Solved Can a Computer cause a Hard Drive to fail?

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April 22, 2014 at 07:43:13
Specs: Windows XP SP3, Pentium 4, 3.0 GHz/1.0 gb
I have an older (Windows XP, HP DX2000MT) computer sitting here that had a hard drive fail on it. I plugged in another hard drive (old, presumed good) and it didn't recognize it. Plugged another one in (old, presumed good), computer recognized it so I reinstalled XP, all the drivers, etc. The computer started acting "funny" random freezes, etc so I ran a CHKDSK. It shows that this hard drive has bad blocks too. Is this a coincidence? or can the computer itself cause a hard drive to fail? I have a new, in the box, drive that I can put in but I don't want to waste my time or my hard drive if the computer is the problem. Thank you in advance for your help.

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April 22, 2014 at 08:12:45
A hard drive gets bad blocks after considerable use due to wear and tear of the hard drive, these bad blocks are "marked" as unusable so data does not get written to them.
As time progresses, if the hard drive continues to be used, the number of bad blocks will increase so it's unwise to use the drive at all.

There is no reason to worry that a new hard drive will have bad blocks. It's simply wear and tear of the drive which causes them, not the PC itself. Plus, of course, some makes of hard drive are more robust than others as regards wear and tear. I only trust Western Digital hard drives based on my long term experience of the various makes.

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April 22, 2014 at 08:29:54
Hard drives have bad blocks, but they don't present them to the hosted system. If you're getting enough bad blocks that the drive runs out of spares, the drive is dying.

That said, if the SATA / EIDE controller is failing, it can look like the disk is dying. Normally you just loose the hosted drives, though. Testing's easy. Plug the suspect drive into another computer, format, and run chkdsk to look for bad blocks. If it finds them again, the disk's bad.

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April 22, 2014 at 23:06:57
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That DX2000MT originally came with a 40 or 80 gig IDE drive. The bios may not be able to properly recognize a significantly larger drive (if that's what you put in). Also, did you verify the jumpers were set correctly on the added drives?

It's always a good idea to repartition and reformat a drive in the computer in which it's to be used. Did you do that or just use the drive as it was?

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April 23, 2014 at 05:16:25
Thank you all for your comments. Dave, I didn't think about the drive size...that may have been the problem with the first replacement I tried. I did reformat and repartition the one that is currently in there. It is a 40gb but it is used. I am currently running SeaTools for DOS to see if I can repair it. Right now, this computer/hard drive is a curiosity, not a necessity so I have time to try different things.

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April 24, 2014 at 02:20:17
Sometimes bad ram can cause odd problems. I'm not sure if that possibility would affect the SeaTools results.

Anyway, you might want to run memtest and see if any problems show. Here's their site:

You can get an image file there and create a bootable disk. With an older computer like that one you probably don't need the most recent memtest version.

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April 24, 2014 at 09:29:23
I've run Seagate's SeaTools for DOS and did the repair through there as well as run a CHKDSK. The CHKDSK found and moved only 2 bad files. I will let the computer run for a few days. If it doesn't find any more bad blocks, I will shut it down and put it in my stash in case I need it. Thank you all for your help.

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