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Is My Hard Disk Drive Dead?

By Ritwik7 ยท 7 replies
Jul 20, 2013
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  1. Hi all.

    For the past two weeks my PC was booting up very slowly. I have Windows 7 installed on a 120GB Corsair GT SSD and a Seagate Barracuda ST31000528AS for Games/Media. My boot times had increased dramatically from about 5 seconds to 45 seconds. I feared it was an issue with the SSD or some bad/incomplete Windows update. However, last night, when I booted up my system I found that chkdsk had detected "inconsistencies" on the Seagate drive. If I skipped chkdsk on boot I was unable to see this drive in Windows. I followed similar instructions to THIS and managed to have it back up and running. Boot times improved significantly (however, still not as fast as before).

    My system was functioning fine till today morning. In the afternoon when I turned it back on I was unable to see the Seagate drive and its partitions in Windows. I shut down the machine and on the next boot went into BIOS. I found that the Seagate drive was listed there. However, on booting back into Windows there was nothing. Now on restarting the PC (not turning it off completely) and going into BIOS I found that the drive was no longer shown. I shut down the system and changed the SATA connector and the port. Once again it was listed in BIOS but not in Windows. On removing the HDD from the system I found that my boot times were back down to the 5 sec mark.

    So I took the HDD to a friend who plugged it in as a second drive in his machine. There was a message stating something in the lines of "Hard Disk Status Bad". After this, Windows was simply not booting. It was stuck on a black screen after the Windows splash screen.

    So I'm assuming that the HDD is dead and wondering if there's any way to recover data from it. I'd appreciate any pointers in this direction.

    Also, as a replacement I was contemplating between the latest Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 and the Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EZEX. Which, in your opinion, would be a better option. The new Seagate seems to have very fast performance and on the other hand there's only good things to be heard about the reliability and performance of the latest Caviar Blue (though not as fast as the Seagate).

    Thanks for reading through.
  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,047   +4,769

    Check Windows Disk Management to see if the drive has for some unknown reason been dismounted.
  3. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    I have checked. It was not listed there.
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,047   +4,769

    And you are sure it wasn't a bad connection with the data cable. I've had a few of those in the past.

    Have you tried another data cable to be sure?
  5. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    Yes. I changed the SATA connector on my machine. Also, as I mentioned, it failed to load on my friend's PC.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,047   +4,769

    Oops, sorry, I missed that little detail.

    Since it seems there is little to loose at this point try giving the ole drive a real good slap. Chances are it will do nothing, but who knows it could help and at the very least it may make you feel tad bit better.

    It's doubtful but maybe a third party partitioning software could detect the drive. I use Partition Wizard Home myself but there are plenty of other Free-ware. Downloading the BootCD and burning the ISO to disk may be the best option.
  7. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,657   +9

    Alright. I'll give it a shot, maybe.

    Assuming all else has failed, I'll need recommendations on a new drive. The Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 or the Western Digital Caviar Blue WD10EZEX?
  8. bobc4012

    bobc4012 TS Booster Posts: 95   +41

    It may be worth a try, but I read one post a couple of months ago where they put the HD in the freezer over night and was able to read it! I know it sounds weird - like vodoo - but at this stage what can you lose. Another possibility is to burn SystemRescueCD on a CD or USB stick and see if that can find it. Sometimes Linux can find a HD that does not show in the BIOS. Regardless, it is still a handy set of tools to have around. Also see http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/10...for-recovering-linux-windows-or-mac-machines/ for other possibilities. Good luck

    I should have added as far as hard drives, I think it is a mixed bag. I have had good results with both WD and Seagate and also bad results with both. I have had Win, 7 scrog both a Seagate and a WD External HDs. I have had decent techs (not B-Buy clerks) extoll the virtues of each. Some years WD has a better run and other years its Seagate,

    I bought an "external" USB attached case for plugging in internal HDs and then discovered that one of them, being a SATA (which the case is supposed to handle) will show up as 1 huge 1 cylinder HD unless the SATA connector is to the PC (mine has a external connector in the back (as does the case) but haven't gotten around to get a proper cable.
    cliffordcooley likes this.

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