To get right to the point, I had forgotten that the SAM uses the same 2032 battery that has plagued so many of us A1 users. Even when I saw it, I doubted it could be the problem -- my SAM is only about a year old, and I didn't start using it regularly until March of this year. It couln't be bad yet. But in the course of reseating my boards and cords I removed and tested it. A full 0.1v, fading fast to about 0.05 while I watched!
I replaced it, and so far I seem to have my SAM back. What in the world is that battery in charge of?
Original statement of problem:
Today I have successfully and unsuccessfully booted several times. Each unsuccessful boot and at some time during activity with each successful boot so far, the hard drive activity light has come on and stayed on. And I get alerts about unreadable formats on different partitions on my hard drive (three different ones so far, DH0:, DH1: and DH4).
I kept notes of the first three instances, which I will hide to save space for those not wanting to read them, if I can remember how to do so. But the problem has persisted four or five more times so far. I'm happy to have reached this point this time.
Is this a sure sign of a hard drive suddenly gone bad? I did install an extra fan and connected the front audio jacks to the motherboard a couple days ago. I guess I will try disconnecting both of those and see if it makes a difference. Meanwhile, I worry about whether I will be able to get back on and see if anyone responds to this.