I recently had a Toshiba 1TB drive go bad on me. It is still spinning, but transfer speeds are unusably slow and many of the files became corrupted. I was strictly using it for media storage, and had my files backed up, so no worries there.
I went to remove it from the system, and Windows refuses to boot when it is not attached. The system posts, but then simply hangs on a black screen when the Windows logo should initially appear.
My windows install is on a 300GB Maxtor. As far as I can tell, there are no system files on the failed 1TB.
Here's the really interesting part. When I remove the drive with my Windows installation, and leave the faulty drive, I get an error on boot saying that Windows is missing a critical system device with a prompt to perform a repair installation. Any thoughts on what might be going on here?