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bitshifter



Joined: 04 Dec 2007
Posts: 764
Location: Massachusetts, USA
bitshifter
My friend bought his daughter a dell laptop for christmas.
Yesterday he ask me to look at it since it not loading win 7.
I seems that hdd has some missing/corrupt files causing problem.
So i run CHKDSK off a cd i have and replace a few files.
Now it can load load/run windows but still have few bad sectors.

Also while poking BIOS i find i cant F2/F12 into settings area.
Once i was able to do this but no more, very strange...
I understand that after POST PC load BIOS and jumps to it
but where is the BIOS code loaded from?
On such modern machine i guess its on EEPROM or flash memory?
Could BIOS code be hacked or maybe it has hardware problem?

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Coding a 3D game engine with fasm is like trying to eat an elephant,
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Post 11 Apr 2010, 16:16
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edfed



Joined: 20 Feb 2006
Posts: 4237
Location: 2018
edfed
the bios is always loaded from a ROM.

if there are bad sectors, it means the HDD is dead.

is dell BIOS called when F2 or when del key press?

if you want to repair this PC the good way, do as if it was your PC. don't care about the so precious datas of your friend daughter. she will soon refill the HDD with junk files ones the PC will becomes healthy Very Happy
Post 11 Apr 2010, 17:11
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17250
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
In current systems the BIOS is in FLASH. You can download updates and re-flash. In theory some malware could kill the BIOS, but in practice this is almost never done. There are a gozillion different mobos out there and it is very risky for malware to burn in a new BIOS because the machine might be killed. And malware writers don't make money from a dead machine.
Post 12 Apr 2010, 01:18
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bitshifter



Joined: 04 Dec 2007
Posts: 764
Location: Massachusetts, USA
bitshifter
Yeah, thats why i was leaning towards hardware problem.
Only a noob would crash someones PC for fun.
A pro will run silent / run deep and gather info.
Post 12 Apr 2010, 01:25
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17250
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
You can try spinrite to fix the HDD problems.

http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

It is $90 though. Sad
Post 12 Apr 2010, 01:31
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bitshifter



Joined: 04 Dec 2007
Posts: 764
Location: Massachusetts, USA
bitshifter
It is still under factory warranty so either we send it back
and get a new TOSHIBA hdd or just buy a quality one.
I have read about many people having issues with this hdd
so i leave the decision up to him...
Post 12 Apr 2010, 01:36
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17250
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
My Dell laptop from 2003 has a Toshiba HDD. Zero bad sectors after seven years continuous use. Either you are just unlucky or I am extremely lucky. Question

What would you buy that you think is better quality? I think you could suffer the same fate no matter which brand you buy. Just depends upon your luck.
Post 12 Apr 2010, 02:06
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baldr



Joined: 19 Mar 2008
Posts: 1651
baldr
revolution,

Modern HDDs silently remap defective sectors, you need some low-level utility to see the real picture (SMART could give rough estimation in "Reallocated Sectors Count" attribute, for reliable result options are expensive). I remember several accidents with Maxtor 541DX (Athena DSP, 2B010H1 10GB brick) which I had to manually fix (error in firmware allows growing remap sector list to overwrite vital part of firmware itself, so firmware won't boot properly).
Post 12 Apr 2010, 04:12
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17250
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
baldr wrote:
Modern HDDs silently remap defective sectors, you need some low-level utility to see the real picture (SMART could give rough estimation in "Reallocated Sectors Count" attribute, for reliable result options are expensive).
Yes I know, and it still has zero bad sectors after all this time. Anyhow, my point was that I know of no brand that will always give superior performance, it is just your luck when buying. Sometimes you get a bad one and sometimes you get a good one. So which brand do you think is better?
Post 12 Apr 2010, 08:25
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baldr



Joined: 19 Mar 2008
Posts: 1651
baldr
revolution wrote:
So which brand do you think is better?
They're all reliable until they fail. Wink

I can't remember a single HDD brand that I didn't experience problems with. Some time ago I worked in technical support of computer reseller company, there were stacks of failed HDDs of various brands (50+ Fujitsu Picobirds — MPG was an epic failure, true example of how little error can ruin good product).

Ahhh, those were the days… Now I use several Barracudas (Seagate 7200.7 & .8‌) and Spinpoint (Samsung) for data storage, and good old ConnerGate (Seagate Medalist) for fun. It still amuses me to control HDD via technologic port.
Post 12 Apr 2010, 09:37
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Tyler



Joined: 19 Nov 2009
Posts: 1216
Location: NC, USA
Tyler
This is a little of topic, but I got a Westell external hdd with my Christmas money, last time I checked the smart data said it had 1000+ bad sectors.
Post 13 Apr 2010, 02:50
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