Im at a loss as to what to do

that is my c and f drive.

a few days ago my computer crashed for unknown reasons

than within a day, f:\ drive had a delay write failure and the computer wouldnt shut down

any i believe 2 days later anything to deal with the f:\ drive froze up and i needed to restart.

im at a loss as what the problem is. i have been told that it may be the sata cable, which i hope is the reason

i have read that it also may be that the drive is failing,

im concerned with both f:\ and c:\ drives, can anyone help a bit, ill supply you with more info if requested.
47 answers Last reply
More about loss
  1. Try a system restore (go back a week), then back up your data, then run Chkdsk.exe. a tool that checks volumes for problems. The tool then tries to repair any that it finds. For example, Chkdsk can repair problems related to bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and directory errors.
  2. ok, before i do anything i want to know why im doing it.

    why would i system restore to a week ago? and should i restore farther back? like to around Christians? i believe the first time my hard drive crashed windows was around the 28th maybe the 27th, but i know not before Christmas.


    if i run chkdsk, what will happen? i mean if it finds areas it doesn't like will it kill them? or could i even access those areas to begin with? i mean lets assume the worst here, what could happen to my hard drive if in the middle of chkdsk it decided to screw up in some way shape or form.

    like i said i want to have a full understanding of what i am doing before i do it.
  3. System restore does just that - restores your system to a specified date where you know your system did not have issues.

    chkdsk? If it finds areas it doesn't like, such as physical flaw in the hard drive, bad areas, it marks them for non-usage. That way your data doesn't get corrupted. Otherwise your hard drive would write data on those areas and then have a problem or "freeze" when the data can't be read.
  4. ok how do i do a system restore back to a time i know there were no problems?

    and you you think the delay write failure will happen agein if i chkdsk?
  5. System Restore is in Windows/Programs/Accessories/System Tools.

    Chkdsk will block out areas of the hard drive that might cause write/read errors. If your hard drive is old (more than 3, 5, 10 year old and the internal mechanism itself is causing the errors, then it's time for a new hard drive.

    That's why they tell you not to press the power button wheile the hard drive is writing.
  6. the harddrive is 3-4 months old, and the other one, the c:\ is less than 1 month.

    they are seagate so some of those errors are thins im told are normal in seagates.

    but f:\ was running for close to 2 months with those 3 yellow error areas and it worked fine for the most part, you have any idea why the the drive is freezeing up my computer now but didnt a while ago?
  7. Could be a virus? How much CPU usage and how many background tasks are running? Did you try defrag?

    You can always check BIOS to see the hard drive parameters.
  8. a virus? i doubt it, i have the same things running on it now that i did 3 months ago, even a year ago for that matter.

    cpu usage, i went from a Pentium 4 to a phenom x4 955 so cpu usage there even at its worst, when encoding a video, it uses 70% of my cpu (im guessing what holds it back for using more is the encoder and my video card) but even than, at 70% usage, its still faster then my p4 ever was.

    as for background tasks, my computer is close to clean in that regard. if there is a n actual number you want tell me where to look and ill give it to you. there are some things there that are just their, i got a quad core, and its goes so fast almost all the time that i never saw reason to optomise anything.

    i dont think its the bios either, the hard drives were working fine for weeks until the f:\ error, and possibly the c:\ having an error too, but that may have just been the f:\ having an error and me noticing than that there was also a c:\ error.

    hell everything could be the f:\ drive.

    i don't want to defrag anything and usually don't because of space problems, but i also don't want to defrag if there is a chance that my computer could lose data because of it, i want to avoid that until the f:\ problems are found out.

    just so you know i haven't done anything to the drives yet, i want to wait till i know exactly what im dealing with before that happens.

  9. i just ran chkdsk.exe

    what dose this mean if you know?
  10. While I appreciate your enthusiasm to troubleshoot your PC problems, I can see you are also reading on Google as much as you can about these procedures.

    Since were talking about the possibility of bad sectors causing write and read errors (from your original post), did you use the /R switch with the CHKDSK command?

    Does the manufacturer of hard drive have a website to download diagnostic utilities?

    Here's what I would do.

    1. Back up all the files that I can't afford to lose (DVD-R, or onto another hard drive)
    2. Replace the SATA cable.
    3. Full format.
    4. A fresh OS install, drivers....
    5. Then run more tests on your HD/s. If they fail, RMA if under warranty.
  11. what is useing /R switch

    yea they do, kind of. i dont think it will tell me whats wrong.

    where can i get an sata cable that i wont have doubts about

    reformatting and rma'ing the drives is the last resort for when i know that there is nothing more i can do.

    but i really don't want to re do the os. at least without necessity. i need to know that one drive is the problem over everything else before i will format or anything either drive.
  12. Hmmm.... maybe I should take back my assumption about you reading Google.

    The /r switch marks your hard drive errors so that the OS does not write on those bad sectors.
  13. i on and off use google. its kind of aggravating when looking up tech problems because there are alot of places with good and bad information, and some make you sign up not knowing the quality of the information.

    for computer cables, i really am at a loss, because if it is the sata cable than what do i do to replace it if i cant trust the company to give me one that works right in the first place.

    but the sata thing, that hard drive was put into pio mode or something, which killed my p4 cpu, months ago, but because the problem didn't come back i assumed that it was something else that forced it into that mode and not the sata, but with the recent things, the sata cable may be the problem.

    and how do i use /r switch? i did google that, and it kicked back allot of things that are no where near related, and im not sure how to word a search to get the results i want.
  14. A sata cable costs like 2 bucks. Get a brand name one and try it. Whoever sold you the computer and hard drives shold be giving you tech support.
  15. the computer itself is close to 5 years old, and i had the motherboard and cpu replaced about a month ago, i didn't let them touch the harddrive's

    and the harddrive i got one 4 months ago at bestbuy (i couldn't wait the 2days-2weeks shipping) the one that i believe is having he noticeable problems is the 4 month one, so even than i couldn't do anything about it from them.

    and about the harddrives testing things that came with the hard drive, it says that both harddrives fail, however im looking at what causes it to say fail, and apparently even 1 bad sector, 1 512bytes area of over 1.5tb is bad it says the whole thing is bad.

    but here is where im having a problem now.

    that program has to touch the bad sector, however when it dose it doesn't lock up the computer.

    a bit confuseing

    it dose have a bootable version that will try to fix errors, but ill have to use that before i go to sleep because its saying it could take 4 or more hours
  16. It looks like you're on the right track. What is the brand? Hard drives usually have 3 years manufacturer warranty. But they won't replace it without an RMA and you'll have to work with them to get one.

    When you first installed the new hard drive, did you do a full format or a quick format? Did the format take around 3 hours or 15 minutes?
  17. its a 1.5tb drive, hours, in all honesty i don't want to rma either drive, because what im finding out is that these drives are gambles. people who get them for raid, who can and will deal with replacing a single drive if it fails, got 6-8 and find about a 50% failure chance in their raids with them, but those were complete failures. right now i just need to restart my computer and the drive work, and i also know that i can rma either drive, back when i thought that the f:\ drive, it was the c:\ drive at the time, was failing, because something put it into pio (or something like that) mode and could only get a 3mbps read speed at best, i started contacting them and was told i could rma the drive because they have a generous return policy or something, id have to look the emails up to be sure.
  18. new info

    i looked up the event viewer just after restarting form what i believe is a hard drive problem.

    The device, \Device\Ide\IdePort1, did not respond within the timeout period.

    i think this may be it, but Google is kicking up questions, and semi answers when i look their.

    one of the suggestions is switch sata ports. do you think that would work?
  19. Sure. Switch SATA ports, it can't hurt.
  20. will i have to go into the bios and switch hard drives again? or should the one that boots now remain the one that boots when i switch them?
  21. Nope. The BIOS was set to find your designated boot drive regardless of which SATA port it is connected to and it will stay that way until you tell the BIOS to do otherwise.
  22. i haven't changed the sata port yet, various reasons, like when ever i notice the computer froze, its either late at night, or i was in the middle of something else and want to get back to it as fast as i can, but there is something i forgot i did.

    my old motherboard before it died, couldn't handle a sata2 drive, so i had to set it to sata 1,

    do you think that could be causing the errors?
  23. Not sure how you set the BIOS to treat your HD but you should set it on auto or default. Trying to manually enter parameters for your HD is a thing of the past.
  24. no no, its set that way with a jumper.

    the most i did in the bios was set the boot priority
  25. yet more things keep rolling in.

    if you cant tell by now, i'm the cautious type.
    i haven't done anything to the hard drives yet, im making 100% sure the errors i find keep repeating and thats whats causing the computer to freeze up. but in my efforts i came across a new 2 errors,

    disk error 11
    atapi error 15

    the second error there i cant figure out what it means, butt he first one sounds like my mother board doesn't support the dvd drive.

    this is what im looking at right now.

    its telling me to go with pio mode. last time i did that it placed a huge burden on my cpu, granted it was a pentium 4 530, but a huge strain none the less.

    if im looking in the right place on cpu-z my mother board is an asus M4A785-M

    i honestly have no idea where to look for my dvd drive model. but its using an ide cable,

    this is what the disk error said.

    The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk2\D.

    it alturnated between the two errors 5 or 6 times before i restarted the computer, something wasnt frozen and i wanted to finish what i was doing before i restarted.

    in fact looking over everything, the delay write failures that happened all happened around the disc drive having errors.

    i have no clue why i didnt notice this before.

    i think i was looking at the hard drives specifically because some smart problems occurred, but they may have been irrelevant.

    any new insite? and before anyone asks, i don't know if i had a dvd in the drive when the errors occurred. im not putting any disca into the drive for a while so i know if its bad or not.
  26. ok my computer more or less stopped responding again and there were no errors logged.

    i can confirm 2-5 days before this time, and it may have been a windows error (page file things, crap like that piled up)

    is there a more thorough thing i can use to detect whats wrong?
    nothing came up in the event viewer.
  27. Go on the hard drive manufacturer's website and download their hard drive tools which will attempt to fix your hardware. If not, RMA time.
  28. but thats just it, i am doubting its the hard drives now.

    the last time i had to reboot could have been my fault because i think, 1-2 days ago i for that page file full message or virtual memory thing, once that happens in my experiance there is a good chance that something will crash badly forcing a restart,
  29. Go back to system restore to a day you know it was working fine.
  30. what will system restore change?

    i want to know just in case i have to re do settings or something like that
  31. alidan said:
    what will system restore change?

    i want to know just in case i have to re do settings or something like that

    I thought we went through this already?
  32. yes and no,

    you told me what it was basically, but i dont believe ever mentioning what exactly got changed.

    from what i understand it dosent do anything bad, but i would like to know what it will most likely change.
  33. i waited until the computer crashed again to get errors.

    apparently i cant restart right away, or no errors show up.

    ill be doing a system restore relatively soon, and see if that changes anything.

    the goal is about a week without restarting the computer,

    and a side note, i think 2 of those errors are me forcing things closed.
  34. i hae now system restored to before the problem first presented itself. heres hopeing it works
  35. Did not read all thread, but if SMART says you have so called "pending" sectors; thats very serious! That means there are bad sectors on your HDD which cannot be hidden; only when you write to that exact sector with new data, will the HDD allow the bad sector to be swapped with a reserve sector and the issue will be fixed.

    So all you need to do is write to that HDD; if you don't need the data a complete zero-write will fix this issue and allow the HDD to repair itself. If you still need the data, its a bit more complicated. Take note that formatting, even the long format, does not zero-write the entire surface! It only overwrites 20MB and then reads all other sectors; but not zero-writing them.
  36. iv been told that before, but unless that is the problem,
    and you know if i do that it will fix it

    other wise, im fine waiting for it to write over them on their own.

    i have a second harddrive that can store all of the f:\ drive things, but that is almost tb of data. its a lot to move from place to place.
  37. What you can try without any data loss(*):
    1) Download and burn Ubuntu 9.10 cd from
    2) boot from the cd (livecd mode -- no installation)
    3) open a terminal and find out the name of the harddrive (/dev/sda for first SATA drive; /dev/sdb for second)
    4) execute the command:

    "sudo dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sda bs=1M"

    This would read data from /dev/sda harddrive and write the same data to the same harddrive again. This would not change any data, but it would mean your HDD is refreshing (re-magnitising) all its sectors - which is a good thing since areas that are not written to for a long time can degrade.

    *) No guarantees here! You should always have a backup of things you cannot afford to lose. Any mistakes in the dd command can lead to severe data loss; like working on the wrong drive. The command above is pretty harmless though; as it does not really alter any data.

    The command will not output anything until finished, which can take multiple hours. Once finished, you will get output regarding howmuch is copied and the speed at which this happened. Then simply reboot; boot into windows again.
  38. whenever i do something like a format, not that i do i much, i unplug every drive that isnt affected. it minimized risk of losing any data because of my careless ness.

    ill defiantly look into that when the error forcing my computer te restart is solved.

    now back to the errors.

    error 11 and 15 keep poping up whenever i need to restart the computer.

    anyone have any idea what to do?

    if i need a new dvd drive, than i want to be 100% sure that i need it, and not get one just to see if that is what i needed.

    but if it is the dvd drive, why does it seam to effect my f:\ drive over the other 3 hdds more?

    i mean its getting annoying that i cant play games because i may lose hours of data because i for got to save, or worse yet, it corrupts the save for some reason and i lose days.

    and i cant count on it happening at specific times either. with or without a dvd in the drive it happens, and it can happen 1 minute after restart, or it could happen 5 days after restart.

    probably the only solution to the problem (that i can tell) is to set the drive to pio mode, but i really don't want to do that, but i dont know if pio will kill a computers power, like it will if its set that way for a harddrive.
  39. ok, i set what i believe is the dvd drive up as pio only now. but im not restarting yet.

    this after using system restore, it error appeared to happen more frequently. i do not know if this is because of the roll back, or just the random nature of the problem, but whatever the case may be, it doesn't matter, as this should have fixed the problem.

    im waiting for the error again, and than that restart, hopefull the dvd drive will be pio only.
  40. PIO errors could be the result of bad cabling, have you checked those?

    And with pending bad sectors (uncorrectable bad sectors) on your HDD you'll get into trouble sooner or later. I suggest you fix this, or not use the HDD for anything important anymore.
  41. most of whats on the hdds is things i can get again. some game saves would suck to lose though.

    the errors im getting are from the d:\ drive, in other words the dvd drive. and its an ide cable, you know, the wide flat one, and i know the cable for that is good. im thinking of buying 3 sata cables though, because next step is switching sata ports, and after than its the cables, and worst of all, backing up all the data and full formatting the drive, probably a full overwrite of 1's too.
  42. If that bad sector is in the wrong place (NTFS metadata) you can lose many many data. Right now you have a filesystem on a damaged HDD and you did not fix it. This damage may cause dataloss in the future - using a damaged storage medium for anything important would be really dangerous and i strongly recommend you fix this issue.

    With weird errors going on, i would perform a full check-up:
    1) do a memtest86 check to see if RAM is ok - system stability
    2) test the HDD thoroughly and fix the surface media errors
    3) use a new 80-ribbon cable for your DVD; it shouldnt have errors
    4) replace SATA cables too if still getting errors

    Just letting the bad sectors stay and continue to work with the filesystem may mean mass-data loss in the future if you're unlucky. So i would advise checking this out and at least fixing your HDD.
  43. how would i go about checking them? i use the computer allot, and don't want to do anything time consuming. and by time consuming i mean 2 hours + where there is nothing that i can do.

    apparently my motherboard is haveing problems with, and i am quoteing a website for this "If you are using DMA transfer mode with an ATA66 hard disk, you may receive the following error messages at startup:"

    the dvd drive is dma mode 2 i believe. d drive and that mixed in made me believe dvd drive, and if it is, and i can confirm it, im getting a new quieter sata dvd drive and get rid of the ribbon cable once and for all.

    im almost 100% the ram is ok, ill do the test latter though and post results.

    and sata cable replacement is number 2 on my next to do list, which could take up to 4 weeks depending on the error frequency.
  44. As long as you allow your HDD to have bad sectors on live data you're in danger of corruption/data-loss.

    Normally, bad sectors are no problem because they will be swapped with a reserve sector. In your case, you got 2 sectors which cannot be read at all and thus cannot be swapped - they really are dead sectors. The HDD itself refuses to abandon recovery of this lost data; it will keep the bad sector as it is until you write to that same sector; that will be the trigger for the HDD to write the data to a new reserve sector instead, and not use the bad sector anymore. This process can not happen until you write to that specific bad sector. If you don't do that, the problem will stay and can grow and you can lose alot of data. Your already had data-loss by filesystem damage NTFS' chkdsk can repair; but some things can't be repaired; or only by removing alot of files.

    PIO is safe to use, its an emergency fallback solution when DMA fails for some reason; could be that bad sector on your HDD. If Windows has trouble communicating with the HDD; it will drop to PIO mode as 'solution'.

    To solve these issues; you would probably need to take the system offline and repair it for multiple hours. Working with a system that has known weaknesses or is on the verge of failing, is probably not a good idea.
  45. like i said i put the pio mode on the dvd drive, the one that the above image i believe was saying it had a problem with.

    how do i get chkdsk to run and fix crap on startup, i can run that while i sleep and hopefully it will be done when i wake up.
  46. You probably should first fix your hardware (the harddrive) and then the filesystem. Running chkdsk may not touch the bad sector; or it may. If it does it may not like it and cause more problems.

    I still recommend using Ubuntu to re-write your harddrive, which should allow the harddrive to fix itself. Instructions are in a couple posts above.
  47. i have confirmed that if i leave the computer alone, it will cycle event id 11 and 15 in the picture, and given enough time also causes the f:\ drive to have a delay write failure.

    this is the first restart after setting dvd ro pio mode, this will tell me if it that is the problem or not.

    after im going to rip some files off some of my burnt dvds iv been meaning to watch and im completely unplugging my dvd drive, from the computer.
Ask a new question

Read More

Hard Drives Computer Storage