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Help! HP Omnibook 500 fries HDD partitions due to dud ram, can't recover them!

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by dthelwal, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. dthelwal

    dthelwal Guest

    I have an HP Omnibook 500 P3-600 noteobook (128mb+64mb ram, 10gig HDD,
    expansion base, etc. running Windows 98se).

    This system's recent instability made me want to run the HP
    diagnostics utilities which I elected to update via their built-in
    update system. This crashed during update - then the process required
    a restart which then proceeded to fry the drive's partition structure.
    No boot, nothing...

    The fault was tracked down to a recently failed SODIMM (Micron
    supplied by HP inside the machine) no less, this caused the system to
    behave improperly (I thought I may have been having drive problems
    initially). I've removed this SODIMM and have just the Kingston 64mb
    SODIMM in there (that tests fine, getting more ram soon) but in the
    meantime I really want to recover the drive's data.

    The weird mix of the HP diagnostics, the suspend-to-disk partition and
    the operating system mean that it's not clear cut to me what the best
    way to recover this would be. So far I have only attempted booting
    with a 98se boot diskette and FDISKing the partition (no format, just
    FDISK), this being a technique that's successfully recovered damaged
    partitions in the past (the formatted partition just became available
    once more).

    That hasn't worked this time though and I'd like to recover the
    drive's data before frying it - has anyone any suggestions on how I
    might go about doing this at all, some kind of utility which can seek
    that partition and make some use/sense of it?

    The notebook's useless until I can get some resolution and I would
    really appreciate anyone's insight into this kind of problem.


    dthelwal, Nov 21, 2003
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  2. dthelwal

    Tiny Tim Guest


    This reply may be a complete red herring but just a thought.....

    I had an HP Omnibook 4000 quite some time back and it took to corrupting the
    FAT when it felt like it. I discovered that there was a BIOS update that
    addressed this problem and sure enough, all was well after I updated.
    Whether there is anything similar affecting your machine, as it is a
    completely different model, I rather doubt, but they are both HPs.

    Tim :)
    Tiny Tim, Nov 21, 2003
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  3. dthelwal

    dthelwal Guest

    It was a faulty SODIMM, the internal one that came with the HP - it
    was the HP supplied Micron 128mb SODMM that died, it caused the
    failure. I've put another Kingston 64mb stick that I had in there and
    she's working well...

    After about 18 hours of stuffing around I managed to recover the
    partition using instructions and a utility linked from

    It found the FAT and rebuilt the partition from it, I'm stoked - I'm
    going to rebuild the box but now I can migrate my data from it
    happily. Gotta find a stick of memory now, looking at 256mb sticks
    but I'm expecting a hard time finding the right blend of chip sizes,
    etc. to find compatible ram (I don't think your 4000's quite the same
    dthelwal, Nov 22, 2003
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