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Time for new hard drive?

warb 14 839
7 Sep 2004 7:26PM
another question for the 'help' section :o)

it's happened before and it happened again this afternoon, my comp froze, so i restart and i cant get past the setup screens, asking for system disk etc, when i check in the bios my hard drive isn't there. after hours of hair pulling and fiddling and restarting it has somehow decided to work and come on, but for how long i dont know.

anyone heard of this before? im doing a virus scan right now, is it just that my hard drive is on its way out?

thanks very much for your help.

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warb 14 839
7 Sep 2004 7:48PM
anyone please? i may not have long :o\
mdpontin 13 6.0k Scotland
7 Sep 2004 7:53PM
Hi Warb,

Just wondering - it's possible that it could be the backup battery. This is the power source for your system clock and your BIOS settings, etc., while the computer is switched off. If that's dying, possibly because it hasn't been charging properly, then it could produce symptoms like you describe. It should be relatively inexpensive to replace too.

Are you hearing/seeing any unusual disk activity or anything like that? Have you been able to run scandisk or something similar?


(Edit: Sorry, should have addressed you as Dan!)
davidhagen 14 168
7 Sep 2004 7:55PM
wish i could help ya, maybe you can update your BIOS? good luck warb. get your data backed up asap!
hope it all works out for you. dave
wing 14 456 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2004 7:57PM
I've seen a few hard drives go and they all showed the symptoms you described.

If you don't fancy a full re-install onto a fresh hard drive, you could always get a copy of Drive Copy, Drive Image or Ghost and copy the contents of your hard drive across onto a new hard drive, before it finally gives up.

sophiehw 14 382
7 Sep 2004 8:05PM
If the disk is on its way out then it seems odd for such a catastrophic failure of the disk to right itself.

I assume the disk hasn't been doing impressions of a vacuum cleaner, like my laptop did just before it died?

Have you checked the cables between the disk and the motherboard are seated firmly?

Whatever the explanation, it's time to make sure the backups of your photos are up to date!
warb 14 839
7 Sep 2004 8:14PM
thanks all very kind. yup, back ups are under way, check! cables seem fine, check!, yeh everything seems fine doug. next stop, new battery, check, new hard drive...check!
Big Bri 16 16.3k United Kingdom
7 Sep 2004 8:19PM
I was having a very similar problem with my kids' PC. 3 times out of 4 it would tell me there was no bootable partition / system drive.
I thought it was the end of the disk, but on closer inspection of my (rather shoddy) handiwork, I discovered that I had installed the CD on a different IDE type than the hard disk. When I saw it, I thought it must be something other than IDE, but the CD did work.
Anyway, I switched the IDE cable so it was connected to the IDE socket on the motherboard next to the one the hard disk was connected to, and not a single problem since.
deviant 14 3.1k 1 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2004 8:31PM
Danny if you are stuck mail me at home and i'll give you a number to call. I'll happily help you along...
deviant 14 3.1k 1 United Kingdom
7 Sep 2004 8:32PM
...I'm awfull good at fixing these things.
csurry 16 9.2k 92
8 Sep 2004 8:19AM
Hi Danny if you do need to do a ghost, etc to install a new hard-drive take heart. I managed to do this the other day when I finally got feed up of chkdsk starting itself every other time I rebooted. Very annoying and kept finding bits to trash etc. Disk was quite old and I do a lot of work, so I wasn't too disappointed.

Anyway I put in a much larger drive and using Maxtors MaxBlast 3 everything was automated, the partioning and the copying of data. Have to admit it didn't work first time (or even second). I think if you read up the software is a bit hit and miss but it worked eventually. I've trashed the old hard-drive now and put in a secondary drive as well.

What I am trying to say is if I can do it, anyone can.

dwjones 14 232 United Kingdom
8 Sep 2004 9:21AM
When it couldn't find your hard drive did you notice if the time on your computer was wrong also ? If so then it would be your BIOS battery.

If not, check your cables again. Do you have another device on the same IDE cable CD,DVD etc.
Try moving the other device onto the other IDE cable if you have/can.

Hope this helps,

warb 14 839
8 Sep 2004 9:31AM
thanks cheryl, david.

i think the time was ok, i do also have my cd drive on the same cable so will give that a try.
sabretalon 13 1.9k United Kingdom
8 Sep 2004 10:29AM
Warb, have you found it freezing in memory hungry programs like photoshop?
trahern 14 863 United Kingdom
8 Sep 2004 12:58PM
I bet it's bloody cold there.

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