Narrowing down this Hard Drive Issue

August 21, 2011 at 03:00:55
Specs: Vista 64 Home Premium, Socket 1156
I'm working on a HP desktop with a WD Caviar blue hard drive. It's so weird.. I can boot up and sometimes it wont see the hard drive at all, other times it'll boot right in but freeze up once i do stuff in the operating system, and i've actually gotten it once where I backed up a bunch of files without an issue but towards the end of a malwarebytes scan, it started locking up occasionally.

I've tried startup repair. I've tried chkdsk which tells me the drive cannot be used (forgot the exact error but /x doesn't help). I've tried using third party boot cd's that don't even see the drive. I've tried Western Digital DOS diagnostic which says NO DRIVE found.

Funny thing is this.. I ran Western Digital diag from within Windows Vista while the drive was working and it froze up and said too many errors. I just took the drive, mounted it on an external usb drive mount and hooked it up to my computer, ran that same quick test and it came out fine. What's going on!?

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August 21, 2011 at 04:41:14
With all the symptoms you describe, it sounds like the hard drive is toast. I can't explain the last test in the external enclosure, but odds are it's failing quick. Back up and buy a new one.

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August 21, 2011 at 18:18:41
For anyone keeping track, here's where I'm at:

1) Tested power supply fine
2) Tested memory fine
3) Put in another hard drive, installed windows, and soon after the symptoms came back before I could even boot into Windows.
4) Reset bios and downloaded new bios in an attempt to upgrade it but could not stay in the Operating System long enough
5) I'm guessing at this point the SATA controller just is not working. I mean the CD-ROM drive is connected through SATA and works fine but that may be because it is a much simpler device when compared to a hard drive.

In Summary... motherboard was too expensive so didn't replace it. Tried a PCI-E sata controller but was not being detected since I could not install the drivers. I'm still curious as to whether the motherboard being replaced would have fixed it, I'd say there's a 90+% chance it would have.

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