Tech Talk Discuss PC Hardware, Software, Internet and Other Technology

Annoying Hard Drive Issue

Old 06-05-03, 09:38 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Annoying Hard Drive Issue

Win2k

I have an 80 gig WD drive that's set up as a Dynamic Disk split into two 40 gig volumes. I can't remember how it's set up internally and didn't have a chance to look before leaving for work, but I believe it's the Primary Master on a PCI IDE card and not from the onboard IDE.

I filled the first 40 gig volume within about 5 megs and had about 12 gigs free on the second volume. This drive is for low-use storage so I had never defraged it ... until the weekend when I decided it was about time. Using Norton SpeedDisk 2003, I got about 5% through, and the machine "crashed" but not in the typical way. No BSOD, no reboot, nothing logged to the Event Log. Everything on the box appeared to be working just fine, but I lost my video output and for all intents and purposes couldn't use the machine. I rebooted, tried again and the same thing happened at the same spot.

On to Disk Doctor. I try to diagnose the disk, and around 5%, the machine goes dead. Just in case it's a Norton problem, I repeat all these steps with Win2k's Administrative Tools. Same result. Not once did I get a core dump or a message to the Event Log.

So, I attempt to move all the files off the volume to other places, and on one 800 meg file, the machine dies again. So, I copy that file to a "copy" on the same volume, move the "copy" to another volume and successfully delete the original and finish moving everything off. There's nothing on the drive now except any Win2k system files for dynamic volumes.

I defrag, and it works great. I test the disk for errors, scanning the surface and such, and again, machine death. My last resort is formatting the drive entirely, but I'll want to move everything off the first 40 gig volume before I do that, and I can't really do that until the weekend.

Am I simply dealing with a defective drive? Are there methods to "test" a drive other than scanning the surface for errors with Norton or Win2k?

Thanks for any help.

das
das Monkey is offline  
Old 06-05-03, 10:20 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,155
I just RMA'ed a WD 60GB drive that did the same thing when trying to Defrag the PC would freeze. Chkdsk /f /r and it would freeze. Ran the Disk detector from WD website and it said the drive had bad errors. It took a couple of tries but I did get my data off it. I tried formatting before I sent it back and it would lock up at 65% like clockwork on every attempt.

They had a replacement drive to me in 3 days. Did RMA through thier website.
cubanx is offline  
Old 06-05-03, 10:39 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: PA
Posts: 730
I had an 80WD drive in my replayTV, it lasted about two months then started clicking and messing up. I used the WD diagnostic utility which came with the disk and even tried a low level format. Eventually I RMA'd it, and the second drive I received had similar problems in my replayTV after a few months. My third drive I decided to keep in my computer as a backup/storage drive. Did you use the WD diagnostic utility?

I'm not too confident about WD drives when they are highly used and accessed. If you constantly read and write large chunks of data (like video editing or capture), WD might not be the best brand to go with (at least in my experience). I do have to admit their warranty process was painless.

I now have a maxtor drive in my replay and it's been running strong for about 2years now.
breaux124 is offline  
Old 06-05-03, 11:07 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,155
Originally posted by breaux124
I now have a maxtor drive in my replay and it's been running strong for about 2years now.
For some "strange" reason my Maxtor drives would always die a month or two after the 3 Year warranty expired. Two of them did that a few years ago.
cubanx is offline  
Old 06-05-03, 11:39 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: PA
Posts: 730
Originally posted by cubanx
For some "strange" reason my Maxtor drives would always die a month or two after the 3 Year warranty expired. Two of them did that a few years ago.
Oh great, now you tell me. Oh well, I'll just have to buy a larger drive then. With the deals available on HD's now a days it shouldn't be too costly if anything happens.

Does anyone know how good Maxtor's warranty process is?
breaux124 is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 11:09 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk God
 
twikoff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Right Behind You!!!
Posts: 79,497
breaux124 - in my many many years of working on computers.. I have never once had a maxtor drive die.. and they have all run well past the warranty..

on the same note.. i cant say i have ever owned a WD drive that didnt die.. but Ive only owned 2, so maybe i was just unlucky

anyways...

monkey.. if its just a storage drive.. is there a place you can copy these files to.. write 0s to the drive.. and then copy everything back?
a good low level format is always nice after problems like this
twikoff is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 12:24 PM
  #7  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 23,460
I've owned about six WD drives and all but one have died... the Special Edition 120GB drive is still working after a year... hope it doesn't die. Maxtor makes excellent drives and I believe they merged with Quantum if I'm not mistaken who also made quality drives. Fujitsu sucks. Some people swear by Seagate, but I've had bad luck with some of their drives... just stick to their SCSI drives I think.

As for the 80GB - WD is awesome with RMAs... I'll give them that. Have you tried running the WD diagnostics available on their website? They run on a DOS bootable floppy, so you don't have to worry about a windows crash. You'll need to run those anyway in order to RMA the disc back I think.
Trigger is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 12:36 PM
  #8  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
To check back in, yes I did run all the diagnostics, and everything checked out perfectly. Of course, the drive still exhibits the same problems.

I didn't have much time last night, but I installed a new ATA-100 card and a 200 gig drive. The last partition was still formatting when I went to sleep, so tonight, I'll move all the data off the bad drive and write 0s to it.

On the Maxtor vs. WD thing, I really believe it's just luck. I know people who claim all their Maxtors have died, and of course, the reverse is also popular. I tend to lean toward Maxtor as the more reliable, but really it could go either way. If I'm going IDE, I won't buy anything but Maxtor or WD. I have 5 WDs in my machine right now and have owned another 4-5 in the past 2 years, and this is the first problem I've had with one. I have about 5 Maxtors in other boxes, and only one has died with them as well. I tend to have more WD drives overall because they seem to be subject to some incredible sales and have good technical support/RMA.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions. Writing 0s to the drive was really the last thing I could think to do, but I figured I'd check here first just in case there was something else I could use to attempt to diagnose the problem. I wouldn't want to "fix" it only to have it break again. I'll probably try to RMA it to be safe.

das
das Monkey is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 01:11 PM
  #9  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Arizona, USA
Posts: 23,460
Oh - by the way - IBM makes excellent drives (except for that one batch)

Did you want suggestions on software tools, das?
Trigger is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 01:17 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Quoth Trigger
Oh - by the way - IBM makes excellent drives (except for that one batch)



Yeah, I had some drives in that batch and have just had a sour taste about them ever since.

Quoth Trigger
Did you want suggestions on software tools, das?



Sure, if you know of anything that would maybe help to diagnose the problem. Whenever I test it in Windows, it crashes. Whenever I test on the WD tools (from a DOS bootdisk), it reports no errors. I'm not quite sure where else to proceed other than a 0 write, so I'd certainly appreciate any ideas you might have.

Thanks.

das
das Monkey is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 01:19 PM
  #11  
X
Administrator
 
X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1987
Location: AA-
Posts: 10,704
Did you swap out the IDE cable? You are using an 80-wire one aren't you?
X is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 01:27 PM
  #12  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Quoth X
Did you swap out the IDE cable? You are using an 80-wire one aren't you?



I actually did swap the cable last night when adding the new drive. Before copying the data, I was going to try another disk scan on the off chance that that was the issue.

There aren't different kinds of 80-wire, are there? I have one that reads ATA-66 on it, but I just assumed that was printed before ATA-100, and that all 80-wire was the same.

das
das Monkey is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 01:30 PM
  #13  
X
Administrator
 
X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1987
Location: AA-
Posts: 10,704
There's only one kind as far as I know. And it really shouldn't be any longer than 18".

You should be using the cable select setting on your drive and let the position on the cable handle whether it's master or slave. And there's always a chance your PCI card is bad. You could try putting it on a motherboard IDE connection temporarily.
X is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 01:36 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: HB, CA
Posts: 2,601
I've had a couple Maxtor's go bad. I've had quite a few WD's go bad too, but those were from that bad stretch a few years ago. I started buying WD again about a year ago when they started getting really aggressive with the rebates. That and the fact that they still offer a 3 year warranty on their retail box 8MB cache drives makes them a bit more attractive than the Maxtors.
belboz is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 01:49 PM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hero
Thread Starter
 
das Monkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 35,881
Quoth X
You should be using the cable select setting on your drive and let the position on the cable handle whether it's master or slave. And there's always a chance your PCI card is bad. You could try putting it on a motherboard IDE connection temporarily.



Is it better to use cable select than to explicitly set it? I always explicitly jumper it to its position.

When I switched out the cable, I also moved it to a new PCI card. Both the cable it's on and the PCI card are known to work, so I should be able to isolate just the drive tonight.

das
das Monkey is offline  
Old 06-06-03, 02:04 PM
  #16  
X
Administrator
 
X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 1987
Location: AA-
Posts: 10,704
Yes, I've found the newer drives (over the last year or more) really like to be in CS. I used to always explicitly jumper them too. But then I started getting into some weird problems (such as sometimes being seen, sometimes not) that went away with CS and I've never seen those problems again.

That also avoids conflict when you put a drive jumpered as master on the middle cable connector which would be slave.
X is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.