Last year (May) I upgraded to a Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA HDD. PC normally runs full time (family machine), except for update reboots. Two mornings ago, when I swiped away the screen saver, the screen was black and there was a responsive mouse pointer. I did a cold reboot with the power button, and following the normal MoBo screen I was hit with a "disk read error - press Control+Alt+Delete to restart". I tried once with no success, then I tried to look at the BIOS set-up. I changed nothing, and the boot went to the WinXP-Pro splash screen (with the scrolling blue dots). It seemed like it was trying to start (the scrolling blue dots would slow and pause) but then it would start again. This repeated 3 or 4 times before I realized that it was not going to boot.
I have since, checked all of the power cables (all seem to supply power to the HDD) and I have changed the SATA cable from the MoBo to the HDD. None of these has changed the situation. I now get a boot-up screen that lets me chose between SAFE MODE, etc., etc. When I chose normal mode, the screen just hangs (the counter stops counting down). If I chose SAFE MODE, then I get a long list of (what appear to be) DOS commands of SYS files, then it hangs.
I still have my old WD 120GB IDE/ATAPI HDD that I upgraded from, so I installed it as the master (jumper set to "master", not "cable select") and replugged the Seagate HDD into a slave port on the MoBo. When I started, I went to the BIOS set-up to be sure that both HDDs were being detected and that they were configured properly (they are). After I exited BIOS, then result was the same as the previous description (hang in Normal, DOS commands & hang in SAFE).
I'm wondering if I have a bad MoBo, since the HDD change did not seem to work.
My current config is thus: WinXP-Pro SP3
Old HDD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822144118
New HDD: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4682319
While I realize that I may be limping along on this self-built machine: I'd really like to get my data back.
Note: I have not attempted a Windows Repair. But, knowing that I'm not booting from either HDD, is that a moot point.
Thanks in advance for your help.