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Hard Disks Failing,PSU +12V rail reported at 1.7V!?Event Errors Occur

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April 19, 2009 6:14:16 AM

Hello,

I think I may some serious issues with my PC
So, here's the summary (Issues regarding PSU are toward the end):

Several weeks ago, my PC began randomly locking up. One day, it got really bad, so i shutdown the PC.
My primary Hard Drive, a 320GB SATAII Western Digital, completely failed on that day. Never booted again. I did get a chance to run chkdsk /f on it, but that was the last time it was ever detected outside of the BIOS. No Live CD was able to mount it, so i suspected physical damage..

Fortunately most of my important data was on my other drives, so I put the 320Gb aside, and replaced it. Reinstalled XP, and im up and running again....

Today one of my backup hard disks, a 1TB SATAII Samsung, began randomly disappearing from "My Computer" (Happened 3 times today)..the first two times i just unplugged the power to it(it was not spinning O.o), and plugged it back it to power it back up, and the third time, i had to reboot to get it to power back up. I should also mention that I had ran HDD Regenerator on this drive when the 320GB WD failed, and it had detected 2 bad sectors (which were repaired), while the other drives reported no bad sectors.
Anyway, I go on to check for errors in the Event Viewer, and these are the nasty errors i find:


Error ID 9: The device, \Device\Ide\IdePort4, did not respond within the timeout period.
Error ID 57: The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur.
and heres an interesting one:
Error ID 12: The device 'SAMSUNG HD103UJ' (IDE\DiskSAMSUNG_HD103UJ_________________________1AA01113\31535033444a5157343737343137202020202020) disappeared from the system without first being prepared for removal.

It is also probably worth mentioning that all of these errors occurs at the exact same time (to the second!)

Next, i used several monitoring applications, including HWMonitor, SpeedFan, and EVEREST.
The only readings that seemed off were the voltages...

SpeedFan reported these readings:


HWMonitor reported what seemed to be the most accurate readings:


and the EVEREST readings were similar to the ones from SpeedFan:


Now I'm no expert, but the +12V rail should probably be at approximately 12V, and not something in the lower single digits! And the other readings seem quite a bit off as well..

-------------
Additional Information:

---PC Specs---
Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R Motherboard
ULTRA X2 750Watt PSU (13 months old)
Core 2 Duo E6600
3 Hard Drives(SATAII): 320GB WD(Had 2 or these, one of which failed, read above), 1TB WD, and 1TB Samsung
NVidia GeForce 8800GT PCIe
Sony DVDRW Drive
2GB RAM (4x 515MB DDR2 Sticks)

One more thing, i have ran memtest86+, and have not had any errors, so RAM is not an issue..
-----

So.. my question to you is:
Is my Power Supply dying and I should shutdown my Pc right away and upgrade it?
or
Am I having really bad luck with my hard drives, and my 1TB Samsung is on its way to failure, in which case I need to backup my backup(lol)?


Thanks in advance for any help and advice,
George
April 19, 2009 6:29:26 AM

Speedfan and Everest don't always report the 12v line correctly. On my system I get the same voltage reading as you, to get an accurate reading I use my mobos supplies software. If the voltage was in the single digits your gpu would power down, also your cpu and everythign else. That is most likely not the problem
April 19, 2009 6:30:32 AM

I've been looking into Error ID 9 (The device, \Device\Ide\IdePort4, did not respond within the timeout period.)

and those who have experienced it before say that the issue was a failing IDE controller..
so could this possibly mean that my PSU and all Hard Drives are OK, but my SATA Controller is done for?

---- EDIT
@derek2006

Oh, well in that case, im going to give Gigabyte EasyTune software a shot in a few minutes..
Also - what about the other readings? the +3.3V is at 3.46, is this in a normal range?


---- EDIT 2

Forgot to mention another strange symptom...this one has been going on for quite some time now (over 6 months):
All of my USB ports seem to be acting as USB 1.1 ports. Whenever i plug in any USB device (Flash Drive, iPod Touch,,etc) I get a balloon tip telling me that the device can perform faster if i plug it into a high-speed 2.0 port...even though all of my ports are 2.0
And it is obvious that a complete OS re-installation did not fix this issue.
--
Related resources
April 19, 2009 6:36:53 AM

Same problem with me. HW Monitor shows +5V as 3.77V and +12V as 11.1V
Everest shows +5V as 5.43V and +12V as +13.86V

I really don't worry much since my PSU is a new Corsair and the system works fine. It wouldn't if voltages weren't right. I'm guessing something is wrong with the sensor. Perhaps HWM and Everest use different algorithms to calculate voltages from the sensor.
April 19, 2009 6:42:58 AM

The ranges that it has to be in to be in spec are below:

3.3V --> 3.14-3.47
5V --> 4.75 - 5.25
12V --> 11.4-12.6

So your 3.3V line is a little high and almost goes over the specification. However your HDs and many other components do not use this line. Off the top of my head I am not sure what does, maybe the motherboards logic chips.

Eastytune does a good job of reading the voltages. However for me it will not read the 5v rail. I use speedfan to read that rail.

Edit: Rags yours are way outa specification. Try a new PSU but try not to buy one right away. The software can be wrong.

Edit 2: For your usb problem, check in the bios for some settings that have to do with USB. Maybe do a restore to defaults if you don't have much set in there.
April 19, 2009 7:06:02 AM

@rags_20, derek2006
So, basically, software isn't very reliable as far as monitoring voltages goes?
Should I just go out and buy a multimeter then?

@derek2006
Thanks for the range data. Do you happen to know any of the symptoms when PC components are receiving irregular voltages (In my case, above-normal voltages)?

I've just tried EasyTune6 with these results:

Didn't read the 5v rail either..

usb problem - there are a few usb related settings in the bios i have tried messing with in an attempt to fix the issue - but no luck. and with the amount of problems my pc has been having lately, I have reset my BIOS many times. For example, ocassionaly when i hit "restart" in XP, the PC will do the shutdown process, and stop at a black screen instead of booting back up.. so I have to reset the BIOS by taking out the little battery.
April 19, 2009 7:37:55 AM

Mafi0z your voltages seem to be fine from easytune. I am not sure what the symptoms are for overvolting. If it was a large overvolt of like close to 14v like ragz I would imagine it wouldn't last very long. But small overvoltage shouldn't make to much of a difference in the lifespan that is maybe close to 13V.

Even if your 3.3V rail is a little high, I don't think it would cause to many issues. Also USB runs off of the 5v rail.

Try reflashing your bios, maybe there is some corruption. Also run prime 95 to see if your system is perfectly stable. I thought mine was stable at one time when I overclocked, it ran games fine and ran prime 95 for 1-2 hours. But when I rebooted it would do that black screen thing. I never took out the battery though I would just have to flip the power button on the psu and wait 10 seconds.
April 19, 2009 8:39:17 AM

@derek
My computer is totally stable. Runs Crysis etc. with no prob. for hours. And the PSU is new.
April 19, 2009 8:41:00 AM

Can I use EasyTune even if I don't have a Gigabyte mobo?
a b ) Power supply
April 19, 2009 8:50:11 AM

mafi0z said:
So, basically, software isn't very reliable as far as monitoring voltages goes?

Exactly.

Quote:
Should I just go out and buy a multimeter then?

Yes.
April 19, 2009 10:20:21 PM

@derek2006

There have been about 8 releases of BIOS updates for my motherboard, the latest of which is a beta release (which i am using), maybe that could be the issue? I will try reflashing to an older, stable release.

Today I tested many of the connector pins with a multimeter.
Here are the results (in blue):



Strangely enough the only voltage that fluctuates most is from the cable leading to the 1TB Samsung that randomly powered off several times yesterday. While i was measuring these voltages, whenever i touched/moved a cable out of the way, i heard a hard drive make a sudden click, and spin down, and spin back up several seconds later (very strange).
This might be a stretch but.. i have a huge subwoofer right beside my PC Case(which is always open), so all the hard drives are about a foot away from that subwoofer.. could a magnetic field from the magnet corrupt any of the HDs?

Some other info i thought i should mention:

The 1TB im having problems with (the disappearing and event errors) run off of an eSATA cable.

All my HDs are very close together.. and get quite hot, since my PC is on 24/7
the 320GB WD's were side-by-side when one failed. Some of the corners on the cases of those 2 look like they're burned (boiled to be exact..yeah, i see tiny bubbles!). But this heat is not an issue for the 1TB drives, they look perfectly fine, and are usually sitting outside the pc case.

Heres my components setup.. don't laugh at my drawing skills
http://www.picamatic.com/show/2009/04/20/02/11/3332458_...
April 19, 2009 10:45:07 PM

What are the serial numbers on your hard disks? I had the same problem and it turned out the manufacturers have several batches which come out defective and cause sporadic voltages
April 20, 2009 2:12:19 AM

You say it happens when you move a cable? Sounds like a loose connection.
April 20, 2009 3:04:37 AM

:All of my USB ports seem to be acting as USB 1.1 ports. Whenever i plug in any USB device (Flash Drive, iPod Touch,,etc) I get a balloon tip telling me that the device can perform faster if i plug it into a high-speed 2.0 port...even though all of my ports are 2.0"

Windows XP Vanilla (i.e. SP 0) doesn't come with USB 2.0 support, only 1.1. If you installed vanilla xp and then updated to the most recent service pack you can update the speed of your USB ports in windows. It's been ages since I've done this but I beleive it's as simple as going into the device manager and hitting "Update Drivers for this Device" under the USB Root in Universal Serial Bus Controllers (at the very bottom).

At any rate, good luck with your more pressing issue. My friend had a problem like this on his laptop and I was almost positive it was a SATA controller fault, but yours looks more to be PSU related (hope it's not both).

Oh, and rags your PSU is fine. You system probably pulls like 200-250 watts max.
!