What's wrong with my computer?

Peter from Escondido, CA

Episode 1409 (42:27)

Hard Drive

Peter is having problems connecting his Echo to the internet, but his computer is still having problems and he thinks it has died out. Leo says it's probably coincidental that the computer went down, but it may be related since Peter said the connection interrupted and a power surge may have occurred. If Windows was indexing the hard drive, it could have spewed a word salad of 1s and 0s, making the hard drive unreadable.

Is the data recoverable? Leo says he should fix Windows using the repair function in the installation disc. It will then run and reinstall files that are corrupted. If the data isn't important, you can always just start over and format the hard drive and then reinstall windows. If there are physical errors, he can use SpinRite to move all the data around bad sectors in the hard drive. It will try and read every sector and won't give up until it does. Then it will add a bad sector to the bad sector table. The boot record may also be damaged. Since Peter is blind, he should have a technician fix it.

Image By William Warby from London, England (Hard Drive) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons