Completely corrupt hard drive - XP SP 1's fault?

  Solgoth 03:33 06 May 2006

My new PC, which I built in late March, yesterday become completely and utterly corrupted, to the extent that the hard drive had to be reformated. I lost some recent things and some photographs completely and it's going to take me ages to get back and organise the 100gb or so of photographs I have on other computers and DVDs.

My friend was using it to play a game, when it locked up. On reboot it wouldn't boot up at all. Reloading the registry from the last known working setting thing just made it worse.

Eventually tried to reinstall windows XP over the current installation, but this didn't work because the version of windows doesn't recognise drives bigger than 137gb and screwed things up further trying to treat it as if it was a smaller drive than it is. So I had to start again and format the whole thing.

My drive is a new Western Digital 250gb SATA II drive. Having had a quick search of the microsoft website it seems possible that using service pack 1 with a drive bigger than 137gb was what caused the problem. Service pack 1 supports hard drives bigger than 137gb in general but according to the site:

"You may experience hard disk corruption when Windows XP writes a memory dump file as a result of an unrecoverable Windows error (or Stop error)"

this is because

"The ATAPI driver for Windows XP Service Pack 1 (SP1) does not use 48-bit Logical Block Addressing (LBA) when it writes memory dump files or hibernation files."

However, I'd like to know if anyone else has had this problem or if I could have some more serious underlying problem here. I take it it would apply to a SATA drive too? Anyone else been using a drive bigger than 137gb with no problems with service pack 1?

I hate thinking that this might randomly happen again.

  AndySD 03:44 06 May 2006

Why not just update your disk to SP2 (its called slipstreaming and there is a free program click here that will help you to do this or manualy click here )

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