Hard Drive Go Asplut - Advice Requested on A New One

Before I headed off to work this morning I turned on my PC to find that it had trouble writing to one of my hard drives. The hard drive in question was broken into two partitions, and a quick look into explorer showed me that Windows could no longer see either one of those partitions. A reboot caused Windows to perform a CHKDSK on the drive and when I went out the door this morning the screen had "Unable to fix unreadable file XXXX due to lack of space" scrolling by.

First question: Does it look like my hard drive has bought it and will soon be departing for its great magnetic nirvana up high?

Second: If I have to purchase a new one, can I mix and match SATA and ATA drives in my computer? I am farily certain my motherboard can handle both, and my other hard drive is ATA.

Third: Any thoughts on what to get for a new drive?

1: yep sounds that way
2. SATA for sure and you can mix them if the MB supports both (however I'd get 2 SATA drives and reinstall everything.)
3. Does it really matter brand anymore? Size, Cache, and speed are about all that matter.

The Fry's ad today has a (I think) WD 200G SATA(or PATA) for $50.

My C drive failed on my desktop last weekend and I ended up losing 15 gigs of family videos & photos. I went to Best Buy and they had a Seagate 120 Gig 7200 RPM ATA100/133 hard drive for just $60.

They also had a brand new 320 Gig Western Digital SATA hard drive marked for Clearance for just $99 but I don't have the mobo or power supply to run one.

I only use Western Digital drives nowadays, they're grrreat.

Oddly enough after unplugging the drive for about a day or two (been busy so I have not had a chance to work on it) it seems to be working fine. I tried it again last night with the intentions of formatting one of the partitions to see if that worked. Upon booting into Windows I played an mp3 from the "bad" drive and after about 1 min the computer began to stutter bad. I shut down, unplugged the drive, booted back in and played an mp3 from my other hard drive. No problems. I shut down, plugged the "bad" hard drive back in, booted up played an mp3 from it and have had no problems. I played some games on the computer last night (none of the games run off the "bad" hard drive) and left it on overnight with zero problems. Does it look like my drive has come back from the dead (Brrrraaaaaiiiinnnnsss) or is it just waiting for me to get lulled into a false sense of security and go asplut again?

When a drive starts acting wonky, it's time to back all the important data off of it and replace it, or at least don't use it for important stuff. I've never had one really heal itself.

shihonage wrote:

I only use Western Digital drives nowadays, they're grrreat.

I think that's so funny, given how WD used to be the brand labeled (rightly so) as cheapo, poor quality-controlled HDs for commoners.

Now they're in just as high regard as every other drive manufacturer.

Drives are commodities, I've probably RMA'd half of them I've bought/used over the years, buy cheap. There really isn't a brand to call 'the best'. Backups are the answer not bigger drives to store your crap on.

I like WD because they're quieter than say, the Maxtors I used. They also never failed on me thus far (knock on wood) as opposed to, well, the Maxtors I used.

Eezy_Bordone wrote:

Drives are commodities, I've probably RMA'd half of them I've bought/used over the years

That's some pretty outrageous statistics But then again, the only drive I bought via mail has died quickly. Others, that I buy in the local computer stores, don't die. Maybe this has something to do with roughhousing by the mail service.

shihonage wrote:

I like WD because they're quieter than say, the Maxtors I used. They also never failed on me thus far (knock on wood) as opposed to, well, the Maxtors I used.
...
the only drive I bought via mail has died quickly. Others, that I buy in the local computer stores, don't die. Maybe this has something to do with roughhousing by the mail service.

Wacky. The only drives I've had fail in the past three years are two WDs that I got from Best Buy, and all the Maxtors I've ordered and had sent by mail from Newegg or ZipZoomFly (at least 7 of them) are still running strong. I figured the BB employees were just drop kicking them into the shelf space because they hate their customers so much.

Interesting side note, I saw a Google rep a couple months ago and asked how their server farms are set up. Apparently they use the cheapest junk drives they can find because it becomes cheaper for them to simply replace bad drives than spend extra money on good drives that last.

To address the original post -

It's okay to mix and match PATA and SATA, and you'll need to, to copy data over off the old drive.

Actually, I just got a Seagate SATA drive recently, and it came with a very nifty utility that cloned everything from the old drive to the new one, including boot sector information. When it was done, I unplugged the old drive, rebooted, and voila - it just worked!

By the way, I'd recommend backing up the data on the old drive as soon as possible. While it doesn't have to be the drive (it could be cables or the controller), it sure sounds like it. And once they've gone bad, they never go back.

Thanks for all the advice guys. Much appreciated.