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Bad Power Supply or Hard Disk?

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May 13, 2012 10:00:43 PM

Hello, I've had this computer for over a year and no problems at all. I put it together myself just buying all the parts in a bundle. It has a 250 gb Sata Hard drive, 450w power supply, and a Nvidia PCI* E graphics card and WinXP pro. It has been running smoothly for a very long time up until last week...

During a session of gaming my computer suddenly froze and I had to do a hard restart (power button). I've done this many times before, but this time, upon trying to boot up windows, this is what happens: I can hear the Hard drive spinning (like its trying to power up) than it stops, than it starts spinning again, than it stops, etc. than eventually I get the: 3rd master Hard Disk Error F1 to continue. I can get into Bios and it recognizes my CD-rom model, but not my HDD. It just says "hard drive" where it would usually say the model number. I have only 1 HDD.


Pri-master: Cd-rom
Pri-Slave: None
Sata 1: Hard Drive
Sata 2: none

boot sequence is HDD first, Cdrom second.

Here's what i tried so far:

-changed the sata cables
-tried a different sata slot
-changed cmos battery
-made sure no loose cables

If I am persistent enough, I can get windows to boot up and everything is normal, stable, and fast. But that's after many reboot attempts. Only problem is if I shut down and try to reboot, i get the same '3rd Master Hard disk Error'. Had me thinking, if its my HDD, than how come i can get into windows (after many tries). Maybe its power?

As for power supply; kinda has a noisy fan, but it quiets down after my computer has been running.

Thanks for any help.

*im going to replace my power or hdd soon, but can only afford one at this time. which one should i try first?

May 13, 2012 10:07:41 PM

I even tried re-formatting my HDD, but it didn't help.
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May 13, 2012 10:24:22 PM

Replace the SATA cable. And if you have had to do hard restarts a lot of times before, your system isnt running fine.
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May 13, 2012 10:59:06 PM

Ok so i just ran the Western Digi Diagnostics tool and tried to do a Quick teston my drive. I got this error:

"Quick Test on drive 1 did not complete. Status Code=07 (Failed read test element, Failure Checkpoint =65 (Error Log Test). SMART self-test did not complete on drive 1."

So is my Hard Drive dying? Can i rule out my power supply as the culprit?
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a b ) Power supply
May 14, 2012 12:56:32 AM

After you changed the SATA cable and you ran the WD diagnostics and you got this error, I would say it's time for a NEW! hard drive. If problem persist check voltages on motherboard power connector to see if they are within specs.
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May 14, 2012 1:11:14 AM

I think is the HDD,you don´t need too much energy to power up an HDD,although the PSU is not excluded since the same thing happend to a friend of mine a couple of months ago.
The HDD died all of the sudden while he was hooking up a GTX295...
He changed the PSU and the HDD worked again....Odd...
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May 14, 2012 1:21:09 AM

Somehow im thinking he didnt bother to do the easiest thing to see if it fixed it.
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