View Full Version : Hard drive failure, or something else?

08-10-06, 09:04 AM
My computer died on me last month (motherboard failure) so I decided it was a perfect time for a little upgrade. I replaced the motherboard and CPU and moved over my harddrives, video card, and RAM from my old computer. After doing so my problems started. I'm getting hard drive errors in chkdsk left and right. After the second time I moved my secondary HD (the non windows one with all of my data) to my brother's computer, chkdsk'ed it, and copied all of the data to a USB hard drive. I put the drive back in my computer where it worked for one day then it detected errors again. My C drive seems to be fine now (I actually reformatted it for a windows reinstall) but the D drive is recovoring orphaned files and deleting file attributes as we speak. I have two theories:
1. The HD is dieing, and it's just a stroke of bad luck that it died after my MB.
2. The HD is somehow allergic to my new MB.
In another thread I posted that my new MB BIOS has a "IDE Drive Strength" option which has lowest, low, normal, and highest options of which (along with alot of the other new BIOS options) I have no idea what it does. Another possibility is that the new FSB is somehow causing corruption because I didn't reformat the drive. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated, even if you don't know what you're talking about. :) I'm pulling my hair out here running out of plans. Thanks.

08-10-06, 09:42 AM
Its hard to say for sure. You shouldnt be getting corruption because of a motherboard change though. The only possible thing that could cause a problem like that would be if you used a converter of some kind to switch the drive from serial ATA to parallel ATA (or the other way around).

Motherboard IDA\SATA drivers could also do something like that, but thats a bit of stretch. I think itd just screw things up once and then be fine, if it did anything at all.

I've swapped hundreds of hard drives onto different machines with no data corruption problems.

You should try putting it back in your brother's computer and doing exactly what you did on your own computer. If it doesnt show any errors on there after some testing and a few days of usage, then its deffinitely not the drive.

You might want to consider a different IDE\SATA cable as well. They can get damaged easily (especially when replacing a motherboard because of all moving around) and theres no telling what kind of effect a screwy cable could have... it wouldnt surprise me a bit if the problems went away with a new one.

Good luck. :)

08-10-06, 10:43 AM
You could always just get a new hard drive. It is always an option and it wouldn't hurt you.

08-10-06, 11:30 AM
I hadn't thought of the cable that's a good idea, but I have some new info that would tend to indicate drive failure. I read online that running chkdsk from the recovory console with /p does a true surface scan (it sure took long enough). After completing it, I rebooted and ran a quick chkdsk again in windows so I could see the stats. It now shows 19GB of bad sectors (It's a 250GB drive). I wrote down the exact number and plan on checking it again tonight. In my history increasing bad sectors = bad drive. Just to verify though, nothing else can make the computer report and block bad sectors right? Thanks again guys.

08-10-06, 12:40 PM
If the HD works fine in another computer it isnt the HD. It maybe somthing as simple as the bios setting you listed. And yes, generally after a motherboard swap, a reinstall of windows on main HD is required.

08-11-06, 03:07 AM
Try running the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostics program on two different computers using known-good cable.

08-11-06, 12:25 PM
Can you say cascade failure? :)

I moved the drive back to the "working" computer to run some diagnostics. I formated the drive then ran chkdsk and Maxtor's Powermax. Booting back into windows to run another chkdsk to check my status I had (remember it was 19GB of bad sectors before) 110GB of bad sectors! That's darn near dead if I've ever seen it. Here's what I think happened: The hard drive was used for storage. I don't boot off of it, I just use it to put my games and old school work so that when the C drive needs a reformat the data is all there. I suspect the disk began to have magnetic breakdown (it's quite old). I didn't notice because it was only part of the disk and reading didn't contribute to it's degredation as much as writing. When I replaced my motherboard and CPU I transfered a large ammount of data to the drive from the C before my format. When I reinstalled windows it started it's new install expansion (system restore grabbing for all drives untill you stop it etc). Long story short (too late), the drive got more write time in a few days that it had had in months. The magnetic breakdown began to spread and files began to fall apart. It seemed like it was working whenever I put it in my brother's machine because I let it run chkdsk thinking that my computer had messed it up so it worked, but only for awhile. The format is the big indicator, I did a full format rewritting all the data on the drive, the surface basically had a coronary episode and bit it. I think the funniest part of the whole thing was when I ran Powermax on all of my drives. All of them checked out on both my brother's computer and my own, then this drive comes along: "full scan recommended"
"Can you look at my car it's not making the right noises?"
*opens hood* Fluid is spurting all over the engine compartment. *closes hood coated in oil*
"So what's wrong with it?"
"I dunno, but you might want to have that looked at."

08-11-06, 12:41 PM
theres your problem right there.. Maxtor.

08-11-06, 04:31 PM
theres your problem right there.. Maxtor.

Are maxtor's not all that great? I have 2 300Gb drives and they seem to do fine. I keep up with them also, I do a weekly scancheck, defrage, the normal stuff.