Hard Drive Stopped Working - How can i Fix?

Hi All,

Let me just start by saying, ARGGHGHGH; lol. I have had an expensive time with my computer recently but i am now beyond the brink and turning the tide of war to my favour.

I have recently kitted my ailing PC out with a new SSD for the OS install. This is working great; i have just tonight had to plug in a brand new GFX card for my gaming pc.

(My GFX card burned out due to overheating, so i have now got a new case and proper cooling)

Basically, my secondary hard disk (Files Storage etc) is not working, when plugged into my sata port my computer hangs at the Windows Loading screen, also i cannot get into the BIOS.

If i unplug the hard drive (Not SSD, 500GB Hitachi) my computer boots in 14 seconds, and the bios works fine.

I have concluded my secondary hard disk may be broken. Can anybody help me to see if i can fix it as i can barely afford to buy a new one (even knowing they are cheap).

Basically if it had broken i would expect my PC would say so, seems to me that it is just waiting for a response and sitting around for hours to get it.

Can anybody help me out? I just want my best fri... PC back :D

Thanks, Tom


Senior Member
It could be so broken that it shorts the voltages from the PS. The first thing I would do is check there are no bent pins where the HD plugs in, I have seen this many times over the years. Otherwise I suspect you might be out of luck. Sorry.


Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
Yeah, it does not look good. You might try putting it into an enclosure, then attach it via USB and see what happens. At least then, you may be able to run some diagnostics or hopefully copy off any files you don't want to lose.

Hmm, is it safe to plug it into SATA once booted?


Fantastic Member
Microsoft MVP
In theory, SATA is "hot swappable", meaning, "technically" you are supposed to be able to connect and disconnect SATA drives when the computer is running. But, in practice, it is not a good idea. You have to make sure you align the connectors precisely to ensure you don't accidentally short the wrong pins. Also, the connectors are not very robust and break easily.

A better option is to get a SATA docking station. I have one of these and it, so far, has been problem free.

NEVER, however, hot swap a boot drive.

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