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Hard drive problems on multiple drives in 1 PC


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#1
out

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I have 2 x 120GB Seagate ST3120026AS SATA hard drives. One is 14 months old and the other is 9 months old.

Some time ago I started experiencing bad sectors on one of the drives. I repaired it using Seatools and CHKDSK and everything was ok.

Recently I experienced problems with both drives, although only one was really bad.

After running the utilities and CHKDSK I still heard some click/beeping noises from at least one of the drives so decided to zero fill (low level format) both drives as I read in a number of places that this would overwrite bad sectors.

Everything was fine for ab out 2 weeks, but my C drive crashed badly yesterday and refused to boot XP. Last night it slowly degenerated from there and started blue screening with unmountable boot volume and other disk related errors. I have little doubt that the drive is unrecoverable and am trying to work out whether it is under warranty - but that is another issue (or is it).

Even chkdsk and seatools couldn't finish their tests the disk appears to be so damaged.

Seatools, on my initial tests, showed that the 2nd newer drive was fine. Some of more recent tests however say that it also has errors, although how bad they are I can't tell.

I am now getting concerned that it is not the drives and that some other part of my system is causing bad sectors and failures on my HDDs. I read one tech site that said power supplies or faulty motherboards could cause HDD errors. I have only read this once so am not sure if this is in fact true.

I have a 350W power supply driving the 2 drives, my graphics card and a DVD burner.

I am going to buy another new drive today but am obviously concerned about whether it is a wider system problem and not a problem with the disks.

Anyone have any thoughts on this issue or advice?

Thanks

Edited by out, 24 July 2005 - 04:04 PM.

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#2
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Further info: I've just done a rough check on power usage in my system to see whether PSU is underpower and contributing to HDD problems. Rough calculator says I only need 300-320W so should be ok.
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#3
Samm

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Welcome to G2G

Can you give us the rest of your system specs please?

You may have calculated that your system requires 300-320W but you have to remember that if a psu is rated 350W, that is it's peak power rating, not its continuous power rating. Its continuous power rating is more likely to be in the region of 250-300W depending on the quality of the psu.

Can you also tell us how the drives were set up? ie how many partitions, whether you are using NTFS (which I assume you are on drives that size). Also what did you use to partition the drives with? Was it seagates own utilities or XP etc?

Do you actually have any bad sectors on either drive?
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#4
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Sure.

Can you give us the rest of your system specs please?


sure (should have included before):

Intel D875PBZ (800mhz FSB with 1MB cache)
3.0Ghz CPU
2 x 256MB DDR400
2 x 256MB DDR333
2 x Segate SATA 120GB 7200.7
XFX 128MB geforce 6600GT
Pioneer DVD-RW 16x
Asus CD-RW 52x
Floppy

You may have calculated that your system requires 300-320W but you have to remember that if a psu is rated 350W, that is it's peak power rating, not its continuous power rating. Its continuous power rating is more likely to be in the region of 250-300W depending on the quality of the psu.


Thanks for the feedback. I bought a new HDD today and rather than risk the possibility of damanging it due to PSU issues I also bought a 410W (500W peak) PSU.

Can you also tell us how the drives were set up? ie how many partitions, whether you are using NTFS (which I assume you are on drives that size). Also what did you use to partition the drives with? Was it seagates own utilities or XP etc?


Drives are NOT partitioned and are both NTFS. They were both setup (ie installed and formatted) using Seagate Disk Wizard and also formatted during Windows install. Prior to the last reinstall (2 weeks ago) I zero filled them using Seagate Sea Tools before formatting as part of WinXP install.

Do you actually have any bad sectors on either drive?


I definitely did in the past. I can't get any utility to run long enough on the drive now to determine whether/how many bad sectors this time.

While I have bought a new drive I am obviously keen not to simply throw $350 (Australian dollars) worth of HDDs in the trash. I am trying to work to work out whether to go for warranty service or whether they will simply tell me it is my problem.

Thanks for any help you can give.


PS I tried zero filling the most defective drive again and it failed even that. Only speculating, but sounds to me like the drive is beyond just having a few bad sectors.

Edited by out, 25 July 2005 - 03:07 AM.

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#5
Samm

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There are a few possible things going on here (the list below is not exhaustive) :

1. It is possible you have multiple bad sectors on both drives (possibly as a result of the old psu) but these should be mapped out by the zero fill function. The fact that they're not, makes me think something else is going on here.

2. The problems could be a result of some other bit of faulty hardware, such as the sata cabling etc. (unlikely but possible). It may be worth trying one of the drives on another machine just to eliminate this.

3. The 'bad sectors' may not be physical bad sectors. ie it could just be that they are appearing that way due to some other problem with the drive.

This is what happened to me a few months ago :
I acquired a Seagate U320 SCSI drive (73GB). I needed to partition & format it but as I was running windows 98, fdisk couldn't recognise the drive capacity correctly. So, I used Seagates own utilities instead. No problem (or so I thought).
I partitioned the drive several times & formatted it all. Right from the outset, I started to receive read/write errors to that drive on a regular basis.

Every diagnostic utility I ran on the drive, including Seagates own diags, failed with unknown errors. Even the low level format & disk verification built into the bios of my scsi card, failed. Completely baffled but not wishing to give up on nearly £300 worth of drive, I ran MBRTool & performed a dump of the MBR. I noticed then that the MBR & partition table were not as they should have been.
Amongst other things, Seagates partitioning software had left a small area of unpartitioned space at the START of the drive. (This is very very unusual!).

In the end, I used MBRTool to wipe the MBR & partition table completely, then create blank ones. Since then, I have had no problems with the drive at all.


(BTW, if a drive is formatted, then it IS partitioned. I assume what you meant was you only had a single partition on each drive, ie one drive letter per drive)

If you're interested, I can give you instructions on obtaining & using MBRTool (freeware). If you wish to perform an MBR dump of the drives, I will be happy to look over it for you.
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#6
dsenette

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you mentioned clicking.....did it sound like a harware type clicking (something grinding on the platter) or like a warning software type clicking
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