Why is my second hard disk failing?

Rajeeva April 6, 2010
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I have a Windows XP Pentium III desktop with two hard drives. The first one has the OS and is luckily working. The second drive on the secondary master IDE channel few days back was unable to read some files and since then it has been failing and reviving intermittently.

I mean sometimes when I start the system it will be visible and sometimes it will be not. In one instance when it was visible I was able to copy some data from it to the other drive.

I have gone through several strategies of reviving failed disks on MUO and other sites also, but I am not able to make out that what is the actual problem with my drive? I mean, whether it is a physical error, or some data corruption error, or something else like a faulty data/power cable?

Please advise how I can pin-point to the exact problem and then solve it. Thanks.

  1. Ahmad Makki
    January 1, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    list some software problems not allowing a hard disk to start

  2. Aibek
    April 10, 2010 at 11:43 am


    Do you able to access the drive from DOS?

    If it's accessible from DOS you should be able to copy the drive files to a primary drive.

    If you manage to get it working and access it from Windows use some software program to copy / clone the hard drive date. See 5 Ways To Clone & Copy Your Hard Drive

  3. Taty
    April 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Advices above are very good, but mostly, save ALL your files. I'd start from the cables. Change those and if that doesn't work, change drives. It could be kindly giving you warning signs, and you should listen. Once a drive fails for good, it's hard and expensive to get your data back.

  4. Srinivas G
    April 7, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Hard drives do fail, unfortunately. My Seagate Barracuda, still under warranty, has failed "thrice" till now! The most common reason for hard drive failures is "presence of too many bad sectors". It is a physical problem and thus, has to be replaced by the manufacturer (if under warranty). If your HD is out of warranty, try doing these:

    1) Check the cables and try connecting ur HD to a different port on the motherboard.

    2) Run "chkdsk /r" (without quotes) in the command line.

    3) Retrieve whatever data u can, and go for a new HD.

  5. Jack Cola
    April 7, 2010 at 6:35 am

    I would first try to make a copy of the HDD that is having problems. I am not to sure why it's failing, but I would think that it is a physical problem. Especially, if the OS can not read the files, or the HDD

    I would also check to make sure all the cables are plugged in an not loose.