Drive write access


Im a retired compuder professional (old enough to have replaced a 12" HDD platter!) and I often fix problems or do upgrades on friends PCs. I’m posting from one of the AMD motherboards I recently replaced & fitted with a new SATA drive, loaded wih WIN7. But I have several old PCs on a network, some using Win XP & Linux.

I just came upon a puzzling problem:-

I had an old HP D510 ultra low profile desktop that was running out of space on a 40GB PATA drive, which had started to develop a few errors. I decided to replace it with an 80GB WD800BB from an HP/Compaq EVO with a motherboard fault.

I checked the drive using Win XP chkdsk, reformatted and partitioned an NTFS 60GB primary partition, then put it in an external USB box which ran fine on the HP dektop & used HDcllone to copy the 40GB NTFS Primary partition onto the new 60 GB partition on the WD800BB. This was no problem  so I replaced the old 40 GB pata drive, setting the WD800BB to single drive.

The drive showed no errors on chkdsk, ran a lot faster, defragged easily and I had no problems for a month. Then it failed to boot Windows XP. The old drive had a copy of ‘Wary Puppy Linux’ on it, so I booted that, which seemed to show the drive was OK (Puppy Linux can access NTFS partitions). Win XP will not boot in safe mode but in CLI when booting from an XP Pro CD Windows seems to be present, BUT I cannot fix the boot sector.  Linux GParted shows partitions are OK.

Since Linux does not need to write to a paging file (& will run from a read-only CD) I have come to the conclusion that the WD800BB will not run XP because it cannot write !!

I have never had this type of error before with a WD drive - does anyone have any idea of why this could happen or if it can be fixed ?


Hi, try running a test using DLG to rule out any possible hardware damage.

Can you write to the sectors using a disc editor, eg HxD or DMDE (both freeware)?

If not, try using NazYura’s tools to read the drive’s firmware modules. One or more of these may be damaged.

You will need to use the standard ISA IDE ports (0x170 and 0x1F0).