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hard drive problem preventing successful boot


authorandrew

web designer-developer
Posts
103
#1
Computer: HP Pavilion DM4 3070-se (Beats Edition)
OS: Windows 8

Hi all,
Beginning last night I had some problems with my computer. It would not boot up, and when I started it the BIOS showed a '3F0 hard drive not exist' error. I left it until this morning, and tried again. Everything booted up and it reached the Windows 8 login screen -- I have automatic login enabled, but the screen freezes (spinner indicator stops suddenly) and the screen goes black. It restarts again, and sometimes I get the Win8 repair screen, sometimes I get the 3F0 error again.

The inconsistency makes me think that something is screwed up hardware-wise, but I'm not totally sure. Apparently, from reading online, the problem could be the HDD (I don't think this is the case) or a poor cable connection (most likely), or a software problem.

Because I don't have recovery media for Windows 8 (I installed it on a USB drive I don't have with me) I can't try a system refresh or restore, but I'd rather avoid those if at all possible.

Do you all think that a good option might be to take it to a hardware repair place and have them check the cables for errors? Or is this something I should try to fix by myself? Thanks!

Andrew
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Pavilion dm4 3170-se Beats Edition
    CPU
    Intel i5-3210M @ 2.50GHz
    Memory
    12 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 4000
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP 22xi (1920x1080)
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900
    Hard Drives
    Seagate Momentus XT 500gb with 16gb SSD hybrid
    Browser
    Opera 26.0

usasma

Mr. Cranky Pants
VIP Member
Guru
Posts
5,139
#2
Why do you think that this isn't the hard drive? IMO that'd be the first thing that I'd suspect.
Most HP's have hardware/hard drive diagnostics built in. Try pressing and holding the "Esc" key when you turn the system on - it should give the option to logon to the diagnostics.

If it is the hard drive, it may not work (as the diagnostic tests are loaded on the hard drive) - so you'll have to try booting to a hard drive diagnostic (such as those here: Hard Drive Diagnostic Procedure ) If you have trouble booting to a hard drive diagnostic, post back and we'll try to help you through that.

If the system is under a year old, it's likely still under warranty - so please ask (at the place where you purchased it) how to get repairs done under warranty. The warranty will cover hardware problems but not software problems (and they should be able to do the hard drive diagnostics there).

Good luck!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Samsung/NP780
    CPU
    Came with the laptop (i7 of some sort)
    Motherboard
    Pretty sure that it has one, but haven't checked inside the case!
    Memory
    upgraded to 12 gB from 8 gB
    Graphics Card(s)
    has switchable - Intel/ATI - Used wrong drivers, now ATI card is inop :( Will have to fix it soon!
    Sound Card
    I'm nearly deaf, so this isn't used often
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Touchscreen on laptop/32" Toshiba on HDMI (laid the Sharp TV on a mouse and cracked the screen!)
    Screen Resolution
    800x600
    Hard Drives
    One Samsung 1tB drive - 5400 rpm. Gonna switch to a 7200/10000 rpm or an SSD (if I can find $500 for a 1tB SSD!)
    - Switched to 500 gB Samsung 840 series SSD - WOW!!!
    PSU
    Why do we ask this for laptops?
    Case
    Silver with a neat Samsung logo
    Cooling
    sub-par, gotta get around to working on it soon Worked on it - still sub-par! :(
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Natural - the same one I've used since it orignally came out around 1995
    Mouse
    no Mouse - Trackball!!!!
    Internet Speed
    too slow when I'm waiting for a download to finish
    Browser
    Yes, I use this (Firefox mostly, w/IE next most)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Windows Firewall
    Other Info
    I'm handsome and a snappy dresser :0)

authorandrew

web designer-developer
Posts
103
#3
Well, the system boots up to the Windows 8 login screen sometimes. And then it freezes, which makes me think it's a software problem that's doing something to the hardrive as the startup procedures run. I'm not ruling out the hard drive, though. I'm going to try a clean install of the system and see where that leaves me.

We'll see where that gets me, but if it's the hard-drive I have a 1TB Toshiba I can try to swap in, if I can get the case open.

If the clean install doesn't work, I'll try the hard drive diagnostics. Does that sound good?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Pavilion dm4 3170-se Beats Edition
    CPU
    Intel i5-3210M @ 2.50GHz
    Memory
    12 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 4000
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP 22xi (1920x1080)
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900
    Hard Drives
    Seagate Momentus XT 500gb with 16gb SSD hybrid
    Browser
    Opera 26.0

usasma

Mr. Cranky Pants
VIP Member
Guru
Posts
5,139
#4
FWIW - hard drives will behave as you describe if they're in the process of dying. The hard drive diagnostics are your best bet at this point.

If it's the hard drive you may find that you'll have problems reinstalling the system (or problems after it's reinstalled).
Don't install extra software (use Windows Defender and the Windows Firewall temporarily for virus protection) and see how it operates.

Good luck!
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Samsung/NP780
    CPU
    Came with the laptop (i7 of some sort)
    Motherboard
    Pretty sure that it has one, but haven't checked inside the case!
    Memory
    upgraded to 12 gB from 8 gB
    Graphics Card(s)
    has switchable - Intel/ATI - Used wrong drivers, now ATI card is inop :( Will have to fix it soon!
    Sound Card
    I'm nearly deaf, so this isn't used often
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Touchscreen on laptop/32" Toshiba on HDMI (laid the Sharp TV on a mouse and cracked the screen!)
    Screen Resolution
    800x600
    Hard Drives
    One Samsung 1tB drive - 5400 rpm. Gonna switch to a 7200/10000 rpm or an SSD (if I can find $500 for a 1tB SSD!)
    - Switched to 500 gB Samsung 840 series SSD - WOW!!!
    PSU
    Why do we ask this for laptops?
    Case
    Silver with a neat Samsung logo
    Cooling
    sub-par, gotta get around to working on it soon Worked on it - still sub-par! :(
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Natural - the same one I've used since it orignally came out around 1995
    Mouse
    no Mouse - Trackball!!!!
    Internet Speed
    too slow when I'm waiting for a download to finish
    Browser
    Yes, I use this (Firefox mostly, w/IE next most)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Windows Firewall
    Other Info
    I'm handsome and a snappy dresser :0)

authorandrew

web designer-developer
Posts
103
#5
Well, crud. Beginning last night I did a clean install and starting putting programs back on. I did have trouble doing the 8.1 update -- it actually showed that same error at one point, but then I made it through the setup and that's what I'm running now. That does sound like an HD in the process of going bad.

Do you know about how much a replacement would run? I'll try to run the diagnostics -- I'm traveling at the moment so everything is tricky. Thank you!

Andrew
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Pavilion dm4 3170-se Beats Edition
    CPU
    Intel i5-3210M @ 2.50GHz
    Memory
    12 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 4000
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP 22xi (1920x1080)
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900
    Hard Drives
    Seagate Momentus XT 500gb with 16gb SSD hybrid
    Browser
    Opera 26.0

Clintlgm

Active Member
Pro User
Lacombe, Louisiana

Posts
894
#6
Well, crud. Beginning last night I did a clean install and starting putting programs back on. I did have trouble doing the 8.1 update -- it actually showed that same error at one point, but then I made it through the setup and that's what I'm running now. That does sound like an HD in the process of going bad.

Do you know about how much a replacement would run? I'll try to run the diagnostics -- I'm traveling at the moment so everything is tricky. Thank you!

Andrew
HP's are everywhere I would just take in for repair if your computer is out of warranty your hard drive is probably still in warranty
Replacement hard drives in the $100 range more or less bigger or smaller, SSD are in the $200 range Larger higher smaller less
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro MC
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Asus G75VW / Z97 Pro
    CPU
    Intel Core i7-3610QM / I7-4790K
    Motherboard
    Z97 Pro
    Memory
    16 GB Hyundai HTM315156CFR8C-PB PC3-12800
    Graphics Card(s)
    nVIDIA GeForce GTX 670M (GF114M)
    Sound Card
    VIA 6.0.10.1600
    Screen Resolution
    1080
    Hard Drives
    Samsung 850 Pro 256, Samsung 850 Pro 1TB
    Internet Speed
    30 down 3 up
    Browser
    Explorer 11
    Antivirus
    NIS and Malwarebytes

authorandrew

web designer-developer
Posts
103
#7
Ok, I need to buy a CD on the way home from school today and I'll try to run this (I did try to run the GUI version and it crashed the computer. Not a good sign). This is Seagate SeaTools.

Anyways, I price-checked my drive on NewEgg and it only runs 54 dollars. Maybe I should avoid getting the same one, though. Do you have any recommendations for a good replacement drive?

This is what I'm looking at: Newegg.com - Refurbished: Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache 2.5" Solid State Hybrid Drive -Manufacture Recertified I'd like to keep things as cheap as possible.

(Also, is it worthwhile to double my ram -- from 6 to 12 GB? Will I see increased performance with that?)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Pavilion dm4 3170-se Beats Edition
    CPU
    Intel i5-3210M @ 2.50GHz
    Memory
    12 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 4000
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP 22xi (1920x1080)
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900
    Hard Drives
    Seagate Momentus XT 500gb with 16gb SSD hybrid
    Browser
    Opera 26.0

authorandrew

web designer-developer
Posts
103
#8
(The Seagate warranty seems to last for three years but when I go to HP's website it says my laptop is out of warranty. How do I claim that?)
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    HP Pavilion dm4 3170-se Beats Edition
    CPU
    Intel i5-3210M @ 2.50GHz
    Memory
    12 GB
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel HD 4000
    Monitor(s) Displays
    HP 22xi (1920x1080)
    Screen Resolution
    1600x900
    Hard Drives
    Seagate Momentus XT 500gb with 16gb SSD hybrid
    Browser
    Opera 26.0

usasma

Mr. Cranky Pants
VIP Member
Guru
Posts
5,139
#9

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Win8.1Pro - Finally!!!
    Computer type
    Laptop
    System Manufacturer/Model Number
    Samsung/NP780
    CPU
    Came with the laptop (i7 of some sort)
    Motherboard
    Pretty sure that it has one, but haven't checked inside the case!
    Memory
    upgraded to 12 gB from 8 gB
    Graphics Card(s)
    has switchable - Intel/ATI - Used wrong drivers, now ATI card is inop :( Will have to fix it soon!
    Sound Card
    I'm nearly deaf, so this isn't used often
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Touchscreen on laptop/32" Toshiba on HDMI (laid the Sharp TV on a mouse and cracked the screen!)
    Screen Resolution
    800x600
    Hard Drives
    One Samsung 1tB drive - 5400 rpm. Gonna switch to a 7200/10000 rpm or an SSD (if I can find $500 for a 1tB SSD!)
    - Switched to 500 gB Samsung 840 series SSD - WOW!!!
    PSU
    Why do we ask this for laptops?
    Case
    Silver with a neat Samsung logo
    Cooling
    sub-par, gotta get around to working on it soon Worked on it - still sub-par! :(
    Keyboard
    Microsoft Natural - the same one I've used since it orignally came out around 1995
    Mouse
    no Mouse - Trackball!!!!
    Internet Speed
    too slow when I'm waiting for a download to finish
    Browser
    Yes, I use this (Firefox mostly, w/IE next most)
    Antivirus
    Windows Defender and Windows Firewall
    Other Info
    I'm handsome and a snappy dresser :0)

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