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Unique second internal drive situation / question.

Last response: in Storage
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January 13, 2010 1:52:00 AM

I have a Dell Dimension. A while ago, my girlfriend's mother gave me her Dell Dimension, though it was a year or two newer and dubbed an XPS. (It has the same exact body and mine, though I am not sure if the motherboard and all were identical). I took the hard drive from it and installed it into the second slot of my machine. After I started up for the first time, it ran through some process, I guess resigning stuff - I don't really know exactly what it did (security IDs maybe? I don't know) - either way, it worked well, and I have been using it as a second drive since.

Last night I ran into some major trouble with my machine. It seemed to have been the fault of the original drive. Chkdsks weren't completing and it just wasn't booting. Only option I really had was to do a complete restore. Before I did, I removed the second drive because this is where I keep all of my important files... and there are a lot of them. One of the hard-drive tests I did told me that this second drive had no problems, so I am not concerned in that respect.

After the restore, of course, I began the process of downloading the necessary programs and getting things back in order. A short while into that, I actually ran into the same exact trouble that led me to restore the first time. This really worried me and had me convinced my original drive had seen it's last days. Though, I was confused as to why it would have worked like it should after the restore if it was faulty. In my mind, whatever was causing it not to load in the first place either should make it not able to load all of the time or it wasn't necessarily a hardware issue.

I restored a second time, and this time immediately scanned for spyware and viruses. Not much really popped up. I also downloaded some utilities to clean up the registry and ran those.

Now I have no idea what the hell the problem was. I never thought any kind of infection could really persist after restoring things back to factory conditions, but I guess it is possible. It was strange though, because before the system failed, it started really lagging and I checked the processes and it showed me nothing to be responsible. On top of that, the virus and spyware scan found nothing, as well as hijack this and anything else I tried to use.

As of right now, things seem to be all right. I've been nervously downloading programs again. I did all the necessary Windows disabling.. I installed a firewall and an antivirus and I guess (or I hope) my problem is over.

My situation now is how to go about reinserting the second drive. Will my computer recognize it as it did before the failures? If it doesn't, is it going to automatically wipe the drive?

I simply can not afford to lose any of the files on this drive. I installed this second drive and only saved the important info to it as a way to protect me in situations like this. I am nervous about plopping it back in there.

I am just not knowledgeable enough to know what kind of process the system goes through when it sees a new drive. I'm hoping it just does what it does and leaves the data alone. I really need to get back to work, and this has me at a complete stand-still.

If anyone's able to help me out, thanks in advance.
a b G Storage
January 13, 2010 11:56:58 PM

awipoefnka said:
I have a Dell Dimension. A while ago, my girlfriend's mother gave me her Dell Dimension, though it was a year or two newer and dubbed an XPS. (It has the same exact body and mine, though I am not sure if the motherboard and all were identical). I took the hard drive from it and installed it into the second slot of my machine. After I started up for the first time, it ran through some process, I guess resigning stuff - I don't really know exactly what it did (security IDs maybe? I don't know) - either way, it worked well, and I have been using it as a second drive since.

Last night I ran into some major trouble with my machine. It seemed to have been the fault of the original drive. Chkdsks weren't completing and it just wasn't booting. Only option I really had was to do a complete restore. Before I did, I removed the second drive because this is where I keep all of my important files... and there are a lot of them. One of the hard-drive tests I did told me that this second drive had no problems, so I am not concerned in that respect.

After the restore, of course, I began the process of downloading the necessary programs and getting things back in order. A short while into that, I actually ran into the same exact trouble that led me to restore the first time. This really worried me and had me convinced my original drive had seen it's last days. Though, I was confused as to why it would have worked like it should after the restore if it was faulty. In my mind, whatever was causing it not to load in the first place either should make it not able to load all of the time or it wasn't necessarily a hardware issue.

I restored a second time, and this time immediately scanned for spyware and viruses. Not much really popped up. I also downloaded some utilities to clean up the registry and ran those.

Now I have no idea what the hell the problem was. I never thought any kind of infection could really persist after restoring things back to factory conditions, but I guess it is possible. It was strange though, because before the system failed, it started really lagging and I checked the processes and it showed me nothing to be responsible. On top of that, the virus and spyware scan found nothing, as well as hijack this and anything else I tried to use. You didn't find anything, and you restored windows - you did not re-format and perform a clean install. It is possible that you have a boot sector virus - google results for removing boot sector virus is here.

As of right now, things seem to be all right. I've been nervously downloading programs again. I did all the necessary Windows disabling.. I installed a firewall and an antivirus and I guess (or I hope) my problem is over.

My situation now is how to go about reinserting the second drive. Will my computer recognize it as it did before the failures? YES, assuming there is no boot sector virus - or you removed it. If it doesn't, is it going to automatically wipe the drive? No, you have to format or wipe for that to occur, assuming there is no boot sector virus - or you removed it..

I simply can not afford to lose any of the files on this drive. I installed this second drive and only saved the important info to it as a way to protect me in situations like this. I am nervous about plopping it back in there.

I am just not knowledgeable enough to know what kind of process the system goes through when it sees a new drive. I'm hoping it just does what it does and leaves the data alone. I really need to get back to work, and this has me at a complete stand-still.

If anyone's able to help me out, thanks in advance.

see above
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January 14, 2010 1:17:47 AM

Before noticing your reply, I went ahead and installed my second internal drive. Windows recognized it and everything went smoothly.

As to the boot sector virus, I haven't had any problems since the second restoration of Windows. Hopefully everything is back to normal now. I am just happy knowing my files were/are safe residing in my second drive.

Thanks for your help.
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l
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