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HDD problem

Posted on 2003-11-14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Hi guys, something really odd is happening to my computer. A couple of weeks ago I bootted up my PC
and instwead of loading my Windows XP OS it gave me a BOOT DISK FAILURE INSERT A BOOT DISK AND PRESS AN"Y KEY TO CONTINUE...That instance I thought NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO for several obvious reasons. Since I was in denial I SHUT DOWN my PC and botted again. It worked flawlesly just as if nothing wrong or odd ever happened. A couple of weeks later
the same thing happens...so i did the same thing to fix it. It happened 4 times so far and i am trully annoyed. Once after I shut down to correct the disk failure issue, windows ran automatically chkdsk and found some errors in the index table...it corrected them. I thought the IDE cable was screwed since the HDD seemed to be operating perfectly. I replaced the IDE cable but it happened again. This drives me nuts, what is happening? I will save my work because i dont want it to fail once and forever but i dont want to buy another harddrive right now.

So any ideas on what the problem could be? Any ideas on how i can correctly identify it? What software can i use to do
a test ( a really complete and stressfull one ) on my HDD?

Thank you.

The configuration of my PC is the following:
Pentium 4 HT 2.3 Ghz
512 DDR Ram
HDD Western Digital Caviar 120G  8Mb
Motherboard intel 865.


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Question by:NOPz
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by:guynumber5764
ID: 9752408
It does sound like your drive is on the way out.  I expect a drive test won't show anything:  the problem may be that the drive is not spinning up fast enough or not spinning up at all when its cold.  Try delaying the POST slightly (by checking the A drive or whatever) and also listen to the drive when it starts up.
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by:Snowguy
ID: 9752415
I would suggest using the drive manufactures test.
Western Digital
http://support.wdc.com/download/#dlgtools
If it shows up something bad it will give you an option to RMA the drive for a replacement. I think that drive has a 3 year warranty.
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Expert Comment

by:chicagoan
ID: 9753161
Some motherboards have a configurable delay on IDE initialization to allow the devices to come ready before they're probed. If this was working fine and has suddenly started, I'd remove the slave if there is one and see if that helps, and if not RMA the drive. Running the non-destructive disk test periodically isn't a bad idea in any event.
You didn't say what your routine backup strategy is??
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Author Comment

by:NOPz
ID: 9753416
You can imagine i would love to abtain a replacement, but how can i do it until i figure out how to describe the problem, and implicitly what the problem is. I ran the HDD test at http://support.wdc.com/download/#dlgtools . I preformed the short test and the extended one. They both showed zero errors. I am owning this computer since the beginning of september but it only started to do that about two or maybe three weeks ago. And like i said it is very random (in ~3 weeks it only happened 4 times) ... Now i should mention that the weather changed and temperatures dramatically decreased however in the room are about 20 *C and aside from this I don't really remember any low temeperatures when the issue occured for the first time.


The slave hmmm...I don't think there is one. Actually I do have a DVD/CD-RW but thats connected to a different controller on the motherboard.

My system is a Cicero system. Apparently they are delivering computers through all sorts of giant sellers however I cannot locate at least a webpage for them. Anybody know?
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guynumber5764 earned 100 total points
ID: 9753512
By "cold" I meant below the 30C or so operating temp.  You should try to RMA the drive if it is only a few months old.  Just tell them it sometimes doesn't boot.
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