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  1. #1
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    Can pulling out RAM while system is ON, cause HDD to go bad?

    I was working on a computer and I thought it was off cuz the CPU fan stopped spinning while I had my finger on the button. It wasnt posting so when the fan stopped I yanked the RAM figuring the system was off. Well later on turns out the FAN came back on...and well the system was on while I pulled out the RAM.

    Turns out everything electrically is OK cuz I put the ram back in and different ram in diff slots and the system now POSTs.

    Im not sure if windows worked before I went to put different RAM in, this is someone elses computer Im working on.
    But , windows now trys to starts up and says all these files are corrupt or missing. so I throw in BartPE...and I have HDD scan on there. There are like 20 bad blocks on the HDD.
    Could pulling out the RAM while system is on cause the hard drive to get physical errors on it? - I know it would corrupt files but I dont think it would damage the HDD's surface.

    What do you guyz think...do you think hdd was bad before I worked on the system? - thats what Im hoping.

    It sucks cuz Ive never done this before (pull out ram while system was on accidently) and I feel really bad and noobish.

    Also this is on an older like 700mhz machine with PC133.

    Plus I dont think it would hurt the HDD...cuz when I pulled it out the system didnt even POST at that point. So, I dont think windows was tryin to start up when I yanked it. But, still would like to know what you all think.
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  2. #2
    Member nvidiaOCmaster's Avatar
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    Absolutely.

    You didnt ruin the HDD per-se, but your corruped files. Reformat and reinstall windows.
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  3. #3
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    no no, I understand that and I pointed that out in my original post. Im asking can it physically ruin the HDD. Because now I scan the hard drive (the first time I did it.) and there were 20+ bad clusters right in the first 10% of the drive.


    Do you think that was there before, considering the drive is like 6+ years old...or is it bad JUST NOW from me pulling out the ram when power was on.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member KillrBuckeye's Avatar
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    I wouldn't think that it could physically damage the HDD, but I wouldn't suggest doing that again! In any case, there's nothing you can do about it now--so repair the bad sectors and move on.
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  5. #5
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    cant repair bad sectors. Yeah and I know not to do it again...never planned on doing it, plus its odd I usually have a habit of unplugging computer from back before even messing with swapping internal parts...this time was just a wack thing lol...so weird.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member KillrBuckeye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amdking
    cant repair bad sectors. Yeah and I know not to do it again...never planned on doing it, plus its odd I usually have a habit of unplugging computer from back before even messing with swapping internal parts...this time was just a wack thing lol...so weird.
    When you run a chkdsk or other error-checking utility, doesn't it just index the bad sectors and essentially instruct the HDD not to use them anymore? It's not a true "repair", but hard drive functionality should still be fine, right?
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  7. #7
    Member mrgreenjeans's Avatar
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    THe windows operating files are stored in RAM or the swap file while windows is in operation. When you shut down it writes these files to the hard drive so when you boot the data is available. If you pulled the RAM odds are you pulled the files with and corrupted the boot files. Say goodbye.
    Also, I've found if I disconnect the power cord it's real hard for the computer to stay on!
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  8. #8
    Member CGR's Avatar
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    Whenever you pull anything out that has power on it in a system you risk damaging the other components. I once pulled out a NIC while the computer was on, not only did it fry the NIC but the sound card and motherboard too..
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  9. #9
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    well..I know the files will become corrupt but I dont think the HDD could be physically damaged as a result of that. and like I said the computer hadnt even posted when I pulled out the RAM. I thought it was off.
    So, Im willin to bed HDD was bad to begin with, plus the person said the computer was really slow. Well, when I ran my HDD Scan right around the bad areas access times to blocks was 500ms+ So the drive would have kept getting worse and worse....
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  10. #10
    High Speed Senior deathman20's Avatar
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    Probably fried or damaged more then just the HDD doing that.

    Oh when your system turned back on well always a smart thing to do is pull the plug in the back. Someteimes the system will reboot doing things to it (plugging items in, ram, flash clearing) its strange and varies per mobo.
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