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SATA drama: Drive no longer boots

By Kensuke
Jan 24, 2005
  1. Ok, strap yourselves in 'cause this one is a doozy and if anyone can help me out with this you'll be regarded as legends (in my eyes anyway).

    I had a 160gig Maxtor drive fail on me about a week ago (thats whole another story, I suspect it was a virus that destoyed my MBR and then created bad sectors on the drive = unrecoverable) Anyway, I bought a new SATA 200G Western Digital (WD2000JD) and went about installing windows. This is when things started to go a bit awry. Basically during the WindowsXP installation process the drive refuses to boot and continue the process, this usually happens on the first reboot that the installation tries to do. The computer goes through the BIOS process as normal and then just goes blank when it tries to continue the installation. Just freezes. Well after much swearing I finally went about seeing what was wrong with the drive, I booted up another copy of XP on another drive (a small 20gig Ultra ATA drive) and installed the new SATA drive on it. It works fine, you can even see the files that Windows copied across to continue installing. Ran the usual tests and it came up good, so I went to the Western Digital site and downloaded the Data Lifeguard tools and rebooted the computer to see if I could prep the drive for a windows installation and guess what? it worked! the Data Lifeguard tool reformatted the new drive (NTFS of course) and I ran the XP installation and it then went through the whole process without fail. So once XP was installed I began installing my drivers and programs that I normally use, I even rebooted it a couple of times (when prompted after an install) and it continued to work. I installed my sound driver which then asked me to reboot.... and thats where I am now. The drive can no longer boot into XP, it's giving me the same blank screen that I was getting at the start of this whole mess. I'm at a loss. I've used some tools to check the MBR and a few other things and the drive seems fine, and on my small 20gig drive I can still boot into XP fine! At that point in time there was only two things that I can think of that could be at the root of this crap, either the drive is faulty or the SATA connection on my motherboard is screwed. My motherboard is Asus P4P800 and the bios is completely up to date, I doubted that the motherboard was at fault, so I decided to take the new drive to work and test it out there. Hooked the 200gig drive to a new computer at work, and I got the same thing! A blank screen (actually its not completely blank, there's an underscore flashing in the top left hand corner). So there it is and here I am with a brand new hard drive and now way to boot it, someone please help me. Not to be dramatic or anything but I think I'm going insane :(
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