There's a lot of different ways that this is possible. I'm able to discuss some of them, but others are just a mystery to me.
There are many different reasons for a hard drive to die (I don't know all of them)
Some will cause the hard drive to stop working immediately.
Others will start spitting errors out - and the error correcting mechanisms on the drive and in Windows will help to sort out the errors.
What you'll see in this case is intermittent errors, and problems performing operations.
For example, if the hard drive is having trouble reading, the system will recheck the results of the read as many times as needed to ensure that it has the correct data.
In doing so you may wait a long time before an operation can complete.
Depending on where and what type errors you have, if some of them are in the beginning of the drive the system may not even be able to mount the drive. Hence the "unmountable boot volume.
It's possible that other things can cause this - but the failed HDD test is suggestive of a hard drive problem and the extended/long test will help to confirm/rule this 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
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