I think one of my hard drives is hosed. I’ve always suspected that was was funky, so I backed it up to DVD a couple of months ago, and yesterday I moved its current 21GB of contents to another drive and went to format it. PartitionMagic tried, but only managed to delete the index and not actually format the drive. Then it had an “unspecified error.” Windows couldn’t do it either. It worked and worked and worked and finally said that it couldn’t format the drive.
Formatting it as an NTFS drive with a Gentoo Linux disc didn’t solve the problem either: once back it Windows, it continued to be inaccessible. I haven’t been able to try formatting it as anything else because most Linux distributions don’t have the ITE821x kernel patch (FC4 and Gentoo 2005.1 do) that I thought was integrated by 2.6.12. Guess not.
I’m not too miffed, since it was an older drive anyway (WD 120GB, 2MB cache), the same one responsible for this catastrophe, and this time, I’ve preserved all my data. Still, I’m flummoxed as to what’s actually wrong with the damn thing. I think I’ll take it out and throw it in an spare Compaq that I keep around for testing. I’d like to make sure that it’s actually the hard drive and not something more insidious.
Oh, what I wouldn’t give for $2’000 to build myself a new machine.