Questions

Booting Problems

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Booting Problems

kal_lmn
Strangest thing. I got home from work today, turned on my PC, and everything worked fine. I decided after about an hour to take a rest, and decided to save energy and put my computer in "sleep" mode... which I rarely do. After I came back, roughly 2 hours later, I woke up my pc, logged in, and it froze. I waited about 4 minutes and decided to hard reset. After the restart, windows would not boot. The computer boots, I can get into bios, my bios has a tool which lets me see the hard drive, APPARENTLY it can read the information on the drive, but EVERY time I start windows, it loads, brings up the "Starting Windows" screen (windows 7) where the little color blobs come together to form the windows logo, but JUST as they form the logo, the whole boot sequence freezes and stays there. I tried leaving it on, restarting several times, checking connections, and unplugging and resting the pc, but all my efforts lead to the same issue... my question is WHAT could be wrong?
I also tried booting using my windows boot cd, but I have had it for QUITE a while and even the boot cd seems to not work. I went into bios and set cd boot priority to 1, yet it sits at the cd boot screen, never asks to boot, waits about 2-3 minutes, then auto boots the HDD... leading to the same problem, I don't know if the windows disc was just scratched, if my HDD is bad, if theres something wrong with my mobo, or SOMETHING else stopping my PC from booting, I am completely confused.
My PC specs are:
Radeon HD 6870
1TB seagate barracuda HDD
AMD fx 4100 CPU
sabertooth 990FX mobo
8GB corsair XMS ram (2 X 4GB)
  • +
    1 Votes
    gechurch

    98% of the time you will get away with hard rebooting your machine. The odd time though you will be unlucky - maybe the machine was writing to an important system file (that's needed for booting) and it got half-written before the reboot and is now corrupt. Something along these lines has happened.

    The first thing to do is try Last Known Config. To do this tap F8 multiple times before you see the Windows logo. If you time it right you will see a menu of boot options. Choose last known good configuration and see if that boots. If not, hit F8 again and this time try Safe Mode. It that boots, something non-essential is causing the lockup. We can help track it down and stop it from auto-starting or repair it. If you do get into Safe Mode run chkdsk C: /r to check your hard drive to see if there is any corruption or inconsistencies.

    If neither of those work you can try a bootable CD. Boot off it and run a chkdsk /r on your hard drive. If it still isn't working then I'd suggest asking a tech-savvy friend to take a look, or taking it into a computer shop.

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    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    Thanks for the reply. But I can't seem to find the "last good configuration" option. I press F8 during boot, and that makes my motherboard bring up the boot options menu, so I can select which drive to boot, then it directly boots that drive, or I can select setup, which takes me directly to the bios so I can change system settings (sabertooth uefi bios). So it SEEMS like I can only directly boot, sometimes I recieve a "windows did not restart properly, would you like to 'system check' or 'start normally' " but the system check sists at a black screen, and start normally brings about the freezing. ALSO, my dvd drive seems to be working, booted the system dvd, did a startup check, but it encountered "NO ERRORS" so I tried a system restore on 3 points so far, but it keeps encountering an "Unexpected Error" (ox800700b7) and says no system files were changed.

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    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    eventually I managed to get into safemode. I ran chkldsk, and it seemed to change several files. NOW my system will boot, but STILL gets stuck on the windows startup screen for about 1 minute. It USED to pass that screen in 10 seconds... maybe 15, anything else I should try now that my system is booting? ALSO, during the safemode boot, it also took quite a while, but at least it showed the files while booting, and it seemed to REALLY like staring at a file called "aswrvrt" might that have something to do with it?

    +
    0 Votes

    Have you ran a malware scan? May need to use a bootable CD and
    run a couple of different scanners, such as MalWareBytes, and Avira...
    Avira has a good boot CD.

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    0 Votes
    gechurch

    Well it's good news that it boots again. The next thing I would do is open a command prompt as an administrator (Find it in the Start Menu under All Programs - Accessories. Right-click it and choose Run as Administrator). This will open a black windows. Type into it "sfc /scannow" (without the quotes). This will run the system file checker, which checks the integrity of most of the Windows system files and replaces any modified ones with legit versions if it finds a problem.

    As for the long delay while loading Safe Mode, unfortunately this screen doesn't print out the name of the file it is loading until *after* it has loaded it. So when it sits there for a long time on aswrvrt, it actually means that the files that gets loaded after aswrvrt is the one that's taking so long to load. Aswrvrt is a file from your antivirus, so it's possible the next file to load could also be from your antivirus system. As a test you could uninstall and reinstall Avast to see if that helps. If not we might have to get a bit more serious. You can also try a repair install of Windows. Let us know which version of Windows you are running if you'd like to do this. Another option is to use a tool to monitor and log what's happening during a boot of Windows then read that log file to figure out where the delay was. These steps are getting a bit advanced though - try the easier steps above and report back if they don't fix it.

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    1 Votes
    kush tyagi

    you should try another HDD on your computer to confirm. or check this HDD to another computer

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    0 Votes
    mike.walsh

    Many times I have found that when a computer takes a lloooonnnggg time to read a file the HDD is failing. I have suspected that the file that takes a long time to load has been written to a part of the HDD surface that is going bad (or is bad already).
    Try another HDD! It seems like a pain in the neck to do, but it saves a lot of time in the long run.
    I have wasted a lot of time over the years working with HDDs that are failing, and trying to coax them into "working better". It was all a waste of time.

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    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    OK, LONG wait for the reply... BUT, it seemed to be booting perfectly, and CONTINUES to do so... but freezes VERY consistently a few seconds after boot. Sometimes on the login screen, sometimes while logging in and loading startup programs, STILL sometimes on windows startup... After it appeared to be booting properly, I scanned for malware/spyware and ran virus checks several times each, ran the sfc scan, as explained here, then used my pc normally for a day just to test it out until this constant freezing problem started occurring. I DO believe that it is the HDD failing, since as I was checking the connections, I kept hearing a slight high pitched (low, but audible) noise. I lightly tapped the HDD and it clinked once followed by several loud clicking noises... I am highly positive that is not normal... at least without major throttling/positioning of the HDD, am I correct? EVEN after spotting several bad clusters and fixing them via the sfc, with long loading times and the freezing/noises, I will try a new HDD soon as possible. I don't currently have one, so I will purchase one and post back with the results. I'll still keep checking back here to see any further suggestions. Thank you everyone for helping me troubleshoot.

    +
    0 Votes
    gechurch

    Yep - definitely sounds like a HDD issue to me. The noises sound like a hard drive issue, and the random slowness etc are common symptoms too so having them together makes it extremely likely to be the case.

    The "chkdsk /r" that the first responder mentioned will check for a bad drive - in the summary section at the bottom is it has anything other than 0KB in Bad Sectors then your drive is dying. The only thing you can do about it is replace it.

    Your best bet now is to not use the machine at all until the replacement comes. When it does come you can either clone from your old drive to the new (using software like Ghost or Acronis), or can install Windows on it from scratch and start copying your files over manually.

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    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    OK, so I bought a new HDD after work, installed it alongside my old HDD, and installed Windows 7 on it.. After boot, I used a partition manager to completely wipe all data from my old HDD, deleted all partitions and turned it into just one large logical partition (I thought I could use it for storage or something). Everything seemed GREAT until this morning. When I booted up this morning... it got stuck on the "starting Windows" screen again. I thought my heart stopped and I was confused as to WHAT the **** it could be. I let it sit there to see if it would EVENTUALLY boot... maybe it was extreme slowness. After about 4 minutes, it went black and started running the chkdsk tool and said my "E:" drive needs checking. My "E:" drive is my old (now storage) drive. during chkdsk it froze again... this time for about 3 minutes until I said screw it, powered off, unplugged my old drive, and now it boots like a charm again... at least the first time (which I am using right now).

    What I want to know is... If a HDD is failing, can you not use it at ALL on your system? Is the old failing drive what may be causing boot problems now even though it isn't booting FROM that drive and is just a logical drive now? Hopefully IF that is the problem and I remove it completely, this will be the last entry to this Q&A thread... Thank you all so very much for your help so far, I do greatly appreciate it.

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    0 Votes
    mike.walsh

    I suggest that you unplug the old HDD and remove it from your system. Then run your computer for a week or two. If it runs fine then you can be reasonably sure that the old HDD was causing the problems. If you conclude that, then get rid of it.
    The simple fact is that it cannot store files properly and reliably. If the files are system files then your computer won't run correctly, and if the files are data files you will never be confident that the HDD can serve your data to you when you need it.
    It is very tempting to "keep that old HDD" when it works "most of the time". But you will regret it eventually when it fails and you can't get an important file off it.
    Let your computer run for a week of two without the old HDD, and if it runs well, and as it should run, then crush the old HDD with a large sledgehammer (to prevent anyone else being from trying to rescue it) and throw it away. I've been down the path of trying to "rescue" failing HDDs before, and it has NEVER paid off.
    Be merciless! Get rid of it!!

    +
    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    eventually I managed to get into safemode. I ran chkldsk, and it seemed to change several files. NOW my system will boot, but STILL gets stuck on the windows startup screen for about 1 minute. It USED to pass that screen in 10 seconds... maybe 15, anything else I should try now that my system is booting? ALSO, during the safemode boot, it also took quite a while, but at least it showed the files while booting, and it seemed to REALLY like staring at a file called "aswrvrt" might that have something to do with it?

    +
    1 Votes
    kush tyagi

    you should try another HDD on your computer to confirm. or check this HDD to another computer

    +
    0 Votes
    mike.walsh

    Many times I have found that when a computer takes a lloooonnnggg time to read a file the HDD is failing. I have suspected that the file that takes a long time to load has been written to a part of the HDD surface that is going bad (or is bad already).
    Try another HDD! It seems like a pain in the neck to do, but it saves a lot of time in the long run.
    I have wasted a lot of time over the years working with HDDs that are failing, and trying to coax them into "working better". It was all a waste of time.

    +
    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    OK, LONG wait for the reply... BUT, it seemed to be booting perfectly, and CONTINUES to do so... but freezes VERY consistently a few seconds after boot. Sometimes on the login screen, sometimes while logging in and loading startup programs, STILL sometimes on windows startup... After it appeared to be booting properly, I scanned for malware/spyware and ran virus checks several times each, ran the sfc scan, as explained here, then used my pc normally for a day just to test it out until this constant freezing problem started occurring. I DO believe that it is the HDD failing, since as I was checking the connections, I kept hearing a slight high pitched (low, but audible) noise. I lightly tapped the HDD and it clinked once followed by several loud clicking noises... I am highly positive that is not normal... at least without major throttling/positioning of the HDD, am I correct? EVEN after spotting several bad clusters and fixing them via the sfc, with long loading times and the freezing/noises, I will try a new HDD soon as possible. I don't currently have one, so I will purchase one and post back with the results. I'll still keep checking back here to see any further suggestions. Thank you everyone for helping me troubleshoot.

    +
    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    OK, so I bought a new HDD after work, installed it alongside my old HDD, and installed Windows 7 on it.. After boot, I used a partition manager to completely wipe all data from my old HDD, deleted all partitions and turned it into just one large logical partition (I thought I could use it for storage or something). Everything seemed GREAT until this morning. When I booted up this morning... it got stuck on the "starting Windows" screen again. I thought my heart stopped and I was confused as to WHAT the **** it could be. I let it sit there to see if it would EVENTUALLY boot... maybe it was extreme slowness. After about 4 minutes, it went black and started running the chkdsk tool and said my "E:" drive needs checking. My "E:" drive is my old (now storage) drive. during chkdsk it froze again... this time for about 3 minutes until I said screw it, powered off, unplugged my old drive, and now it boots like a charm again... at least the first time (which I am using right now).

    What I want to know is... If a HDD is failing, can you not use it at ALL on your system? Is the old failing drive what may be causing boot problems now even though it isn't booting FROM that drive and is just a logical drive now? Hopefully IF that is the problem and I remove it completely, this will be the last entry to this Q&A thread... Thank you all so very much for your help so far, I do greatly appreciate it.

    +
    0 Votes
    mike.walsh

    I suggest that you unplug the old HDD and remove it from your system. Then run your computer for a week or two. If it runs fine then you can be reasonably sure that the old HDD was causing the problems. If you conclude that, then get rid of it.
    The simple fact is that it cannot store files properly and reliably. If the files are system files then your computer won't run correctly, and if the files are data files you will never be confident that the HDD can serve your data to you when you need it.
    It is very tempting to "keep that old HDD" when it works "most of the time". But you will regret it eventually when it fails and you can't get an important file off it.
    Let your computer run for a week of two without the old HDD, and if it runs well, and as it should run, then crush the old HDD with a large sledgehammer (to prevent anyone else being from trying to rescue it) and throw it away. I've been down the path of trying to "rescue" failing HDDs before, and it has NEVER paid off.
    Be merciless! Get rid of it!!

  • +
    1 Votes
    gechurch

    98% of the time you will get away with hard rebooting your machine. The odd time though you will be unlucky - maybe the machine was writing to an important system file (that's needed for booting) and it got half-written before the reboot and is now corrupt. Something along these lines has happened.

    The first thing to do is try Last Known Config. To do this tap F8 multiple times before you see the Windows logo. If you time it right you will see a menu of boot options. Choose last known good configuration and see if that boots. If not, hit F8 again and this time try Safe Mode. It that boots, something non-essential is causing the lockup. We can help track it down and stop it from auto-starting or repair it. If you do get into Safe Mode run chkdsk C: /r to check your hard drive to see if there is any corruption or inconsistencies.

    If neither of those work you can try a bootable CD. Boot off it and run a chkdsk /r on your hard drive. If it still isn't working then I'd suggest asking a tech-savvy friend to take a look, or taking it into a computer shop.

    +
    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    Thanks for the reply. But I can't seem to find the "last good configuration" option. I press F8 during boot, and that makes my motherboard bring up the boot options menu, so I can select which drive to boot, then it directly boots that drive, or I can select setup, which takes me directly to the bios so I can change system settings (sabertooth uefi bios). So it SEEMS like I can only directly boot, sometimes I recieve a "windows did not restart properly, would you like to 'system check' or 'start normally' " but the system check sists at a black screen, and start normally brings about the freezing. ALSO, my dvd drive seems to be working, booted the system dvd, did a startup check, but it encountered "NO ERRORS" so I tried a system restore on 3 points so far, but it keeps encountering an "Unexpected Error" (ox800700b7) and says no system files were changed.

    +
    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    eventually I managed to get into safemode. I ran chkldsk, and it seemed to change several files. NOW my system will boot, but STILL gets stuck on the windows startup screen for about 1 minute. It USED to pass that screen in 10 seconds... maybe 15, anything else I should try now that my system is booting? ALSO, during the safemode boot, it also took quite a while, but at least it showed the files while booting, and it seemed to REALLY like staring at a file called "aswrvrt" might that have something to do with it?

    +
    0 Votes

    Have you ran a malware scan? May need to use a bootable CD and
    run a couple of different scanners, such as MalWareBytes, and Avira...
    Avira has a good boot CD.

    +
    0 Votes
    gechurch

    Well it's good news that it boots again. The next thing I would do is open a command prompt as an administrator (Find it in the Start Menu under All Programs - Accessories. Right-click it and choose Run as Administrator). This will open a black windows. Type into it "sfc /scannow" (without the quotes). This will run the system file checker, which checks the integrity of most of the Windows system files and replaces any modified ones with legit versions if it finds a problem.

    As for the long delay while loading Safe Mode, unfortunately this screen doesn't print out the name of the file it is loading until *after* it has loaded it. So when it sits there for a long time on aswrvrt, it actually means that the files that gets loaded after aswrvrt is the one that's taking so long to load. Aswrvrt is a file from your antivirus, so it's possible the next file to load could also be from your antivirus system. As a test you could uninstall and reinstall Avast to see if that helps. If not we might have to get a bit more serious. You can also try a repair install of Windows. Let us know which version of Windows you are running if you'd like to do this. Another option is to use a tool to monitor and log what's happening during a boot of Windows then read that log file to figure out where the delay was. These steps are getting a bit advanced though - try the easier steps above and report back if they don't fix it.

    +
    1 Votes
    kush tyagi

    you should try another HDD on your computer to confirm. or check this HDD to another computer

    +
    0 Votes
    mike.walsh

    Many times I have found that when a computer takes a lloooonnnggg time to read a file the HDD is failing. I have suspected that the file that takes a long time to load has been written to a part of the HDD surface that is going bad (or is bad already).
    Try another HDD! It seems like a pain in the neck to do, but it saves a lot of time in the long run.
    I have wasted a lot of time over the years working with HDDs that are failing, and trying to coax them into "working better". It was all a waste of time.

    +
    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    OK, LONG wait for the reply... BUT, it seemed to be booting perfectly, and CONTINUES to do so... but freezes VERY consistently a few seconds after boot. Sometimes on the login screen, sometimes while logging in and loading startup programs, STILL sometimes on windows startup... After it appeared to be booting properly, I scanned for malware/spyware and ran virus checks several times each, ran the sfc scan, as explained here, then used my pc normally for a day just to test it out until this constant freezing problem started occurring. I DO believe that it is the HDD failing, since as I was checking the connections, I kept hearing a slight high pitched (low, but audible) noise. I lightly tapped the HDD and it clinked once followed by several loud clicking noises... I am highly positive that is not normal... at least without major throttling/positioning of the HDD, am I correct? EVEN after spotting several bad clusters and fixing them via the sfc, with long loading times and the freezing/noises, I will try a new HDD soon as possible. I don't currently have one, so I will purchase one and post back with the results. I'll still keep checking back here to see any further suggestions. Thank you everyone for helping me troubleshoot.

    +
    0 Votes
    gechurch

    Yep - definitely sounds like a HDD issue to me. The noises sound like a hard drive issue, and the random slowness etc are common symptoms too so having them together makes it extremely likely to be the case.

    The "chkdsk /r" that the first responder mentioned will check for a bad drive - in the summary section at the bottom is it has anything other than 0KB in Bad Sectors then your drive is dying. The only thing you can do about it is replace it.

    Your best bet now is to not use the machine at all until the replacement comes. When it does come you can either clone from your old drive to the new (using software like Ghost or Acronis), or can install Windows on it from scratch and start copying your files over manually.

    +
    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    OK, so I bought a new HDD after work, installed it alongside my old HDD, and installed Windows 7 on it.. After boot, I used a partition manager to completely wipe all data from my old HDD, deleted all partitions and turned it into just one large logical partition (I thought I could use it for storage or something). Everything seemed GREAT until this morning. When I booted up this morning... it got stuck on the "starting Windows" screen again. I thought my heart stopped and I was confused as to WHAT the **** it could be. I let it sit there to see if it would EVENTUALLY boot... maybe it was extreme slowness. After about 4 minutes, it went black and started running the chkdsk tool and said my "E:" drive needs checking. My "E:" drive is my old (now storage) drive. during chkdsk it froze again... this time for about 3 minutes until I said screw it, powered off, unplugged my old drive, and now it boots like a charm again... at least the first time (which I am using right now).

    What I want to know is... If a HDD is failing, can you not use it at ALL on your system? Is the old failing drive what may be causing boot problems now even though it isn't booting FROM that drive and is just a logical drive now? Hopefully IF that is the problem and I remove it completely, this will be the last entry to this Q&A thread... Thank you all so very much for your help so far, I do greatly appreciate it.

    +
    0 Votes
    mike.walsh

    I suggest that you unplug the old HDD and remove it from your system. Then run your computer for a week or two. If it runs fine then you can be reasonably sure that the old HDD was causing the problems. If you conclude that, then get rid of it.
    The simple fact is that it cannot store files properly and reliably. If the files are system files then your computer won't run correctly, and if the files are data files you will never be confident that the HDD can serve your data to you when you need it.
    It is very tempting to "keep that old HDD" when it works "most of the time". But you will regret it eventually when it fails and you can't get an important file off it.
    Let your computer run for a week of two without the old HDD, and if it runs well, and as it should run, then crush the old HDD with a large sledgehammer (to prevent anyone else being from trying to rescue it) and throw it away. I've been down the path of trying to "rescue" failing HDDs before, and it has NEVER paid off.
    Be merciless! Get rid of it!!

    +
    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    eventually I managed to get into safemode. I ran chkldsk, and it seemed to change several files. NOW my system will boot, but STILL gets stuck on the windows startup screen for about 1 minute. It USED to pass that screen in 10 seconds... maybe 15, anything else I should try now that my system is booting? ALSO, during the safemode boot, it also took quite a while, but at least it showed the files while booting, and it seemed to REALLY like staring at a file called "aswrvrt" might that have something to do with it?

    +
    1 Votes
    kush tyagi

    you should try another HDD on your computer to confirm. or check this HDD to another computer

    +
    0 Votes
    mike.walsh

    Many times I have found that when a computer takes a lloooonnnggg time to read a file the HDD is failing. I have suspected that the file that takes a long time to load has been written to a part of the HDD surface that is going bad (or is bad already).
    Try another HDD! It seems like a pain in the neck to do, but it saves a lot of time in the long run.
    I have wasted a lot of time over the years working with HDDs that are failing, and trying to coax them into "working better". It was all a waste of time.

    +
    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    OK, LONG wait for the reply... BUT, it seemed to be booting perfectly, and CONTINUES to do so... but freezes VERY consistently a few seconds after boot. Sometimes on the login screen, sometimes while logging in and loading startup programs, STILL sometimes on windows startup... After it appeared to be booting properly, I scanned for malware/spyware and ran virus checks several times each, ran the sfc scan, as explained here, then used my pc normally for a day just to test it out until this constant freezing problem started occurring. I DO believe that it is the HDD failing, since as I was checking the connections, I kept hearing a slight high pitched (low, but audible) noise. I lightly tapped the HDD and it clinked once followed by several loud clicking noises... I am highly positive that is not normal... at least without major throttling/positioning of the HDD, am I correct? EVEN after spotting several bad clusters and fixing them via the sfc, with long loading times and the freezing/noises, I will try a new HDD soon as possible. I don't currently have one, so I will purchase one and post back with the results. I'll still keep checking back here to see any further suggestions. Thank you everyone for helping me troubleshoot.

    +
    0 Votes
    kal_lmn

    OK, so I bought a new HDD after work, installed it alongside my old HDD, and installed Windows 7 on it.. After boot, I used a partition manager to completely wipe all data from my old HDD, deleted all partitions and turned it into just one large logical partition (I thought I could use it for storage or something). Everything seemed GREAT until this morning. When I booted up this morning... it got stuck on the "starting Windows" screen again. I thought my heart stopped and I was confused as to WHAT the **** it could be. I let it sit there to see if it would EVENTUALLY boot... maybe it was extreme slowness. After about 4 minutes, it went black and started running the chkdsk tool and said my "E:" drive needs checking. My "E:" drive is my old (now storage) drive. during chkdsk it froze again... this time for about 3 minutes until I said screw it, powered off, unplugged my old drive, and now it boots like a charm again... at least the first time (which I am using right now).

    What I want to know is... If a HDD is failing, can you not use it at ALL on your system? Is the old failing drive what may be causing boot problems now even though it isn't booting FROM that drive and is just a logical drive now? Hopefully IF that is the problem and I remove it completely, this will be the last entry to this Q&A thread... Thank you all so very much for your help so far, I do greatly appreciate it.

    +
    0 Votes
    mike.walsh

    I suggest that you unplug the old HDD and remove it from your system. Then run your computer for a week or two. If it runs fine then you can be reasonably sure that the old HDD was causing the problems. If you conclude that, then get rid of it.
    The simple fact is that it cannot store files properly and reliably. If the files are system files then your computer won't run correctly, and if the files are data files you will never be confident that the HDD can serve your data to you when you need it.
    It is very tempting to "keep that old HDD" when it works "most of the time". But you will regret it eventually when it fails and you can't get an important file off it.
    Let your computer run for a week of two without the old HDD, and if it runs well, and as it should run, then crush the old HDD with a large sledgehammer (to prevent anyone else being from trying to rescue it) and throw it away. I've been down the path of trying to "rescue" failing HDDs before, and it has NEVER paid off.
    Be merciless! Get rid of it!!