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Malfunctioning Hard Drive freezes, won't format

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by njuneardave, Apr 14, 2008.

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  1. njuneardave

    njuneardave Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
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    So, I bought a used Hitachi 250GB Deskstar HDD from a coworker last week. I originally installed the HDD into the SATA1 port (with my main HDD, a WD 74GB Raptor in SATA0). Windows wouldn't boot, however. I went into my BIOS and saw that my Raptor was listed as "Secondary Master." My CD-ROM was listed as Primary Slave. I tried to set my Raptor as Primary Master, but the BIOS wouldn't let me.... when I tried to select the HDD from a list, no list appeared. I didn't pay attention to the setting for the Deskstar, though.... rather, I simply plugged it into the SATA 2 port. When I booted, everything worked fine. I checked the BIOS again, and it listed the Raptor as "Secondary Master" and the Deskstar as like... "Fourth Master." I couldn't set either as a primary master or primary slave. But, it worked, so I went to My Computer -> Manage -> Disk Management and formatted the new Deskstar.

    The format was uneventful, and everything worked fine. I moved some files over the the Deskstar HDD and installed a couple games. However, I noticed that my computer would completely FREEZE for about 30-60 seconds at a time.... usually when accessing the Deskstar. Nothing would respond.... it was like the Deskstar HDD took all of the computer resources and froze up. So, when I tried to boot into a game, the long stall would cause games to bomb from inactivity. The freezing was annoying enough, and I googled for a fix but found nothing like my problem. During the freeze, the HDD LED on my case would be solidly lit the entire time. On top of that, some games would not run because of bad referenced memory. I would get errors that would kick me out of games referencing bad memory. Whenever I would reboot windows, i would get the disk consistency check, and it would just freeze while doing the error checking. I would let the consistency check run, but it appeared to get stuck at like 3% of error checking, and after 45 minutes, it would still be stuck. Apparently there is a bad sector of memory that it was trying to fix... although unsuccessfully.

    So, I decided to reformat. However, when I tried to reformat, Windows said it was 100% complete, but I would get a pop-up box that said "drive format failed" with no other supporting information. So, now, I can't do anything with the drive... I can't reformat it, and I can't access it.


    Does anyone have some words of wisdom?
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2003
    Messages:
    51,988
    MemScope (Floppy and CD images.)
    Microsoft Memory Test (floppy or CD ISO image)
    Memtest86

    If you have enough memory sticks, you can test them by removing one at a time and see if the problem disappears.

    But if you had no problems before, just try removing the memory and re-seating it. It may have gotten tapped in the drive installation process.

    If you are pretty sure the drive is at fault:

    Free Hard Drive Testing Applications:
    HD Tune
    CheckDisk 1.03 (Marks bad sectors as unusable.)
    HDAT2 (Diagnostics and bad sector recovery)
    MHDD Low-level Diagnostics
    Bootable Hitachi Drive Fitness Test Floppy or CD Image (works on most drives)

    Hard Drive Manufacturers' Diagnostic Utilities Links:
    TachTech
    BleepingComputer
     
  3. kev1952

    kev1952

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    351
    Words of woe would be more like it! :eek: It sounds very much like the drive is dead (or dying). Have you tried booting the system up with only a CD drive and the Desktar connected up (boot from the Windows CD)? Try that and see if Windows setup can successfully format it.

    You may also like to go to the manufacturer's website (here) and download the diagnostic tools they have for their drives. The tools will give you the most reliable indications of drive problems.
     
  4. njuneardave

    njuneardave Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    thanks for the tips. i will give the HDD test apps a shot tonight... and if that doesn't work, try the windows boot.
     
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