I've got an Acer Aspire 5750-6866 (8gb internal memory), dual booting Ubuntu/Win7. The other day I started getting hd0 out of disk error and a boot screen that is completely different than what I was getting before (purple boot screen).

Windows booted correctly. But after a reboot where I got the same screen, neither Ubuntu nor Windows would boot normally; Ubuntu hangs at the boot screen (black screen after the initial loading screen), Windows boots to startup repair that I've left repairing for 24 hours to no avail, with no option to cancel.

Steps taken:

  • Booting from Windows essentials disk - could not detect harddrive
  • Bios - did not show harddrive information, but will show harddrive in boot options
  • Gparted live - shows harddrive beeing unallocated
  • Tried to fix grub - cannot mount /dev/sda
  • Tried to chkdsk the harddrive but windows still wont detect disk for it
  • Booting from live USB with boot-repair - it will not boot into it.
  • My final option is reinstalling Ubuntu - but during installation get a input/output error regarding the HD

I would really appreciate any help you can give me. I'm not sure if there are other things I could try, or if it's the hard drive or motherboard that needs replacing/fixing. I really hope this is something I can fix with this hardware. Any help you can give me would be great, even if you just point me in the right direction, I truly am stuck here.

  • Could the hard disk be damaged(as in hardware), or is there a loose SATA cable? – ζ-- Jul 12 '12 at 13:35
  • The harddrive plugs directly into the laptop, no cables run from the hd to laptop itself. Its possible that the hard disk is damaged im just not sure how to go about checking that, the bios detects the hd and when i run gparted live disk it will show the hd as all unallocated space with no os and/or partitions. – Vic Franco Jul 12 '12 at 13:45
  • Try unscrewing the hard disk holding screw, pulling the disk out, cleaning the connectors, and then putting it back in. Try booting a live CD, and using TestDisk to recover partitions. If you cannot, you may be out of luck. Then, you'll need to reinstall, using the New Partition table command in the advanced partitioner. – ζ-- Jul 12 '12 at 13:50
  • thanks @ObsessiveFOSS, i havent tried testdisk yet. What i've done is remove the cover to the hd/ram compartment, slide the harddrive out of the connected position and checked the connector pins. Is this what you mean or do you mean taking the actual hard drive itself apart (removing the screw)? – Vic Franco Jul 12 '12 at 14:42
  • Don't take apart the disk. Just take it out and check the connector. Also, when you use testdisk, just restore the MBR. Don't try to restore files. – ζ-- Jul 12 '12 at 16:48

After reading your comments, I have found that, unfortunately, it means your hard disk is malfunctioning at a very low level. If you could find another hard disk(bigger than the damaged one), and a Ubuntu live CD, you can try to get files from the disk(this assumes the failed disk is /dev/sda and the good disk is dev/sdb, and the main partition is /dev/sdb1, which is EXT4.:

sudo apt-get install ddrecue
mkdir /mnt/sdb1
mount -t ext4 /dev/sdb1 /mnt/sdb1
ddrescue /dev/sda /mnt/sdb1/sdaimage.dd /mnt/sdb1/sdaimage.dd.log

You may interrupt the last command fir any reason, and due to the logfile, it will resume at the same location. Feel free to run it a few times so that it can try to re-read bad areas.

Now, let's try to mount: Get the info associated with the analysis in testdisk.

Now, we need to mount. Find the offset of the partition with all of your data(If you post the testdisk output, I can give you that), and use it as <offset> is the following command:

mkdir /mnt/recover
mount -o loop,ro,offset=<offset> hda.img /mnt/recover

Hopefully, your data is in /mnt/recover.

If it fails, there is another method I can add if you need it.

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