So, I'm in Africa, and I had my mom send over a 250 gig Maxtor DiamondMax 10 for my host family. Of course, there are many risks in shipping fragile computer components to Africa, but that is besides the point. Upon first receiving the drive I tossed the drive in the computer (an older computer PIII 933, 256MB RAM, Hewlet Packard mobo) and fired up my XP CD. All went well, but the installation program was unable to complete the format to NTFS citing potential damage. So, i was pissed for a moment but I've had that happen with a drive before and it has worked flawlessly for years now. So without any available boot disks with format utilities, I tossed in another 10 gigger to try to format the new drive with Paragon Partition Manager. PPM reported no problems, and when I next attempted to install windows all was well. The drive worked well for a solid month, but then suddenly it crashed, saying only hard drive error after the BIOS screen. Not possible to boot to windows to reformat, and it seemed pretty much dead. Next, I tried out the Ultimate boot CD and the Maxtor drive integrity utility. It told me that the drive was dead and I should contact Maxtor. (Where's the Seagate building in Africa?). Next I tried a couple defect utilities, and they found more than 600 bad sectors. Ok, so I figured it was dead, but I'd try a low level format before giving up on it. The maxtor low level format utility completed without any errors, and the drive was now detected with windows install, but what surprise, I receive the same message i received the last time and it's unable to format the drive. So, I boot to the other hard drive again, and this time format the drive using Partition magic pro, making a windows partition and a storage partition. But this time when I reboot and attempt to install windows on the newly formatted drive, the windows install won't even continue after 'checking computer hardware'. The screen just goes black. So I try to think of another way to get a windows install on the new drive. I reboot to the 10 GB and use the partition magic partition cloner to put the windows install on the windows partition of the 250GB. After, to my surprise, the computer had no problems booting to the new hard drive. Everything worked like new, and all seemed well. 24 hours later, when i wake up, the computer is crashed saying something about a user profile error. A blue screen just after the windows logo appears and the computer continues in a loop of rebooting. I need to mention that the computer is branched to an external ADSL modem and a Netgear MR814 router with internet connection sharing enabled so i can have internet in my room. I downloaded a couple work related programs directly to the 250GB hard disk on the host computer using my laptop. I don't know if that had anything to do with the disk error, but listen... I put the 10 GB back in and booted. The 250 GB is detected and seems to be working fine. I go to find the files I download, but when trying to copy the files, I get a quick blue screen with an auto reboot. I reboot again, and format the partition with the windows install, planning to just leave the more reliable 10GB in the computer to maintain the windows install. I'm going to try spinrite on the drive a bit later to see if it finds any problems, but in the meantime, does anyone have an idea? I've installed my share of hard drives without any problems, but maybe this older computer and mobo just doesn't like the newer drive? Or of course, the drive is just preparing to completely die? I think that's it, sorry for the lengthy post.