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PC loses connection iwth hard drive


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#1 anonanon

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 05:34 PM

I have a three year old custom built PC running Windows XP (SP 3). Six months ago, and then three times this week, the OS hung and I could do nothing but force it to shut down with the power switch. Bootup not possible; it hung after the first screens.

What fixed it was this: disconnecting and then reconnecting the two cables that go into the hard drive that contains the OS, at the hard drive. I guess one is for power, the other for data. Then it booted up normally.

The hanging problem is not related to movement or vibration; once it happened when I was out of the room.

The third time I got the problem and tried the solution, it didn't work. Then disconnecting the cable that connects the hard drive to the motherboard at the motherboard (I guess that would be the data cable) fixed it.

I wouldn't mind doing this every six months, but if it's going to be a daily chore, I'd like to figure out what's wrong.

I have a few hypotheses and maybe you have others: the cable is bad; one or both connectors on the cable are bad; there's a problem with the hard drive that gets fixed when the cable is disconnected and reconnected.

What would you suggest doing to diagnose or try to fix this? If the next best step is to replace that cable, what is it called and how do I make sure I'm getting the right type?

Thanks,
Roger Karapin

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 01:32 PM

IME...that can happen with the older SATA data cables, the newer ones either have locking devices or just fit more securely.

You should be able to go to Event Viewer and find a number of input/output errors re the hard drive.

Replacing the cables with newer ones was my solution.

As a precautionary procedure...I would run the appropriate hard drive diagnostic on the drive.

Louis

#3 Spydiggity

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:42 AM

Having the very same problem. To resolve, all I have to do is remove the side panel and touch the cable going into my SSD drive (where the OS is installed) and then it's fine for another day. Very irritating. I'm convinced that the mild vibrations from the fans is what is eventually loosening it. Just doesn't seem as if the cable is coming loose enough to justify the failure. Will try a new cable and possibly getting a 2.5-3.5" adapter.

#4 anonanon

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 12:10 PM

Dear Hamluis,

Thanks for the suggestions.

I don't think there are any input/output errors in the Event Viewer. On each of the recent days where the OS hung, the only error reported in the Event Viewer is that the hard disk "has a bad block". But it also reports this error from time to time when I didn't have the problem.

Does this still point to a loose cable being the source of the problem?

Roger


Dear Spydiggity,

What is a 2.5-3.5" adapter and how would that help a loose cable problem?

Roger

#5 hamluis

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 07:57 PM

Well...a bad block on a hard drive...is something to be concerned about, since such is frequently a sign of future problems with that drive.

Louis




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