i completely agree and my attitude is to either reformat the drive if it will take it or get a new one ... BUT this was the primary drive in my dad's point of sale (pos) computer for his store. i left his computer running on the secondary drive for a temporary basis while i backed this drive up, try to fix the error, then image the drive.
as far i know, this computer was not setup in an array. the 2nd drive had the OS and the pos software installed as a backup probably for such an event and the database seemed to backup to the 2nd drive nightly which is what its running off now. (this should definitely should have been in a raid1 array, but it appears this pos software company loves shit to break to make money for servicing existing customers)
now i would happily reinstall everything but the pos software was installed by the vendor and i don't have the installable software so i'm feeling an image is the only way i can make this work.
my dad just called me a few mins ago and said the computer is having issues today then wouldn't boot. after restarting it posted up fine and it's working again. i'm strongly leaning to a hardware problem in the computer now but just need to narrow it down.
what hardware could be causing the problems? ram or mobo? i'm thinking it's the sata controller on the mobo.
i can take hirens over there. are there any tests for mobo or sata controller you recommend? how about the memory?
he said he thinks the computer has a virus, but that's pretty much what non computer folks say to anything.
thanks for any help.
It could very well be memory issues. Data is cached in memory and processed, what is written to the drive is data from memory. I have seen instances where memory faults have caused unrecognizable or corrupt data. However, usually when memory becomes degraded to such a level that it is corrupting data you also see it accompanied with blue screens, hardware problems, and general stability issues - which you seem to be describing.
To test memory you want to use a boot disc of memtest86 (http://www.memtest86.com/
) it is the standard. As for the hard drive controller, that is more difficult to determine, especially if it is an intermittent issue with bus load. I would ask your father if the computer has ever stopped responding when it is under heavy load (finalizing a database, compiling or querying data). It could also be the memory controller, or a number of other ancillary components. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you're probably aware, if it does turn out to be a memory issue, or sata controller - it's quite possible that the data on the drive is completely corrupted - unusable - hopefully this is a new problem and might only affect recently written data.
I would also load test the computer to perform a general stability test and address other possible problems (power supply can be symptomatic of not responding or sudden restarts). I would suggest Orthos Prime95 (http://www.majorgeeks.com/Prime95_d4363.html
) - this will let you test the overall stability of the computer - whereas memtest removes itself from windows and any possible driver conflicts, this program tests in the real environment.
And lastly, you definately don't want to omit testing the harddrive's physical integrity itself. Check for bad sectors/clusters - I've seen some very odd issues stemming from harddrives - you don't have to drop, bang, or subject a platter to g-forces to have a physical error.
But, when it comes to customer data - business systems - I always suggest to a customer to immediately backup, and transfer to new hardware - data is something that can not be replaced.