Well, I pushed my luck too far, I guess. I've been using this Maxtor 20GB (model 52049U4) for about 6 years, and was currently using it as the primary Windows 2000 hard drive, plus a repository of My Documents. it died tonight. It happily outlived its 3 year warranty, but died at age 6. How long should hard drives last?
I learned that I made a foolish mistake to keep My Documents, bookmarks, and other files on the old hard drive. I should have backed up those special files onto a CD or DVD. Duh! I think it takes this situation to start a good habit.
At least I already had a XP-64 bit installation on another hard drive.
Feel free to leave your story of your hard drive losses.
Tomorrow, I'll try a new IDE cable and give it one more try. If that's no good, I'll dissemble the old hard drive and take a hammer to the disk.