Laptop HD Dead?!


Hi everyone,

am looking for some advice for our laptop that randomly went kaput, the laptop in question is:

HP Pavillion dv9000
Intel Core2 CPU T5500
1660MHz Processor
1024MB Total Mem
Bios v. F.02

Everything was working fine yesterday and the computer was shut down correctly. When I went to start Windows today, the following error occurred:

The windows logo appeared with the rolling timer and then it stopped and it said Windows had not shut down properly and I had a few options to try and load up windows in safe mode, or last known settings etc. I've tried all options but they all arrive at the BSOD with the error, "unmountable boot volume".

I then tried the following:

  • Went through to recovery mode using a Win XP Pro installation CD
  • Tried chkdsk, error message: "The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems."
  • Tried fixboot, error message: "Fixboot cannot find the system drive, or the drive specified is not valid."
  • Tried fixmbr, nothing happens and just returns to C: prompt.
  • Tried bootcfg /scan, error message: "Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installation. This error may be caused by a corrupt file system, which would prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning. Use chkdsk to detect any disk errors."
  • Tried running a Primary HD Self Test through Bios, error message: " #1- 07 Fail"
I then tried repairing WinXP via installation CD again and when you get to the screen that should show the C: drive with the installation of XP on it, it just says, "Unknown Disk <There is no disk in this drive.>"

I've checked all the error messages through Google to see if there is anything else I should be trying and they all pretty much say to try what I've done, so I'm now stuck!

Can anyone provide any further info on what the actual cause of the problem is (I may be able to take it back to the shop and get it changed/refund etc.)?

And can anyone help to try and get the original installation of XP working again, or is the HD dead?!

Thanks in advance!
Either the drive went doa on you or something could have made the current primary inactive. How about "200 ways to revive a hard drive"? Freeze it! Drop it! Hit it! and other lame ideas seen there.

Unfortunately since you ran the bios HD test and saw the drive get the fail message you may as well try a few of the 200 ways mentioned at the link or boot up from a live linux distro on cd to see if you can access the drive itself provided the heads are still working.
Its a driver/update related issue. Boot from a Vista disc or the recovery disc from this site. Click "Repair my computer" after you have booted from the DVD instead of "install Now". Choose your installation and than click next. In the recovery options menu that appears, select "System Restore" and restore your computer back to one of the restore points, perferably the most recent "Install: Windows Update" point available.
I'm running XP Pro though - the article just explains about recovery for Vista?

Will the Vista recovery disk still be applicable?!
Not for XP! You already attempted the boot repairs at the recovery console and got nowhere. The one way to see if the drive is failing besides the onboard HD test option in the bios is to find out which brand of drive is in the system there and download the manufacturer's drive diagnostic tools.

If the laptop was recently bought you may be able to get free repair/replacement of the drive itself. The HP information on the steps to take are seen at
Can you open the case without voiding the warranty ?
On a desktop I'd advise opening up and disconnecting/reconnecting all the HDD connections to clean them up.
I've had perfectly good systems that suddenly "died" overnight, where that was the only problem.
My experience with the Unmountable Boot Volume generally has to do with missing drivers or incorrect configuration for the hard disk.

Check the BIOS - see if the HD section of the BIOS has something to do with AHCI or RAID, especially look if there is a setting for "IDE Compatibility Mode" or something.
Since the chkdsk /r command was already tried at the recovery console replacing the data cable and referring to the "smart drive" section at HP are the options there. The smart drive feature is where a chip on the drive tells the bios there's a problem.

This is why the #1-07 fail message is being seen when running the HD self test. HP puts a hardware alert system on their models. If the laptop is still under warranty bring it back to where you bought it to have them cover it especially if you bought any extension plan. The MS page for unmountable boot volume is seen at
Hi there. I'm just adding a couple of suggestions which I hope could be helpful because I once had the same error.

A friend's computer once had this BSOD, and when we 'disabled automatic system restart' it explained the problem was an 'unmountable boot volume'

I tried a few things without success. BUT, from memory, putting the HD (a desktop one) into my own PC meant I could at least read some of the data.
Meaning, I could recover some of the data--I did this.

I was about to reformat the drive and reinstall XP when I decided to try one last tool: Partition Magic Pro. When this program was loaded up it immediately announced that the hard drive in question had error ### (sorry, can't remember details), which I did not fully understand but said to me: drive had geometry/config/partition problems. Partition Magic offered to fix the problem for me, I said yes, it did.

The file system on this drive was FAT32 though. Partition magic seems to be able to do more with this file system. NTFS problems/options seem very limited (or were limited on the version I had anyway.)

If you don't have easy access to third party programs like Partition Magic or Active Uneraser or a second PC, these problems are very hard to make go away without making everything go away if you know what I mean.

Are you the sort of chap who could take the laptop drive out and put it into an external USB case made for laptop-sized drives and plug it into someone else's PC?
Can the check the drive geometry that is being seen in the BIOS and compare that against what geometry the drive should have?

Good luck
I have the exact same laptop, except 2 GB memory and 2 drives, and the exact same problem.

Twice last week I had the system power down suddenly without warning. I powered up again without incident both times.

Then 2 days ago the system completely locked up, no mouse, keyboard or anything. I held the power button down for 20 secs to shut it off.

BSOD on power up. MBR error reported at first. "Disk read error" reported on second attempt.

I had actually made HP Recovery disks. After booting up from disk 1 and choosing the R option for recovery, it goes into la-la land. Sometimes it comes up with a message that it cannot read a file.

I then made a Knoppix Live CD - a bootable Linux CD.

The Knoppix file manager could see my files on the C: drive.

I also made a XP SP3 bootable CD using my original Windows XP CD (with no service packs), the SP3 exe file and a program called AutoStream.

The new XP SP3 cd did allow me to choose the R option, but then reported that it could not find a hard disk.

I then made a UBCD4WIN cd which is a bootable CD made using the
XP SP3 cd that I made previously.

This allowed me to backup my files from the D: drive. At this point it could not see the files in the C: drive. I could run the XP disk management program and it reported 2 drives. The C: drive at this point did not have a partition type (it should be NTFS).

I was also getting a #1 07 Fail bios message.

After reading a post on an HP forum, I went into the BIOS and DISABLED the BIOS SATA support, something that was suggested for installing XP on a Vista machine.

After doing this, my XP SP3 cd now allows me to go to the recovery console, which will allow me to execute recovery commands, including setting disk partitions, formatting, etc.

I tried the MAP command - it reports 2 drives, the C: drive has no partition type. MAP arc lists only 1 drive.

As I was doing this, the machine suddenly powered down again, twice. I just pulled out the C: drive because it felt quite hot. It's in the freezer as I write this.

Any suggestions about what I might do next would be greatly appreciated. I think my C: drive is buggered but that I might be able to get some data from it.

Can I reset a partion to NTFS, fix the MBR, chkdsk, fixboot, etc and save my existing data?

The Knoppix Filemanger no longer sees my C: drive and it also reports no partition type, but it does see 2 drives.

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If you can't see your partitons than your datas gone.. short of doing quick format and praying for the best with tools such as Recurvia, Restoration, etc.
For me Testdisk could find the partition but it wouldn't recover it and this was a partition I had just deleted :frowning:

But at this point any tool at your disposal to help you get your data back is whats important. Let us know if it worked out ok.