he immediately removes the motherboard while it is still\nin hibernation.\n\nAfter this, the machine starts acting funky -\- primarily freezing\nduring or shortly after bootup. I try some old familiar fixes, like\nNorton Disk Doctor. Nothing helps. Eventually, I discover it is\npossible to use the Recover option when booting from the Windows XP\nprogram CD. Inside Recover, I run CHKDSK /R instead of CHKDSK /P,\nwhich I think might have been the better approach.\n\nI run some diagnostics. The Hitachi online rep says the results\nindicate that the Dell tech basically trashed the hard drive by\ndismantling the system while it was in hibernation mode. Hitachi gives\nme an RMA for the drive.\n\nBut I really don't want to lose data from that drive. My most recent\nbackup is several days old. So I play around a bit more.\n\nAt this point, the machine is functioning less well. At first, after\nthe catastropic Dell service call, it would boot into WinXP and then\nslow down or freeze. Now it is sometimes not even recognizing the hard\ndrive on bootup. I look in the BIOS Setup and it says there's no hard\ndrive. I try booting from the CD and I get the same thing, whether\nbooting with the WinXP CD, a Knoppix Linux self-contained CD, or a\nHitachi diagnostics CD. The error message I'm getting is this:\n\ninternal hard disk drive not found\nNo bootable devices -\- strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for setup\nutility\n\nAfter the first several boots into WinXP, I am getting this error\nmessage more frequently. This decaying performance seems familiar -\-\nit does seem like the behavior of a failing drive. But I'm not sure it\nadds up. If the Dell tech fried the circuits on the drive, it seems\nlike it would perform at the same level consistently. I am guessing\nthat dismantling a hibernated machine would not do any surface-level\ndamage to a drive, of a type that would yield decaying reliability.\n\nI would like to get my data off this hard drive. But the options seem\nlimited. I don't know how to configure Knoppix to use the laptop's\nwireless connection. There's no drive bay for a second drive in the\nlaptop, to which I could copy the data from the first one; and anyway,\nthe first one is nonresponsive.\n\nSo I buy one of those little adapters that allow you to connect a 2.5"\nlaptop drive to a regular 3.5" desktop drive cable. I figure maybe the\nproblem is with the laptop, and this way I can copy my data directly to\na hard drive in the desktop machine.\n\nI put the laptop drive in the desktop machine and play with multiple\nways of plugging it in. The adapter doesn't come with instructions. I\nexperiment with jumper settings, reverse plug-in options (the adapter\nfits the laptop drive both ways), etc. Nothing works. I cannot get\nthe desktop to recognize the laptop drive. It's not a problem with the\ndesktop machine. That connector is good; I have a different 3.5" drive\nhooked up to it right now. I assume the 2.5" Hitachi drive is acting\nthis way because this is how it has been acting in the laptop too.\n\nI download some recovery software with a free trial version, I think,\nthat lets you see the data but not recover it. The software I download\nis GetDataBack. I install it on the desktop machine. It, too, fails\nto see the 2.5" hard drive.\n\nTonight, the Dell rep online thinks that maybe the hard drive is not\nproperly connected to the laptop's motherboard. But would that explain\nwhy the little drive was not working in the desktop machine either? No\nconnection option seemed to work.\n\nDell says I may just have to pay a grand for data recovery services.\nThat'll be the day. I've got a backup that's some days old; I'll have\nto be content with using that, and with losing some irreplaceable data.\n\nIt just seems strange that, on this very evening, I was able to boot\nthe laptop into Windows XP Safe Mode and then into Normal mode. I\nnoticed this same thing previously: if I let the sucker sit for a few\ndays, it seems to clear its mind and be ready to work again.\n\nTonight, being cautious, I shut the machine down after both of these\nboots, because some newsgroup posting said that this was what someone\nelse should have done immediately after a similar hibernation screwup:\njust do a normal shutdown and reboot. But after it did boot into Safe\nand Normal modes, it refused to boot anymore and, once again, it\nstopped recognizing the drive.\n\nI was thinking that maybe the solution is to let the thing sit again\nfor a day or two and then do my first boot with the 2.5" drive\nconnected to the desktop machine. That way, I might get some life out\nof it before it craps out.\n\nAt times in the past, I noticed that recalcitrant hard drives seemed to\nwork better if you let them sit for a while, or when the temperature\ncooled down. Sure enough, I have just discovered the "freezer trick":\nput the hard drive in a baggie in the freezer for a few hours, and then\nrecover data from it before it warms up too much. See e.g.,\n[URL]http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp/t1122363710[/URL] and\n[URL]http://www.computing.net/windowsxp/wwwboard/forum/136644.html[/URL]\n\nThis, I am thinking, may be a way to accelerate the cooling-down\nprocess. I'll do it repeatedly if necessary. That's my next tack,\nafter finishing this message.\n\nAll this talk about the BIOS, in the webpages just cited and elsewhere,\nbelatedly makes me think that maybe the hard drive was accustomed to\nworking with the BIOS of the previous motherboard, which I might have\nflashed to update it, and maybe they installed a mobo with an older\nBIOS that somehow confused the issue. This seems a little vague and\ngoofy, but since it's probably a good idea to update the laptop's BIOS\nanyway, I guess I'll also see if I can figure out how to do that from a\nCD drive. (The laptop has no floppy, and that's what Dell's downloads\nseem to prefer.)\n\nIt may be just as well that the 2.5" drive was unresponsive in the\ndesktop machine. As I recall, Windows gets confused if you have more\nthan one Windows program partition in the same machine. So what I\nprobably should do, after connecting the 2.5" drive to the desktop\nmachine, is to boot the desktop machine from the CD drive, using either\nKnoppix Linux or Drive Image, so as to get the data off without booting\ninto Windows.\n\nDell is sending a tech to try to fiddle with the mobo some more, but I\nstill don't think that's the problem. I've seen several messages\nonline indicating that the problem in a situation like this is surely\nwith the hard drive. I really don't want it to be the hard drive.\n\nI see where another guy had this same thing. See\n[URL]http://tinyurl.com/72fn3[/URL]. He didn't confirm whether the hard drive was\nthe problem in that case.\n\nIf anyone has any ideas about any of this, I would be very interested\nin hearing them. At any rate, I thought it would be prudent to record\nthe details for future reference by myself and others.