My computer will not boot up. I have now altered the setup to boot first from CDROM and inserted the XP disc. It goes through the motions up to "Do you want to install XP or repair etc" and whatever option is selected, it re-boots and takes me back to the same screen.
When I put my HD into another machine as a slave, I can see and access all the files so I'm assuming that the HD is not at fault (otherthan not booting up my machine!). Someone suggests it might be the motherboard: is there a way of checking before I go down that road?
If it's the hardware of the drive - the part that boots - that has failed then the disk will not be usable except as a slave. When you connect it as a slave to extract your files, you may find that it will become usable as a master again, just for one or two boots. In my experience, the process of accessing a drive whose boot hardware has failed can breath some life into it. Don't ask me how, but it often does. But like I say, you'll only get one or two boots before it fails again, and it will be permanent then, so don't rely on it.
The two most common causes of this kind of damage are, in my experience, a power cut or mishandling of the drive during fitting. If you expose a hard-disk to static charge, it will often appear to be unharmed, but the lifespan will have been severly compromised.
If it is the boot sector that is at fault, then you are lucky and you should follow Fruitbat's advice to try to repair it.
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