On the desktop, with the "failing" hard disk connected directly, try going into BIOS and try "autodetecting" the drive, what happens?
in the BIOS its detected as STA3200xxxx something like that i think the model number is correctly detected in BIOS.
Once (even if slowly) booted to Windows 7, how is the "failing" hard disk seen in device manager?
err i plugged into the desktop for like half hour its still at starting windows when my brother wanted to use. i was using the laptop, the desktop is his, maybe i can try starting it again when his not using some other day.
I still think about an intermittent problem, like a connection or the actual hard disk going bad.
hmm i dont think its a connection problem actually, cos it is less likely that a SATA direct connection and USB connection failed with similar results
Is it noisy?
Does it click repeatedly?
not really noisy, it sounds normal
i hear some clicking sounds at the start but is not sure if its normal? i think i heard such sounds b4 (at start, like abt say 2 secs at most?)