I just wanted to make sure that a hard drive for someone whom I am trying to replace is actually bad, and that it's not just the sata wires or something.
It all started with a blue screen during boot, on an older dell desktop. It was the "unmountable boot volume" blue screen of death message, on a system with windows xp.
I was able to boot from a CD and and ran a chkdsk operation, there were many 'unreadable' or 'bad' sectors(don't remember the error message exactly, but something along those lines). also, when i booted into mini windows xp(from the cd), the "c:" drive had disappeared from windows explorer after a bit, and the computer was running extremely slow.
so now, how can i be sure that it's the hard drive(which, by the way, is a western digital caviar se serial ata - 160gb(model: wd1600jd - 75hbb0) and not the sata wires or anything? problem is, i took out the hard drive from the persons computer, but at home, none of my PCs are sata, they're all ultra-ata.
assuming the hard drive is bad; the old hard drive was SATA 1.5, most of the hard drives being sold now(for a decent price, at least) are SATA 3.0. how would i know(short of asking the retailer) if a certain SATA 3.0 hard drive will have a jumper setting that will allow it to operate on SATA 1.5? looking on newegg, none of the info mentions if any of the SATA 3.0 drives are 1.5 compatible.
If you are getting a lot of 'bad' sectors, than I would tend to agree with you the drive is a fault. You can test this theory by switching out the SATA cable with the one on the CD/DVD drive. If you still get the same errors, you know it is the device. If the CD/DVD now doesn't work or you get no errors, it would point more toward the cable.
As for replacing with a SATA 3.0 Gb/s drive, it is not a problem as they are backwards compatible with SATA 1.5 Gb/s motherboard slots. Also, most current (if not all) SATA hard drives no longer utilize jumber settings like the older IDE drives. It is one of the nice things about them... don't have to worry about the whole Master / Slave things.