On Monday, during regular working on my Ubuntu 12.10 powered Dell Vostro 3300 laptop, the OS crashed all of a sudden, and I've been left with a black background screen with text that mostly consisted of memory locations. Although looked as terminal, that screen had the cursor on it, and the computer was frozen. Unfortunately I didn't think to take a photo of it. After hard reboot, the following appeared on the screen:

This is what I see after boot:


I've run the diagnostics utility from the BIOS Boot Menu (F12 when booting), the simple one hadn't find any problems and I was prompted to run the more through one (It took about 30 mins). This is what I've got when it has finished:

This is what I see after diagnostics utility ends:

Afterwards, I've tried to look inside BIOS. My bios tells me that no Internal HDD is present. Which was confirmed by trying to boot from Ubuntu 12.10 install CD, which also failed to recognize any HDD.

I assume my HDD, or its controller (or both) are dead, but I'd like to be sure of that before I call for Dell Warranty service (by which my HDD supposed to be covered). I'd also like to get suggestions on possibilities of data recovery, in the described above situation.

(In a way, a similar, in its results, problem to this one.)

Thanks in advance.

1 Answer 1


If the system and the Live CD don't even see the presence of the hard drive, it's likely dead. You can confirm it by removing the drive and connecting it to another computer, and see if the other computer recognizes it. If the drive is SATA, it should connect even to a desktop PC without any special adapters.

If the other computer sees the drive, then you can rescue your data (and the laptop's controller is bad). But if the other computer doesn't see the drive, then the drive is bad (and you'll have to pay some data recovery company hundreds or thousands of dollars to recover anything).

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