New HDDs not formatting or dying after short use.

  Flopper 18:52 23 Sep 06
Locked

I seem to be going through Hard Drives like water on my son's PC. It was my old PC I built and I ran it trouble free for ages.
It is a P3 1GB with ( I think) 512MB RAM. It is configured with a Primary Master (C:) drive with a Primary Slave (a CD Writer) together with a Secondary Master (another HDD) with a Secondary Slave (a DVD-Rom).
The 2nd HDD (Secondary Master) collapsed months ago and I have not yet got round to checking it with any utilities from the HDD manufacturers website.
I then bought another HDD (a Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 80GB ATA/133). I cannot remember if I had any difficulties installing and formatting this one but it lasted only a few weeks and collapsed, as in it could be seen in My Computer but I could not access it in the conventional way.
I bought today another HDD, a 160GB Hitachi from PC World, seated it in it's removable caddy and could see it in the BIOS (but not the Boot Up screen).
I tried to format it in My Computer/Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Computer Management/Disk Management.
It went through the motions of formatting right the way through and then said something like 'this disk could not be formatted' or 'could not complete this operation' or similar.
Am I doing something wrong?
It seems more than coincidence that this PC should go through so many HDDs.
Could I have a virus that my normal anti-virus package cannot pick up?

  ashdav 20:05 23 Sep 06

not good practice to put HDD and optical drives on the same channel.
the channel will run at the speed of the slowest device ie. the optical drive.
put the hard drives on the primary channel and the optical drives on the secondary.
set the jumpers for master/slave accordingly.
see if this makes a difference to your problem.

  jimv7 20:16 23 Sep 06

More propably to be a faulty power supply unit, you would get these problems, make sure the psu is big enough for all your requirements at least 350 watts or more.

  Storik 22:59 23 Sep 06

"I bought today another HDD, a 160GB Hitachi from PC World, seated it in it's removable caddy and could see it in the BIOS (but not the Boot Up screen)."

May I make a simple suggestion which would confirm whether it is your hard drive or your caddy that is at fault?

Have you tried connecting your hard drive directly to the motherboard? If you disconnect everything bar your new hard drive (set as primary master) and, if your BIOS is capable, auto detect the hard drive, if it's ok, use a boot disk to fdisk and format.

This may work and you never know, if it is the removable caddy that is at fault, your other hard drives may be retrievable. :-)

Storic

  Jak_1 02:39 24 Sep 06

Slave the new drive to your c drive, then format it. Then move it to the caddy after resetting it to master. You should then be able to see it.

  Flopper 11:11 24 Sep 06

Ashdav
I tried the 2 HDDs on the same channel and they did not like it at all. The Primary drive just kept rebootng itself before loading XP. I put it back into it's original PC (I used a seperate PC as a test and as a process of elimination to discount the original PC being at fault) and it booted up OK. I will try the other suggestions later today hopefully.

  Storik 13:41 24 Sep 06

>>>"I tried the 2 HDDs on the same channel and they did not like it at all. The Primary drive just kept rebootng itself before loading XP."

Could your jumper settings be at fault? Have you tried "Cable select" - or is one of them - Primary master for example, a Western Digital drive? If so, they need the jumpers settings for "master with slave" - still you probably know this - but worth thinking about, do you think?

Storic

  DieSse 13:56 24 Sep 06

A number of things you could look at :-

A system of that apparent age may not be able to correctly identify a 160GB drive. Manufacturers utility software (Seagate Disk Wizard, for instance) can be used to get around such BIOS limits.

A caddy may develop faults - I've had that problem - especially if it has a fan in it. The fans all run off the same power lead as the drive, and if they fail and start drawing too much current they can badly affect drives - this just happenend to me.

A older caddy may have a 40-wire cable internally - and an older system may have a 40-wire cable to the motherboard. You should replace both with 80 wire cables, as they are much less "noisy" (signal-wise).

You should not mix magnetic and optical drives on the same cable - their interfaces are not identical and this may cause problems.

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