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HDD doesn't work in my computer, does in others

This is a discussion on HDD doesn't work in my computer, does in others within the Hard Drive Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello, Would like some help to diagnose or at least understand what is happening. I usually leave my computer on

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Old 10-03-2012, 06:45 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
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OS: Windows XP SP3



Would like some help to diagnose or at least understand what is happening.

I usually leave my computer on all the time, but I went on a trip last weekend so turned it off. I came back and it worked fine for about a day. Then it reset itself and came up with a disc read error. At this point I thought the HDD was probably dead but after 2 reboots it worked. I used this time to backup whatever I didn't have backed up and when I was nearly done it started writing data really slowly, like a minute for 40mb. I thought i'd just reboot and... yeah it wouldn't come back.

I ordered a new drive and it didn't detect it either. I thought it was unlikely it was DoA so I checked it with a relatives comp. Weirdly, the new drive didn't appear there either and locked up the start screen for about a minute just like on my computer. But the old drive DID work, with no slowdowns or anything. I managed to backup a lot of big files without problems. I brought it back and tried in my computer again, but it didn't work. I took it back there and it worked there fine. There's a problem on my computer that isn't the HDD itself but is only affecting it.

I have tried switching the SATA cables from my dvd drive and it actually worked first time for a few hours. Then it was back to broken, no matter how many times I switched. It still works fine in other computers though. When I used the Win XP CD, sometimes it told me there was no hard drive at all. Other times I managed to run scandisk which completed itself once, and said there was an unrecoverable problem the second time. But that was before I finished my backup on the other computer.

So the hard drive is still in a working state... there's no rattling when I take it out and shake it gently either. I'm pretty sure it's not the SATA data/power cables either, since they both work with the DVD-drive but not the HDD. That leaves the motherboard I guess... any ideas? Generally, the hard drive always shows up in the BIOS. I don't remember if the times it didn't was with the new drive or not. Sometimes its with the wrong GB size though.

I'm actually typing this on my comp right now, I thought I'd try once more and it loaded. But everything feels really sluggish. It took a lot longer to load windows and update windows defender and antivirus than usual, so I haven't opened anything else and typing this before it dies again!

Sorry if that was a little long.. what I really want to know is:

1) What's likely wrong with my computer when it can't read my HDD nor my new one (which may or may not be dead) while the HDD works in other computers?

2) Would there be a reason the new hard drive can't be detected? I read something about needing drivers for newer hard drives if you're on older hardware, but I don't have a floppy drive I can put them on anymore and that's all the Win XP CD can take. If I remember right the computer usually asks you to format a brand new drive as soon as you turn it on with it connected?

Both old and new HDDs are SATA Seagate 500gb Barracudas, with the new one being a newer version I assume. OS is Win XP. Apologies if I missed out any info that might be needed.

Thank you for your time!
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:19 AM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 737
OS: Windows 10 Pro and Linux Mint 19.3 (Primary) Displayed on a Samsung 48" 4K Curved TV

My System

Your symtoms point to three possible problems. Bad stick of RAM, failing power supply or failing controller on the motherboard.
Try disconnecting your hard drives and running memtest86. This is a downloadable ISO available on the web....
Memtest86.com - Memory Diagnostic
Test your RAM and check for errors. If you get any errors then test one stick at a time to find the stick causing the errors. Let the test run for 8+ hours if you do not get errors to ensure that you are getting realistic results.
If all your sticks pass then try swapping out the power supply to see if the problem persists.
If neither of these help then I would suspect you have a failing motherboard.
Check to see if any of the caps on the motherboard are cracked and/or leaking as shown in this image...
$69 Motherboard capacitor repair/replacement
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