I tried to install a second SATA laptop hard drive to my desktop PC, and everything works just fine, I was able to browse the files on it, until I try to format it. Then it started making a high pitched noise, and I get a pitch black screen. I reset the system, then the BIOS crashes initializing USB controllers. I reset the system again, then Windows tries to install a driver for the drive, then does that blank screen again. Then I try to look at the drive in Linux, everything works fine, until I try to install Linux on the drive, in witch the system crashes yet again. After I remove the hard drive, windows runs as if nothing ever happened. The original hard drive is a Maxtor diamondmax 21 320GB drive, the drive causing problems is a momentus 5400.3 160GB drive. They are both SATA. My motherboard is an ASUS M3N78-VM with AMD Athlon x2 and 2GB of RAM. Can anyone tell me what went wrong? I don't think it was the PSU because I was able to read files from both drives.

EDIT: I also ran chkdsk on windows, and it found no bad sectors.

  • Is the 160GB HDD an older hard drive? Has it been manhandled in any way? Have you or someone else accidentally dropped it perhaps? – Vinayak Aug 16 '14 at 6:28
  • @Vinayak Not that I'm aware of. I got it from a friends old laptop. – Jaca Aug 16 '14 at 19:34

The Hard Might have a bad sector. This may be due to a number of reasons, but to the operating system all that matters is that it can no longer use that portion of the disk. If the disk has yet to be used, or is being reformatted, bad sectors are not really an issue. All recent operating systems map a drive's bad sectors and avoid them while formatting it for use.

Your Hard Drive is not a Modern hard drive, they are manufactured with 'spare' sectors which are only used to replace space lost due to bad sectors. This allows a drive to automatically compensate for any slight manufacturing defects which may have resulted in the drive having bad sectors 'out of the box.' When formatting a drive, bad sectors are detected and these 'spare' sectors are used to replace them as necessary.

  • But then why does the computer crash? I've never heard of a bad sector causing problems like this. – Jaca Aug 16 '14 at 19:36
  • Actually, bad sectors do crash computers. See here. – Vinayak Aug 17 '14 at 12:55

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