I have a WinXP Pro system with two identical Maxtor hard drives on the primary IDE channel. The primary master has a partition for the OS and a separate partition for my programs. The second driver contains saved files and data. A couple of weeks ago I was unable to launch into the OS because some or other system file was corrupt. So I reinstalled Windows on the primary drive and all was well. Yesterday the computer crashed and would not restart. The BIOS is telling me "master boot drive failed". The first time I entered the BIOS it didn't even recognize that a drive was there. In subsequent attempts, it sees the drive but the text it displays on the first boot screen to ID the drive is not what used to be there when the drive was working well.
I have tried the following:
1. Reseated power and IDE cables.
2. Swapped power cables between the two hard drives.
3. Swapped IDE cables between the primary and secondary channels.
None of this worked.
Also, I made a boot CD with SpinRite 6.0 on it and ran the program. SpinRite doesn't give me an option to work on the primary master drive, it lists my floppy drive and the primary slave.
Is the drive kaput?