So, following up on a previous thread (here), I tried cloning my original old hard drive to my new one this weekend. Apparently, the old drive had some bad sectors, however, because none of the cloning apps I tried could handle it. The bad sectors must not have been in a critical area - Windows still started up fine when I booted from the old HD - but the cloning programs wouldn't finish. My last-ditch cloning effort was to try Clonezilla Live. That failed as well, and when the PC rebooted, the old hard drive would no longer boot up with Windows. It went to a BSOD regardless of whether I tried using last known good configuration, safe mode, etc. Dunno if Clonezilla screwed something up or if the HD just had more of a breakdown.
Regardless, that left me with no working bootable hard drives, so I gave up the cloning dream and re-installed Windows 7 on my new drive. That worked ok, and I could see the old drive once I was in, so I started copying files from it. I got my highest priority files, and then started installing Windows updates on the new hard drive. During a reboot within that process, that's where things got worse.
When my PC rebooted, it listed two drives in the BIOS. However, when it got back into Windows (booted from the new drive), it no longer listed the old drive in Windows Explorer OR in Disk Manager. When I restarted the PC, I also no longer saw it in the BIOS. However, if I turned off the PC and turned it back on, I still saw the old drive in the BIOS...but it disappeared again if Windows loaded.
So, I guess I'm confused...if the drive was dead now, why would it still show up initially in the BIOS when I first turned on the computer? But on the flip side, if it's still there, why is it disappearing after Windows loads, even in the BIOS?
I can probably live without it at this point if I had to, but I hadn't finished looking through it for more files to save, so I'd hate to give up on it now if there's still a chance I can bring it back again. Any thoughts? I found a tutorial on using bootrec.exe that I might try when I get home. And I tried running Windows repair from a bootable USB drive, but I don't know what drive it ran against...it didn't list any Windows installations on its initial screen, but I went to the next screen anyway. It claimed to fix some partition table issues, but I saw no difference when I rebooted. And I can't run chkdsk on the old drive again if I can't see it.
Hard drives that have "BAD SECTORS" are dying. Copying files off now the bad drive is DEAD.
Modern SATA Drives with bad sectors have run out of spares and can DIE FOREVER EVERYTHING LOST at any time after that.
SMART is likely now DEAD aka there are no soft fixes for PHYSICALLY BAD DRIVES.