Maxtor SATA drive failing... why?

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Hi all:

I bought a Maxtor 7Y250MO SATA drive (the 250Gb. one) about 4
months ago to use it as a data drive (I have a Western Digital 120 Gb.
as system drive). After a month and half (more or less) it started
failing in the following way: there would be a "crack" noise coming
from the drive, and then another noise as if it was spinning down, and
then Windows XP would hang; upon rebooting, the motherboard would
detect the system drives, CD, etc. but not the SATA drive. I had to
power it down and up again to make it detect it. This happened about
once every 2-3 weeks.
I usually attributed this to the fact that the power connector
that was plugged to the drive had a loose pin; I thought that the pin
would move, break contact and cut the power of the Maxtor drive, or
something like that (in fact, every time it happened I would open the
case, unplug and plug the power cable, and then the system would
detect the drive again). Then, about 3 months after first buying the
drive, it failed for good.
I RMAed it, they gave my a new one... no problem. I installed
it and this time I plugged a different power connector (why didn't I
do this in the first place is a long story; see later). And now, about
two weeks after installing it... it has done it again. This time it
clearly isn't the connector: the new one doesn't have loose pins, and
I didn't have to touch the cables for the system to detect the drive
again (I just powered it down and restarted it). So why is it failing?

-Is this model of Maxtor drives particulary unreliable? Has
anyone experienced an unusually high number of complaints, failures,
etc. with them? (Maxtor 7Y250MO SATA, as I said above).
-Is there any problem with my motherboard's SATA controller
that might be frying the disks? I have a Gigabyte 8IPE-1000L; are
there any reports of problems with them?
-Is it the heat? After the first failure, I started monitoring
the temperature of the Maxtor drive using MBM and HDTune. I regularly
get 44-48º C when idle and 50-52º when in use. I know this is a bit
high, but it's still within Maxtor's recommended range. The drive,
BTW, is in a Lian-Li 5'25 cooling case with two fans, and there's one
free 5'25 slot below it (this case has its own power connector, which
is the one that was loose; after the first drive failed, I ignored it
and plugged in one coming directly from the power supply).

About the last factor: I've noticed that all the drive
failures happened when I was running some specially CPU-intensive
application (video processing, etc.), that would make the computer (if
not the data drive in particular) run hotter than usual.
One more thing: I've checked the SMART data in HDTune, and
although I have no idea what those numbers mean, there doesn't seem to
be anything abnormal; no numbers marked in red, no alerts from the
program "your drive is about to fail!", etc.
My system is:

-Windows XP Prof. with SP1.
-Pentium 4 2.6Ghz, NOT overclocked.
-Gigabyte 8IPE-1000L motherboard, with 1Gb. of RAM.
-120Gb. Western Digital IDE disk.
-DVD-ROM and DVD-RW units (parallel ATA both).
-Maxtor 250Gb. SATA drive (the one that's failing).


Paulo.
4 answers Last reply
More about maxtor sata drive failing
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Drive reviewers used to say "this drive runs cool enough you won't
    need special cooling". I think that lulled a lot of people into
    thinking they didn't need to cool their 7200 drives.

    I think today, it is prudent to actively cool any 7200 drive.

    Unfortunately, it's almost impossible in many computer cases. The
    best you can do in some is put on screaming exhaust fans and hope it
    drags enough airflow across your hard drive sitting in front of a
    couple of those pitiful holes in the front case.

    Even the new designed cases are pretty bad. The sideways antec 3.5
    bays only cool a couple of their four drive spaces. The others (top
    and bottom) are outside the active airflow path. Ok for the typical
    user, but a waste of space for four drives.

    The best set up I've seen are the water cooled 5" bay side rails.
    They actually cool the drive and do it without a wind tunnel.
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <qjooa09ga5v97qea18vpdaua49gu7ej07m@4ax.com>,
    fred says...
    >
    > Drive reviewers used to say "this drive runs cool enough you won't
    > need special cooling". I think that lulled a lot of people into
    > thinking they didn't need to cool their 7200 drives.
    >
    > I think today, it is prudent to actively cool any 7200 drive.
    >
    > Unfortunately, it's almost impossible in many computer cases. The
    > best you can do in some is put on screaming exhaust fans and hope it
    > drags enough airflow across your hard drive sitting in front of a
    > couple of those pitiful holes in the front case.
    >

    Or get a bay cooler and mount the drives in the external
    5.25" bays. Downside is that the little 40mm fans are
    noisy.

    A long time ago (few years now), Dirt Cheap Drives used
    to sell a WIN7500 bay cooler. It took up (2) 5.25"
    bays, had a single 80mm fan (quiet!), and you could put
    up to (3) 3.5" drives in it. I never put more then (2)
    drives in it and left about a 3/8" gap between the
    drives. I keep moving that unit from case to case as
    needed. Keeps the drives nice and cool.

    Wish I had bought (3) or (4) of them when I had the
    chance. DCD no longer carries them, and I have yet to
    find any place that still stocks them.

    > Even the new designed cases are pretty bad. The sideways antec 3.5
    > bays only cool a couple of their four drive spaces. The others (top
    > and bottom) are outside the active airflow path. Ok for the typical
    > user, but a waste of space for four drives.
    >

    I'll have to poke around in my Antec p160... from
    building one yesterday, the bottom (3) internal drives
    all looked to have good airflow, only the top drive
    seemed like it wouldn't be getting enough air flow.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously fred wrote:

    > Drive reviewers used to say "this drive runs cool enough you won't
    > need special cooling". I think that lulled a lot of people into
    > thinking they didn't need to cool their 7200 drives.

    > I think today, it is prudent to actively cool any 7200 drive.

    > Unfortunately, it's almost impossible in many computer cases. The
    > best you can do in some is put on screaming exhaust fans and hope it
    > drags enough airflow across your hard drive sitting in front of a
    > couple of those pitiful holes in the front case.

    > Even the new designed cases are pretty bad. The sideways antec 3.5
    > bays only cool a couple of their four drive spaces. The others (top
    > and bottom) are outside the active airflow path. Ok for the typical
    > user, but a waste of space for four drives.

    > The best set up I've seen are the water cooled 5" bay side rails.
    > They actually cool the drive and do it without a wind tunnel.

    Personally, if noise is not an issue, the best I have seen is the
    removable drive bays in Chieftec cases. These things mount three 3.5"
    drives and you can place a 80mm fan directly in front. I have a large
    number of drives in this set-up, both single drives and groups of
    three, and the usually don't get more than 5C over room temperature.

    Arno
    --
    For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
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    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    | prudent to actively cool any 7200 drive.
    I bought a WD 400jb ( 8mb, 7200rpm ) : its casing gets very warm
    but hdd works fine fitted in a steel casing without cover, in 31°C
    still air, without any added cooling.

    | almost impossible in many computer cases
    1 can put a 8cm fan below hdd, if slots are enough, even tape a hsink
    onto hdd casing.
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