|Hard Disk Drive Faults|
If Windows will not start - perhaps it displays a blue screen or keeps looping around the initial operating system selection menu, or if there is a clicking sound from within the case, or the monitor just remains dark then it is possible that your hard disk drive (HDD) has failed. Of all the possible hardware faults, this is possibly the most common. To limit any further data loss do not try to start the PC again. If you call 1ComputerCare for assistance, there are two very different courses to be taken to resolve the issue.
Sometimes, a disk is damaged to the extent that I am unable to salvage your documents, photos and music files. The options the are to either send the disk off to a professional data recovery company - at a cost of £500 - £1000 usually, or copy back files from your most recent backup.
To establish whether the hard disk drive is faulty, the manufacturer of the disk is established and a diagnostic tool specific to that manufacturer is run. This will establish for sure whether the physical disk has failed (as opposed to the file structure on the disk). If a failure is indicated this may sometimes be repairable, perhaps by mapping the failing part of the disk to an inaccessible file; however, this will usually only provide a working disk for a short time and a replacement should be found.
If the manufacturer specific diagnostic tool does not find an error the disk is then checked for file corruptions (errors of logic) and a repair performed is necessary. This is a six stage process:
If the disk is repairable then it is usually prudent to replace it with a new one so as to avoid a failure at an inopportune time. At this stage it is fairly easy to clone an old disk to a new one - even one of different size and make.
If cloning the disk is not possible then a new drive must be put in the PC and a clean copy of Windows installed. To do this the recovery CD that came with the PC when new will be used. Sometimes PC suppliers minimise the cost of the PC by asking the new owner to make a recovery CD off the hard disk drive, this is the time when you are glad you followed that advice, right ? If a recovery CD is not available, then it is sometimes necessary to buy a new copy of Windows. Recovery disks are a feature of off-the-shelf PCs, if you were wise enough to buy a custom built PC then any Windows installation CD that matches your licence may be used.
If the installation or recovery CD and driver disks you should have received when the PC was new are not available, we can usually work around that issue but it does take a little longer.
Before asking 1ComputerCare to repair or replace a disk, check whether your warranty is still active. If so, this may be a cheaper option for you. However, note that many warranty repairs simply take the faulty disk out and put a new one in. Ask whether you will loose any files/music/photos you have by going with the warranty repair option. If 1ComputerCare are chosen, all your files that are not damaged will be copied back to the new disk.