Some of you may remember this PC novice’s trial to install a new hard disk in an IBM Aptiva.
To summarize what course of action I took:
The store where I bought the drive had installed it as the Primary IDE slave. I copied all the data over from the Primary to the slave using the utility that came with the Maxtor drive. Then I switched the drives around so that the new Maxtor drive was the Primary IDE master, re-booted and Jack’s your uncle. I erased the Primary IDE slave and we had a brand-new system drive with an empty “spare” drive. (I told my wife - be sure to copy at least your “My Documents” folder to the “spare” drive once a week or every time you’ve made changes. - Of course I never reminded her and I’m the computer guy anyway so I’m responsible for the computers at home.) I patted myself on the back for a job well down, and the computer was used every day for about a month with no problem (maybe an occasional “freeze” here and there.)
Monday night I shut down the computer normally using the Windows98 shutdown (we’re in the land of rolling blackouts aka California so I shut down computers at night). Tuesday my wife comes home and turns on her computer. She calls me and asks “Why does it say ‘Invalid System Disk’” and after I scratch my head we both ask each other “What did you do with the computer?”
I got Maxtor tech support on the phone. They ask me to run fdisk. (Luckily for me I followed the advice of other posters and created a boot floppy using the instructions at Hardware Central, a site that our friend beatle pointed out to me.) When I run fdisk, it shows System: Unknown on the Display Partition Information screen for the C: drive (but it shows System: FAT32 for the D: drive). At this point here’s my conversation with Tech Support (TS)
TS: OK, reinitialize your hard disk then.
Me: What about my data?
TS: (something about backup)
Me: (laughing hysterically) What’s a backup?
Me: How did this happen?
TS: Windows screws up the FAT sometimes. (Note: I know what the FAT is.)
Me: Why would it happen after only a month with the Maxtor drive when the previous Quantum drive never had a problem for almost a year?
TS: Windows does that sometimes.
Me: So you’re telling me it’s Bill Gates’ fault?
TS: Here’s a phone number for Microsoft support
Me: (laughing hysterically again)
Is Tech Support blowing smoke or is it really a coincidence? I’m going to call a data recovery place today (if someone else says the word backup I’ll have to slap them) but it seems strange that it would happen on a brand new drive after only a month.