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Old 11-12-2008, 02:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I think my hard drive is dying, am I wrong?

I've noticed lately sometimes when I try to boot the PC I get the message "Disc read error. Press ctrl + alt + del to restart". Sometimes pressing ctrl + alt + del works and sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't I'll turn off the machine and come back to the PC later and it'll boot with no issues 70% of the time.


In addition to the boot issues, I've also noticed the PC will hang while doing things that never caused it to hang or lock up in the past, i.e. surfing the web, trying to open play wmv/mp3 files or authoring a DVD. Sometimes this leads to a dreaded blue screen of death.

At first I thought it was corrupt data on the drive since the boot errors and lock-ups don't happen 24-7. In an effort to fix this, I've backed up all my files and restored the drive to factory default. No dice, I still encounter the DRE and random lock ups.

I've run Hardware Diagnostic tools but found nothing wrong. Since, the drive isn't making any noise is it possible something else is wrong? Am I missing something?

If it is the hard drive that means buying a new one. Anything I should know about shopping for a drive? I've already been told I want a drive that spins at or faster than 7200RPM and brands to buy are Western Digital, Seagate, Samsung, and Maxtor. I'll figure out if I have EIDE or IDE once I pull the drive out.
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Old 11-12-2008, 02:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Seagate 7900.10 series. Perpendicular recording. Faster. Nice stuff.

Anyway, it could either be your hard drive, or your IDE controller. Try plugging the HD into the secondary IDE controller and see if the problem goes away. If it does, your primary controller is going bad. Nothing to do about that save get a new motherboard.
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You'll have EIDE (we call it IDE anyways). The thing you are looking for is IDE vs SATA. That would be small plugs that are easy to remove vs a wide 40-pin cable that isn't.

edit: If you find out what you have in terms of connectivity, we can find you the best bang for your buck in minutes
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I fear that you are right, the drive might be going away. Your actions where correct, that is to back up all the data from the drive.

But there is a chance that the file records have become corrupted, in my experiance the only permanent soulution is to backup all data and then reformat the drive (full format not quick) and restore the data from backup. I'm assuming here that you are using Windows (XP), if you are using other OS then it may not apply.

When you pull the HD out you will be able to determine what interface it has. The make and model of the HD can often be found in the OS, device manager in Windows, and from that the interface can be determined. If it is IDE (vs SATA) then it is questionable if a 7200(+) rpm HD is going to be worth the money as there maybe other bootlenecks in your system that will even out the performance gain from a fast HD.

Yours
Zweiblumen
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Old 11-12-2008, 03:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A quick google search of my model number says I'm working with a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA. I'm gonna pull the thing out to make sure, and double check the connections are actually tight.

Edit: It is the Seagate SATA drive.
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Last edited by Prophecy; 11-12-2008 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 11-13-2008, 07:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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On the Seagate web page you can download Seagate Seatools. Burn the disc image to a CD and boot with it, there you can do a bunch of tests to look for errors.

Should there be something wrong with it, I'd check if you still have warranty on that drive since Seagate has a 5 year warranty on most hard drives.
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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check your IDE cable. I thought I had lost two drives with problems similar to yours, and it was just a twisted cable that barely worked.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSD View Post
check your IDE cable. I thought I had lost two drives with problems similar to yours, and it was just a twisted cable that barely worked.
It's SATA, therefore no IDE cable.
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