Harddisk appears very slow and can't be formatted, broken?

Ok, hopefully the topic gives a good enough indication :wink:

A few weeks ago I got a Blue Screen in Windows 2000 Professional (Dutch), something about my harddisk (Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 40 GB, 7200rpm, model 54098H8). Didn’t pay much attention to it, for everything seemed to be working again after a reboot.

However, the rebooting took more time, up to 15 minutes before all got loaded (including various TSRs such as ICQ, Serv-U, Matrox Powerdesk, Symantec Personal Firewall + Antivirus, BlackIce, Audio Mixer (Creative), Plextools, InCD).

With the slow boot I can live, I always boot the PC before taking a shower. But the programs became slower as well. It sometimes took a few seconds before stuff appeared, even typing in Word (XP) caused the text to appear a few seconds after I had typed it.

The strange part is that when I look at system resources CPU power is hardly used (1-5%) and my memory (512 MB) was only used for 20% or so… But when I tried to transfer a few files to another hard disk (to back up my emails (2GB), personal documents that were not already saved elsewhere), it took several hours for it to copmplete, which I don’t think is normal.

So yesterday I finally decided to reinstall my PC, start all over again. But when I tried to format my hard disk using the Windows 2000 installation Disk (yes, original of course) and chose the option to format my hard disk (after deleting the partition first), I waited for half an hour and the meter was still at 0%. The disk is recognized properly by the BIOS, so the hardware detects it.

I have not tested it with MaxBlast (util of Maxtor), but I have a strong feeling that my hard disk is broken somehow, or my mainboard (IDE channel) is malfunctioning…

Hope that someone here has a clue what this could be and if getting a new hard disk will solve my problem.

The rest of my system is:
ASUS mainboard (dunno the exact type anymore, but supports USB 2.0)
AMD 1900XP CPU
Matrox G400 Marvel videocard
Creative Soundblaster Live! Player
Sigma Designs Hollywood+ MPEG decoder
Diamond Fireport 40 SCSI adapter
Barracuda 4GB USCSI hard disk
Plex 40x SCSI CD-ROM
Plex 12/10/32S (SCSI writer)
AOpen 1040 DVD-ROM
1 x 512 MB DDR RAM (thought 333, but could be 266 as well)
Another Maxtor DiamondMax Plus (40GB, 7200 rpm)

And various peripherials…

Thanks in advance!

-could be your ide cable (bad connection)

  • do you have a via chipset?? try to disable dma

or try; fdisk /mbr
to clean your main boot record

As your HDD is still detected, I think you should try fdisk first (boot with a Win98 bootcd/disc, www.bootdisk.com) to find out wether the drive is accesible for software or not. If you can, partition it into 1 big partition and format it under DOS with the “format c:/u/autotest”. While formatting, every sector will be tested and marked if bad (this doesn’t work flawlessly, but it sure can give you a nice view on possible problems).
If that worked fine, try to install Windows.

Another option is Maxblast. I had quite some good experience with this program… recently I “fixed” a Maxtor harddisk with this tool… it took a couple of hours to format the drive, but afterwards, the harddisk was just fine!

I second the notion of using MaxBlast to diagnose the drive.
Have you tried a different HD on the system to see if it works?

If you’re shopping, the new WD drives with 8MB buffers are awesome drives, they perform much like SCSI drives in terms of speed. I’ve got one for my system drive, and it clearly outperforms my second drive, which is a WD 7200 RPM ATA100.
And if that’s not enough, it’s so quiet I can’t hear it at all.

Ok, problem ‘solved’

Brought it back to the store for a test.
As soon as they connected the drive, the system would no longer boot.

Guess I saved the important data in time, for the hard disk is definately broken now and will be sent to the manufacturer…

Bought myself a new one so I can visit this forum again…

But now I have a different problem. Somehow Windows installed itself on the new hard disk, but has called it my I:-drive, instead of C:-drive…and Windows won’t allow me to change this…

But such a question belongs in the Software forum… :wink:

Try removing you other HD(s) and partitioning, then adding them again.

Reformatted again…now it works fine and I can spend the next few hours of my spare time reinstalling all the software I bought in the past few years…of which I should install the firewall first :wink:

consider getting DriveImage, you can save an image of the HD after everything is installed. Then you can restore the entire thing in 30 min.

Originally posted by rdgrimes
consider getting DriveImage, you can save an image of the HD after everything is installed. Then you can restore the entire thing in 30 min.

Thats good advice rdgrimes cuz I just got done using DriveImage to install a 60gig partition with 40gig’s of data on a new HD & all is fine :smiley:

Format & all took less than 30 min’s :cool:

I have D.I. scheduled to run every night and image my system and programs partition on a second drive. this way, during the course of the day when i screw something up, (happens regularly), I can just restore the system and not have to try to track down and fix whatever I screwed up.

Bought Ghost not too long ago…but never got around to making a backup with it… (tried it, but couldn’t burn directly to my Plex SCSI…)…

But once I have a clean install, I will definately make such a backup.

Taxman:
I make an image of the system with everything updated, but before any other software is installed, then I make another image after all the software is installed and updated.

Originally posted by Da_Taxman
Somehow Windows installed itself on the new hard disk

:confused:

:stuck_out_tongue:

(Good too hear you solved your problem!)

Originally posted by rdgrimes
Taxman:
I make an image of the system with everything updated, but before any other software is installed, then I make another image after all the software is installed and updated.

I know I should do that…but I am plain stubborn :wink:

It takes me a couple days to do a complete re-install the regular way. Mostly due to downloads and reboots. It takes about 30 min to do it this way. And the results are the same, a fresh install.
I do it yearly just for housekeeping. It never fails to produce a faster system.