Hard Drive Issues, Trying to Create Boot workaround

kcadams92

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Apr 29, 2015
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I am having several issues. My computer froze and shut off while playing a game, and when I powered down and tried to power back on, the computer loads to the windows symbol, then hangs on a black screen. This screen persists and I can do nothing.

I then tried to access the recovery and advanced options, and tried every option with no success. Finally I ran chkdsk in command prompt and got the c0000185 error. I am assuming that means the hard drive is fried. That said, if I go to system recovery and search for a recovery file (which still does not work) I can see all my files and folders intact with all my personal files. So I am assuming that what is wrong with the hard drive is the bootable Windows 8.1 files are corrupt.

I have created a bootable USB to attempt to reinstall windows, but the computer will not boot the drive. I know it is not a problem with the USB as I have used the bootable pendrive with this computer to reinstall Windows 8.1 several months ago. Now my bigger issue is I cannot even get to the advanced options recovery menu anymore. My only options are to boot into bios, or the computer goes to a black screen with a "disk read error; press ctrl alt del to restart". This screen just keeps cycling every restart.

I am finally at a loss of what to do. If I could simply find a way to reinstall windows to the HDD that would be ideal as I will not lose any of my files. IF that option is not possible due to the HDD being fried, I was wondering if I could use my external HDD to install windows to (as I do not currently have the money to buy a new HDD). If this is my only option, how would I go about installing Windows to the external HDD, as my only copy of windows 8.1 is a bootable USB that I cant seem to get to work with my PC.

Please any help would be great

Edit: Even with the bootable USB plugged in I can do nothing. It takes me to the black screen with the option to restart. Hitting F2 brings up bios, but none of the other keys do anything. I cannot get to any of the recovery features anymore.
 

MarkW

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Dec 7, 2009
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Before you start mucking with the hard drives, reset your CMOS and BIOS, and see if that resolves the problem first. Since your system powered down in the middle of things, something in one of those two areas could be causing a problem.

CMOS reset.
1) Turn off the power at the power supply rocker switch.
2) Unplug the power supply from the wall.
3) Press and hold the power button on the case for 5 seconds. Release, and repeat 4 more times to drain all stored power from the motherboard.
4) Remove the round, chrome battery on the motherboard.
5) Wait at least 1 minute.
6) Put the battery back in.
7) Plug the computer back in, turn on the rocker switch. If that doesn't power on your computer, press the power button.
8) If system boots up without black screen or freezing, you are done.

If the lockup and/or black screen still happens, continue on below:

BIOS Reset
9) If the machine is on, press and hold the power button until it shuts down.
10) Wait 15 seconds, and power the computer back up.
11) Press which ever key is needed to enter the BIOS.
12) Go to the Exit/Save screen, and reset BIOS to Default Values. Save and Exit.
13) Machine will restart. Watch to see if it restarts without locking up or hanging on a black screen.

Let me know if this fixes the problem for you.
 

DSzymborski

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Nov 19, 2010
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The biggest problem is that to install windows on an external hard drive is kinda messy and ideally you'd want to be able to access your PC already. There are tutorials on getting a portable windows on a USB. http://lifehacker.com/how-to-run-a-portable-version-of-windows-from-a-usb-dri-1565509124. But stuff like this isn't a long-term solution to having a working hard drive with windows.

But if the data on your hard drive is valuable, the more you try to install windows on that hard drive, and the more you fool around with that hard drive, the less likely your are to be able to get anything off of it. Your best option is to buy an inexpensive USB enclosure, connect it to someone else's PC, and try to recover your data this way, either straight up or through recovery software (I generally use Recuva for this kind of thing). And then buy a hard drive and do a fresh install when you can.

And in the future, please back up your important files! If they're important enough that you care about losing them, they're too important to have in only one location.
 

MarkW

Distinguished
Dec 7, 2009
196
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18,710
26
Before you start mucking with the hard drives, reset your CMOS and BIOS, and see if that resolves the problem first. Since your system powered down in the middle of things, something in one of those two areas could be causing a problem.

CMOS reset.
1) Turn off the power at the power supply rocker switch.
2) Unplug the power supply from the wall.
3) Press and hold the power button on the case for 5 seconds. Release, and repeat 4 more times to drain all stored power from the motherboard.
4) Remove the round, chrome battery on the motherboard.
5) Wait at least 1 minute.
6) Put the battery back in.
7) Plug the computer back in, turn on the rocker switch. If that doesn't power on your computer, press the power button.
8) If system boots up without black screen or freezing, you are done.

If the lockup and/or black screen still happens, continue on below:

BIOS Reset
9) If the machine is on, press and hold the power button until it shuts down.
10) Wait 15 seconds, and power the computer back up.
11) Press which ever key is needed to enter the BIOS.
12) Go to the Exit/Save screen, and reset BIOS to Default Values. Save and Exit.
13) Machine will restart. Watch to see if it restarts without locking up or hanging on a black screen.

Let me know if this fixes the problem for you.
 
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