Here's the deal:

I have a multi-partitioned hard drive on my laptop set up with GRUB. I got a blue-screen while working on Windows 7 and when rebooting I got the Operating System Not Found error message. I rebooted the computer once again and entered the BIOS setup just to see if recognized my HDD - it did. Next step for me was booting a Live CD and seeing if I could repair GRUB or at least check if something changed on the partitions, but it doesn't seem to recognize anything there. Tried blkid, fdisk -l, not even GParted can see it.

What should I do?

  • Are you saying your BIOS seems to recognize your hard drive, but nothing boots nor can you see that drive when booted from a LiveCD? Jun 29 '11 at 15:48
  • Exactly. One HDD already died on this laptop in the past but it was a different error, couldn't find the disk on boot, so the BIOS didn't see it/saw it dead. Now it's there but it somehow, at the same time, isn't. Jun 29 '11 at 16:13

It does sound like your hard disk is distinctly unhappy. Don't panic though...

2 ideas come to mind:

1) Some (all?) hard disk manufacturers provide software tools which you can burn onto a bootable CDROM. You boot directly into the tool and then run some diagnostics which should hopefully provide some useful information on how to proceed.

For example, for Seagate disks there's SeaTools for DOS (which is actually a bootable CDROM image). Try Googling for " software diagnostic disk" or " disk utilities"

2) Could you try putting the disk in another computer? Or, alternatively, you could get a USB hard disk enclosure to allow you to mount the disk on another computer over USB.

  • I'm pretty used to those things happening, I don't even sweat it anymore. I'm not a hardware expert, and since I believe this is a good HDD and the fact that I haven't had it for longer than a year, maybe something else is wrong? Anyway, it's a Western Digital HDD, I'll try looking for their diagnostic tools. The biggest problem is that the BIOS recognizes it, but I can't look into the disk with fdisk or anything, and I don't actually have another laptop to test it. Jun 29 '11 at 17:29
  • Alright, my mistake. It's a Seagate ST9320325AS. Jun 29 '11 at 17:37
  • OK, cool - give SeaTools a shot and see if SeaTools can at least see your disk... let us know how you get on...
    – Jack Kelly
    Jun 29 '11 at 17:57
  • I'll burn the ISO right now and get back here with the results. In the meantime, I don't know if this makes any difference but here's the output of hdparm: pastebin.com/KCnmm0Wk Jun 29 '11 at 18:01
  • Hmm... looks like some other users are experiencing similar problems with the exact model disk that you have: forums.seagate.com/t5/Momentus-XT-Momentus-Momentus/…
    – Jack Kelly
    Jun 29 '11 at 18:08

You can use a utility like Test Disk to try a repair:


First you need to rewrite the parition table, which will be similar to:


Once you have done this you can then repair your GRUB installation. The fact that the MBR is missing after a system crash is kind of concerning. I would HIGHLY recommend backing up your data if you are able to access it again and then run diagnostics on the hard drive.

  • Yes, I'm trying to boot into it just so I can backup my data as soon as possible. I downloaded Test Disk but just like everything else (but the BIOS) it doesn't recognize the HDD. Jun 29 '11 at 16:23

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