Another Packard Bell Laptop Turns up at and the customer says " its my husbands and it said it had a virus on it," and the man at says hold your horses mamm, what software said that!!? The customer said "Oh i think there was Norton something on there and it needed renewing, it said ther was a virus on the laptop...., she went on...... and now there is no screen it is just black!"

We discovered that when you turn on the laptop that you hear the fan whiring and it seems to stay on but like the lady said: absolutely nothing appears on the laptop screen...... it just remains very black indeed......
We decided to remove the disk and attach it to a special device to look at it, and we discovered that there are two NTFS partitions on it of different sizes we also discovered that the disk seems to sound as if it is spining correctly, you can often tell a lot about a disk by simply litening to it.

Next we did a few things, use the disk checker in Windows XP, you know the one you see if you open my computer and right click on the disk partition icon and then choose check disk and tick the two boxes in the dialog box. Both tests completed and seemed ok, we then used a little program you find in the CMD prompt called chkdsk to check out the partitions on the Segate 80 gb 3.5 inch drive. We noticed no bad sectors so that was that as they say....

Next we tried booting the laptop with the battery in, and with it out, and then we attached a video lead to the external port of the lap top..... why do that you may ask...? Well, most laptops wil be able to send the output of the video to the external port on the laptop instead of to the laptop screen. In order to do that you usually press the fn key plus the key that has a picture of a screen on it..... it varies from laptop to laptop a bit....
Anyway we found it was impossible to get a signal to the monitor........ (suffice it to say we did check out that the video cable and the monitor work properly)

Further more we noticed that when you do turn on the laptop that you hear no posting beep at all, we listned for it...... at his point we paused for thought....... We know that the power supply must not be dead because you can hear the fan werring like it really means it..... is seems quite likley that the motherboard is damaged...... we know that most motherboards have the graphics chip on the motherboard itself normally soldered permanently to it, not plugged in to a socket......... in this case it seems that it may be more than just the graphics chip failing as there is no beep from the laptop when you turn it on.....

We decided to look on the internet for a motherboard, but this machine is old probably over 6 years old and we found mostly motherboards that are faulty.... if the machine was a bit newer and also a slightly higher specification we might consider fitting a new motherboard to it..... Finally we admitted that given the age of the beast and the apparent lack of working motherboards and the fact that the spec of the laptop was not really that high it was not worth trying to fit a new mother board to it.......... and that folks brings us to the next thing .data recovery... our customer said well ther are lot of pictures on the hard drive that my husband wold like to get back! * Perhaps another topic for another blog entry *

We are writting a page or perhaps a few all about Backing Up Your Computer, this is prpbably one of the most important things you can do, and you should take it seriously, plus do it as a matter of priority, Why you screem why for godness sake bother with all that software learning and blinking palather!!!
Well here are a few reasons:
1. If your machine does get attacked by Spywear or a Virus You could be in serious trouble with no Back up, esspecially if you have lost the DVDS that came with your computer, and have data on your disk that is important to your business.
2. what are you going to do when your computer Hard drive fails ---- oh ok You think your Hard drive will go on for ever do you.... errr hummm .
Here is the link to the newest page on Backing Up Your Computer at, Backing Up
The page that the link is to in this blog has links to both an article about Acronis !0 Personel Edition at PC Pro Magerzine plus a link to the Forum at, plus links to a number of interesting pages at
Great Forces are gathering in the West with Highly crafted Long Range Weaponry and very Strong Armor....! Phenomenal power - Forces for good to sort out that nasty Disk Drive Crash. Yes crashed disks are coming in range of Laser Sharp Software that can literally get back your data from beyond the grave....
Basically if your Hard disk appears to disappear or just simply not be there it could be cased by either the disk drive being physically damaged or it could be corruption of the Fat 32 Allocation table....

Recovery of data from disk drives is not for wimps or people with a nervous disposition, but if the actual drive is not physically damaged then there is software that can rebuild the references to the files on the disk and then recover those files to another (safe location )... is gathering Weaponry, and Long Range Precision to begin to tackle those nasty moments when you switch on your External USB Hard Disk Drive, you know the ones they sell you in PC World. Nova tech, Staples, Greenacre Computer Systems Ltd, Those guys you see at the local Computer Fair, Chinese men selling things out of the boot of their car!! Some little post office in Tilehurst, etc etc.. External Disk drives are popular for sure but they are not bullet prof or idiot prof, or immune from simply losing every reference to every precious file you have lovingly saved there.....
See this new page at out web site:

Look if you want to join in the battle, the War is raging right now, go to our New Web Forum. here is the link NEW Web Based Forum
Ok so thats not likely really ??, but what is much more likely is either your hard disk drive suffers some actual physical damage to the platters inside it or the heads or the mechanism that controls the heads, or alternatively your drive sufferers no physical damage whatsoever but the filing system seems corrupted or damaged, and therfore the files on the disk can not be found by either windows of ms dos or any other operating system you have.

Now in the first case this is very difficult, normally there will be some symptoms and often it is possible to diagnose that the drive is physically damaged, but recovering the data from such a drive is definitely hard and probably can not be done buy buying and running software alone.
In the second case where there is no physical damage to the drive itself then there are various options and softwares that may be able to recover either most or all of the data from the drive. NOW just a cotton picking minute you say!"...., what if the file allocation tables are either corrupt or missing, or they are stored somewhere on the drive beyond where the the operating system can access... what then my friend what Then...

We are going to investigate the second scenario, here the drive is not physically damaged buy you can not see the data on the hard disk drive because it simply can not be accessed. If you read on you will discover that there are in fact pieces of software you can buy that will recover computer files both stored in FAT 32 and NTFS Filing systems. We intend to explore this further and in fact am going to launch s forum on all matters to do with computer Data Recovery, this new forum will be launched very shortly and the link to the forum will be placed either in this blog or other hardware blogs or on one of our menu pages on our main web site. The purpose of the web forum is in fact to collect data about a whole load of data recovery issues software and experiences.... and will be found of course at So to start the ball rolling, or as they say in University Challenge A starter for ten!!?
Heres one such piece of software:
Data Recovery Software
More Data Recovery Software

Ok So where do I find the forum, The answer as always is just follow this link in this blog right to our new forum:
New Web Forum on Data Recovery Issues, software and Methods