I have a Dell XPS 400 computer that is a little over three years old. For a little over a week it was freezing up on me while I would be working on it, and the freezing became more frequent. It seemed to happened when I had several windows open, 3 or more. Over the past several months it would hesitate to open a window when I click on a link. I would hear a click noise and then the window would load up, this would take several seconds. I was told that it sounded as if my hard drive was going bad.
I found a post here that suggested trying to run a diagnostic on the hard drive and gave a link to the diagnostic tool, which I downloaded. My hard drive is a Maxtor 7L250SO. The tool I downloaded and used was SeaToolsDOS. I put it on a floppy and use it to boot my computer and run the test. It said the hard drive passed but now I can't get Windows to open up. When Windows tries to start the POST window opens and then it goes to a black screen asking to click on any key to boot the system, if I don't boot an error message appears saying "Disk Read Error". If I boot form the CD and it loads the Windows files and when it gets to the language screen I try to enter the language and then it goes back to the black screen and it starts all over again.
I read the article here on how to repair Windows XP and got to the screen where it showed the hard drive but it did not have the option to repair it just the options to Install, Delete, or Quit. When it showed the hard drive information it showed 0kb's on the drive.
Does it sound like my hard drive has died or that some how I erased everything off of it? Any other suggestions on repairing the software? I want to keep the files that I have not back up yet, if that's possible.
My system is a Dell XPS 400, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005, Maxtor 7L250SO Hard Drive, I believe it has a Pentium D processor. If more information is needed please let me know.
Any help with this problem is greatly appreciated, thanks!