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Avoid corrupting your HD data when overclocking

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October 5, 2006 2:31:28 PM

Guys,

I read a few threads here of guys nuking thier hard drives while trying to overclock, losing their data and having to reformat.

I've got tons of stuff on my HD that I cannot lose! Is this a real risk I should take seriously?

If so, what can I do to avoid data loss? Shall I get another hard drive for backup (not in a RAID setup, but just on its own, into a new SATA port).

THANKS!
October 5, 2006 2:55:52 PM

The ability to back-up is a good thing. There is always a risk when overclocking. Sometimes even adding new hardware will corrupt your hard drive.

Yes get another hard drive and back it up…
October 5, 2006 3:03:20 PM

Dont you run the same risk of corrupting the second one if its installed internally on SATA. Shouldnt one go with a NAS device?
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October 5, 2006 3:13:49 PM

Yea it happens I have had it happen to me a couple of times. I was running my XP2500+ at 2.4Ghz for quite a while. when I set it up I wasnt getting any errors, but after a while it started to generate errors and I couldnt get prime95 to run for more then 20 sec without error.

I checked it cause I had gotten a couple wierd windows errors and a lockup one day. So I started running prime and it was erroring all over. couple hours later. even though I backed my OC down to 2.0Ghz it hard locked and wouldnt reboot. The errors were significant enough to corrupt my OS. I lost my boot sector. had to reinstall the OS.

But im a paranoid backer upper of my data so I never loose anything. But when the only copy of pictures of the kids 1st birthday are on your computer they MUST be backed up. If I didnt have a backup I literally would have had to send the HD in to get the pic recovered professionally. If something like that got lost my wife would never firgive me. It almost happened. So now Im paranoid and make a backup every month, or immediately in cases of things like the affore mentioned.

Backup important data frequently and check that the computer isnt generating errors frequently as well. On a new overclock I run programs like prime and other alot and rerun once a week continuously to make sure errors are happening 3 weeks later.
October 5, 2006 3:27:25 PM

I had a few errors once, started getting windows random errors, but that was an IDE drive. Not sure if it is easier to screw up an IDE or SATA, does anyone know if either of the two are more likely to get corrupted than the other?
October 5, 2006 3:27:58 PM

I agree with you there my friend. And again to my questions, is a NAS device a better solution (ie. and external harddrive), connected via firewire or however else. Surely that has a less change of getting mess up.

Let me know guys! Shares your experiences here! THanks!
October 5, 2006 3:42:18 PM

I have a RAID 10 - I have a seperate partiton for the OS and I ghosted it after everything is setup. All my data is stored on other drives. Generally they dont get messed up as long as you werent writing to the drive when the error occured. You could try disabling Write Caching on the drives. It will slow write perfomance down a bit but it will increase the saftey of the data on your drive.
October 5, 2006 3:44:36 PM

My take on NAS is that its only useful if your backing up multiple computers to one drive, or if you want to store things for multiple computers to use, with no need to run a dedicated server.

Most consumers I feel do not need NAS. For backup, a regular external HDD is more than enough. eSATA HDD's have good performance... you can buy an hdd for a regular price and a eSATA enclosure for around 30-40 bucks.
October 5, 2006 3:46:23 PM

Quote:
Guys,
I read a few threads here of guys nuking thier hard drives while trying to overclock, losing their data and having to reformat.

I've got tons of stuff on my HD that I cannot lose! Is this a real risk I should take seriously?


It’s a real risk you should take seriously whether you overclock or not. A HD can fail at any time. Some are kind enough to give you warnings - sounds you may or may not hear depending how quiet your case is. Some are turned off at night and never spin up again. You could have a power failure during a critical drive write, and there’s always software bugs, viruses and malware to consider.

Drive failures don’t happen that often, but I have encountered a few. A few friends of mine who’ve worked for a drive manufacturer have mentioned on several occasions that HDDs are not as reliable as some people think.

When I back up my data, I try to place it on another HDD external to my system – either in another computer or on a USB drive. A NAS should suffice as well. If the data is really important to me, I’ll burn in to a DVD if I can break things down in 4.7g chunks.
October 5, 2006 3:51:19 PM

An external drive can /will be nice since it can be disconnected when not in use. (Need to double check) But I believe when overclocking it corrupts the operating system not the actual hard drive. I think you should not have any problems with an internal drive for backup.
October 5, 2006 3:55:42 PM

Can you guys recommend an external HD. I have the P5W DH mobo. I think there is actually a SATA port in the back. Let me check.
October 5, 2006 4:00:09 PM

Here we go:

SATA on the Go
The motherboard supports Serial ATA (SATA) 3Gb/s storage specification, delivering enhanced scalability and doubling the bus bandwidth for high-speed data retrieval and saves. The external SATA port located at the back I/O provides smart setup and hot-plug functions. Easily backup photos, videos and other entertainment contents on external devices.

http://www.asus.com/products4.aspx?modelmenu=1&model=11...
October 5, 2006 4:07:44 PM

I had a look at external HDs, and they seem slower and more expensive. Would it work the same if I get a regular SATA internal drive, backup my C:, disconnect it. Do an OC. Run it for a month on a trial basis. If nothing konks out, reconnect the SATA drive, and then have even more HD space. That should be ok right?

Advantages
-cost savings, speed, future storage capacity, convenience

Downside
-maybe if my mobo fries down the line, I could lose both.

WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK?
October 5, 2006 4:17:33 PM

Quote:
Can you guys recommend an external HD. I have the P5W DH mobo. I think there is actually a SATA port in the back. Let me check.


Watch for that. It's an Esata port, with prongs stlcking out at each end, not at one end right angled like regular Sata. Any extrnal Sata box you get will generally have a regular Sata cord. You either have to buy a unit that specifically STATES "ESata," or buy an adaptor cord (hard to find) for $15 or so.

ALSO, if you have a drive connected to the JMicron port inside, the system will attempt to make the external drive a Raid mirror of the internal drive if they're the same size. I had that happen to me and lost some important data. :x
October 5, 2006 4:18:37 PM

Quote:
Dont you run the same risk of corrupting the second one if its installed internally on SATA. Shouldnt one go with a NAS device?


NAS is very slow compared to a local ( internal ) drive. Also, a malfunctioning (overclocked) computer can still can still write crap to an NAS drive.
October 5, 2006 4:19:26 PM

Quote:
I had a few errors once, started getting windows random errors, but that was an IDE drive. Not sure if it is easier to screw up an IDE or SATA, does anyone know if either of the two are more likely to get corrupted than the other?


Both the same.
October 5, 2006 4:20:28 PM

What are the chances of losing both HDs if they are internal, but not in any RAID formation, just separate. One for the OS and programs, and the other for photos and documents.

Will this be ok if I nuke my overclock.
October 5, 2006 4:50:19 PM

Yes, it is a real risk. I've had to reinstall windows a few times because of it.

Before booting windows, run Memtest86+. If you get a lot of errors, you will probably scramble windows if you try to boot. Once you get memtest to run clean, you'll probably be OK. You may still crash, but you'll probably be OK.
October 5, 2006 5:16:37 PM

I'll get a new HD, backup the data to it, unplug it during my OC'ing ventures, and then reconnect it after a month, after everything is running smoothly. If something fries later on, it's always a risk that I will lose something. At lease I'll have a 50/50 chance.

Thanks again guys. No I need to figure out how to backup my BIOS incase that nukes.

:wink:
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
October 5, 2006 5:19:00 PM

My take on it:

When you overclock to close to the edge, system becomes unstable, if windows Crashes on you, then some file that were in the being writen/read can becomes corrupt.

When you OC your computer the Ide/Sata bus doesnt get Oced. Your Firewire/Usb wont either.

that's why I think the internal vs external is irrelevant. I personnally use My raptor for OS/games/Programs and a second HD for my data: Mp3/ISO images/ word /xls/ etc and my page file. and a third external HD for backup purpose, that 3rd HD is only use for backups and it's external only to save space in my computer...

With mild/moderate OC I dont think you run a much higher risk of data corruption. If you go extreme for some benching session, just dont use any stuff on the "data" Hd.

Finally if you go external, go with eSata, much faster and you got a eSata port on that p5WDH...

my .02
October 5, 2006 5:22:16 PM

Quote:
What are the chances of losing both HDs if they are internal, but not in any RAID formation, just separate. One for the OS and programs, and the other for photos and documents.

Will this be ok if I nuke my overclock.


At 2.4 GHz I would say that you're nowhere near the danger zone for frying your drives from overclocking. The chances of two drives frying at the exact same time - next to nil.

I haven't lost a single byte of data as a result of overclocking any of the fifteen computers that I have owned since '96. The last five systems used RAID 0 which is inherently risky.

Nobody has to tell you how important it is to backup your data. An external hard drive is a great solution. It's a wee bit slower than using an internal drive but you'll still be able to copy gigs of data in just minutes. I wouldn't want to use an external drive as a PVR device but at 480 mb/s, a USB 2.0 drive is more than capable as a backup device.

You can save time by not backing up the same files over and over. There's a terrific utility available called "Folder Match" which can synchronize folders between drives or partitions. Use it to copy new or changed files only and you'll greatly reduce your backup times. You could also use Microsoft's free ROBOCOPY utility to do the same.
October 5, 2006 5:39:02 PM

Hey Fish,
Just a thought here but, how about just buying a small capacity hdd... nothing too expensive,....install your O /S, minimal drivers, and have at er budd?
That way, if you F #($#$ it up.....you got no data on the drive so you just wipe it out and try again.

At least that's what I would do. You can buy a 40 g hdd now days for about 30 USD.

Antec P180 Performance Case
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2 G's of Corsair 3500LL Pro @ 400Mhz 2-3-2-6-1T
2- BFG 7900 GT OC in SLI (NV 91.31)
WD RAPTOR 74.3 G's / XP Home / SP2 & Apps
Maxtor SATA II 250 G's /Gaming / Movies / MP3's
Maxtor SATA II 250 G's /backup (unplugged)
Sony CDrom 52X
Plextor 708-A DVD/CD rom
Razer DiamondBack Optical mouse
Logitech Z-5500 Dolby Digital 5.1 THX 500w
October 5, 2006 6:39:56 PM

I agree with labbby - in my opinion the real risk when overclocking is to the OS / registry, not so much your actual data. Generally, write access to your data is far less frequent than to system files. I lost Windows once because of corrupted registry, but never my data.

Of course, that doesn't mean that it can't happen, so you should always have at least 2 copies of your irreplaceable data.

I have a similar solution to labbby too:

1) One drive (raptor) for my OS, games and applications that I can re-install
2) A cheaper slower drive for all of the stuff I don't want to lose.

I then back up from one to the other regularly in case of disk corruption / death, and less regularly back up to an optical disk in case someone steals my PC.

I am planning to get a wireless NAS device to replace optical disks aswell - you can buy an empty wireless NAS for about £50 and put an old disk in it, then hide it somewhere in the house :) 
October 5, 2006 7:03:04 PM

Yeah this happens to me with my raid setup. I was constantly messing with overclocking and then one day when I turned on my pc it says it can't boot to windows due to some files that are missing. I thought my hd was broken but it was a corrupt so I did reinstall again. But thankfully no important files that went went missing just the os and games.
October 5, 2006 8:20:03 PM

Even if you do not OC - HAVE A BACKUP!!!!!!

Even if it's only to a few CDRs or something, hard disks die, and if you can't afford to loose the data have a backup...
October 5, 2006 9:39:50 PM

Hey thanks guys. You guys are great. That's why I love THG. A lot of great info here and friendly people, for the most part.

I had a flashback this afternoon about a HD that was lying in a draw, an old IDE HD, I think a Seagate. I need to double check that. Maybe I will just install that if it's big enough, and use it as a backup source for now. No real usage, just like you said, for dupes. That Folder Matching idea is FANTASTIC! I've been looking for something like that. You're a machine!

Thanks again guys. Much appreciated.

FishBoi, over and out! :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

PS. See you on FEAR tonight!
October 5, 2006 9:41:48 PM

PS. My Thermalright Ultra 120 is on the way. I'l be back here soon for some OC'ing advice. This whole thing has been quite a journey for me!

CHAT SOON!
October 5, 2006 10:13:41 PM

When I got my C2D recently I got some flaky memory - so when I was copying from my old HDD to my new one some of the files got corrupted. I suspect that any data that passes through the memory/CPU is liable to get corrupted. If it the corrupted data doesn't get written then a re-boot will fix, but if it gets written then you've got permanent corruption. Prime candidates are things like the registry, and any large data files that you might be working on. I RMA'd the memory, formatted the HDDs, and reinstalled Windows.
October 5, 2006 10:17:28 PM

Be careful with backups - because if you continually discard/overwrite old ones you could get stuck if it takes a while to work out that you've got a corrupt file. If you're concerned about data, then either be paranoid about backing up with historicals as well as recent - and don't OC to the limit.
October 5, 2006 11:23:53 PM

As others have noted, overclocking corrupts the OS install and does not destroy the HD.

The easiest and least expensive route would be to partition your drive. One partition for the OS, one partition for the Programs and one partition for your Data. True, you often have to re-install your Programs when you re-install your OS, but you still get to keep your saved games. You can even keep the OS partition small, say about 7.5GBs (or smaller) and use TweakUI to re-locate all your Documents and Settings (My Documents, Desktop, etc...) folder to the Data partition. This make backup even easier as all you need to do is back up the Data and/or the Programs partition.

If the OS partition gets corrupted due to overclocking, you just re-install it. The other partitions remain intact.
October 6, 2006 5:26:00 AM

Overclocking can and will corrupt your hard drive in specific instances, and it has nothing to do with your OS or shutting down improperly. If the bus that supplies your SATA/IDE controller runs out of spec you can most certainly have data corruption. I've specifically had this happen to me, and your best chances are if your motherboard is crappy and doesn't have a PCI or PCIe lock.
October 6, 2006 9:37:46 AM

Happy to help - good luck with it.
October 6, 2006 1:32:52 PM

Wusy, I'm new to building so bare with me. PCI locked? 33Mhz? I've currently got everything set to default or auto in my BIOS. I read your guide, and I think I recall you saying you need to set them to 100 Mhz (not sure). Isnt that way over the stable level to avoid corruption, as you say.

Thanks. Appreciate it.
October 6, 2006 1:34:12 PM

Wusy's guide:
2. Set PCI Express (PCIe) frequency @100Mhz (‘Auto’ for DS3/DS4/DQ6)
3. Set PCI frequency @33Mhz
October 6, 2006 1:36:34 PM

I found that HD that I was talking about yesterday. It's an old IDE drive, but 120 gigs! Wooohooo. I wanna connect this baby up the weekend. I assume I just plug the IDE cable onto the mobo.

With respect to your comments Wusy, do I need to set this up in any special config (adding a drive etc). I just want to have it as another drive, no RAID etc.

Does this affect your recommendations in any way (will have just 1 SATA and 1 IDE drive now).

THANKS!
October 6, 2006 2:16:14 PM

Remember to set the jumpers on the back of the drives. One to MASTER or MASTER w/ SLAVE, and one to SLAVE.
October 6, 2006 2:38:24 PM

Thanks for the reminder. I think I have a seperate IDE cable for this one, that goes strait onto the mobo (dont need to put it on the CD ROM one).
October 6, 2006 4:43:14 PM

Yawn.
October 7, 2006 4:54:16 AM

It has been my experience that if you want to avoid corrupting your hard drive when overclocking,overclock the processor first,then install your os.if windows has an issue,it won't let you install as you'll get the blue screen of death(BSOD).Otherwise your machine should run just fine once you have installed the os.Just a recommendation,that's how i fixed the issues i had.well most of them anyways.I did have to replace a 512 stick of CORSAIR EXTREME OC memory on one occasion.My fault really,I BOUGHT USED.lol.Don't mind me,I've just had bad luck buying second hand hardware,including 3 amd processors.My early years of building comps.Learned a lot since.this forum being of good help the last two years.(that's how long it took me to hear about this place)lol.Anyways,try as i've suggested,it may work for you.Goodluck.

Dahak

AMD X2-4400+@2.4 S-939
EVGA NF4 SLI MB
2X7800GT IN SLI
2X1GIG DDR IN DC MODE
WD300GIG HD
EXTREME 19IN.MONITOR 1280X1024
ACE 520WATT PSU
October 7, 2006 7:10:27 AM

back to the top
October 7, 2006 7:36:19 AM

I'll bite.

EDIT: Whoops, my bad. I've had a few beers and didn't notive POOWAD's rather weak attempt at self satisfaction.

I apologize for the interuption. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

/bump
!