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John_Cena
07-22-2015,
after leaving the computer on all day (as usual) I came home and tried to log off my wife's account and it froze (as usual). so I cut the computer off with the power button (as usual) and when it restarted I got the dreaded blue screen of death. I got the unmountable boot volume message.

STOP: 0x000000ED (0x83F98520, 0xC0000006, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

here is what I tried so far:
* safe mode - didn't work
* last known configuration - didn't work
* chkdsk /p - it stopped at 33 percent. it said the volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems
* fixboot - (see attachment)
* putting the drive into an external case and hooking it up to another computer - it couldn't be read.it said I would have to format the disk before I can use it.

I have an old Dell Dimension 8250 running windows xp. it's about 9 years old.

Any opinions?

JosiahK
07-23-2015,
From your general post it sounds like the problem has been getting worse over the recent weeks ??
The quotes above show that the computer has not been working correctly for a while.

Chances are you should think about another HDD at a minimum - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/mellow.png

Compare repair costs and parts costs, then look at a more recent Windows7 based unit -
I have now that my XP (a great old computer) has ceased to function -

Someone here may have another option, but ...........

JuniorKingston
07-24-2015,
A fact for your consideration : HDDs work something like an old time record player. Record players had a "Tone arm" with a needle that was in contact with the record, and read the record by vibrating as it passed through the wavy grooves cut in the record. When you wanted to change the record you would put the "Tone arm" on its stand, so it was no longer in contact with the record before changing the record.

HDDs, have"Read Write Heads" that are not supposed to ever come in contact with the spinning platters beneath them. Instead they are kept floating just above the surface of the platters by an air cushion generated by the spinning of the platters, and they read and write information to the platters magnetically. When you use the Windows shutdown or restart procedure, the "Read Write Heads" get "PARKED", (similar to putting a record player "Tone Arm" on its stand), before the machine gets powered down, thereby preventing the heads from coming into contact with the platters.

BUT when you just power off the machine what happens is the "Read Write Heads" are still out over the spinning platters, when power is cut off, and the platters start to slow down their spinning, and the air cushion that supports the "Read Write Heads" collapses, and the Heads fall into contact with the still spinning platters. This is what is known as a "Head Crash" and YES it does damage the HDD, because typically the Heads bounce back up then fall back down several times, before finally scraping to a stop.

JustinShell
07-25-2015,
Thanks for the replies guys. I might add that I did try the other alternatives before using the power button (as usual) lol
Im pretty sure the hard drive is gone. I was hoping to salvage a few very important files from the HDD. What do guys think about those data recovery companies?

Kayla_Harris_0909
07-27-2015,
I just looked around the listed ones, and most will not give open price quotes, so you need to contact your nearest one.

There are many listed, so carefully select one if you wish to go that way. Nearest time frame I found was about 1 working week, but you may have a local branch that will give you better ideas on all deals -
Check them on the internet, and see if they are compared / rated against other people that do the same thing.