Bootup issues; HDD or other hardware?

June 6, 2009 at 17:34:14
Specs: Windows XP sp2, AMD Athlon 3000+ 4GB RAM
My computer is having some major issues I suspect are caused by some sort of hardware problem.

Some quick background: I switched my computer case about fourth months ago. A couple months later my computer was having problems booting (it would take forever to start up or not at all) and I was getting event error IDs 11 and 51. Sometimes a blue screen would tell me there was a hardware problem or the black screen with white text would say "disk read error." I pressed on the connections inside the case and that fixed it.

Now, about a month or two later, I'm having problems again and getting some of the same error messages. However, a new message has told me that windows\system32\config\system was corrupt or missing. Event IDs are 57, 51 and 11. Sometimes I can boot it up, sometimes only for a little while before it crashes, other times not at all. My video card also seems hot when I touch it, more than just warm, although I dunno if that means anything.

My first thought is my hard drive is failing. I estimate it's between 3 and 6 years old, but I don't remember. It's Seagate. But I wonder how I can pin this down and make sure it's not something else? I also wonder if it could be my hard drive enclosure and not the drive itself?

What sort of tests and checks can I do before I go through getting a new HDD? (All my stuff has been backed up on an external HDD!) Thanks for any help.

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June 6, 2009 at 19:14:52
Try the hard drive testing software from Seagate, it can be found and downloaded at;


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June 6, 2009 at 19:17:40
More than likely your harddrive is failing. You can download the sea tools to do the repair and/or diagnostics testing on the drive from seagate > support. You should match it to the model of harddrive that you have as they have an older version and a new version of the tool..

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June 6, 2009 at 19:35:21
OK, I used the SeaTools diagnostic program I have. The generic short test passed. The generic long test failed. That's probably not good. I also have this program called Astra32 that says my HDD health is "poor."

I'm thinking I should first try a different HDD cable, in case that's the problem, since a lot of error event ID 11 with a disk source seemed to be caused by problems with the HDD cable and/or enclosure, from what I have read. Can I use any HDD cable, like one from an old HDD?

Otherwise, I have heard that Seagate HDDs are very reliable. Mine has lasted several years (my hunch tells me its been 7 but I just can't recall when I got it) so I guess I can buy another at NewEgg or ZipZoomFly.

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July 31, 2009 at 09:13:31
It was apparently a bad hard drive cable. I had the exact same errors with a brand new hard drive. So I replaced the SATA cable and boot times have been fast and no lock-ups or errors in the event viewer.

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