sorry for the length of this post.I may edit it later. In the words of Blaise Pascal "I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short."
I am worried my harddrive could be defective.
Some of you may remember that I was having some issues with getting an operating system to boot-up and with getting one to install. The problem was eventually fixed, Ubuntu is now installed(as the only OS) and is running great. This is documented in the thread in my signature.
During that whole mess, I ran a quick test diagnostic on a my harddrive(a western digital) using one of the diagnostics programs(DL Diag 5.04f) provided on the Ultimate Boot CD. The software states that the test will take approximately 6 minutes. When I ran the test my HD passed the test with no errors and the software informed me that this test took 8 minutes.
I didn't think much more of it. And since Ubuntu was installed and working fine, I didn't feel it was necessary to bother with the extended test.
Then I started noticing a sticking point in Ubuntu's startup process. Now, it doesn't take Ubuntu long to boot(at least not in my opinion). It still beats Vista. It usually takes anywhere from like 2-3 minutes, and that it includes the time it takes me to enter my username and password. But there is a sticking point that concerns me. When Ubuntu is at the screen with the loading bar, it will fill up to about a half-centimeter and stick there for a few seconds( I don't know how long exactly, I haven't timed it. I need to use a timepiece that can display seconds). But after that, the majority of the bar seems to load smoothly and the Ubuntu is soon up and running.
I thought to myself that maybe I should run the more thorough harddrive diagnostic, the extended test. So I load up the Ultimate Boot CD again, go to the HD extended diagnostic, and it says it has to run the quick test first. I agree, and I go eat and watch some tv. I come back to my computer to find that the diagnostic never got to the extended test. As a matter of fact, it never even finished the quick test! It said "Test aborted. It ran too far beyond the expected time. Error code: 0210". I don't know how long it took, because I wasn't keeping time. But I powered off the system and didn't power it back up until today. I ran the test again first thing, but this time I was watching the clock. To make a long story short, the quick test did not complete this time either. The bar made good progress for about the first 6 minutes and then basically stopped cold in its tracks about a centimeter from the finish point. After 12 minutes(twice the time estimated by the diagnostic software for the test to complete), the software aborted the test and gave me the same message and error code listed above.
Do you think there is something wrong with my harddrive? The load time for Ubuntu(2-3 minutes) isn't that bad, but I hope it isn't going to turn into something worse. I think my prior issue was mainly a software/partition issue, but I suspect that my harddrive's slowness may have had something to do with it. But the problem is gone now, so I am pretty sure that my software/partition issue was the main cause of the problem. Everything is running fine, so maybe I am worried about nothing. But that diagnostic should have completed and now I am concerned.