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Since computer users are human, the user can be the primary cause of computer failure. And we operators of our computers are in most cases but that, we operate the computer but know very little concerning software and hardware components and peripherals.
Since this is the case, you should ASSUME NOTHING when diagnosing any computer problem. We diagnosed a new PC with a video display problem. After briefly looking at the video card it took a while to see that the video card was not pushed into the adapter slot completely.
Even though I looked at the card, I failed to check it thoroughly. This cause me to spend more time on troubleshooting that was not needed.The thought of a hard drive failure strikes terror in the heart of every computer user.
This is because a hard drive failure may lead to invaluable data loss. Here are the most common procedures you should perform when you experience hard drive failure.
General Hard Drive Troubleshooting
The hard drive can display problems such as “retry, abort, ignore” or “cannot read sectors” while operating. This is an indication that there may be bad or unreadable spots on the drive. Reformatting and reinstalling the operating system can normally correct this problem. This will cause you to loose all data on your drive so it is important to always have a good backup of yourfiles daily.
There are good good utilities you can purchase that can repair hard drive problems without destroying data. The utility Spinrite is a good utility and only cost 0.00 which is a good price if you want to avoid the hassle of reformatting the drive and restoring the operating system. Here are some general hard drive problems you should start from and we’ll be more specific later.
Use Operating System Utilities
First you may be able to correct those bad spots and errors from your hard drive by performing those PC maintenance in the operating system. Windows has Disk Defragment and you should run disk defragment after running Scandisk since scandisk will need to fix any problems it finds. After scanning the drive and defraging the files, run Disk Cleanup to ensure all junk files have been delete.
Check Drive cables and connections
If there is on indication that the drive is receiving power (you don’t hear that familiar clicking noise or the drive light is no working) check the 4 wire connector coming from the power supply.
If the connection is secure, you can remove the power supply connector and do two things. You can check to see if there is voltage with a multimeter. But its much faster to connect another 4 wire connector to the drive to see if the drive works. There are normally extra connectors from the power supply or you can use the connection to the cdrom drive to test for voltage from the power supply.
If the connection indicates no or very little voltage (4 volts or less) from the power supply, the power supply may be going bad. Now check and double check all connections, especially if you are someone else have recently worked inside the computer.
If the drive will not boot up…?
Boot the computer with your bootable DOS disk. If you don’t have one made, STOP and make one NOW by clicking on Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add and Remove Programs and Startup Disk.
Try to access drive C: by typing DIR C: and press Enter. If you see the directories on drive C: try to make the drive bootable by typing sys a: c: and press Enter. The system files should be restored and the drive may be restored to boot on its own.
If this fails, you may have to reformat and partition the drive with the setup utility that came with your drive or computer.
If the Drive boots but hangs up at boot…?
Turn the computer off, open the system unit and disconnect the ribbon cable at the motherboard end. Turn on the PC AND You will get an error message that the drive is bad and in most cases will go into your BIOS. Change the hard drive type to AUTO and shut off the computer.
Reconnect the ribbon cable and see if the hard works properly. The drive settings should be restored and should operate fine.
A hard drive that fails to boot up may also have a bad controller. If the controller is mounted on the hard drive, there is not much you can do except replace the drive.