I've got a Seagate ST3160023A 7200RPM 160gb hard drive (since dec 2004 now) and i've always have a problem regarding my first and last partitions. It seems that if there's too much stuff on one partition, the other one will get corrupt.
My partitions are set up like this:
C: (Boot) 20GB NTFS
D: (Windows) 20GB NTFS (Format C: jokes pwned!)
E: (DATA1) 60GB NTFS
F: (DATA2) 60GB NTFS
After downloading 3Dmark06 (which is a big 570mb installer) onto drive F:, my C: suddenly was inaccessable, also windows was slowing down to an excessive amount that everything was literally crawling. I know the fault is not the installer itself (i do hate Futuremark though), but the hard drive. It's not my motherboard (this has also happened on a ePoX via kt700 mobo with a thunderbird 950mhz).
When C: was fat32, you'd see corrupt, jumbled unreadable filenames. On NTFS, you just simply can't access the partition at all. Note that F: would get corrupt the same way when C: is also containing alot of stuff. D: and E: are not affected at all.
I tried with Block mode off, however that seems to "prevent" it from corrupting while in Windows, however it gets corrupted at a computer restart.
I'm using Windows 2000 Professional, I don't think that's the problem either. It also happened in Ubuntu and Windows ME (ew!) when the drive was FAT32.
Also I have my NTLDR and other boot files backed up on D:, so if C: gets whacked again I can always insert the 2k cd and get into the console and copy those files over to use windows again.
I know this is hardly fun, but if your data is properly backed up, have you ever tried deleting all the partitions and doing a full format? (THere are also ways to restore the drive to it's "as delivered from factory" state, redoing the master boot record, (-fmbr), but I'm not an expert in that area... (I've seen other posts in the proper way to restore one though..)
Your partition scenario needs a little tweaking. Since you're not dual-booting, you SHOULD NOT separate Windows from the boot drive.
"C" 30g with Windows on it.
Do you have a problem starting over?
W2k partitioning during an install works fine. Just create "C" (it's best to work on "D" & "E" in Disk Management after).
On downloading; even though you direct it to a certain folder, the download initially goes to Temporary Internet Files. When completed, it copies over to your "Download" folder. If the location of TIF is on a partition that may be somewhat bloated or highly fragmented, and also with the pagefile, you will get killer slow down crawl.
Set your BIOS back to defaults. You need LBA. The problem is not mobo or hd related.
Make sure your jumper on the Barracuda is set for Master, not Cable Select. And, that you are on the Primary IDE channel. Also, make sure you have an 80 wire cable, NOT 40; blue end into the mobo. I'm assuming it's alone?
i've installed the crashday demo to F:, however halfway through install made windows bsod, restart, and unbootable
however the results are a bit different this time. Drive C: is still there, so are the rest of the partitions, but the boot files on C: are corrupt themselves, so i just had to overwrite them with my backups from D: to get windows to start again
I have just turned on block mode, and turned off ultraDMA, and installed crashday demo again to F:, no sudden serious hd problems. Probably not until later though.
havent checked out that hd stress thing yet.
fun fact: windows defragmentor crashes while analyzing F: