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Ongoing Hard Drive Data Problem

Last response: in Storage
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February 11, 2011 5:14:59 PM

I have an ongoing hard drive/data storage problem that continues to plague me and I'm seeking some expert guidance.

I had a WD Caviar Black hard drive that was not more than 2 years old and all of a sudden reading/accessing the data files on it (mostly movies) became impossibly slow. I got a SMART message warning me the drive was going so I wanted to replace it. Copying the data off it was a HUGE pain in the butt as it took forever but finally I got all the data onto a newer drive. The old drive was almost full at the time.

Now, a couple months later, I'm having the exact same problem with the new drive. Which makes me think the problem is with some of the data that has some how corrupted the new drive as well.

I've turned off indexing and that doesn't help. I've tried scanning for errors but it won't let me scan and tells me it can't scan while in use (it's not the OS drive and no other programs are running from it). Even if I could scan it would likely take forever.

I tried cloning the data on the drive with the Acronis software from WD but it just hung up.

Once again I've started the painfully slow process of copying the data off but I'm trying to get to the bottom of what exactly is going on.

Can anyone help??? Please! :na: 
February 11, 2011 6:27:51 PM

Can you post a screenshot of HD Tune Health tab, maybe it could shed some light on the problems.
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February 12, 2011 11:28:30 AM

I did a Quick Test with WD Data Lifeguards and the drive passed. I'm currently running an extended test.

I also ran HD Tune and the Health results are below:

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February 12, 2011 4:50:07 PM

Those SMART values don't look too good (839 pending sectors, 19 uncorrectable), especially for a drive that is only a couple of months old. You should probably return it if possible. Though it is strange that you would get the same symptoms with 2 individual drives.

You could test with another SATA port, and if possible a new SATA cable (although a bad cable should increase the CRC error count SMART attribute). A weak or faulty power supply can also cause HDD problems.
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a b G Storage
February 12, 2011 5:13:03 PM

+1 to drevin
download and run speedfan to monitor your voltages.
A bad PSU can destroy a computer.
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February 12, 2011 6:57:56 PM

I normally have 4-5 hard drives on my computer. My power supply is a Corsair TX 650W. Is this underpowered? I have had power supplies burn out in the past.

Also, does copying data from a bad drive to a good drive "infect" the good drive with previously bad sectors? (probably a dumb question but I gotta ask...)
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February 12, 2011 7:05:44 PM

Here's the speedfan results. Not sure if that's good or bad...

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Best solution

a b G Storage
February 12, 2011 7:29:27 PM

well thats out of spec, if you have a multimeter I'd test it directly incase the reading is off.

you can also possibly see it in the bios.

but 11.4 on the 12v rail is considerably bad.
however before you panic, check in bios at least as speedfan is sometimes wrong on reading such as this.

I have one of them 3$ multimeters from harbor freight in the toolbag for this.
usually I check at a molex connector. (for 12v and 5v)

bad data cant "infect" another drive

you might just have 2 bad drives its not common but not impossible either.
or something could be killing them.

thats a quality power supply but they can go bad to. and a psu is one of the hardest issues to diagnose from symptoms.
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February 12, 2011 8:55:49 PM

I checked in bios and found the following:

CPA Voltage: 1.176V
3.3V Voltage: 3.344V
5V Voltage: 5.064V
12V Voltage: 12.04V

Is that good or bad?

(p.s., thanks for all the help guys! This is really frustrating!)
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February 12, 2011 9:49:09 PM

wolffenjugend said:
I checked in bios and found the following:

CPA Voltage: 1.176V
3.3V Voltage: 3.344V
5V Voltage: 5.064V
12V Voltage: 12.04V

Is that good or bad?

(p.s., thanks for all the help guys! This is really frustrating!)


Those voltages are all within the normal range. The normal tolerance for PSU voltages is +/- 5%. See the normal range for PSUs for the ATX 2.2 specification here on Page 13 at Table 3.2.1 .

http://www.formfactors.org/developer/specs/ATX12V_PSDG_...

Looks like you have had 2 defective hard drives. RMA the 2nd one if it's still under warranty after saving whatever data you can off it, if you can.

Read about hard drive data corruption here: http://cquirke.mvps.org/9x/baddata.htm

If a hard drive has even 1 bad sector, you shouldn't keep using it, but replace it asap, because it is a warning that more sectors will become bad and probably sooner rather than later. You cannot recover data from any sector already marked as bad.

What kind of hdd, what brand and size is it? Is it the same as the first one that failed? Generally, HDDs that are 1 TB or more have been found by anecdotal evidence to be less reliable (percentagewise) than modern HDDs with 750 HDDs or less. I would suggest reading reviews by users of HDDs at sites like Newegg before buying a new one. Almost all HDDs will fail eventually, some sooner than others, it's just a question of when. So, always backup and save your data off your HDDs, if the data is important to you.
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February 13, 2011 4:50:57 AM

If that was my hdd I would run fdisk from Dos, the only sure way to really check any hdd, sounds like some of your data is corrupted or maybe even crosslinked, do you defrag your drive regularly ??. BTW if you can get a hold of Norton's Ghost you can clone one hdd to the other takes about the sane time as copying ..:) 
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February 13, 2011 11:05:46 AM

someonewhoknowsalittle said:
Those voltages are all within the normal range. The normal tolerance for PSU voltages is +/- 5%. See the normal range for PSUs for the ATX 2.2 specification here on Page 13 at Table 3.2.1 .

http://www.formfactors.org/developer/specs/ATX12V_PSDG_...

Looks like you have had 2 defective hard drives. RMA the 2nd one if it's still under warranty after saving whatever data you can off it, if you can.

Read about hard drive data corruption here: http://cquirke.mvps.org/9x/baddata.htm

If a hard drive has even 1 bad sector, you shouldn't keep using it, but replace it asap, because it is a warning that more sectors will become bad and probably sooner rather than later. You cannot recover data from any sector already marked as bad.

What kind of hdd, what brand and size is it? Is it the same as the first one that failed? Generally, HDDs that are 1 TB or more have been found by anecdotal evidence to be less reliable (percentagewise) than modern HDDs with 750 HDDs or less. I would suggest reading reviews by users of HDDs at sites like Newegg before buying a new one. Almost all HDDs will fail eventually, some sooner than others, it's just a question of when. So, always backup and save your data off your HDDs, if the data is important to you.


The bad drive is still under warranty as it was only manufactured in Feb 2010. It's a Western Digital Caviar Black 1 TB DATA drive. I think you're right about the problems with drives over 750 because both times the problem was with bigger drives.

I considered WD to be a good brand and have gradually moved to having all my hard drives being WD. Seems the quality has declined, at least for me of late.
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February 13, 2011 11:11:45 AM

dokk2 said:
If that was my hdd I would run fdisk from Dos, the only sure way to really check any hdd, sounds like some of your data is corrupted or maybe even crosslinked, do you defrag your drive regularly ??. BTW if you can get a hold of Norton's Ghost you can clone one hdd to the other takes about the sane time as copying ..:) 


I tried using the Western Digital Data Lifeguards scan and the Quick Scan said the drive was okay but the Enhanced Scan went on for 5+ hours and was projecting an additional 7+ hours (and climbing) to complete so I eventually canceled it. But it did say there were bad sectors before I canceled it.

I've downloaded Acronis from Western Digital which is supposed to clone your data for you so I'm going to try that. When I manually copy the data I eventually run into a roadblock where a file cannot be copied and that stops the process until I arrive to click Skip so the process can continue. It's a pain when I go to bed and in the morning realize the copying stopped hours ago because of the faulty file. Hopefully Acronis won't have the same problem.
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February 13, 2011 9:35:55 PM

Update: I'm now getting warnings for the drive in question so looks like it's a good thing I've started copying data off it.
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February 18, 2011 12:42:23 AM

I have now successfully gotten all my data off my old hard drive (thanks folks!) but I've run into a new problem.

On my faulty drive I had Civilization 5, WoW, and Steam installed. I could not uninstall them before getting rid of the faulty drive because when I tried it would just hang and/or ultimately fail to uninstall.

Now I am trying to do a fresh install of these programs on a different drive. However, I still had the old startup icons (no longer linked to anything) on my desktop. I managed to uninstall Civ 5 and WoW from my Programs list but I can't get Steam to uninstall. When I try, I get an error message that it can't find my old faulty drive.

When I try to do a fresh install of Civ 5, it automatically installs Steam first. But guess what? When it tries to install Steam I get the same error message that it can't find my old faulty drive and the install fails.

So I'm stuck. I can't fully get rid of my old Steam install and because of that I can't do a fresh install.

Any ideas?
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February 18, 2011 6:55:18 PM

UPDATE:

Found how to completely uninstall Steam and have now fixed the problem.

Thanks for the help guys!
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February 25, 2011 2:44:05 AM

Best answer selected by wolffenjugend.
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