SATA HDD failure
I am using Windows XP Professional edition sp2. I have a 80 GB sata hard drive and a 160 GB sata hard drive. The 80 GB one is detected when i boot up the system and also for some time when the system is up and running. Then when i try to access something on it, Windows stops detecting the drive and it is not visible even in device manager. Any help on how to fix this would be appreciated.
Is it the time of year for HDDs to die or something? I better back mine up :-)
Make sure the sata cables are plugged in fully, and remove any dust on the connectors (don't think that's the problem, but it can't hurt). Then use the drive manufacturers diagnostic tools to fully test the drive, that *should* tell you if there's a problem.
The first question I always ask is: was this ever working before or did it just stop working now?
Did you make any recent changes to the hardware, software or drivers?
This is a sign that the drive is bad. Just experienced this about a couple of months ago on my dad's system. I think the BIOS and/or driver in the case of SATA and the drive stop communicating at some point. This is where Windows pulls its installed drive information from and so if the BIOS or driver can no longer see the drive then Windows can't either.
Only solution I know of is to get a new drive.
I am not pretty sure if the drive is bad. It does have a few bad sectors but surface test is fine otherwise. Here is the problem in brief. I had connected an external USB hard drive to transfer data to the hard drives connected to the desktop. When I disconnected the external drive, the system stopped responding, so I restarted the system. Now I have 2 hard drives, one 160GB SATA drive which has the OS installed on it, and one 80GB SATA drive which has another OS and most of my important data on it. After rebooting the system, XP stopped recognizing my 80GB drive and disk management showed the status of the drive as dynamic with a red circle and a minus sign in it, which I understand, stands for offline. I tried to reactivate the disk, but nothing happened. So then I tried messing around with the partition table. I googled around a bit and found that in the partition table, I just have to change a parameter from 42 to 7 to convert the disk from dynamic to basic. I used ptedit32 by symantec to edit the partition table. The partition table showed just one partition in the drive while I had 4. So I changed the parameter for that one partition and restarted the system. After this reboot, I could see one partition from the 80GB drive in explorer.exe, but whenever I tried to access anything, the system would stop responding for some time and later device manager would stop showing the hard drive in the disk drives section.
After goofing about for a lot of time, I disconnected the 80GB hard drive, used the connector on that drive on the drive which had the OS and started the system without the 80GB hard drive connected. When the system was up and running, I plugged in the 80GB drive and surprisingly, after using it for a while, the system did not stop detecting the drive. I quickly started a data recovery software and after a few hours, I was able to backup all my data on the external drive.
After this, I formatted the 80GB drive and created 2 partitions of 40GB each on it. However, when I restarted the system, windows was horribly slow. So then I switched the connectors again and now I am able to access both drives and I feel the system is actually faster. I have the 160GB drive connected as the 3rd Master and the 80GB drive connected as the 4th Master when I check the BIOS settings.
Now, I wonder what caused the drive to go offline all of a sudden as I did not have any problems like this before. All this is pretty weird, anyone with a logical conclusion as to what could have happened?