22 replies
  • OFF TOPIC
  • |
I have a hard drive that works for a while then the drive letter disappears.

If I shut down and reboot it seems to come back for a while again.

Here's the question: With this kind of behavior, is it common for the board to be bad? Is it possible that the board is the problem? I've heard of people replacing the board with one from the same model. A possibility?

I really would like your input.

Thanks Guys Keith
#drive #failing #hard
  • Profile picture of the author miklanderson2
    Your best bet is to back everything up and replace the hard drive. Sure, you might be able to replace the board, but that would require buying a new hard drive anyway so you can harvest the board. You might as well switch to the new one with all new parts instead of placing one new part in the old one.
    Signature

    "A bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist."
    -Franklin Jones

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7728716].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AprilCT
    I'm not into tech at all, but I'd say you have a much bigger problem to consider right this minute: Do you have anything on that computer that you need to download, email to yourself or put on an external hard drive that you can't afford to lose? Take care of that first, then get answers about the drive or the motherboard needing replaced. If it's the hard drive dying, you'll lose what you have on that computer, so don't delay.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7728730].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jimvol
    I agree with April. The files are what is important. The hardware.. not so much..
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7728745].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author chasnsx
    First, crack open the computer case and clean out all the dust bunnies. If you are lucky, then the drive is just overheating and shutting down.

    Failing that, it is unlikely that you have a problem with the motherboard. The relationship between the CPU and the drives is controlled by the BIOS (Basic Input/Output Software) which is permanently burned into ROM chips on the motherboard. If the BIOS fails, then the computer will not boot.

    See if the computer recognizes other drives (CD, DVD, an SD card in the slot, etc.)

    If it does, then you most likely have a bad drive.

    But like other folks have said, back up everything first.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7728749].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mywebwork
    Count me in as another vote for backing everything up ASAP!

    Use an external hard drive or take it one step further and make an online backup to Amazon S3. If it's a Windows machine (and I bet it is as you speak if drive letters) you can easily do this with Cloudberry and its ultra cheap. Of course if you don't have a fast broadband Internet connection it might take some time!

    As for your problem I agree with chasnsx, it's not likely the motherboard (which is what I assume you are talking about when you say "board"). But there is a possibility that the SATA controller chip is failing, as your symptoms sound like they might be heat-related - everything works until something heats up past the critical point.

    As chasnsx said you will want to clean out the computer completely and make sure the fans are functional. You can also do some basic troubleshooting with a can of Freeze Spray that you can pick up at a local electronics distribution place. What you do with this is run the computer until the problem occurs and then shoot a burst of Freeze Spray on the individual components. If it starts working again you've found the thermally sensitive device.

    But do that backup first!

    Good luck

    Bill
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7728812].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MartinPlatt
    Originally Posted by klittle View Post

    I have a hard drive that works for a while then the drive letter disappears.

    If I shut down and reboot it seems to come back for a while again.

    Here's the question: With this kind of behavior, is it common for the board to be bad? Is it possible that the board is the problem? I've heard of people replacing the board with one from the same model. A possibility?

    I really would like your input.

    Thanks Guys Keith
    Copy all the data you need from that drive onto a new one.

    The trouble with computers is the causes of issues can be a number of things, so we don't want to get it wrong, and you have no data.

    Once you've backed up - you can go looking for hard drive test software from the manufacturer of the hard drive. That is generally the most reliable way to tell if the hard drive is on its way out.

    If that doesn't show anything then it could be drivers, motherboard or memory.
    Signature

    Martin Platt

    martin-platt.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7728837].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Karry
    Not knowing any specifics about your computer, i.e. hardware, operating system, what upgrades/updates took place before this started, is the HD partitioned, etc., there is no way to answer that question other than just guessing.

    My guess is it's not a hardware problem. It might be a disk management problem. Something might have gotten changed in the registry. However, my guess could be totally wrong.

    Back up the hard drive and take the computer in for repairs. The only way you'll know what's wrong is to have a tech who knows what they're doing take a look at it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7730221].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author glennshep
      To be honest this could be down to any number of things. It's one of those scenarios that if I could see it then I'd likely know straight away what the problem is but unfortunately we're a little too far away from each other for me to help in that capacity! But to echo the comments already posted, get all your important stuff backed up ASAP and get someone who knows what they're doing to take a look at it
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7730798].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author tonyb23
    Try putting all those files on the cloud through something like dropbox.

    I've had hard drive after hard drive fail on me in the past... After I put all my files in the cloud, I haven't had to deal with issues like this.
    Signature
    Get 19 Profitable, Untapped Niches in the Dating & Relationship Industry.
    Click Here To Get These Niches Before Your Competition Gets Them Before You.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7730698].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    i routinely backup to blurays/dvds and external 3tb seagate hds, all my data weekly backups. learned the hard way to routinely back up, ghost my main drive w/acronis quarterly etc
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7730714].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author seasoned
    klittle,

    Let me tell you how I understand this to work, and the raeson why this has happened every time I have seen it.

    1. The BIOS scans the potential devices, and setup a list of devices. That list is in the sequence of appearance when checked. A and B are dedicated to floppies. C and D are hard disk type devices. E on are far game and driven by the associated drivers, etc...
    2. Explorer will report ONLY those devices found! TODAY, most systems don't have floppies, and that is why they seem to start with drive C:
    3. Periodically, on a failure, it goes back to #1! THAT is why your drive disappears!

    MOST of the time, this is a HARDWARE problem called a HARD DISK DRIVE CRASH! As long as you don't hit a problem area, you will be fine. HEAT makes things WORSE!

    Step #1? Backup your important files ASAP!
    Step #2? Try to backup everything else ASAP!
    Step #3? Get a new disk drive!

    Steve
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7731009].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author williambrown
    I have a failing harddrive before and at first it is undetected but then again there's this ticking sound and after a month or two the harddrive just won't work and I lost everything I have pictures and stuff it's so sad.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7733306].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by williambrown View Post

      I have a failing harddrive before and at first it is undetected but then again there's this ticking sound and after a month or two the harddrive just won't work and I lost everything I have pictures and stuff it's so sad.
      The ticking sound is usually reseeking. It means a block has a HARD error(LOST INFO) or soft error(HIGH RISK of data loss). So it was saying ****BACK ME UP****!

      Steve
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7733314].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author yukon
        Banned
        Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

        The ticking sound is usually reseeking. It means a block has a HARD error(LOST INFO) or soft error(HIGH RISK of data loss). So it was saying ****BACK ME UP****!

        Steve
        I had a HD go bad on an old XP machine a few years ago (no backup). I pulled the HD, then removed the HD cover. I know everyone claims your not supposed to remove a HD cover, I didn't care, had nothing to lose since the drive kept ticking & would never boot up. I pulled the HD cover off, daisy chained to a working PC, set the bad HD to slave, then copied the drive over to the working PC.

        Worked like a charm & restored 100% of the bad HD files.

        The ticking sound on the HD was the little arm was stuck, I lightly tapped the stuck arm on the HD & the drive worked like nothing was wrong. I bought a new HD, cloned the HD files from the temporary PC/HD, re-installed the new HD into the old XP machine, done.

        These days I backup everything to an external USB/HD.
        Signature
        Hi
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7734044].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author seasoned
          Originally Posted by yukon View Post

          I had a HD go bad on an old XP machine a few years ago (no backup). I pulled the HD, then removed the HD cover. I know everyone claims your not supposed to remove a HD cover, I didn't care, had nothing to lose since the drive kept ticking & would never boot up. I pulled the HD cover off, daisy chained to a working PC, set the bad HD to slave, then copied the drive over to the working PC.

          Worked like a charm & restored 100% of the bad HD files.

          The ticking sound on the HD was the little arm was stuck, I lightly tapped the stuck arm on the HD & the drive worked like nothing was wrong. I bought a new HD, cloned the HD files from the temporary PC/HD, re-installed the new HD into the old XP machine, done.

          These days I backup everything to an external USB/HD.
          You're NOT supposed to take the cover off the drive. Doing so is like slicing a persons arm open, and constantly ripping the scab off. Can you do it? SURE! Will any real harm happen? NO! Does it put you at GREAT risk if something happens by(like bacteria in a wound, or dust in a disk drive)? OF COURSE!

          You lucked out! Just hooking it up as a slave could help. On a main drive, the boot, "VM" sections are among the most likely to fail, and you bypass them when you switch to a slave(non boot) drive.

          Steve
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7734674].message }}
          • Profile picture of the author yukon
            Banned
            Originally Posted by seasoned View Post

            You're NOT supposed to take the cover off the drive. Doing so is like slicing a persons arm open, and constantly ripping the scab off. Can you do it? SURE! Will any real harm happen? NO! Does it put you at GREAT risk if something happens by(like bacteria in a wound, or dust in a disk drive)? OF COURSE!

            You lucked out! Just hooking it up as a slave could help. On a main drive, the boot, "VM" sections are among the most likely to fail, and you bypass them when you switch to a slave(non boot) drive.

            Steve

            When a drive doesn't boot, I don't care about dust, lol.
            Signature
            Hi
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7734995].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author ejm
              I vote for backing up your data immediately. You never know when the drive will fail.
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7735893].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author webcosmo
    Hi, you should back up everything on the drive, then try your HDD to a frien`s PC. Then you will know for sure.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7734873].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Christy Heden
    It may be the case that your hard drive is failing. Such problems are common in standalone computers. My all data is in the cloud hosted by Real Time Cloud Services. In cloud if one disk fails other automatically gets active so that data is always available. I will suggest you to backup your existing data before your drive gets fully out of order.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7734986].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author mikeac
    I also suggest you back up everything immediately using Online backup. There are plenty of online backup services out there that have very low fees and in some instances they will give you some storage space for free.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7735934].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author seasoned
      Originally Posted by Mike Currie View Post

      I also suggest you back up everything immediately using Online backup. There are plenty of online backup services out there that have very low fees and in some instances they will give you some storage space for free.
      Yeah, you should *****NOT***** backup online in this case! WHY? Because you won't achieve the same throughput, and SECONDS could make a difference.

      Steve
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7736769].message }}

Trending Topics