Hard Drive failed or not

  billyliv 00:33 01 Feb 2006

Hi All, Called into my local club tonight to see the football ( The wife was 65 today and was having a bit of a party with her pals ) and was asked to look at their office computer. Switch on computer, Opening screen We apolagise for the inconvenience Etc. Given options for Safe mode Last known Etc. problem is, no matter what option is used the computer will not go past the opening screen. ie. In safe mode the first screen come up and STOPS. In last known Etc. It comes up with the Windows XP home Edition and it stays there ( Green dots flashing across the bar ). There is no sound whatsoever from the hard drive and the hard drive indicator light isn't showing. The hard drive is a Maxtor. ( I have had Maxtor drives fail suddenly for no reason ). Would you agree that the drive has failed?. I know that I can download MAXBLAST4 onto floppy to test it. But my initial reaction is, The Hard Drive is dead. I am also aware that I can load the said drive into another computer as a slave drive and hopefully read the contents.
The said computer has never been connected to the internet. Cheers Bill

  goonerbill © ® 02:10 01 Feb 2006

if you are able to get partly into windows, ie welcome screen splash etc, i doubt very much if its a hard drive problem (not saying that it is not), sounds like a windows problem, corrupt file maybe or that the hard drive is taking ages to access the boot info from the drive (as you point out the green lights still flash across the bar which shows that windows is doing something) due to fragmentation.

  madPentium 02:13 01 Feb 2006

It does sound strange to me , I mean the drive seems to be alive and working up to a certain point. I have never had a drive work and stop dead after a few seconds, only to revive again on reboot. All have died and stayed dead.
It also seems strange in that the hard drive activity light stays off, usually it will keep flickering and a clicking sound will be heard where the heads keep retrying to read the data.
I would run the maxtor diag software to see if there are any faults as a first step, but it doesnt sound to me like the drive has a mechanical fault. Just as a matter of interest, has anything in the bios been changed? did the computer ask for a time and date or anything indicating the battery being low and settings being lost?
There has only been one time I had a situation the same as yours, and that was when I had a dvd in the drive which it couldnt read. I forgot it was in there and the windows xp screen just stayed there because it couldnt initialise the dvd drive. It was the same in safe mode.

  billyliv 17:25 01 Feb 2006

Hi goonerbill and madpentium, The maxtor diagnostics confirmed what I had suspected.(The hard drive is failing.) Unfortunately, the drive was so badly affected it was impossible to read any data when it was installed as a slave in another machine. A new hard drive and re-installation has got the computer up and running. I also said to the club secretary that data can be recovered at a cost from specialised companys if the data on the faulty drive is regarded as important. Needless to say the club is now embarking on a backing up system. Thanks for your input. Cheers, Bill

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