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Old 04-19-2012, 03:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Are my hard drives broken?

Please can someone help me?

I had a 250GB (Samsung IDE) hard drive in my computer as a back up drive to a 500GB (Maxtor IDE).

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line the 250GB drive lost its format and showed up as ‘Local Drive (D’ under ‘My Computer’.

When I clicked onto it, I got a warning box saying that it was not formatted and do I want to format it? As it had a lot of data on it I didn’t format it and looked into retrieving the data, which I have now managed to do through some external data recovery software.

Very soon after my main 500GB drive started playing up as well so I swapped it over with an original 80GB IDE hard drive that I had sitting in a drawer. I have re-installed Windows XP (SP3) on this 80GB and it is currently working fine.


I have since re-formatted the 250GB drive (of which I had a little trouble with at first but eventually managed to do with my original ‘boot-up disc’ followed buy a ‘quick’ format then again by a ‘full’ format). I have also just managed to re-installed Windows XP on this drive but if I use it as a single drive instead of the 80GB, it sometimes doesn’t boot up at all and my PC can’t see the drive (under the PC Bios setup it says ‘unknown drive’). The computer then freezes.

My problem is that I don’t really want to keep the 80GB as my main drive as it is 8 years old and with today’s requirements I would prefer a larger hard drive but both the 250GB and the 500GB seem to have problems at the moment and I don’t know if they are permanent hardware issues or whether they can be repaired – the fact that the 250GB lost its format and the fact that I had problems reformatting it as well as it not being recognised leads me to think that there is a long term problem.

Both the 250GB and 500GB drives also seem to take longer than normal to load Windows XP from ‘power-on’ (2-3mins) and a scanning bar appears soon after power-on (for about a minute) just before the ‘Windows XP’ logo comes up – this implies it is scanning/checking the hard drive for something (possible errors??). These are newly formatted drives with just Windows XP loaded – no other software yet! where as my 80GB takes only 20secs with several other applications/software.

Are the hard drives on their way out or is there anything I can do to stabilize them?

My PC is a Dell Inspiron 2400 which is about 8 years old and apart from what has happened recently it has been quite reliable.

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Old 04-20-2012, 05:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Are my hard drives broken?

I would recommend getting a new drive and some better windows software. Like Vista or 7. What you are describing sounds like the drive is getting old and is developing Bad Sectors which usually cannot be repaired so just go and get a new drive and you should be fine.
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