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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Bad News! Lenovo HDD0 2100 Initialization Error & Bad Hard Drive

If you get the "HDD0 2100 can not read hard drive" error code or stop message on your Lenovo Thinkpad -- it's bad news.

Really bad news.

Unfortunately on Wednesday night, I encountered the HDD0 2100 error message when trying to reboot my Lenovo Thinkpad T61 running Windows XP. It seemingly came out of nowhere, as most drive failures do.

Note: If you are running Microsoft Vista, please see the comments below for a possible fix, thanks Khaled!

I was having and issue trying to sync up my Microsoft Outlook email just a couple of minutes before my flight left Washington Dulles airport. For some reason, my Cisco VPN connection kept disconnecting after 10-15 seconds. I went ahead and just performed a reboot -- and received the message.

During the flight home, I messed with it a little bit, even using the internal hard drive diagnostic feature on the Lenovo Thinkpad T61 to test the drive. It did not tell me other than the drive had an error and to contact Lenovo support.

After I got home, I went ahead and checked the Lenovo support page and this is what it turned up.

2100 Initialization error on HDD0 (Main hard drive)
Steps to resolve:
1. Reseat the hard drive
2. Repair/Replace Main hard drive
3. Repair/Replace System board

I went ahead and reseated the hard drive, no luck still received the HDD0 2100 error. At that point I realized it was most likely the worst case. Not to mention the loud clicking sound the hard drive was making on boot really pointed me in that direction.

Confirming it the next day, it was time for me to start over with a new drive. While normally not a big deal, my Lenovo Thinkpad T61 was barely a month old -- I had not setup my automatic ROBOCOPY backups. So, that along with a completely encrypted hard drive means that recovery is unlikely and not worth spending the $1000-$3000 to try and recover data from the hard drive.

I have learned my lesson (again?) -- make sure and setup the backups as soon as you start installing any software on a new machine.

Hopefully, you will not encounter this HDD0 2100 initialization error. If you do, I feel bad for you -- it may mean your hard drive has gone bad. Best of luck!

If you have these other similar errors, you may be in dire straits as well with your drive.
2102 Initialization error on HDD1 (Ultrabay hard drive)
1. Reseat the hard drive
2. Repair/Replace Ultrabay hard drive
3. Repair/Replace System board

2110 Read error on HDD0 (Main hard drive)
1. Reseat the hard drive
2. Repair/Replace Main hard drive
3. Repair/Replace System board

2112 Read error on HDD1 (Ultrabay hard drive)
1. Reseat the hard drive
2. Repair/Replace Ultrabay hard drive
3. Repair/Replace System board


Khaled Google said...


I got the same problem with my ThinkPad R60 today. When I googled the err msg, first result was your posting AND first reaction was "PANIC!" Man, I have $10,000-worth data on my notebook. I can't just learn the lesson and let it go.

But, fortunately, I visited Lenovo's tech support website and found something useful. Surprisingly, I found a 5-minute solution! I got my HD fixed!! You may also try it out. All you need is a blank CD.

Please visit:


Ken Hanscom said...

Khaled, that looks like it can be a possible fix for those who run into this issue with Microsoft Windows Vista only -- as it appears to be a Vista compatibility issue. For some reason, the Lenovo site is not displaying properly, so here is the Google Cached link.

Google Cached Link for drive firmware upgrade

Best of luck and glad this worked for you, but it did not work for me and my Windows XP SP2 machine. I was out of luck -- I even tried the hard drive freezer trick on mine!

Justin said...

I just wanted to let you know (Khaled) that I used the link you provided and downloaded the firmware update and it worked like a charm. I work at a private school and had approx. 10 teachers come in with that error and didn't know what to do. So, after much frustration, I was able to knock off all of these issues with great ease. I couldn't believe how fast of a fix it was too.
thanks again - Justin.

buzio said...

I have the same 2100 eroor problem on my x61s. I wanted to update the hard drive firmware with the lenovo tool, but it includes updates only for hitachi/fujitsu/etc drives, nothing for my seagate (wich was shipped with my x61s)... Help !

Limor said...


I also have T61 with Win XP and the firmware did not work for me either.
but the trues is that my computer has fallen, and I got a blue screen. when I tried to boot it again I got the HD error 2100 and I can hear noises from the HD. do you think there is a chance to get the data somehow from the disk?

Thanks a lot.

Poolshark314 said...

Does anyone know if the firmware update is only for Vista or will it work on XP SP2? It only mentions Vista but I was wondering if any of you guys had it work on XP

Anonymous said...

I am helping a friend out with the same "2100" problem but on an X60 running Win XP Pro. The X60 does not have a CD-ROM drive so I put the failed drive in an R61 machine. The utility ran but did not see the drive. Is it because the drive has XP Pro on it and not Vista? Maybe because I ran it on a different machine than the original one?

My friend already received a new drive from Lenovo but he needs a few important files off of the failed drive.

Is there anything else I can try?

Thanks in advance,

Anonymous said...

from tech support IBM,,, error for initialization on hard drive even though it appears to be somewhat similar error received when running vista and windows xp the vista error can be fixed using the software firmware update available on IBM support website, in this case the drive should be seen by the bios, in the other error NON Vista machine hard drive will not be seen by the bios and hence firmware update may be needed but not able to be performed since drive is not recognized, using a data recovery software may or may not work, drive needs to be seen in the software and if so data may possibly be recoverable, the firmware update does not cover seagate hard drives only IBM hitachi/travelstar and fujitsu, so far I have not found a way to get data on a hard drive with a password

Behrentzs said...

I recently had the same problem. I tried with the recovery disc as suggested, however that did not work as the firmware did not need to be upgraded.

I'm running XP with SP3.
I removed the harddisk and put it bck again - the error was probably caused by the harddisk was not insert correct / had moved a little bit. So, ensure that the harddisk is probably inserted before you panic as I did.

Anonymous said...

I had the same problem in R61i with XP Pro. I shut down the laptop. Gave a few hard taps on the bottom of the laptop where the HD sits. I restarted and the problem seemd to have gone away. I think the HD got a little misaligned in its bay.

Anonymous said...

Hi all, following the last hint of "anonymous" on 6/02/2009 05:21:00 PM I gave my laptop a couple of slaps around the HDD area....then I turned it on and I could boot to Windows XP normally. Seems that the HDD wasn't aligned correctly in the bay.

Anonymous said...

There is a way to get ur data back. Get the Ubantu CD-boot version. boot ur pc from cd, and copy ur data over to ur USB stick.

Ken Hanscom said...

Anonymous...unforuntely, booting from an Ubuntu Linux CD likely will not work. Once you've encountered this error, it has very little to do with the actual Operating System as the disk simply will not "spin up". Using a Ubuntu boot-up CD or another tool like ERD Commander will do nothing for you if the disk won't spin up and mount.

Thanks for the suggestion, but unfortunately this will not work for 99% of the users.

Anonymous said...

I had the same fault "Error 2100" with my Thinkpad X61s, can not access to HDD and the blue ThinkVantage's invalid. But after few days doing nothing to repair and going to buy a new HDD, in this morning, my X61s suddenly ran Thinkpad Recovery automatically, and I restored my system succesful! I'm really a lucky guy huh?

Still now I cannot understand what was happening with my enigmatic X61s? Is the problem in my HDD or in some boards? Something loose or flicker?

Can anyone clear it to me pls?

Long said...

Hi everybody,

I have the same fault "Error 2100" with my Thinkpad X61s, cannot starting windows and access to HDD, and the blue ThinkVantage's invalid, certainly.

But after few days doing nothing to repair it, in this morning when I tried to boot it again, my X61s suddenly ran Thinkpad Recovery and Rescue automatically. I restored my system successful and my X61s gets back to normal. Maybe I'm a lucky guy huh ?

Until now I cannot understand what was happening with my enigmatic X61s? Is the problem from HDD or some boards fault? Something loose or flickering ? Should I worry about it?

Anyone clear it to me pls!!! Tks in advance!

K Scharf said...

I bought a brand new Seagate 250gb/7200rpm drive to upgrade my R60's 60gb. I got this error while booting from a Linux Mint live DVD, I was able to boot the DVD and to format the drive and install Linux. However after rebooting the computer Linux would not boot and I get the error again.
I then discovered that if I press the 'blue button' on power up to access the bios and let the screen timeout into the bootstrap the computer would boot every time (so far). Seems like the bios isn't waiting long enough to detect the drive on boot up. If I enter the bios and check the boot order screen the disk IS detected and the correct model number is displayed. I have not (yet) got this error while running Linux on this machine.

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness, everyone, BEFORE you start panicking, PLEASE shut down your laptop, turn it over, and just give it a couple of hard taps everywhere. it worked for me!!! i wish i saw this before i began to panic like no other! i'm telling you now...just try it. i was very skeptical but it WORKED and i just want to say thank you so much to the person who mentioned truly saved me goodness knows how much money!!

Tom said...

Hi all.. I have a T60 which suffered a BSOD after being in sleep mode, then when rebooted got 2100 error. Nothing has worked. Drive not recognised by PC or by firmware update prog or Ubuntu etc. Tapping had no effect. Drive does spin though.

The added complication is that there's a HDD password on it..

One last bit of info - I found a duplicate HDD and swopped the circuit boards. This worked for the spare but sadly not for the original..

Hoping that someone can come up with something I haven't tried. Data recovery and lots of $$ looks like next step..

Deals said...

Thank you.
It worked for me

Ganesh Arude said...

Thanks so much....this trick works for me.