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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I believe my Hard drive may be failing.
Computer is running Windows Vista
Drive is 500 GB ST3500620A SATA
2GB memory

System is chronically failing to recognize the hard drive resulting in message:
DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER.
Award Bios setup indicates that hard drive is absent. (CDROMs and Floppy show present)

After several attempts by powering down and rebooting, I have been able to get the drive recognized and the system boots normally, the operating system loads and the system runs normally, usually for several hours, but eventually shuts down and reboots to the message shown above.:eek:

My question: Is my hard drive failing or could the problem be elsewhere? And, if the hard drive is the problem, can I buy a new one and (hopefully) clone the old one during a successful boot?

Needless to say, although my data on the drive has been backed up, reconstructing the drive on a new one would be a major headache since you no longer get the OS on a CD but rather on a D: partition on the original drive. Plus I would need to reload all of my apps. Days of work... and probably an Activation hassle as well. :(Whew!

Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for your help. I have changed the power connection to the drive. the system rebooted without problems and has been running for about 18 hours, I will keep this thread open for a few days before I am confident enough to mark it solved,

I should also consider making an image of the drive. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who had a drive crash and did a complete restoration using a drive image,
 

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Make sure you backup, and possibly even have a RAID 1 setup. Having just one hard drive is like having one parachute. You're guaranteed it will fail; this is why it is SO EASY to get a replacement drive from Western Digital (or any manufacture) - because they fail regularly. I've replaced four drives so far, all free of charge.
 

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Restoring images to a failed hard drive would do no good. Restoring the image to the replacement HDD is painless and a lot quicker than starting everyting from scratch. If the data is corrupt before you make the image, then the image is going to restore the corrupt data. I make images of all my drives at least once a week, then if I get hit with a virus or try a program that messes up my system I just restore the most recent CLEAN Image. I use Acronis Tru Image 2010 Home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
System has continued to be problem free for several days now since I changed the power connection to the drive.

The power cable I replace was a power adapter -- standard four lead drive power connector to SATA power connector (HP P/N 5188-3214 FOXCONN 0819). Have these things been problematic?:confused:

In any case, I am marking this solved.
 
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