Hard Drive Problem/Tear In Ribbon

I just put in a new hard drive. I had 120gb, but wanted more space, so put in a 320. I also was recently getting some strange error messages upon bootup that was causing me to think there might be a problem with the 120, since it was a refurbished, not new, drive. Sometimes, it wouldn't allow me to get to the log in screen, sometimes it would...in a word, very 'inconsistent'.
I don't have the wording of the error message right now....if it comes up again(I hope it doesn't), I will include it in a subsequent posting as it may give more information as to what may be wrong.
I've had the 320 in for about 5 days and haven't gotten the error message I was getting with the 120, making me think it was the old hard drive. I did do a chkdsk /f and a chkdsk /r and both came up no problems, so I wasn't sure.
But, unfortunately, when I booted up today, those same strange messages came up with the 320. I decided to take a look inside my machine to see if I could 'see anything' out of the ordinary. Well, all the wires looked okay, but I DID notice a 'tear' in part of the ribbon(I have a desktop IDE hard drive, about 5 year old Dell computer). This may be the cause of my problem. What do you think? If there is a 'tear' in that 'ribbon' what might happen? I have no idea how it tore. It's not a real bad tear, but noticeable.
So I reconnected my hard drive to the other place inside you can connect a drive. This ribbon looks intact. So far no problem, or error messages. Was this a wise, logical thing to do? What diagnostics should I run? I already ran the chkdsks, I don't know what else to do, other than hope by connecting my hard drive to the other place for an internal drive, that it may bypass the ribbon that is 'torn'. I would tend to think it would.
Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
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More about hard drive problem tear ribbon
  1. I have had my hard drive connected to the other connector and ribbon for the past several days now with no problems whatsoever. So I guess I am OK for the time being. I do plan to replace that IDE ribbon before it shorts out or something. I also ran a diagnostic test at my hard drive manufacturer's site and it passed, so at least I ruled that out. You may continue to post a reply if you wish to, but since I am OK for now, you may want to wait until I have another problem related to this. Thank you.
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