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Can't keep HDD working

I can't keep my system working. I keep having HDD problems.

ASRock A780LM
AMD Athlon X2 6400+
450W PSU
IDE DVD Burner
NVidia GeForce 8600 GT
WD 250 Gb SATA (primary)
Samsung 1 Tb SATA (secondary)
Vista Home Basic 64

I fairly recently replaced the motherboard and hard drives in this PC. I kept having HDD issues, so replaced the components. The system worked fine for about a month with the new motherboard and HDDs. Then the secondary drive started acting up. Out of the blue, the drive would crash or run very slowly without any error message and windows would no longer detect it until I rebooted. I use the drive to backup data and access it as a media server. After reboot, the drive would work fine for a while (anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours). Then BIOS started having trouble detecting the drive on occasion, and the drive began spinning up and then click every 1-5 minutes. I could get BIOS to detect the drive again only sometimes when rebooting or by changing the SATA port. Windows loads and runs extreeeeeeeeeeeemely slow with the drive plugged in--if it loads at all. I replaced the drive. The new one worked great as well for half a day, then began to mimic all the symptoms of the previous drive. I had a feeling that Vista might have caused the problem somehow, so I changed back to XP. That did not help, but I'm unsure if the drive damage wasn't already done before installing the new OS.

things of note:
1. The drive always works great with my SATA-to-USB adapter--I can easily read and transfer data
2. My primary drive never ever gave me problems of any kind
3. Different cables and SATA ports made no difference other than noted above
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about working
  1. how about your PSU?
  2. is 450w too weak for my setup? I tried different molex connection without success.
  3. what PSU is it and how old is it?
  4. Sorry! Its actually 480w
    Brand: Colorsit
    Age: 3-4 years
  5. Best answer
    if this is the PSU you have, I not really sure if it is powerful enough to run your system reliably since it ONLY has one 18A on the 12V rail.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817192001

    I would have expected two 12V rails it being a 480W
  6. Thanks for the advice! I will try a new PSU.
  7. Best answer selected by russianheman.
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