HD Killing MoBo (2 questions 250 each)

I have an ASUS P4S533.
Bought a new HD, Maxtor 40 GB 7200 RPM ATA 133, installed Win XP, then when I was installing the modem drivers the system start sending me error messages regarding the access to the HD.
So I changed the HD with the older HD, Maxtor 30 Gb 7200 RPM ATA 100,  with Win 98, and the system said the FAT was damaged that it'll use the second copy.  After several reboots I couldn´t start the system.
Tried fdisk/mbr, sys c: from a bootable floppy but didn'correct the problem.
So I tried another one, Seagate 15 Gb ATA 66, with Win Me, the system didn't boot.
Tried to reinstall, wouldn't let me, tried format, said the disk was damaged.

All disks where created on the same system

Downloaded Maxtor and Seagate utilities, used them and the three disk where Ok.

Flashed the BIOS, with same version, in case it was corrupted by of a virus.
Performed a low level format on Maxtor 40 Gb with the Maxtor utility
Tried to install Win XP on Maxtor 40 Gb, couldn't finish the formatting process due a HD problem
Tried to install Win Me on Seagete 15 Gb couldn't finish the formatting process due a HD problem

Used Maxblast 3 on Maxtor 40 Gb to format, tried to install Win XP couldn't start installation due a Hardware Error
Tried Maxtor 30 Gb and Seagate 15 Gb on other System, can´t acces the disk.

Two Questions
Is there a chance I can recover the HD's?
Is there a way to asses if the MoBo is dead?

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It may be that the IDE controller is bad.

I would try to test the install by putting the hard drive on the same chain as the CDROM.

Also try a different cable.

If nothing works, it could be a faulty motherboard, RAM, or CPU overheating.

I hope this helps !
xemaAuthor Commented:
The system it's almost new, I bought it in small steps, HD was the last one.
As far as I know the RAM is Ok
The CPU is running cold as per BIOS information, plus I have a small ventilator on the front/top, between the CD and the CDRW, of the case and the air that flows is cold.
I'll try changing the IDE chanel and/or the cable
Glen A.IT Project ManagerCommented:
>>The system it's almost new

Doesn't mean something isn't going bad .  .  .     It too, sounds to me like either the IDE controller is bad, or the power supply is no longer providing necessary voltage on the rails to power the devices up.

The IDE controller, BTW, is on the motherboard.  So if it's the IDE controller, it's a dead motherboard.

If it's almost new, get it replaced by the supplier under warranty.
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xemaAuthor Commented:
SysExpert & AlbertaBeef

thanks for your responses but the two questions are still unaswered

>>Is there a chance I can recover the HD's?
Is there  a utility that will make the HD's operational again?

>>Is there a way to asses if the MoBo is dead?
Is there a Flooppy based or bootable CD based software to check a MoBo?
Unfortunately, there are no full diagnostics that can check everything.

Norton Utils and others have Burn in tests that may catch some intermittent errors, as seem to be your case.

Even new motherboards, power supplies etc. can have problems.

There are plenty of "system burn-in" programs you can get.  Take a look at http://users.bigpond.net.au/cpuburn/
 The downloaded program from http://tucows.com/system/preview/194326.html,

Also take a look at http://www.millennium-solutions.co.uk/diagnostic-tool-pc-computer/burnin-test-burn-in-testing.html

Free hardware detection, hardware test

You might want to check out
and http://www.tomshardware.com
Here is a link to reviews of 11 motherboards by AnandTech.
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xemaAuthor Commented:
Sorry for having taken all this time;
SysExpert & AlbetaBeef;
The problem is not getting my info back, I already have done it with R-studio.  What I'll would like is to gain use of those HD again, I can not format them, or even perform a SYS command.

How ever as there haven't been more answers I'm gonna split the points between the answers.
I would run the Manufacturers disk test in another computer, and do the low level rewrite using 0's or similar.

If you can not finish a format in your computer, then you may well have an IDE problem.

Did you try putting a drive instead of the cDROM ?

 I hope this helps !

xemaAuthor Commented:
Done that, been there.

The Maxtor 40 GB 7200 RPM ATA 133, was tested on another computer, same problems, the Maxtor 30 Gb 7200 RPM ATA 100 was hooked on yet another system as slave, if declared in BIOS the system won't boot, if not declared in BIOS the system will start and the HD woll be seen in win 98.  that's how i rescued my info.
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