Is my hard drive dying?

July 1, 2009 at 00:10:21
Specs: Windows XP
So here is my problem. I have a relatively new computer about 7-8 months old. Anyways, I been getting this problem on and off. I seems that I have to "warm up" my computer for approximately 30 sec to safely boot to windows. If not I would get an error at windows stating that I saying NTLR missing or it will load into windows then it would BSOD.

This is all avoided by hitting delete during the start up to go into bios, letting the computer "warm up" for 30 sec in the bios setup, then exiting bios and letting it load normally. When I do this, I avoid the ntlr or bsod messages.

SO I have a suspicion that my seagate barracuda 7200.11 640gb(my boot up drive) is dying or no good. I ruled out PSU when it replaced my cheap Ultra with a PC Power and Cooling Silencer 750 watt(my system is not highend).

So its it the harddrive? I heard Seagates had been getting bad fail rates lately. However, when I run all the diagnostic seagate tests it passes. Does a harddrive really need to warm up before it can boot up properly. Can I ignore this? I rather not go through the trouble of rma and stuff. Anybody have a similar, or know of situations like this?

Note: I have used the Seagate like this for 7 months. I have just recently upgraded the firmware. My motherboard bios is also updated. When I first put the computer together, I switched out the motherboards(same model of MOBO), and still had the problem, so I don't think it the motherboard.

I am not that experienced with diagnosing hardware problems so hold my hand on this. Thanks ahead of time for any comments.

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July 1, 2009 at 03:05:00
Download a disk utility from seagate to check the disk.

UK MP's are thieving scumbags.
EU members are worse.

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July 1, 2009 at 04:26:43
Seagate has had more than expected failures with some models of the Barracuda, so running the fitness test is a good idea.

You should always maintain at least TWO copies of any data you wish to keep. IMO optical disk is the best backup method.

If the problem persists and the drive checks out OK then boot into the BIOS screens and look for a setting for the time the BIOS is to seek the hard drive. I believe 5 is the default. Adjust that setting and see if it helps.

I would guess the drive will not pass.

I suggest using Seatools for DOS. You install the utility to floppy or CDR and boot to it to run the tests. Better than running from Windows.

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July 1, 2009 at 05:19:29
My guess is it's NOT a hardware issue. What error code is on the BSOD?

NTLDR is Missing.

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Related Solutions

July 1, 2009 at 06:15:21
jam, I am thinking the drive is not spinning up fast enough. If that is not the case, so much the better. Seatools should reveal a drive issue if one exists.

You are correct in that there are other causes for getting that message.

jam, got time for the PM?

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July 1, 2009 at 11:35:21
"If the problem persists and the drive checks out OK then boot into the BIOS screens and look for a setting for the time the BIOS is to seek the hard drive. I believe 5 is the default. Adjust that setting and see if it helps."

OtheHill, I been looking at the bios for anything to do with timing or "seeking". I can't find it, so can you tell me where exactly am I supposed to go? The bios is an American Trend c.2.59 if that helps.

So Jam, is there a way to look up the BSOD error message in windows? This is because it hard to get a BSOD consistently. Sometimes my computer works without a warm up fine. IF it gets into the "NTDLR is missing" error then, by the time I turn off the computer and restart, then that would be enough time "warm up" and I won't be able to get BSOD unless I turn off the comp, and let it rest for an hour to get it back to "cold" or non warm.

I am going to run the Seagate dos diagnostic tool later. However, I am noting that the drive passed all the windows diagnostic test.

Thanks people for your expertise, and keep posting. My husband is even less knowledgeable with computers than me, and I don't want to take this to a computer shop b/c the computer was built cheap so it not worth it. So this is helping me a lot.

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July 1, 2009 at 15:03:50
If you can't find a setting like I described then don't worry about it. Every BIOS is a little different.

The main thing to do is to run Sea tools. If it would be easier for you there is a Sea Tools for Windows. You wouldn't need to make a disk then. Double Click on the link at the bottom of this response and it will take you to the correct screen.

Double Click on the blue link for Sea Tools for Windows and then follow the instructions. When Sea Tools finishes it will give you a report saying the drive passed or failed. If passed then we can try to help you with your software problem.

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July 2, 2009 at 03:10:36
OtheHill, I have tried both the windows and dos seagate test. It says it passes the long and short tests. So where do I go from here? I am still suspicious of the drive b/c it gives a NTDLR missing error sometimes if I don't warm up. That usually is a hard drive problem right?

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July 2, 2009 at 05:01:36
Not necessarily. The test was the first step in troubleshooting. There are software reasons for that error but they shouldn't be dependent on warming up the computer.

So you had that same error with a different motherboard? That may rule out a poor connection somewhere.

Did you look at the link jam posted? Double click on it to view the article.

Is you hard drive an IDE type or a SATA type?

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July 3, 2009 at 19:37:47
Yeah, actually this is an exchanged motherboard. Same model , but both were new.

Yes, the link is where I got dos and windows seagate test from. And they both pass the long and short test.

This is a SATA drive.

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