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Hard disk slow to start up - where does the fault lie?

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April 1, 2009 11:15:17 PM

G'day,

I have an 80GB hard disc in an external IDE->USB enclosure. For the past couple of days it's been very slow to start. For about five minutes it makes a repetitive noise before eventually starting (and being mounted: ext3, Ubuntu host). When it eventually starts it sounds as though it's spinning up. Once it's up it runs fine.

I've unmounted it, run e2fsck on it and it passes - 0 bad blocks.

The drive's less than two years old. The enclosure even newer. Is the problem in the drive, enclosure or elsewhere?

Any thoughts on the problem and remedy would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris.
April 8, 2009 11:11:01 PM

Well, I wouldn't put any data on the drive I were afraid of losing. Noises during startup are more than likely the drive looking for it's Boot files. If it's not looking for Boot files, it's rambling for a starting point. Have you taken the data off and re-formatted? Do the format, error stays, chuck it.
a b G Storage
April 10, 2009 11:31:22 PM

maybe something wrong with the power supply? could you try mounting it internally in the computer and see if it works normally?
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April 12, 2009 4:26:11 PM

cpudney said:
G'day,

I have an 80GB hard disc in an external IDE->USB enclosure. For the past couple of days it's been very slow to start. For about five minutes it makes a repetitive noise before eventually starting (and being mounted: ext3, Ubuntu host). When it eventually starts it sounds as though it's spinning up. Once it's up it runs fine.

I've unmounted it, run e2fsck on it and it passes - 0 bad blocks.

The drive's less than two years old. The enclosure even newer. Is the problem in the drive, enclosure or elsewhere?

Any thoughts on the problem and remedy would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Chris.


Yikes! Get any important data off there ASAP! Any weird clicking or spinning up sounds like what you're talking about indicate problems with the mechanics and motor of the drive itself.
a b G Storage
April 12, 2009 5:19:54 PM

Install and run smartmontools and see what the smart header says.
Personaly I wouldn't wory too much unless there are errors in the smart data; I have an (AMD 64) 8.04 based machine which does the same, can take several minutes to recognise USB drives, on another machine (Laptop also running 8.04) the same drives are recognised in seconds.
April 12, 2009 5:23:46 PM

Huh. Must be a Linux thing. Yeah, SMART values are good at diagnosing problems. My external WD is picked up very snappily on Ubuntu and Mint, as well as others like DSL etc.
April 13, 2009 4:28:25 AM



I have a Toshiba A305 with 3 gb of ram, running windows 7 Beta, and I had a hard drive failure with the Toshiba stocked 5400rpm 320gb hard drive. I went ahead and bought this Seagate momentus and did a clean install of windows 7 beta. everything works great... Its just when I had the old hard drive installed and ran the performance test through windows 7, everything would get 5.5 or higher out of 7 but the hard drive would only get a 2 which slows my system down. So after installing this new hard drive which is a 7200rpm and it isnt malfunctioning, I would have thought this performance test would have changed the rating for the hard drive, but it still stays at 2.0..... How can that be? I was thinking it would at least boost it up signifficantly.... and honestly the hard drive i have installed now almost seems to be slower for boot up times and opening programs. It works great and everything i just wonder if there is something i can do to make this thing faster.... I'm smart with computers I just don't know a lot of the in depth stuff, so maybe someone can help me out. Thanks!
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April 13, 2009 4:32:26 AM

SeanBuchanan1985 said:
I have a Toshiba A305 with 3 gb of ram, running windows 7 Beta, and I had a hard drive failure with the Toshiba stocked 5400rpm 320gb hard drive. I went ahead and bought this Seagate momentus and did a clean install of windows 7 beta. everything works great... Its just when I had the old hard drive installed and ran the performance test through windows 7, everything would get 5.5 or higher out of 7 but the hard drive would only get a 2 which slows my system down. So after installing this new hard drive which is a 7200rpm and it isnt malfunctioning, I would have thought this performance test would have changed the rating for the hard drive, but it still stays at 2.0..... How can that be? I was thinking it would at least boost it up signifficantly.... and honestly the hard drive i have installed now almost seems to be slower for boot up times and opening programs. It works great and everything i just wonder if there is something i can do to make this thing faster.... I'm smart with computers I just don't know a lot of the in depth stuff, so maybe someone can help me out. Thanks!
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Start a new thread and I'm sure there'll be a lot of people willing to help. Maybe the IDE bus on the laptop motherboard is what is restricting the hard drive. There may be something wrong with it.
a b G Storage
April 13, 2009 5:53:18 AM

Just had another thought (Amazing ain't it!),...
plug in the drive, then have a look through the system log files (/var/log), it should tell you if the drive is being recognised OK or if it's having problems...
!