Hard drive wrecked by software, possible?

Hello community,

I have a 1996 IBM ThinkPad 760L, completely functional with IBM PC DOS 7.0 Rev 0 and Windows 3.11 for Workgroups (all English). A few days ago, I was playing a game (Operation: Inner Space) in the usual way when all of a sudden, it froze the notebook. I had to restart it and found that my hard disk died with an error code 174 (Hard drive failure). Now, today I received a spare hard disk which turned out to be the same model and size and my ThinkPad is back and running up again.

Is it possible indeed that a software, anything like a computer game or an enterprise application can damage the disk itself by any means? Now, I know the game in question is sometimes unstable but at most it crashed Windows and had to restart. But to destroy a hard disk? It left me wondering...

Thank you.


  • It could be that the game wrote so much to the hard disk and the age of the disk could have caused it to die. Or it was just really old.

  • No, it is much more likely that your drive died because of age.

  • Curious indeed. Age and luck are factors in these situations.

    Funny that a Compaq Contura hard disk from February '94 is still up and running with no issues while a ThinkPad 760 hard disk from October '96 went belly up and shitted its pants.

    Thanks both of you for the help.

  • Its probably because IBM doesn't have as good hard drives as Compaq do

  • Compaq made a reputation back then and manage to keep it up. They have a lot to learn, it's time for ThinkPads to sign up for the course lol.
  • Definitely just a failed drive. It happens. It still happens today. It will probably happen in the future. Always back up!
Sign In or Register to comment.