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bad drives?

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I have a 3 y/o Gateway Pentium III, 256 RAM, 80 hd (originally 40), cd/dvd, cdrw, and floppy drives. In the three years I've owned it, I've had to replace the hard drive three times, the cdrw drive and the a drive. My warranty just expired and my hard drive (two months old) supposedly went out a week and a half ago. According to everything that was going on error codes etc... it was shot and needed to be replaced (that would be the fourth hd in three years). Anyway, they said they send me a new one since the warranty had just expired and the other one was only a couple of months old. I decided to just format the ahrd drive and reinstall windows and it workec fine. Now here's the thing: the first time my hard drive 'needed' to be replaced, I had to get data off of it, tried setting up a master/slave but was unable to retieve anything. Gave it to a friend who used to work for a software co and they were able to bypass all the gateway junk and get my files. They said the drive was fine, but gateway said otherwise. In the mean time my cdrw drive never worked right. Gateway techs kept saying it was software or os (ME) but the drive would cause my computer to freeze up for no reason - like when it wasn't even being used - the light would go on it would open. Finally just disconnected it. Then a few months later the floppy drive went out. Just wouldn't work. At this point tech support turns me over to case management as they (tech) think my computer's got other issues and is a pc lemon. Case management basically shines me on, tells me to send it in and have the drives checked. We needed it for work however, finally get mad because I have no way to back up data on cd or floppy call tech support again (over a year after disconnecting cdrw) - this time they send me new floppy and cdrw drives - they work fine . A couple of months ago hd really went out (lots of noise etc...) have no way to back up data from safe mode, and decide I want this thing gone through w/a fine tooth comb to find out what the heck's going on. Take it to Gateway store 'tech' they replace drive, I tell them I want data retrieved off old drive (would have to pay for service) they try but say it's too corrupted and data can't be retrieved. I ask for the drive back so I can attempt to get data. Within ten minutes I have ALL my files - just hooked old drive up with jumpers set to cable instead of master/slave. Anyway, how can I trust that the tech was actually able to thouroughly check out my system if he was unable to do that simple thing? I'm not going to install this fourth drive they sent, I'm sure there's something else going on here that's causing all this stuff to happen. Oh, and sometimes it won't read the contents of the regular cd drive. Any suggestions. Maybe the motherboard?

Sorry so long!

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I'd suspect a bad power supply. A utility like motherboard monitor can be used to monitor the voltages.

Could also be you don't have a good source of power for this system. Brown out (low voltages) can cause as much damage as power spikes. I'd invest in a decent UPS (uninterruptible power supply).

Not likely the motherboard, but stranger things have happened. Since you've had so many problems, I'd recommend asking Gateway to replace the motherboard and power supply. Then connect it to a UPS, and your problems should be gone. <_<
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