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2TB WD Green HDD mysterious behaviour, need help diagnosing!

Tags:
  • Windows
  • Western Digital
  • Storage
  • Green
  • Hard Drives
Last response: in Storage
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April 15, 2014 5:12:56 PM

So my 2TB WD Green HDD has been acting funny. It's a secondary, storage only drive, been used heavily since 2010. A couple weeks ago the drive was transferring files to an external drive extremely slowly. Then, shortly after that, windows could not access the drive. It wasn't showing up at all. So I replaced the SATA cable and all was well... or so I thought.

Yesterday, upon loading windows from a cold boot, the system froze at the 'windows flag' screen. So I did a hard reboot. Then it got a little further and automatically ran CHKDSK. It was returning 0 bad file records, 0 unindexed files, no MFT errors... BUT it started to hang on 'correcting errors in the volume bitmap'. A quick googling on my phone showed people having the same problem, 'hang on correcting errors in the volume bitmap' being told to wait it out. One person had to wait 4hrs for it to finish. BUT that person also had bad file records and unindexed files. So I figured I just ran into an anomaly and impatiently did another hard reboot after about 30min of waiting.

This time I got all the way to my desktop with no problems... or so I thought! Windows could see my storage drive and it had the correct drive letter and volume label, but I could not access the drive and it didn't show its size. It would intermittently tell me, when trying to access the drive, to reformat the disk in drive E. So I manually ran CHKDSK /f and let it run. About 14hrs later, it was exactly where it was when I left it, which was exactly where it got stuck before, 'correcting errors in the volume bitmap'.

I figured another SATA cable wouldn't hurt and replaced it with the one on my DVD drive. I noticed the cable I was taking out (the first 'replacement') was stressed on the HDD end and the insulation had popped loose from the plug on that end and I could see the inner insulated and bare wires. But after booting up, windows could see the drive but not access it, just like before.

So I closed cmd.exe and installed Data Lifeguard. The physical drive had a green check under the SMART column. BUT on running a quick scan it threw a SMART error. I don't recall the exact message but I think it was error code 07, which is possibly bad news. A complete scan would have taken about 4.5hrs so I decided to run CHKDSK instead to avoid wasting time on a long scan.

So I ran chkdsk without any flags and got:

Quote:
C:\Windows\system32>chkdsk e:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is Hanger1.

WARNING! F parameter not specified.
Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 3)...
111360 file records processed.
File verification completed.
118 large file records processed.
0 bad file records processed.
0 EA records processed.
0 reparse records processed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 3)...
125886 index entries processed.
Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned.
0 unindexed files recovered.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 3)...
111360 file SDs/SIDs processed.
Security descriptor verification completed.
7264 data files processed.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
316895320 USN bytes processed.
Usn Journal verification completed.
Detected errors in the Master File Table (MFT) mirror.
Detected errors in the Master File Table (MFT) mirror.
The Volume Bitmap is incorrect.
Windows found problems with the file system.
Run CHKDSK with the /F (fix) option to correct these.

1953512000 KB total disk space.
1757048420 KB in 85742 files.
36332 KB in 7265 indexes.
12 KB in bad sectors.
546532 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
195880704 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
488378000 total allocation units on disk.
48970176 allocation units available on disk.


So I then ran chkdsk /r /f and am now waiting. This is where it's at:

Quote:
C:\Windows\system32>chkdsk /f /r e:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is Hanger1.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
111360 file records processed.
File verification completed.
118 large file records processed.
0 bad file records processed.
0 EA records processed.
0 reparse records processed.
CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
125886 index entries processed.
Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned.
0 unindexed files recovered.
CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
111360 file SDs/SIDs processed.
Security descriptor verification completed.
7264 data files processed.
CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
316895320 USN bytes processed.
Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
10 percent complete. (942 of 111344 files processed)
Windows replaced bad clusters in file 959
of name \*****************************.
10 percent complete. (1140 of 111344 files processed)
Windows replaced bad clusters in file 1172
of name \*****************************.
10 percent complete. (1225 of 111344 files processed)
Windows replaced bad clusters in file 1268
of name \*****************************.
10 percent complete. (2303 of 111344 files processed)

(file names redacted)


This is going to take some time to complete, at this pace, a LONG time. When it's done I can post the SMART log info.

So is a bad cable corrupting data? Is the drive dying? Is it dying and had a bad cable coincidentally? Windows recommends reformatting. CHKDSK can obviously see the data and is repairing bad clusters, but I cannot access the drive.

I previously (before the serious problems) ran into 2 corrupted files and hoped they were write errors, possibly caused by the bad cable I replaced. Was I deluding myself, thinking the drive would continue forever when I should have taken advantage of the time I had and been backing up/replacing the drive?

More about : 2tb green hdd mysterious behaviour diagnosing

a b G Storage
April 15, 2014 5:16:50 PM

Back up your data and replace the drive, it's failed.
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a b G Storage
April 15, 2014 5:21:04 PM

It is a bad drive. Sometimes the drive wont die off completely and Windows will see bad sectors, this means it might have corrupt sectors or the controller is having issues reading, so Windows will try to fix it.

If you already replaced the cable, even with corrupt files it wouldn't freeze like that as a secondary drive unless it is a bad drive.
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April 15, 2014 6:01:51 PM

How can I back up the data if I can't access the drive? And why can't I access the data on the drive yet chkdsk can see the data and repair?
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Best solution

a b G Storage
April 15, 2014 6:18:39 PM

isawben said:
How can I back up the data if I can't access the drive?

You should have had a backup well before this happened. If CHKDSK can't fix it to the point that you can access your data for backup then you have no choice but to take it to a recovery service and pay for recovery. Note that even they do not guarantee that anything can be recovered. Also note that the more you mess with it the less likely anything can be recovered.

isawben said:
And why can't I access the data on the drive yet chkdsk can see the data and repair?

Because CHKDSK is designed to work in that environment.
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April 15, 2014 8:43:48 PM

Well thanks for the replies. I do like to live dangerously, but hopefully in the future monetary limitations will not keep me from running a RAID 1 setup.

Also considering a switch to the WD RE4 drives. If they are designed for RAID will they suffer in a non-RAID setup?
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