Almost Certain Problem is not Hard Drive
by blamble - 5/8/10 6:14 AM
The issue you have mentioned is one that I have experienced many times. The good news is your pictures are almost certainly not corrupt and it is VERY unlikely that there is anything wrong with your hard drive.
The issue is most likely the application(s) you are using to display the pictures and the way they render the picture to your screen.
There are several ways to verify that your pictures are still completely intact and uncorrupted. For piece of mind, make a physical prnt of one of the images that appear to be distorted or corrupted. You can do this with your own printer, use an online print service like Walmart or copy the image and go to the store to have a print made. My guess is your image will be perfect (or as perfect as the original image that was created by you and your camera!)
Once you have confirmed that the image itself is fine, there are several things you can try.
First, try different graphic display and management applications, most of which are free. I recommend trying Picasa first. I suspect that the root of the problem could be one or more of the following:
Different grapics applications create screen images using different methods of rendering the image to the monitor, depending on the resolution of the original, the size of the image being displayed and/or the resolution settings of your monitor.
The second challenge could be your video card; how much discrete (video memeory vs shared) memory the card has; are you using the latest driver for your card and OS; are the video card and monitor configured with optimal settings to work together.
Again, I would do the simple task of verifying that your images are still completely intact by creating a print from the image on the shared storage. Once your mind is at ease that your images are good, you can avoid the many time comsuming and dangerous tasks some have recommended here and ignore the fear and panic that is being instilled and focus on the real issue: How to make your pictures look great when viewing them on your computer.
Good luck. Coach in Canada