On sunday morning my Compaq Presario f500 laptop was temporarily freezing while I was burning data to disk, I didn't have much running and wasn't connected to the internet. After restarting it to enter safe mode (to scan for viruses, just in case) it failed to load windows (Vista home premium 64).
Ever since it has failed to load anything other than the vista startup progress bar and a black screen for a few moments for briefly showing a crash dump screen and turning itself off. I can't see the crash dump screen long enough to read it.
Startup repair fails less than halfway through the initial grey progress bar, the boot manager screen that follows states:
Unexpected I/0 error has occurred.
Beforehand I tried scanning both the recovery drive and C drive for errors, neither of them completed. C drive's error checking froze at 14%.
All F8 options produce the same results; windows seems to begin loading but then fails after a few moments, safe mode stops loading at 'crcdisk.sys' and then briefly shows the crash dump screen again.
BIOS disk checks fail every time. I've tried disabling drives in BIOS, and changing boot order, with no change in results. I changed them back when there was no change.
A little while ago the laptop took a hard knock falling to the floor, so I'm partly assuming that perhaps the hard drive has been partially dislodged. I can see it clearly opening up one of the two back plates on the laptop, but I'd rather not try removing or even cleaning anything without knowing what I'm doing. I can't afford to have it repaired, so it's a bit of a worry to say the least. Can I at least remove the hard drive to gently clean it?
I have a fair bit of my own music and digital art on the hard drive, so I'd rather not do anything that might have me lose it all. Despite a few backups just before the laptop stopped loading anything, I didn't get to save everything as it froze on me. The thought of losing the best part of a year's work is causing me quite some worry.
I'd be appreciative of any help or advice offered...
EDIT - Just didn't want to leap right in and ask advice, as it may seem rude. However, I've read the sticky threads and unfortunately there isn't anything suggested that works. It's certainly not a power issue, as I have backup batteries and power cords - no change. The laptop is making repetitive sounds when I listen carefully, which might tell someone here something... Hopefully.
PS, forgive the misspelled thread title... gah.