HDD

Question

Recently I installed an 80 gb Western Digital hard drive as a slave to my primary Maxtor 60 gb hard drive. The drive worked fine and everything was okay until I tried to ftp some files to the new drive using Coffee Cup ftp. During the ftp connection, my system crashed. When I rebooted, everything went haywire. I couldn't do anything with with the new drive. When Scandisk would come on due to the improper shutdown, the C: drive would scan fine, but the new D: drive would hang right at 0%. Whenever I cancelled scandisk, as soon as Windows would start it would come up with an error message that said "could not write to drive D". I tried rebooting several times. Scandisk would usually hang at 0%, but once when I did it, it stopped at 84% and gave an error message "invalid long filename". I couldn't access the drive in DOS for some reason, and the next time I rebooted and ran Scandisk while starting Windows, scandisk stopped at 84%. I rebooted again, skipped scandisk, and Windows finally came up without crashing, but the new D: drive had disappeared. Now I can't access that new hard drive in either DOS or Windows. The BIOS is autodetecting the drive, but for some reason it doesn't get past that part. The controller is still good, since I can still access my other drive.

Immediately after this, I started having other problems with my system. I can no longer download files. When I try and start a download in IE 6.0, the download box comes up and says it is retrieving the file information. Then it gives the error message "Internet Explorer cannot download <file> from <site>. Internet Explorer was not able to open this internet site. The requested site is either unavailable or cannot be found. Please try again later." This has been going on for several days now, so it's not just a matter of trying again. In addition to that, IE has been running really "choppy" lately. All cursor movements are very choppy, and the browser has crashed several times.

Is my drive dead? How do I get it working again? Why can't I download? I'm hoping for a solution other than "back up all of your files, format your hard drive, and reload your OS." Not only is that a pain in the keister, but I lost my Win 98 discs in a move, and don't feeling like lining Bill Gates' pockets any more than I have to. Help.

Answer

This question was answered on March 12, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Western Digital provides tools to check your hard drive integrity Download the diagnostic tool here: http://support.wdc.com/download/

If your drive is in need of formating you can download their Data Lifeguard software (same link) with which you can make a bootable floppy disk with which you can format your hard drive (for safety remove all other drives and set it to single).

Although it does sound like you need to format it anyway, drive corruption is not rare and very inconvenient (I don't need to tell _you_ that) That's why most OSes recommend shutting down your computer properly to avoid just that.

When all else fails, try going for the warranty.

P.S If you don't want to buy a new OS, why not consider an alternative one? Linux is coming along as a great operating system alternative to Microsoft's cash cow, what with it being free and all Here are some links: http://www.linux.org/info/index.html http://www.debian.org/ http://www.mandrakelinux.com/en/ Then again, I'm Just Another Linux Advocate (tm).

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Author

Posted by Alex of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on March 12, 2003