My primary HD is 160Meg with 4 partitions.
About a week ago, my primary HD apparently crashed (I was also using a secondary one). Using a boot disk I ran chkdsk on C: and it gave up at about 35%, reporting that there were unrecoverable read errors. I also was not able to run a dir command on the C: drive. However I was able to get a dir on the other three partitions. As I had some data on C: that I hoped to recover, I chose to buy a new HD and reinstall windows with the hope that I may later be able to recover some of the data from the C: drive. I came to the conclusion that read problems were affecting the ntfs area of the C: drive.
I then installed a new WD 300M HD, partitioned it into 4 partitions, and installed Windows XP HE on the C: drive. I then hooked up the bad HD as a secondary one. Using some type of dianostic tool (I can't remember what), it revealed bad sectors on the old drive that were in groups of 4 sectors, but there were dozens/hundreds of groups. Since I had no apparent problem with the other 3 partitions on the old HD, I copied all the old data from the other 3 partitions onto the new drive (but not on C:). I occasionally encountered "cyclic redundency read errors" (I think that was the term) for some files, but in general I was able to recover about 95% of the data from the other 3 partitions.
After using the new HD for about 48 hours, it also crashed experiencing similar problems to the new drive, i.e. chkdsk gave out at about 25%, no dir for C: but dir worked for the other 3 partitions. Too much of a coincidence for me to believe that two drives died so similarly with a week.
My conclusions at this point is that perhaps there is come type of virus that attacked the S.M.A.R.T controller into thinking the HD was bad and/or wiped out the NTFS or boot sector, and by copying data from the old drive to the first that I had perhaps reintroduced the virus onto the new drive. Another suspicion is that perhaps there is something wrong with the Motherboard that caused it to fry the drives, but then why was only the C: drive primarily affected and not the other drives.
So at this point, I have no operating system working on the computer (I am typing this from an old computer with Windows 98). I am trying to avoid losing all the data that I have on the other drives and in fact still hopeful of retrieving data from the C: drive on the original HD. There is no data (other than windows/apps stuff) stored on the C: drive of the new HD.
So then, what can I do to help resolve the nature of this prob? As is, I have no OS or internet connection for the computer, so I can't perform the normal virus/malware checks. Like most of your posters I rather suspect, I'm quite distressed by the situation. Thanks for any help you might be able to provide.