Is my 4 day old HD dead? How can I salvage some of my info?

Hi. I'm in quite a situation here. Among putting in a GF4 and switching to my RAID ports, I think my brand new 80 GB Maxtor HD is dead. It, after drastic changes, would boot once, then give the same error again.

After many large ordeals, my computer kept giving the message "A disk read error occurred. Press CTRL-ALT-DEL to restart."

I finally became successful by using the XP Pro CD, going into system recovery/restore, then using CHKDSK /p. It "fixed the errors."

I booted up once fine, then on the reboot, I got the original "A disk read error occurred." I went back to XP CD, but this time CHKDSK said "This drive has unfixable errors."

I tried Norton GHOST, taking my old OS partition image and loading it on, and it booted. On the next reboot, however, I went back to square one.

I tried ghost again, but it would not write. I tried XP CD again, but it became a black screen halfway through bootup (during "Checking your hardware configuration") and nothing else happened. Same thing with MaxBlast. Partition Magic can still see the drive, however. I haven't tried to do anything with that yet.

I tried PowerMax for HD diagnostics, and both quick and advanced tests cleared perfectly. My drive is "certified error free." I ran a couple passes of Burn-ins and received no errors again.

I attempted to move my downloads partition over to my other drive so I could format on a low level, but it wouldn't copy over. It gave me the errors:

Error #1608
File record marked used, File 23

Error #1523
Cluster beyond end

Error #1523
Cluster beyond end

Is there any way I can save this partition? This has a lot of my important files on it, and I don't want to lose it.

All my fixes worked once, then never worked again. Is my HD dead? Here's my proposed plan of attack (the only things I can think of left to do). Please confirm or suggest.

1. Use Partition Magic to salvage anything I can/other partitions off of that drive. (How can I salvage my Downloads partition?)
2. Format that drive entirely clean on a low level.
3. Try putting stuff over again and see what happens. If it does it again, return it.

Thanks for all suggestions.

Who is Participating?
KnickNut3Author Commented:
Ah, lots of responses. I'm up and running again... I formatted my other 40 Gigger (old one) and then salvaged what I could from the first, which was almost everything. I had accumulated stuff on there because I moved two partitions over there right away.

Maxtor will not allow me to do an RMA because it passed all the tests. I'll try a write in format now on that one because I have all the information off of it. Should it be OK now since it passed the tests?

I was not using the RAID function, just the controllers. The mobo's a KT7A RAID.

Maybe just all the risky things I did at once (switching drives to RAID, installing new video card, cutting power once by mistake during boot) corrupted by partition tables or something. I'm back to scratch (with some lost data, but not tons). Any more suggestions will be appreciated. Fortunately, I did not need data recover (only about 2 folders were corrupted, and they were just download folders).

Yes, it sure sounds like your new HDD has died a very premature death.  I'd not bother with any attempts to restore it, since it's so new, I'd take it back and get a new one.  Based on the rapidly increasing number of errors with it, I'd bet that this one is likely to be completely dead very shortly.

Of course, if you have time on your hands to mess with it, you can't do any further damage.  A LLF using the vendor's LLF utility may get you going again but I'm going to guess that any success will be temporary.

I'm also going to speculate that any data on the drive is compromised.  Since you've only had it a few days, how much NEW stuff might you have accumulated?
Yeah sounds like you may not be able to retrieve much if anything from this disk. Since it is under warranty I would contact the vendor and implore upon them that you have stuff you want from this drive and see if they will do it for you. They may help you then again they may not.

Anyway you might give one of these a try.

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You say that you "switching to my RAID ports".  Could you please explain this and whether switching back continues this error?
KnickNut3Author Commented:
OK. I changed my IDE drives and put them in my separate, built in IDE-RAID ports. I had the same problem when I returned it to IDE, but I'm keeping it in IDE now for simplicity's sake.
KnickNut3Author Commented:
OK. I changed my IDE drives and put them in my separate, built in IDE-RAID ports. I had the same problem when I returned it to IDE, but I'm keeping it in IDE now for simplicity's sake.
Well, I take it this is a FastTrak-Lite RAID from Promise?  I have that too and it's great.  If you've got two drives the same size, use the mirroring capability so the next time a hard drive dies you can keep working on the other one until the replacement comes.  OK, Win2000 and XP do software RAID 0,1, and 5 but the hardware accellerated Promise controller is a LOT faster.  Software RAID is muderous on CPU load during IO.  I guess levels 0 and 1 are not too bad, but you have to be nuts to use software level 5.

So if you were using the built in RAID, are both drives giving this read error or both?  I take it both were matching 80s?
2) Use the maxblast or Power Max to wipe the drive AFTER you have gotten any data you want off of it.

There should be a write test that will totally wipe the drive.

If not , then download the Delpar program from and use it to wipe the drive.

If the drive passes the PowerMax testing, then you can probably be sure that it is NOT a hard drive problem, but that does not eliminate an IDE/motherboard/RAM problem.

I hope this helps !
If the drives were on the RAID controller as a stripe or RAID-0 then the data is completely lost because of how it was written in the first place.  Alternating clusters are written to alternating drives, so one drive has only half the data with no parity to reconstruct the missing half.
Make sure that the drive geometry is being detected properly.  The Cylinders, heads etc,. need to be properly configured otherwise the drive might seem like it's working fine, but when you start to read/write data you get error messages similar to what you have.  

If you had the BIOS set to USER DEFINE for the drive, make sure you let it auto detect.

I know this might seem basic, but I have ran drives ok for a few hours, and got problems after the OS install due to this oversight on my part.

what mobo are you using? is it Abit with onboard highpoint controller? or ( tell us here::))
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Just a quick note:

I had a similar problem after installing a new mobo with my 80 gig Maxtor.
Turned out to be the power supply. I replaced my 250 w with a 400 w supply
Problem solved.
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