Is my hard disk damaged?
I accidentally dropped something heavy on my 15" MacBook Pro, and the metal recharger plates on the bottom created a small dent in the metal case, located roughly 2 inches under the left arrow key. Subsequently, the computer was working. However, after I shut down, i have problem to start it up again. I'm always stuck at the white screen with the apple logo. I realized tha the small dent is at the place that my hard disk is located. Is there something wrong with my hard disk? Do I have to get it replaced or it can just be repaired? I really don't want to lose all my stuff in the hard disk. And I got windows installed in my macbook too. If I change a new hard disk, will this affect my windows? My windows is still functioning. And, lastly, can I do the repair myself or I have to bring it to a technician?
If Windows is still running then it should only be the Mac i-OS operating system that's gone BUT here's what i'd do to be 100% safe with my data...
If you (or a friend) has a SATA Drive enclosure, test your drive first on another computer.
Most drive manufacturers have free diagnostic software for these situations, ie Western Digital or Seatools by Seagate (i'd recommend Seatools, it works with any brand of drive).
Always be careful about static electricity here though especially with your hard drive and it's priceless data!!!
I have successfully recovered data from a damaged drive many times with a free program called Recuva by Piriform.
If the drive is fine then your Mac i-OS needs re-installed which is where you have to make a tough desicion. Risk losing everything performing a back-up or simply buy a replacement drive and re-install everything with your recovery discs then "COPY" all your data from your old drive.
If you still have your OS-X system recovery disks you could try booting your system. If you can I would strongly recommend making a backup of all of your data ASAP. As you have a Windows partition you'll need to back it up independently. Without a backup your options are limited here on what you can do to the HD.
It's possible all you'll need to do here is reformat the disk, It's also possible the disk is about ready to give out.