New Drive Failing


So I just recently diagnosed my hard drive as having bad sectors and replaced it with a 750GB WD Caviar Black a few days ago. However, occasionally, as with my old hard drive, my system will lock up. When I reboot I get the following error: “Disk boot failure, please insert system disc and press enter.” Sometimes after a restart I will receive the same error, other times the hard drive will boot but my keyboard receives no power. I haven’t figured out why, but everything seems to sort itself out eventually.

One note: I have an old IDE drive that I was using once my old SATA drive became completely unusable. This hard drive never crashes or gives errors, and the keyboard never loses power.

I’m puzzled, and am running out of time to RMA this hard drive if I happened to get a bad one. Please help!

—Jesse Dresselhaus

It’s unlikely to be a drive problem (although if it is, note that your RMA period will likely be longer with Western Digital than the retailer). The chances of replacing a bad hard drive with another bad drive are infinitesimal—something like 3,720 to 1. Your problems are likely related to a bad SATA port on the motherboard, a bad SATA cable, or a power or data cable not firmly plugged in on the board. There’s also one other issue that could be causing the booting problem. Many older motherboards, oddly, change the boot order if a USB drive is connected to a USB port. Your booting issue could be related to this sporadic problem that only happens on occasion when you have a USB thumb drive installed.

On the other hand, the keyboard power issue could be indicative of problems with the motherboard itself. Just because you’re getting hard drive errors doesn’t mean it’s entirely a hard drive issue. A failing board or other component in the system, such as RAM, or the classic “bad cap” problem can sometimes induce similar errors.

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at for advice on how to solve your technological woes.

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