I just spent nearly three days troubleshooting and diagnosing a laptop Hard Disk Drive. I wish I had at least two of those days back. Working inside a corporate LAN means that reinstalling the operating system is not as easy as it would be for your home PC. Let me tell you a sad, sad tale.
I worked all day on Thursday the 15th without so much as a hiccup from my work computer. I logged and powered off as usual at end of day and dragged my weary butt home. On Friday I arrived at my office a little early hoping to get a few things done and when I turned my PC on it powered up and began to load windows just like every day for the last 6 months. Once windows loaded, the explorer shell restarted. Not too odd, ive seen that before, but then it restarted again, and again, and you get the picture.
So it seemed that windows explorer had been damaged or corrupted because each time it would load it would restart. I could get no work done. Now I am a resourceful tech savvy guy so what did I do? I opened the task manager and caught the explorer process in one of its start cycles and ended that process. Now, that worked to stop the restarts, but now I have no desktop and no icons or start bar. Not the end of the world but it damn sire makes getting to my applications a pain.
Long story short for two days I ran every malware, spyware, antivirus scan and combo fix I could get my paws on. Everything about the PC seemed to work fine just no explorer shell. When the utilities, which I have used many times to rescue other users computers, and fix many problems on clients PCs, failed I was left calling the corporate office to chat with the IT admin there to see what the next step would be. He had me run a slew of other diagnostics and even try to re install windows to no avail.
Looks like the issue the entire time was a failing hard disk drive. This has to be one of the weirdest HDD fails I have ever seen. I have had drives click into infinity then cease to spin. I have had them whine into drive oblivion. I have had them overheat and puff smoke and even spin backwards but I have never had one behave this way. Needless to say a new HDD is on its way to me via FedEx overnight.
I sure hope tomorrow sees me back online so I can actually get some work done. Hope you enjoyed my tale of hard drive woe. Rest in peace Hard Drive..