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3 failed hard drive in a row.

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September 11, 2009 6:58:09 PM

Hey all. New to the boards. Been building my own computers for about 10-12 years now. Usually can figure out issues that pop up but this one has me stumped.

About 3 weeks ago gave my old clunker PC an overhaul. New 1000w Enermax power supply, Asus Rampage II mobo, i7 processor, Evga GTX 285 graphics, 6gb Corsair Dominator ram, and 2 new 300gb Velociraptor drives. Only thing I carried over was two 150gb raptor drives, the case, and a couple dvd/cd/dvd-rw drives. All went well for a while. Blazing performance. But in the words of E! network... It all came crashing down!

About 2 weeks ago, I had a hard drive fail on me, drive will not even recognize. 1st time ever. Was sort of shocked, but didn't think much of it. Drive was a 150gb Raptor drive, about 5 years old. I back up fairly regularly, so accepted as a loss and moved on.

2 days ago, I went back to back up some new data that I didn't have backed up yet and then my external usb HDD will not read. Now I was starting to get worried. 2 hard drives failing in a two week span? Cannot get it to read on multiply computers.

Today, my c: drive stopped working again. will not recognize at all. Same as first 150gb, except that this is a brand new 300gb Velociraptor drive. Not much on it aside from Windows, couple files, and a few programs.

Getting really desperate and worried. I don't know where to start looking for problems. Assuming its hardware related. Any help is MUCH appreciated.

More about : failed hard drive row

a b G Storage
September 12, 2009 9:23:28 AM

So one external (via USB) and two internals. The pattern suggest it's random and not related to any components.
It's certainly rare, but not impossible. While I have personally not seen multiple consecutive HDD failures myself yet, still a young 22yrs old sysadmin and all, I have heard all sorts of crazy HDD failure stories so they're no surprise to me.

Murphy's Law strikes again...
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September 12, 2009 10:24:19 AM

I agree with wuzy above :) . You may have already done this, if not, try connecting the hard drives to a different computer to see what happens. Can you hear the drive motor spinning or are the drives "quiet".
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a b G Storage
September 12, 2009 10:38:49 AM

I owned a computer store for eight years, and I quit selling WD altogether. The failure rate was ridiculous.

I actually own a Raptor X, and a Velociraptor. I had two Raptors, but one failed, and WD replaced it with the new Velociraptor. My data drives are all Seagate.

With WD, what you are describing doesn't surprise me...
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a b G Storage
September 12, 2009 10:58:18 AM

mgilbert: WD used to have tremendously high failure rates, but recently, they've been better. Seagate drives are excellent for the most part, with the notable exception of the entire 7200.11 series (which had incredibly high failure rates). 7200.12 seems to have fixed the issues though. Right now, I would trust either a current gen WD (my entire storage setup is WD - 2 velociraptors in RAID for the OS and programs, and a 1TB Caviar Black for storage) or a 7200.12 series Seagate drive.
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a b G Storage
September 12, 2009 11:58:38 AM

Check the 5V rail on your PSU. Make sure its putting out only 5V
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September 12, 2009 12:18:58 PM

Hmmm,Would seem to me that either there is a root virus at work or the bad track map of those drives was not properly mapped,it has always been my policy/protocol to at the very least,, fdisk/activate and format at least the primary/active partition of any hdd,,[the extended and logical can be done from windoze,,as it relies on the now verified mapping] BECAUSE fdisk actually checks and maps the bad track map,way back in the MFM hdd days all hdd's came with the bad track map written on them in their label...:) 
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September 12, 2009 12:20:11 PM

It's simply a matter of having to switch to a new system. Think about it. Hard drives are fragile no matter what people say. The fact you moved them from one sytem to another and the drives being that old is already asking for failure. Ask your yourself this question... "Was I careful when I was moving the hard drive to the new system?" If not, this is already asking for the drives to fail.
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September 12, 2009 7:25:15 PM

Thanks for all the replies. The External usb drive doesn't work on my other 2 desktops, but it works on my new notebook all of a sudden. So I am copying all of that out now.

As for the 150gb Raptor, I figured it was time for it to go, as it was about 5 years old. I was very careful in moving it to the new system. But the brand new 300gb Velociraptor failing is odd to me.

They both failed in the same way. They come up with the same message. I put them in a second computer, they spin but appear blank. When I scan them using TestDisk they show as not having a partition and in Photorec every sector had a read error.
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a b G Storage
September 12, 2009 9:00:58 PM

4745454b said:
Check the 5V rail on your PSU. Make sure its putting out only 5V


Not possible to cause an failure as there are under/over voltage fail-safe built into mobos to prevent them from even operating.
Unless ripple on 5V exceeds ATX spec. for a prolonged time and is undetectable without an oscilloscope. And they are almost non-existent on modern PSU anyway.

Besides, assuming the external HDD used by oremor07 is 3.5" it would've gotten all (100%) of its power from an external power adapter instead.
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September 12, 2009 9:23:37 PM

Quote:
I owned a computer store for eight years, and I quit selling WD altogether. The failure rate was ridiculous.

I actually own a Raptor X, and a Velociraptor. I had two Raptors, but one failed, and WD replaced it with the new Velociraptor. My data drives are all Seagate.

With WD, what you are describing doesn't surprise me...


You mean Seagate? Seriously, Western Digital got the best reliable 1TB drives on the market.
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September 12, 2009 9:28:04 PM

threednonsense said:
It's simply a matter of having to switch to a new system. Think about it. Hard drives are fragile no matter what people say. The fact you moved them from one sytem to another and the drives being that old is already asking for failure. Ask your yourself this question... "Was I careful when I was moving the hard drive to the new system?" If not, this is already asking for the drives to fail.


That's an utterly false affirmation. You can easily transport any hard drive in a external enclosure without hassles.

A friend of mine is working in high magnetic and high voltage area (aluminium factory) while transporting his hard drives without any problems. To lose data, you need enough energy to inverse the polarity of a bit.
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a b G Storage
September 12, 2009 9:38:37 PM

Arguing between which brand of HDD has better reliability is like comparing who has the less smelling sh!t.

Statically speaking all the HDD manufactures on the market have around the same rate of failure. Occasionally one product line hits a snag and for that period one HDD manufacturer will have significantly higher failure rate. As soon as that product line is fixed it's back to the normal HDD failure rate.
A better comparison should be their RMA service when there's a faulty product line running.

Avoiding faulty product line is one thing, avoiding a brand completely is just pure lunacy.
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September 12, 2009 10:13:37 PM

redgarl said:
That's an utterly false affirmation. You can easily transport any hard drive in a external enclosure without hassles.

A friend of mine is working in high magnetic and high voltage area (aluminium factory) while transporting his hard drives without any problems. To lose data, you need enough energy to inverse the polarity of a bit.


Well, put it this way, he had the drives for fives years, decides to upgrade and change systems, then the drives fail. Hard drives are fragile. I had a hard drive die on me just because I took it out of the external case a few times after so many years of having it. It was only until then that I had any problems with it. And it's not an affirmation, it's common sense. You don't got to be a genius to comment on the obvious. As with his new drive, maybe that's coincidental, or perhaps he mishandled it a bit when switching systems with all his other drives.

To your second comment. Are you trying to be stupid or are you for real? I didn't say they automatically die when you transport them... What are you trying to say?
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a b G Storage
September 12, 2009 10:29:45 PM

redgarl said:
You mean Seagate? Seriously, Western Digital got the best reliable 1TB drives on the market.

Several years back, WD had some serious reliability issues (drives failing all over the place). Recently, they've been pretty good though. Seagate's 7200.10 series is rock solid - I've never seen one fail, but the 7200.11 series was problematic at best. The 7200.12 seems to have fixed most of the issues though, and is back to being among the more reliable on the market. The WD Caviar Black and Velociraptor are quite reliable too (though they did have issues with early gen Raptors IIRC). I've heard some interesting (and troubling) things about the new high-capacity WD 2.5" drives though, so I personally won't buy those until there's some more data out there on their reliability.

There is no one manufacturer with reliability problems. Every manufacturer has drive lines with issues, and every manufacturer has drive lines that are darn near perfect.
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a b G Storage
September 12, 2009 10:51:56 PM

One thing to consider are you getting sufficient air flow over the hard disks to cool them down after changing the power supply and is the front air intake vent (normally on the bottom of the front panel) and the space behind the front panel clear of dust. High temperatures will cause early failures.
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September 12, 2009 11:48:50 PM

redgarl said:
That's an utterly false affirmation. You can easily transport any hard drive in a external enclosure without hassles.

A friend of mine is working in high magnetic and high voltage area (aluminium factory) while transporting his hard drives without any problems. To lose data, you need enough energy to inverse the polarity of a bit.



Aluminum is not magnetic so I'm not sure what an aluminum factory has to do with hard drive failure? If your friend is working in a high voltage area tell him to respect his fellow workers safety by leaving his mp3 player at home and pay attention to his work.
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September 14, 2009 7:39:02 AM

What OS is this? Windows 7? I installed windows 7 on about 10 computers and one computer we changed all the hard drives (4) and then half the hard drives partition tables went south... I used MS recovery disk to get the partitions back from all the drives, double wiped the OS, reinstalled and now they are fine... I have no idea what happened.

However, yours were running fine for 2 weeks which would also make me suspect a hardware issue.

Did you try MSRD? nothing else worked for me, but MS did.
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September 14, 2009 8:07:10 AM

threednonsense said:
Well, put it this way, he had the drives for fives years, decides to upgrade and change systems, then the drives fail. Hard drives are fragile. I had a hard drive die on me just because I took it out of the external case a few times after so many years of having it. It was only until then that I had any problems with it. And it's not an affirmation, it's common sense. You don't got to be a genius to comment on the obvious. As with his new drive, maybe that's coincidental, or perhaps he mishandled it a bit when switching systems with all his other drives.

To your second comment. Are you trying to be stupid or are you for real? I didn't say they automatically die when you transport them... What are you trying to say?


That's two posts now when you seemingly stated that HD's are fragile. Check out the g-shock ratings on most modern (or even not so modern) drives. There's a fair chance that I could smack you up the side of your head, plug the drive in and have it work. Reliably. Not so sure about you though...
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a b G Storage
September 14, 2009 3:02:30 PM

wuzy said:
... there are under/over voltage fail-safe

True.
wuzy said:
... built into mobos to prevent them from even operating.

False. Those circuits are built into the PSU (or are supposed to be).
wuzy said:
Unless ripple on 5V exceeds ATX spec. for a prolonged time and is undetectable without an oscilloscope. And they are almost non-existent on modern PSU anyway.

Digital circuitry is very forgiving of ripple. One of the military systems I used to work on had an embedded digital computer with an unregulated 5 volt power supply. Ripple was typically .5 volt rms (1.4 volts peak-to-peak).
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a b G Storage
September 14, 2009 8:27:17 PM

There were a few PSUs back then that were manufactured with manually tunable pots to raise/lower voltage on each rail. They were to counter voltage sags when overclocking. I was once experimenting how high the 12V rail will go and found ~13.5V (13.2V for ATX spec.) was the limit before the computer crashed and turned itself off. That's the mobo doing its job alright.

Quote:
Digital circuitry is very forgiving of ripple. One of the military systems I used to work on had an embedded digital computer with an unregulated 5 volt power supply. Ripple was typically .5 volt rms (1.4 volts peak-to-peak).

Do not ever compare military equipment to fragile consumer devices. The ATX spec. states 120mV max. for 12V+ rail with a very good reason.
Usually military electronic equipments are slower and built tough as a nail.
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September 14, 2009 9:12:01 PM

croc said:
That's two posts now when you seemingly stated that HD's are fragile. Check out the g-shock ratings on most modern (or even not so modern) drives. There's a fair chance that I could smack you up the side of your head, plug the drive in and have it work. Reliably. Not so sure about you though...


I speak from experience old man. I've had three or four drives die on me like this. What's your reliable experience? Running that old mouth on empty until your name should change to croak?

And, I do recall him saying that two of the hard drives were five years old.

Next time you want to get violent on the internet try looking up game titles like cod4 and such, all the little kids play it... You should have a lot of fun. Be warned though, I've seen some examples on youtube, some of them can get really serious and all. So watch out, wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of the so called, claiming to be a dignified old man with the dirty ol mouth.
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September 15, 2009 2:40:10 AM

threednonsense said:
I speak from experience old man. I've had three or four drives die on me like this. What's your reliable experience? Running that old mouth on empty until your name should change to croak?

And, I do recall him saying that two of the hard drives were five years old.

Next time you want to get violent on the internet try looking up game titles like cod4 and such, all the little kids play it... You should have a lot of fun. Be warned though, I've seen some examples on youtube, some of them can get really serious and all. So watch out, wouldn't want to hurt the feelings of the so called, claiming to be a dignified old man with the dirty ol mouth.


Why don't you do a bit of research prior to wiggling your fingers in a childish rant?

Most HD's are rated at ~200G's shock rating. I checked WD, Seagate, Fujitsu and Samsung. Their publicly available specs are all near this value, some a bit higher, some a bit lower...

The human brain can be cuncussed by a blow as small as a 40g shock, so I guess that one could say that the shock rating for a human brain is ~ 40G's. Data gleaned from WHO and Snell labs. So it is fair to say that if a HD and a human head had a collision, the HD would have a better chance of running properly than a human...

A five year old HD in continuous 24/7 operation has an annual failure rate of about 10%, according to google's HD failure research.

http://labs.google.com/papers/disk_failures.pdf

Hard drives are NOT 'sensitive' devices. Hard drives are not THAT likely to fail after 'x' years.

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September 15, 2009 3:33:26 AM

Have you actually noticed this by experience? NO! Is it always going to be the same perecentage failure rate? NO! Case closed.

Oh, THEY AREN'T SENSITIVE? Take one one of your hard drives, bash it on the ground a few times and try see if is still works. Maybe that's sensitive enough for you.

Have you ever had a concussion? I have, if you haven't, I suggest you keep your ol dirty mouth to yourself, cause your not very knowledgable or respectable.
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a b G Storage
September 15, 2009 3:38:39 AM



Knock it off guys, you've managed to ruin this thread. With such child like behavior, I'm out. (As JSC said, the power circuity should be in the PSU. While you were playing with that OCZ PSU, did it ever occur to you that it shut off at 13.5V due to the OCP found in PSUs?)

Edited for spelling
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a b G Storage
September 15, 2009 11:33:00 PM

I'd say its troubling they failed .. if they lasted for 5 years they shouldnt die immediately in a new system.

Id say the highest failure rate for me is usually during first 30-90 days (if they arent DOA)

so its troubling they lasted 5 years then died fast in a new computer.

I dont think there is any good easy explanation for this.

you might start by checking what it isnt... a virus... bad psu.. bad motherboard.. etc.

dropping a metal item onto concrete btw.. produces extremely high instantaneous g-forces (no padding)
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September 15, 2009 11:50:48 PM

Thing is, I don't think he said they died immediately when switching. If they did, that would only prove this to be more of a fact. It's happened numerous times to me where I've had the drive for like four years, take it out a few times..., mostly for backup or solving a problem, then put it back and all of a sudden it dies.

I don't see what's so hard to understand or why it's a big deal, Hd's is the most common part that would go out naturally.

And people, don't be bringing up how your "E machine" totally broke down on you and the only thing saved was the hd. Buying cheap stuff is asking for trouble already.
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a b G Storage
September 16, 2009 12:44:31 AM

I still say if you get multiple hard drive failures you should look at the air flow over the drive. I have encountered this problem many times often due to clogged up front air vents.
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