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System hangs. Hard drive problem? (Read 2853 times)
alanm
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System hangs. Hard drive problem?
Sep 19th, 2004 at 12:26pm
 
This on my brothers computer, a P4 2.4ghz, 2 WD drives, dual boot, XP Pro. I suspected it to be a hardware problem when it hanged getting into safe mode.

So I disabled various hardware (the CD, network cards, etc) but problem persisted. Then I disabled the other hard drive and this seemed to fix the problem.

I recall having a similar problem in my own system a couple years ago - same symptoms. Unplugged one of the 2 drives and problem fixed.

NONE of the drives in both cases have shown typical HD fail symptoms nor have they failed the manufacturers diagnostic tests. Or is this a "typical" symptom of a drive going bad? Thanks.
 
 
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Re: System hangs. Hard drive problem?
Reply #1 - Sep 19th, 2004 at 1:58pm
 
alanm

Just curious--how did you decide which HDD to disconnect?  I assume it's a secondary HDD without the OS on it.

What was going on with the computer just prior to the 'problem' showing up?  Installing new software, changing settings, Windows froze, or an error message, power surge or outage,...etc.?

Did you hook up the 'bad' HDD again and have the problem return?  (If yes, this possibly points the finger at the HDD.)

Do you have another HDD to hook up in place of the one you removed to the same channel to see if the problem returns?  (If no, then this possibly points the finger at the 'bad' HDD you removed.  If yes, then it may be the HDD Controller.)

Did you try hooking up the 'bad' HDD on other channels and have the problem return?  (If yes, then again it points to the HDD.  If no, then maybe the controller.)

Can you re-partition and reformat the 'bad' HDD and solve the problem that way (sure helps for recovery purposes if there's a recent Ghost image of the HDD available)?

Or, can you 'clone' an image of the 'good' HDD with the OS on it to the 'bad' HDD, put it on the system in place of the 'good' HDD and does it work okay?

Just some different ways you could trouble shoot to see where the problem might be.
 

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alanm
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Re: System hangs. Hard drive problem?
Reply #2 - Sep 19th, 2004 at 2:54pm
 
Since drive 1 (with w98) is rarely used, I disconnected that. Since the boot files are on it, I used a floppy with back up boot files to get into XP in drive 2. And since it worked smoothly with no hanging, I assumed its drive 1.

re the cabling, I was going to check that today but my brother just told me he reconnected the drive and booted and it started making sounds.

The sounds stopped. He's now copying what he needs off the drive now and we'll replace it. Thanks.
 
 
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Re: System hangs. Hard drive problem?
Reply #3 - Sep 19th, 2004 at 2:55pm
 
Since the drivers for the IDE controllers usually come with chipset drivers, try looking for new chipset drivers. A new mainboard bios might also be helpful. But as you say, since the problem still occurs in safe mode, it doen't look like a software conflict.
 
 
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Re: System hangs. Hard drive problem?
Reply #4 - Sep 19th, 2004 at 6:32pm
 
alanm

Quote:
I used a floppy with back up boot files to get into XP in drive 2


Do you have a reference on what files to put on the floppy and how you get WinXP to boot when it's on drive 2 and you have removed drive 1 with the boot files?

Or could you outline the steps?

Thanks.
 

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alanm
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Re: System hangs. Hard drive problem?
Reply #5 - Sep 19th, 2004 at 9:38pm
 
NightOwl wrote on Sep 19th, 2004 at 6:32pm:
alanm


Do you have a reference on what files to put on the floppy and how you get WinXP to boot when it's on drive 2 and you have removed drive 1 with the boot files?

Or could you outline the steps?

Thanks.

Sure. Format the floppy in XP (not W98). Copy these files from the boot drive:

NTLDR
NTDETECT.COM
BOOT.ini
BOOTSECT.DOS (if present)

More info: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;314079

Just boot up with the floppy set as 1st boot device in the bios and it will display the boot.ini contents to choose from.
 
 
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