TechSpot

HDD Crashes - Help me!

By mileslong
Jan 25, 2007
  1. I started my machine last night and once it got past the loading stag and to the point where my desktop was show, the computer froze up. I tried doing ctrl-alt-del to restart but that would not even work. I then reset the machine to restart it and right away once it started loading, I got a message something like "HARD DISK BOOT FAILURE INSERT SYSTEM BOOT DISK PRESS ENTER"

    I put in my windows xp cd and tried following through the sequences but I really have never done this before so I have no idea what I am doing with the recovery console. Now, is my HDD pooched or am I gonna be able to fix it at least enough to get my file off of it?? I also got a message along the lines of "IMMINENT HARD DISK FAILURE PLEASE BACKUP ALL FILES". Something like that, I don;t remember the exact wording. Am I screwed with this HDD or what? Any info is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, well I bought a new HDD and got that all formatted with XP pro on it and then installed the old crapped out HDD that kept crashing on me as a slave drive and was able to get all my documents and files off the old drive onto the new one, so I'm happy so far. Now I want to wipe the old hard drive clean and NOT install a O/S on it, I just want to use it as a plain secondary storage drive. How do I go about deleting everything on that old HDD and leaving it empty to install as a slave drive?? Thanx

    Well I did the usual delete the partition on the old HDD and then restarted and shut down my pc and reinstalled the old HDD as the slave to my new HDD which has the fresh copy of XP pro on it. Only problem now is "My Computer" will not recognize the old HDD as being in the system but if I go to Device Manager, it shows in there. How the heck do I format this thing now with out putting an O/S on iT???????
     
  3. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Right click on "My Computer" and select "manage". Go to "disk management" and look for the drive in the list. Right-click on it and select format...
     
  4. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I've gotten that far, but when I reboot, I immediatly get a warning along the lines of primary slave hd immenent failure, backup all files now

    I then have to press F1 to keep on going and then everything is fine. The slave hard drive is clean, with no O/S or anything on it. Why am I getting this warning? Is the HDD dead or what? Is there anything I can use to check it??
     
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    The drive is probably failing it's SMART tests. This indicates an electronic failure, rather than a mechanical failure. Download the drive manufacturers drive test utility... and prepare to buy another hard drive
     
  6. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That's exactly it! Once I try to boot with that HDD either as the primary or the slave, I get this warning

    Smart test failed.
    WARNING: Immediatly back-up your data and replace your hard **** drive. A failure may be imminent.

    I also ran the Maxtor PowerMax 4.23 and it did not find anythng wrong with the drive but I still get those errors.

    Is this HDD pooched now or what??
     
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Each hard drive manufacturer has on their website some downloads for doing drive fitness tests. They vary from manufacturer, and the drive fitness test for one brand will not work on another... and will not, in fact, work on all the models of their own drives.
    You can download a version that will work off a floppy disk (my preference), a flash drive, a CD, or an ISO image, as well as versions that work when the computer does not have Windows installed.
    These are a good way to verify your drive is bad...
    Often, you can send a new drive still under warranty with a copy of the fitness test, and they may send you a replacement... it takes from 21 days to three months, depending on the manufacturer, so don't get your hopes up.
    These tests will also give you the results of the S.M.A.R.T drive tests.

    You will need to know the model of your hard drive, and often will also need the serial number or other details from the label.
     
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    ensure your cables are good and fully secure. Try it with another new cable.
    If you are still getting the same errors you have another issue.
     
  9. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    You could try and turn off the SMART monitoring in the motherboards bios...
     
  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,393   +107

    Better just backup the data off the HDD, or just get another HDD and use Norton/Symantec GHOST to clone that failing HDD before you can't use it. Don't let that go otherwise you loose all the data.
     
  11. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    As a rule of thumb, I always have at least two hard discs on my computers. The second is always for backups.
     
  12. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    That is a great rule!
     
  13. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, thanx for all the advice. I will try a new cable on the HDD and see if that helps. Ehat other HDD utility could I run on the hard drive to see if it picks up any errors? I already ran the Maxtor Powermax one as the drive in question is a Maxtor.I managed to get everything off the old HDD that I wanted and transferred them to the new 80Gb HDD that I bought. I just want to try to figure out if this issue with the old HDD is fixable so I can use it as a secondary HDD for files and backups.
     
  14. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Go to www.maxtor.com then to software downloads, then product support, and download all the drive test software.
    The floppy drive version is easy, and will test the drive if it is turning at all.
    You can also put the drive in jumpered as a slave, then run the test from a CD, or from the master hard drive.
    You will need the model number and may need the serial number of the drive as the tests are specific to the drive.
    During the test, your screen will often go black, and you may think it is not working... just let it run... for up to an hour, if necessary, although the test is usually complete in five to 10 minutes.
    You will get a report on screen that includes the S.M.A.R.T test and others... you may want to write down the results of the report as it may not print...

    My guess is that the Maxtor is defective, but if not, all you have to do is reformat.
    We like to boot a Windows 98 startup floppy disk, then run FDISK, then remove the partitions, then set the new partition, then reboot, and format as a FAT32 drive. Once it is formatted as FAT32, you can reboot to a Windows XP disk, and reformat it as a NTFS drive.

    Good luck to you. Let us know how it all turns out.
     
  15. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I already ran the Maxtor Powermax 4.23 diagnostic test on the drive and it came back as error free but again when I boot the machine up and if that drive is connected as either the primary drive or the slave drive, I get that SMART error warning before the machine boots into windows and I have to hit F1 to bypass it and let windows finish loading. I was thinking of installing the drive in an enclosure and using it as an external HDD that way I won't get the error messgae upon boot-up, I'll just plug it in the usb port after the machine has booted. Would this be an ok solution or should I not trust this drive at all?
     
  16. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    This drive may work fine in another system, but in your case here, I would just put it aside and get a new drive to try. If you still get errors, your motherboard might be on the way out
     
  17. mileslong

    mileslong TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My new Western Digital 80GB HDD that I bought to replace the Maxtor works great, I've had no problems with it at all so I can't really see it being the motherboard. Maybe I'll email or call Maxtor and see what they say about it.
     
  18. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I said it could be the motherboard only if another drive did the same thing. Since a new drive works fine, the Maxtor is bad. Maxtor is owned by Seagate now. Contact them...
     
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...