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Odd Issue - Computer Is Damaging Drives

Last response: in Storage
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February 20, 2012 8:36:41 PM

Hey Guys,

I gave a friend my old computer last year (I built a new one, which I'm on now) with one hard drive in and he put one of his own in. (Both IDE) It ran fine for about a year, until a few weeks ago when he began to have problems with his drive, as oppose to the one I gave him... it eventually wasn't recognised any more and making the click of death, so he took it out and continued with the one I gave him. (The drive that died was years old, and only had 8GB storage space, so we put it down a faulty drive.)

A few days later, the one I gave him died... a bit of a coincidence perhaps so he tried one of his other old ones and that wouldn't even start. After giving up for a while, he asked me if he could borrow my SATA 500GB in case it was his IDE that was screwed... I backed everything up and agreed to lend him it, on the condition that I got it back when he'd tested and he pays for a replacement if it dies.

It booted into Linux once, then the computer refused to recognise the drives existance... I brought it home and tried it in my computer and it wouldn't start either.

So... three/four failed drives, what could the issue be? Is the motherboard playing up? Can my 500GB SATA drive be fixed? (Of course there was nothing of importance on it, I just can't see the need in buying a new one if the data is in tact)
a c 119 G Storage
February 20, 2012 8:55:06 PM

So with the drive in your computer it won't start at all or it won't recognize that there is a drive there? What happens when you go into the bios? In order to use it again you have to be able to access it somehow. Your friends computer must be somehow frying these hdd's.
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February 20, 2012 9:07:52 PM

Hi, thanks for the reply. My computer usually goes through a set of SMART checks before booting up. It brings up [SMART OK] for the first drive and then hangs, like it doesn't know what the second HDD is. When I unplug the second HDD it boots up fine.

It used to just bring up [SMART OK] for both and continue, if it's fried does that mean it's fixable or will I need a new one? And what's the likely culprit in my friends (my old) PC?
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February 21, 2012 3:55:38 PM

I'm not sure if this is allowed or not, as I can't find any official rules (only the generic TOS) but I'm going to bump this in the hope someone can answer me :) 
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a c 375 G Storage
February 21, 2012 5:59:31 PM

I'd say either his drive controller/motherboard is dying or the PSU is faulty. If he has a spare PSU around, have him swap it out and see if drives continue to die.

As for your drive, can you have your bios skip the smart check? If you can skip it and get into windows, I'd try to run a diskpart clean command on it, then enable the smart check in the bios again. At this point you may be able to reinitialize/format it.
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February 21, 2012 6:20:43 PM

My guess would be PSU sending too much voltage to the drive and frying it. You may want to check with multimeter
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February 21, 2012 6:31:09 PM

have you tried connecting this crashed hard drive using a USB drive connector? does your hard drive show as a new hardware connected? If yes then may be a data recovery software may help.
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February 21, 2012 7:03:07 PM

Hawkeye22 said:
I'd say either his drive controller/motherboard is dying or the PSU is faulty. If he has a spare PSU around, have him swap it out and see if drives continue to die.

As for your drive, can you have your bios skip the smart check? If you can skip it and get into windows, I'd try to run a diskpart clean command on it, then enable the smart check in the bios again. At this point you may be able to reinitialize/format it.


Hey Hawkeye22,

I managed to get my BIOS to skip the SMART check and have booted into Windows, but when I run "LIST DISK" it only picks up one disk (the working one), it well and truely dead?

StellarPhoenixS - I don't need data from it, I have everything backed up, I just don't want to spend £50 on a new drive if this one can be fixed.
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a c 375 G Storage
February 21, 2012 7:27:11 PM

My guess is it's dead. As stated, the PSU probably fried the drive.
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a c 119 G Storage
February 21, 2012 9:12:58 PM

When in Windows and with the drive in question connected if you go into disk management you can see all the drives that are connected to the computer , if the drive isn'r there then it most likely is fried and cannot be recovered. You actually have to be able to see it in some fashion in order to try and save it or restore it.
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