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Ide Controller Bad? How To Tell?


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#1 davec1000

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 07:31 PM

I have an MSI dual proc mobo (694D Pro) that is probably 5-6 years old now. Recently had an HD failure (one of the IBM drives that people had trouble with). Since then I have not been able to successfully get Windows reinstalled and running consistently. I thought I had the problem licked by changing the cable, but I was half way through a Windows XP reinstall and when Windows went to reboot I got a BIOS msg of HD failure. I had hoped to baby this mobo for another year. It is, most of the time, acceptably fast for what I need. Am I missing something obvious here? Or should I start looking around for a new mobo. Anandtech had nice things to say about the Intel Pentium D 805, at New Egg for $130. Before I go shopping I want to exhaust all opportunities. I'm actually kind of attached to this setup.

BTW dealing with Microsoft after trying several installs is a real pain. First you get a msg saying you've exceeded your activations, please call MSFT. Then you have to enter a jillion numbers while they check you out, then transfer you someplace where you enter more numbers then finally transfer you to India where they politely grill you (they don't seem to care what you say as long as you say you're only installing on one computer). Finally they give you something like an 80 digit number to enter to unlock the thing. And she said I would have to go through the same thing again if I upgrade the mobo. Sheesh!

And don't tell me to use Linux. I've been trying out Knoppix from a DVD and I love it, but I'm not ready to give up on XP yet. This may be the last, however. I'm not planning to go to Vista. Hm, is GIMP as good as Photoshop?

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#2 rigel

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 11:00 PM

I would run the manufacturers diagnostics on the hard drive. Here is a great post that lists many links: Diags You can also contact MSI and ask if they have any utility/diags that you can download: MSI

SpeedFan is free. It will give the S.M.A.R.T status of the drive.

If you have another hard drive close, temporarily swap it. Last thing, make sure all is snug, no bent pins, and jumpers are set correctly.

Good Luck,

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#3 acklan

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 11:08 PM

I know this will sound simplistic but have you changed the motherboard battery recently? A bad battery can cause your BIOS setting to become unstable leading to erratic behavior with your computer.
Personally I find Windows 2000 Professional as good as XP for my needs. I am not saying it is better than XP Home or Professional, but that it fits all my needs without the complex installation when upgrading.
If you like Knoppix, try Puppy Linux. If you do try the multisession version so you do not have to install or place files on your HD.
I just started using GIMP about a week ago. I find it fairly easy to use.
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#4 Herk

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 09:41 AM

And always change the cables before you do something really drastic. They do fail. And there's a way to save your activation and reuse it when you reinstall - should work as long as the hardware is the same or nearly so.

#5 davec1000

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Posted 02 May 2006 - 01:24 PM

thanks for all the help. I'll try to find a diagnostics program. The battery is fairly new, but I'm suspicious and I'll take the advice to replace it. I did replace the cables and have tried swapping out drives. That's what is so frustrating. Thanks also for the advice on saving an activation. That was new info to me.




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