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Odd/annoying external HDD problem

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January 13, 2011 1:47:09 PM

Hello,

So have this really annoying problem with an external HDD. I am running Windows 7 Enterprise on a Dell XPS 7500. The HDD is a Lacie d2 Quadra 2TB plugged into the eSATA port on the computer.

The problem is with the HDD disconnecting when I try to transfer files. Actually, when I first got the HD, it just wouldn't work on eSATA. USB and FireWire worked fine, but because they are slow and I am working with hundreds of gigabytes of data, I need the speed of eSATA.

What would happen is this... Windows would see the HD just fine, and I could access it, but the moment I went to copy files to and from it, it would hang and then disconnect. I would have to reboot my computer for it to be seen again. As I mentioned, it worked fine with USB or FireWire, and also on the eSATA connection of a laptop I have. So, the drive seems find and it is a system problem of sorts.

I installed new Intel Matrix Storage drivers from the Dell website, but that didn't seem to do anything...

I looked at the Windows event log, and sure enough there were errors associated with the disk. The problem seemed to be with a file hpdskflt.sys which was an HP accelerometer driver that is to protect the drive from falls. Not sure why it was on my system or if it was used, but it seemed like whenever the drive was being accessed, it tried using this file, which didn't work, so the drive hung...

So, I deleted this file from my system and removed every trace of it from the system registry. And voila! The drive seemed to work perfectly under eSATA. Very fast, didn't disconnect, etc.

However, about a week later, problems started again. Windows sees the drive just fine and I can access it, but if the drive goes unused for awhile, when I try to copy large files to or from it, it disconnects. However, upon reconnecting, it works just fine. But again, if I don't use it for awhile, it disconnects again.

Looking at the event viewer, the following things show up:

Warning: Event ID 51: An error was detected on device \...\DR2 during a paging operation.
Error: Event ID 9: The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period.
Error: Event ID 5: A parity error was detected on \Device\Ide\iaStor0.

These all show up at the time I first start using the drive, but after it reconnects and I start using it, no more show up.

So, although I can access the files and it works, the disconnecting problem is more annoying than anything else, but I am also worried that continuing to do this may damage the drive in some way.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Mike

a b G Storage
January 13, 2011 10:08:29 PM

Hey Mike,

Have you already tried contacting LaCie? Also, sometimes the culprit of disconnections can be with the eSATA cable itself. So perhaps changing cables will help solve the problem. By the way, I do not see any models that you mentioned in your OP. Let me see if I understand exactly the situation. The unit does not work with the dell under eSATA, but does not display any issues with a different laptop? If this is the case, the exchanging of cables will probably not help (although good habit do have). This may be out of the scope of the enclosure and may be a OS related issue. Please do correct me if I am wrong regarding the above assumption based on your information.

Hope this helps!
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January 18, 2011 1:30:52 PM

Haven't contacted LaCie yet, but will try. This is in an enterprise environment, and out tech people can't figure it out, and other people have had the problem, and I think they've tried working with LaCie already who claim it's not a problem with the drive. I was working with Dell to try to figure it out, but when I thought I solved the problem by removing hpdskflt.sys, I stopped. But, they weren't very helpful anyways and just recommended the standard stuff.

But, your understanding is correct. If I plug the drive with the same cable into my HP Laptop running Windows XP (compared to Windows 7 on the Dell), the thing works perfectly.

Mike
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January 18, 2011 9:53:54 PM

ksoth said:
Haven't contacted LaCie yet, but will try.....
Mike


Having the same issue. Dell Precision T3500 desktop. Lacie Quadra 2TB. did some extensive testing and research. we actually have two of these systems, and two of the drives, so a great test set. both machines and both drives are having the exact same problem. same error codes you're seeing. last thing we tried was to DISABLE all write-caching. errors went away, file copies are working. just completed a 4x4GB file copy (16GB total) and they all transferred fine.

go to Device Manager, Lacie drive, right click, properties, Policies Tab, UNCHECK all Write-caching policy boxes.

...hope that helps...

-n
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January 25, 2011 1:31:06 PM

nicksally said:
Having the same issue. Dell Precision T3500 desktop. Lacie Quadra 2TB. did some extensive testing and research. we actually have two of these systems, and two of the drives, so a great test set. both machines and both drives are having the exact same problem. same error codes you're seeing. last thing we tried was to DISABLE all write-caching. errors went away, file copies are working. just completed a 4x4GB file copy (16GB total) and they all transferred fine.

go to Device Manager, Lacie drive, right click, properties, Policies Tab, UNCHECK all Write-caching policy boxes.

...hope that helps...

-n



Unfortunately disabling write caching doesn't make the problem go away... Drats.
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a b G Storage
January 27, 2011 9:52:27 PM

Hey Ksoth,

Since the enclosure is able to function properly with the laptop in Windows XP, it can be fair to say that the enclosure is not at fault at this point. So looking at the the Dell and comparing with the laptop, you could also say that the setups are different as well. This could very well have different effects on the enclosure and how it interacts with it. Perhaps starting in safe mode with all drivers and networking and see if your able to get a stable connection.

Hope this can help with your issue!
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November 10, 2011 6:01:45 PM

Okay...If this hasn't been posted yet...Here is the fast and easy Fix to Firewire issues (Im on windows 7).

Part 0.5: Make sure your drive is formatted to NTFS. It isnt nessecery, but it really helps in the long run:
1. Navigate to computer.
2. Find your drive
3. Right Click > Format
4. NTFS | Default Allocation | Format

Part 1: Insuring you have proper power settings in effect:

1. Go to Control Panel > Power Options
2. Make sure your computer is plugged in (if your on a laptop).
3. Change Power plan to "High Performance" (If this doesn't show up for you...Try creating a new profile. Desktop users shouldn't have to worry about this.)
4. Okay, click "Change Plan Settings"...Then click where it says "Change Advanced Power Settings".
5. Find Hard Drives > Click the + > Turn Hard Disk Off After > Plugged In > Change this to NEVER.

This will ensure that windows won't just automatically shut off the drive.

Part 2: Making sure your drive Properties are set correctly.

1. Navigate to Computer.
2. Find your Firewire drive > Right Click on the Drive > Properties
3. Select the Hardware tab...and then highlight your firewire drive.
4. Click on Properties.
5. Select the Policies tab.
6. Change the Removal Policy to "Better Performance"
7. Under the Write-caching policy...Enable write caching on this device.

That's it. You should notice increased write and read speeds...and your drive will no longer disconnect.

Cheers,

Tdawg
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