Today I had a hard drive crash.. Not fun.
Weird coincidence - I had a similar drive crash earlier this week, The disc was largely usable, but apparently some bad areas had grown to the point where important files were becoming unreadable and programs started crashing.
I used robocopy to get a new disk set up that allowed me to get working again, but I didn't get a list of the problem files. I wish I had known about unstoppable Copier.
One thing I don't understand is that the Windows Event log was mostly useless in figuring out what the problem was. Nothing at all in the log until the very day that things got so bad I had to immediately replace the drive. Until then, the problem manifested mainly as browser crashes which are normal enough that it didn't occur to me the hard drive was the problem. When it go to the point that I was sure there was a serious problem, all I saw in the event log were two ATAPI errors after I rebooted. I had rebooted thinking that maybe a reboot might be all that's needed to get the systme stable again, as is so often the case with Windows.
Anyway at least those two errors clued me in a little bit about what the problem was:
event 11 atapi: The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Ide\IdePort2
But I had little idea which drive was \Device\Ide\IdePort2 - as far as I can tell, that doesn't match anything in Device manager or the properties for any of the drives in device manager. I finally figured it out by trial and error, but it seems to me *something* should just tell you which disk \Device\Ide\IdePort2 is.
Anyway, if you ever see ATAPI event 11, take it seriously.