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Desktop HD Crash - Virus or Bad HD?

So a desktop that I have started slowing down performance-wise, and then would just freeze up on me. After about 2 weeks of just degenerating like this, the shutdown time was pretty steady, with it freezing up in 30-60 minutes. When it got to this point I got an error message during bootup that stated it could not detect a hard drive. If I left the PC alone for a while (at least a couple of hours) I could boot up again into windows, but again, after half an hour it would freeze with the 'no hd' message again. I would also boot up with a CD (knoppix) and my HD would dissapear just the same after bout half an hour. At first I thought it might be a bad HD, so no biggie, buy a new one.

But here's what's changed. I went into my pc, not through my regular account, but through the Administrator account, and now it's been on hour about a day without incident. So now I'm confused. Could it be that the bad part of the HD was related to the area used by the user account, and since now I'm on the Administrator, it hasn't accessed that area and thus has not crashed? Or is there a possibility that this could be virus/software related? Haven't seen one that acts this way, specially with the initial boot error that now seems to have dissapeared as well.

Any thought on this would be appreciated, thanks.

By the way, in case it helps: WinXP Home.

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Try downloading the diagnostic SW from the maker of

In reply to: Desktop HD Crash - Virus or Bad HD?

of the HDD at question. Give it a test and eliminate that as a problem.

How long has it been since you've cleaned out the dust bunnies in the case ?

VAPCMD

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Will do...

In reply to: Try downloading the diagnostic SW from the maker of

I'll download the diagnostics for and update. As for the case, I had cleaned it out couple of months before.

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