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Problem with Hard Drive


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#1
anarxaki

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A few months ago one of my Hard Drives stopped appearing in the Hard Drive list. The weird thing is that it shows up in BIOS but not in Device Manager. It seems that Windows don't want to read it. I thought it was dead so I didn't give it another thought.
After some days I noticed that if I shut down the computer and turn off power supply, when I start it again the drive shows in the list. I can even access it, but soon after I get a message "Delayed Write Failed" and the drive disappears again.
So yesterday I thought I'd give it another try. I went to Recycle Bin settings and completely removed this drive, so nothing is saved there. I turned off the computer, turned off power supply and left it overnight to rest. In the morning, as expected, the drive appeared in the list fully accessible. But when I tried to copy one file to another drive, it almost freezed. Time left varied from 30 minutes up to 150 for a movie little more than 1Gb big. I tried to back up my files in DVDs, but althought the DVD was burned in a short time, data verification found problems in every file.


What is wrong with the drive? Is it repairable? Is there I way I can save my files?

Edited by anarxaki, 16 November 2010 - 03:44 AM.

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#2
SpywareDr

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What is wrong with the drive?

It may be failing, (physically worn-out or damaged).

Hard Drive Diagnostic Tools

Hard drive diagnostic utilities are used primarily for determining the physical condition of your hard drive, (drive integrity and read/write verification). If you are having computer problems which you suspect are hard drive related, you can test it with one of the following:



Is it repairable?

No. Once they're worn beyond factory tolerances, (or are physically damaged), they're trash. Too expensive to repair.

Is there I way I can save my files?

Possibly: Ontrack.com. (Note that this can get also get quite expensive).

If you have files that you cannot afford to lose, you need to back them up (copy them) to something that won't wear out, (like CD/DVDs). Hard drives are mechanical beasts and as such they eventually physically wear out.
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#3
anarxaki

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I used the SeaTools. Here is the log:

--------------- SeaTools for Windows v1.2.0.4 ---------------
16/11/2010 18:54:31
Model: ST3500320AS
Serial Number: 5QM2RT87
Firmware Revision: SD15
Short DST - Started 16/11/2010 18:54:31
Short DST - Pass 16/11/2010 18:55:32
Short Generic - Started 16/11/2010 18:56:18
Short Generic - FAIL 16/11/2010 18:57:32
SMART - Pass 16/11/2010 18:59:25
Long Generic - Started 16/11/2010 19:05:21
Long Generic - FAIL 16/11/2010 19:05:36
-------------------------------------------------------------

What is this "Generic Test" and what does it mean for the drive that it failed?

None of my files are irreplacable (actually it's full of movies) but nevertheless I spent hundreds of hours to get them and, mainly, I'm more concerned for the disc and less for the data. I cannot afford getting a new one...


Also, I don't know if it's of any importance, but the disc is a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, which, as I read on the internet, had many problems. I read something about becoming a brick and that a firmwire update could solve the problem. Is there any chance this is the problem with my disc also? It already crashed once (a few months after I bought it) and I replaced it.
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#4
Neil Jones

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The brand of the drive is arbitrary. They all share the same basic traits; in that they are mechanical devices and all mechanical devices wear out. Which is what has happened in your case. A firmware upgrade isn't going to solve anything.
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#5
SpywareDr

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Short Generic - FAIL 16/11/2010 18:57:32
Long Generic - FAIL 16/11/2010 19:05:36

What is this "Generic Test" and what does it mean for the drive that it failed?

SeaTools for Windows User Guide
Rev. 10-December-2008
http://www.seagate.c...for_Windows.pdf

"Short Generic" will run on internal and external drives. It has three segments: outer scan, inner scan and random read.

"Long Generic" will run on internal and external drives. It scans the entire drive, from beginning to end. This test may take several hours to complete. You may abort the test at any time. The test will fail and end if a bad sector is detected on an internal drive.




None of my files are irreplacable (actually it's full of movies) but nevertheless I spent hundreds of hours to get them and, mainly, I'm more concerned for the disc and less for the data. I cannot afford getting a new one...

If it's still under warranty, Seagate will replace it. If not, 500GB start at $49.99 (with Free shipping) at Newegg.com:
http://www.newegg.co...ICE&PageSize=20



Also, I don't know if it's of any importance, but the disc is a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, which, as I read on the internet, had many problems. I read something about becoming a brick and that a firmwire update could solve the problem. Is there any chance this is the problem with my disc also? It already crashed once (a few months after I bought it) and I replaced it.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drives failing
Tue Jan 13 2009, 15:20
http://www.theinquir...-drives-failing

SEAGATE'S FLAGSHIP desktop Barracuda 7200.11 drives, in particular the 1TB (ST31000340AS) units, are failing at an alarming rate and prompting outrage from their faithful customers.

... the drive will simply lock itself up as a failsafe and won't be detected by the BIOS. ...

According to data recovery experts Seagate has diagnosed the problem and issued a new firmware to address it. However, drives that have already been affected can't have the firmware applied to them due to their locked-down status.

Users are extra-peeved because beyond the usual RMA drill, if they want to recover the data on those drives they can get stuck with a hefty data recovery bill to pay.

Over a month into the problem Seagate had still not come back to customers with an official solution. Despite the company updating the firmware on newer drives, it has issued no recall on the firmware-defective drives that are still on shop shelves.

I doubt this particular problem applies to your drive because you had stated earlier that your drive "shows up in BIOS".
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#6
anarxaki

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So, I have at least one bad sector, since the test fails after a few seconds.

My next question may sound silly, but I'll ask anyways: Does a bad sector mean that I have to throw away the disc, or I can bypass it? I remember years ago that I used a program (probably Norton Utilities) that said something like "if a bad sector is found, you can ignore it and only use the working ones".

Unfortunately the warranty haw expired a long time ago, so I can't replace the disc.
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#7
phillipcorcoran

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A "generic" test is used typically to test a drive that's not made by the company who wrote the testing software, since Seagate testing software, although designed primarily for Seagate/Maxtor drives, can be used to test other brands using generic tests.

Forget about trying to rescue or prolong it's life - that was way back in the days when hard drives had small capacities and were then very expensive to replace. Your failing drive will get worse very quickly & more data will be lost. Now that the cost of a new drive is relatively much cheaper per megabyte, it's not worth either the risk or the continued hassle you'll get by trying to limp along with one that's failing.
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#8
rshaffer61

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If the drive is faulty and you can't boot to it you may try a Linux Live cd to access the data.
This would mean you need a media that could accept all the data like a external drive.
My esteem colleague Phill is right on with the statement about the cost of a replacement drive as indicated HERE.
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#9
anarxaki

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I kept my hope alive till the last minute. There is nothing else I can do but to dig a hole in my garden and put the drive to rest.

Thank you all for you time and your valuable information.
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#10
SpywareDr

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Tip: Recommend mangling the drive (physical destruction) before 'digging a hole in my garden and putting the drive to rest.'
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#11
anarxaki

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After the misfortune I had with that drive, I thought I should check the rest of them. I used Western Digital diagnostic program for my external drives (all WD). It came up that one of them (the older one) failed the SMART test. To be more exact, the spinning time turns red. Does this mean that it's going to die sooner or later? Should I ignore the problem or stop using the drive in order to avoid losing data again?

Edited by anarxaki, 07 December 2010 - 04:45 AM.

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#12
Spyderturbo007

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Yes. A failing SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) test indicates the drive has exceeded the manufacturers' fault tolerances and could die at any time. I would back up your data immediately and then you should be able to RMA the drive to WD depending on the age. You can go here, input the drive's serial number and do a warranty check.
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#13
anarxaki

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Isn't lovely when your luck laughs at your face? I have 4 WD drives, all purchased in the last 3 years. Three of them are still in warranty for at least one more year. The only one that has expired is the one with the problem. I missed it for just a few months :D

Thanks again for the help. At least this time I won't worry for any data loss since this drive is backed-up.
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#14
Spyderturbo007

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Isn't that the way it always works? Sounds like you have my luck. :D
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#15
anarxaki

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Sorry buddy, but I think you're on your own :D
It just turned out that the first drive (Seagate) is not out of Warranty after all. It's still on for 3 more years. Tomorrow morning I'm taking the dead disk to the store. I only hope that the guys there will accept the Company warranty and not insist that they can only apply the 2-year shop warranty.
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