I have an old 60 GB Maxtor IDE drive that is having some issues. For some reason it will stop being detected within Windows XP at random times. In order for it to be detected again I have to reboot my computer. I checked for loose cables and that didn't seem to be the problem.
Could it be that the drive is on it's way out? It works fine when it's detected.
If anyone has any suggestions that would be great. Otherwise I will just backup the contents and retire this old friend.
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For simple peace of mind I would retire a drive which behaved like that -- it's not like its USB connected or something, IDE just works.
You could try a new IDE cable, personally I would get a new one ASAP and save the data while you still can. A drive that old is past it's usable life span, and while it works today, it may not tomorrow.