HDD appears dead but isn't?

1 Oct 2003
I've been using a Samsung HD103SJ drive in my system for almost 2 years. Yesterday I was backing up some files to my USB drive and noticed that the transfer speed reported by windows would hover around the usual 30MB/sec and then for about 30 seconds would drop to less than 1MB/sec. At the time I just assumed some other background process was causing it. HD Tune reported no errors. Later on I had to restart. When the POST got to the AHCI stage it just stopped as if it couldn't communicate with the drive. I disconnected the SATA cable for the Samsung and it detected my second WD drive and BD burner fine. I then swapped the SATA cable for my Samsung which didn't work. Using a different port on the motherboard also didn't work. At this point I was pretty certain I was looking at a failed drive. Later on I connected the apparently failed drive into my dads machine. It booted straight into windows (from his drive), detected I'd added the Samsung and I could access everything on it. When I moved it back to my machine only to have it stop at detection again.

Any ideas what could cause an almost 2 yr old drive to suddenly be incompatible with my machine?

My system is a Q6600 on a gigabyte EP45-DS3. Dad's is a Core i3 on an Asus P7H55-M
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