Second hard drive failure

February 24, 2011 at 06:57:27
Specs: Windows 7
My hard drive failed last week and I replaced it with a new one. It has worked fine this week until now. Windows has reported repair or replace hard drive before asking me to back up my data. This is driving me nuts! Have you got any ideas what the true problem is? Thanks

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February 24, 2011 at 07:04:51
If this is a desktop computer.....

It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittent, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.

Try another data cable if in doubt.

80 wire data cables must have the proper end connector connected to the mboard IDE header - usually that's blue, but in any case it's the one farther from the middle connector on a 3 connector data cable.

Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)

The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.

The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

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February 24, 2011 at 07:31:52
Thanks for an amazingly quick reply. I'm currently running seatools to get some clarification but unfortunately I have a lap top and am of limited abilities to access and check the connections! I think you are correct with about the connectors but I'm also concerned that it could be overheating and mother board errors. Think I'll book it in to be on the safe side. Thanks for your advice, much appreciated.

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February 24, 2011 at 07:39:05
There is usually no problem with the connection of a hard drive to a laptop unless the laptop has been dropped.You could try re-seating it (remove the main battery and unplug the AC adapter when you do that.)

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