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Old 03-12-2010, 12:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hard drive controller crashing my drives?

Hi there,
I have an older desktop PC that I'm trying to revive so my kids can use it.

Twice now I've formatted a hard drive, installed the O/S (WinXP), and installed all the software. After a few days, the disk no longer books, with the BIOS complaining there is no boot sector.

I used a different hard drives in each of my tests, and afterward I tested each in an external enclosure, and verified that they were working fine.

I find it extremely unlikely that both drives had random errors precisely in the boot sector. Therefore, I suspect something else is corrupting the boot sector. The hard drive controller?! What else?!

Any thoughts on how to diagnose the problem, or what I can do, would be appreciated.


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Old 03-12-2010, 04:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive controller crashing my drives?

Have you tried swapping the cables, or checking that they're properly seated? I've only ever experienced one instance of an onboard controller issue. You can always circumvent it if it is faulty by fitting a PCI SATA or PATA interface card (I'd choose SATA, you'll get a bit of extra performance, and the drives are cheap - though you might want to just use your existing PATA drives).

Working fine in an external enclosure doesn't really tell you anything. There's no need to access the boot sector whilst it's in there being accessed by an external copy of Windows.

What you need is to download the Ultimate Boot CD and test the drives with the manufacturer's specific tools where possible. You'll want the hard drives to be installed in the PC directly, not through the enclosure.

I hope this helps.
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