1 of my Maxtor 40GB IDE pin broken, im quite short that although broken my harddisk still can function. Anyway, when window starting up is quite slow compare to usual. it is broken pin that affect the hardisk performance?
1 time i had this old floppy drive that didnt work cause it had a broken pin.
i used an old soldering iron and melted away the plastic around the top of the pin, then i just soldered the pin back on. and it worked.
if your drive ends up failing, u could try soldering it back, but i dont know how that would affect a HD. also dont use a good soldering iron on plastic, or anything else but solder otherwise its performance will degrade.