[Moderator's note: post has been split from this older thread]

Have to write this again as the window apparantly closed out on me mid question....anywho....

I am having a similar problem where when the computer is loading up and after detecting the primary and slave drives it will state that the S.M.A.R.T. command is capable but not functional and then continues on to start from a bios state saved in the IDE-0 and after finding it, it will inform me that the S.M.A.R.T. command has failed and that I press F1 to continue. Now I have had no real problems with performance on my computer as it is slow due to the lack of RAM (256MB) I have and I try to run a few things at once.

But once in a rare occasion after transfering my computer to another location, it will notify me after trying to load up that the NTLDR is "missing" and that I should press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart. Would this be concidered a fault with the drive, bios, or simply some other issue that is eluding me at the moment?

I currently have a Maxtor 5T010H1 9.5 gig hard drive
and also a WDC WD400EB-00CPF0 drive (what the device manager lists it as) and that is a 40 gig capacity.
I run Win XP Pro with a AMD Duron(tm) Processor with about 750Mhz processing power (really bad I know. lol all I could afford after loosing my toshiba laptop)

but any help would be appreciated. I have access to gain new hard drives cheap, but I'd rather know that it's the hard drive before I spend money and find out it's just a bad bios that I could have replaced for free.

What you describe could certainly be the early warning signs of a dying drive. Both Maxtor and Western Digital have diagnostic utilities available which will test the integrity of their drives; if you want to get a more definitive idea of the health of your drives, you should download and run those utilities. Here are the links to the utilities:

Maxtor's "PowerMax" utility:
Bootable floppy disk version
Bootable CD-ROM version

Western Digital's "Data Lifeguard" utility


I tested the drive using the utilities and the S.M.A.R.T. command failed, but as I said, my computer doesn't seem to be experiencing any real problems only the occasional error on bootup when I transfer it from site to site. So I'll keep that in mind and buy myself a backup for it in the event that the drive should fail.

So thanks for the prompt reply. I'll be sure to use this forum again (and read the forum rules just for the wombat person, love those lil creatures) and hopefully it won't be too soon as I hope to keep a functioning computer as long as I can.