Quote: Originally Posted by Wicca
how will i know if it is damaged
Well, just have a good look and see if it is frayed, check the connectors at each end of the cable and make sure the connectors on your motherboard and hard drive don't show any obvious signs of wear.
If in doubt, buy a new cable and try that - they're not very expensive.
If you really don't feel confident in tackling the problem yourself you'll need to take your computer to your local repair shop or get a computer-savvy friend to check it out for you.