My self bukt PC has two SATA HHDs and 1 SATA DVD RW drive + 1 IDE DVD RW drive. Suffered a BDS today follwoing which I cannot boot into Windows XP SP3. Normal boot and using last successful boot just continually wraps during the first screen (and the hhd light comes on strongly for half a second, then goes permanently off then suddenly comes on again more weakly); any form of safe mode stops as it lists the driver hotcore3.sys (and the hhd light is is the same); attempting a reinstallation of Windows using either DVD just continually shows 'Setup is starting Windows' (and the hhd light is is the same). To make matters worse, I have a bootable Acronis Trus Image backup of my system but this reoirets that it cannot see either HHD, once again whichever DVD drive I use
On boot-up the BIOS reports both HDDs as S.M.A.R.T. Capable and Status OK
Dead hard drive in my humble opinion. S.M.A.R.T. isn't very good. To be honest I think it's worse than useless. Remove the hard drive to another PC or caddy and either run check disk or use a hard drive manager. Does Acronis have a capable one?
rdave13 - as already mentioned, have managedto read HHD easily in a caddy on my laptop so don't think there is an issue there. I also mentioned thta the system in question is Windows XP SP3
Fruit Bat /\0/\ - ok - i'll try this this afternoon. I forgot to mention that the physical drive has a number of partitions - the primary C: in the primary partition and, in the extended partiton D-K - the second HHD has backups of D and H-K. Fortunately, the crash happened 3 hours AFTER my automatic daily backup.
I have now connected my SATA HHD from the PC via a hopper to my laptop and succeeeded in copying some useful data across, so I'm pretty certain the HHD is OK. However, taking up Fruit Bat's suggestion, I have run chkdsk s: /r (the system drive comes in as s:\ on the laptop and the only problem found was some free space marked as allocated, but I also noticed that the drive was very full so have done some clearing down.
Unfortunately, after all this, there's no change. I fear the worst - a new motherboard.