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Hard Drive Dying?


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#1 lakelady

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 09:07 PM

Hi, my mother handed me her Win XP computer 2 weeks ago and I have come to the conclusion that the hard drive may be on it's way out. I'm no expert and seeing the way she was managing her files and the outdated antivirus I think there is still a possibility of infection.

I have noticed in the forums you like to see hijack this reports but I am very skeptical that I will be able to install it on the computer in question as it won't shut down unless you press and hold the power button untill it does! Would a dxdiag report be usefull in distinguishing between an infection and a bad hard disk?

Here are some of the other symptoms:

-one hour startup time
-attempting to open the control panel gives the runDLL32 error and when it closes all desktop icons and the task bar dissappear and your only choice is to hold the power button till it shuts off
-windows explorer stops responding after a couple of mins and gives the runDLL32 error
-Ctrl+Alt+Del causes the Task manager to open and stop responding
-clicking on Properties for the C drive or various other folders either does nothing or the runDLL32 error
-I tried to use the Win XP CD but it just sits there for hours looking like it is trying to reload but the light on the tower never comes on.

After I post this I will start it up and attempt to get a dxdiag report.

I would appreciate any advice I can get!

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 13 February 2008 - 09:47 PM

Exactly how are you trying to use the XP disk?
You need to enter the BIOS and make the CD drive the first boot device. Then with the XP CD, run SFC /scannow
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#3 lakelady

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 12:21 AM

Thank You Garmanma,

I'll try what you suggest and will get back to you with the results. Probably won't be till tomorrow since I am working on 2 computers with one monitor and will need to switch over again!

#4 lakelady

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 01:08 AM

OH NO! BIG PROBLEM!!

I just read the instructions more closely and I can't log on as an administrator! The computer locks up (Freezes) when you try to shut down it won't even give you the usual options to restart or switch users and it is set up to automatically start in mom's non-administrator account.

2 years ago my mother's administrative rights were taken away from her by her, now deceased, husband because she found Add/Remove Programs and removed EVERYTHING that said it was either used rarely or not in 6 months! I'm sure you understand the mess that created!

When I read BIOS in your post I assumed (silly me) I could do this even before Windows fully loaded. Any further advice? I'm still kinda new at this so detailed instructions for the BIOS would be VERY much appreciated!

Also, I do have the original XP CD but the product key isn't writen on it so if I format the drive and try to start over I'll have to purchase the program again... seems pointless to me to spend that much money on a program that will not be supported for much longer! Is there any way to rescue the product code so I could reload on to the clean drive if it is still a useable drive?

Or should I just wait till the ice on the lake thaws and throw it in???

#5 usasma

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 08:46 AM

You can recover the product key using this free program: http://www.gtopala.com/index.html
Write it down and save it in a safe place (so mom can't delete it :thumbsup:

Take a look at the hard drive and find out the name of the manufacturer. Go to their website and download a diagnostic utility for the hard drive from them. If you can't find one, post back with the make and model of the drive and we'll recommend some other free testing utilities.

Once you're sure that the hard drive isn't failing, then you can move on to other fixes.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#6 lakelady

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 02:17 PM

Awesome Thank You!!

The SIW has worked and I now have some info to work with.
I will be looking for a Diagnostic Utility for Maxtor 2B020H1.

Thanks Again, I'll be back soon.

#7 usasma

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 02:26 PM

Maxtor was acquired by SeaGate. Here's a link to their software: http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?loca...000dd04090aRCRD
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#8 lakelady

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 04:01 PM

OK I ran the diagnostic program you mentioned above and these are the results:

Short Drive Self Test - Fail
Long Drive Self Test - Fail
Short Generic - Pass
Long Generic - Fail

I did not do any advanced tests due to the warning and my experience level.
Does this mean the test failed or the hard drive failed the test?

#9 usasma

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 04:54 PM

The drive is dying and is nearly dead. If you can still get into Windows backup everything now!!!

Hard drives are fairly cheap and easy to replace. Just make sure to get a compatible drive and have the restore disks ready. Post back here for detailed instructions once you're ready.

The short tests generally test a selection of areas on the disk, while the long tests test the entire disk. So, it's possible to pass the short test and fail the long test (has happened to me twice at work) - but if the long test fails, then the drive is dead or will be dead very soon.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#10 lakelady

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 06:03 PM

Thank You for helping me to solve this question!

I'll have to ask Mom what she would like me to do. I do have another hard drive or two around here somewhere. What exactly has to be compatible?

The nearest computer store is a 2 hour drive from here so I will need to be well prepared before I go as returning a wrong purchase is quite the ordeal!

As for backing up every thing; I did that 2 weeks ago just in case! I wish I had of found this site then it would have made this a lot less painfull!

Thanks Again! You have been a big help!

#11 usasma

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 06:21 PM

They've got to be the same size physically (so they'll fit in the case and be able to be screwed down. The standard desktop drive is 3.5" wide, while the standard laptop drive is 2.5" wide.

They'll have to be the same interface - either IDE or SATA. The IDE drives have a (roughly) 1.5" wide cable that attaches to the drive. The SATA drive has a cable that's roughly .25" wide.

The capacity of the hard drive has to be large enough to install XP on (a 5 gB or larger will work).

And, of course, the recovery CD's. If you don't have the recovery CD's, but do have an XP installation CD - you'll have to gather the drivers for the computer before it'll be fully operational. Let us know the make and model of the system (or the make and model of the motherboard if it's custom built) and we can help you look up the proper drivers to download.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#12 usasma

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 06:25 PM

Almost forgot about the IDE drives!!!

The position on the cable is important - if it's on the end, the replacement should go on the end.
The drive will have a "jumper" on the end near the cables - make sure to look at the diagram on the old drive to see if it's set for:
- Master (M)
- Slave (S)
- Cable Select (CS)

Then check the new drive and make sure that the jumper is set the same (the setting may be different on the new drive - so check the diagram). Worst case, give us the make and model of the new drive and we'll see what we can figure out.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#13 lakelady

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 08:32 PM

Ok, I only have the XP disk (no recovery) so here goes with the Mother Board info that I got from the System Information Program.

Manufacturer - Micro-star International Co., Ltd.
Model - MS-6738
Chipset Vendor - VIA Technologies Inc.
Chipset Model - VT8375 ProSavage DDR PM266 / KM266 CPU to PCI Bridge
South Bridge - VT8235 PCI to ISA Bridge

I have a drive that is compatible but it has HP Pavilion Windows ME on it and I don't remember how to format it (it's been about 15 years since I had to do this without a Recovery disk to do it for me.)

I have already tried this drive in Mom's computer but I just get a blue screen. Currently this drive is up and running on it's original setup (motherboard is not upgradeable and it is to slow to run the OS and a good antivirus at the same time)

Any suggestions?

#14 lakelady

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Posted 14 February 2008 - 09:14 PM

Oops I forgot to mention the new drive is a Quantum Fireballict20 30 it`s a 30GB

#15 usasma

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 04:56 PM

If the drive is hooked up correctly, then you can boot from the XP disk to start formatting it.

Here's a link to the drivers for that motherboard: http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=do...amp;prod_no=527

You'll probably also have to give us information for any cards that are plugged into the motherboard (rather than built into it) - but that'll be easier to figure out once you've installed all the drivers from the MSI page above.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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