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Hard Drives Disconnect Frequently

Last response: in Storage
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March 20, 2011 12:55:18 PM

I am wondering if you guys think maybe my hard drive controller chip on my motherboard may be busted.

My hard drives keep failing, not by bad blocks, but by disconnecting frequently. Often, this results in a system-wide crash, and the hard drive not being recognized for a few hours (heat?). It's always the same hard drive at one point in time so initially I thought the hard drives were failing (age: 1-4 years).

I've:
1. Greatly expanded the cooling capacity - still happens
2. Decided to get rid of the hard drive that keeps disconnecting at that point in time.

The problem is that it keeps happening - I get rid of one hard drive, and then another hard drive has this issue, more or less the same way.

I'm only asking because I've never heard of someone having issues with their hard drive controller chip. Is this how it presents?

Thanks!!!


Specs:
MSI K9A2 motherboard (Promise RAID controller)
Several SATA and one IDE hard drives

EDIT: I've also replaced the SATA cables, but I should add that when I disconnect a "failing" hard drive, I don't move the other hard drives, so it's not likely that just one SATA port is foobar
EDIT2: I've also replaced the power supply
March 21, 2011 12:58:29 PM

bump?
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March 31, 2011 12:00:56 AM

second bump... c'mon guys...
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a b V Motherboard
a c 415 G Storage
March 31, 2011 12:09:27 AM

Well the obvious thing to try is to replace the cables, which you've already done.

Have you tried a different brand of cables? Some people seem to have a lot of SATA problems and others don't, and I'm wondering if the difference might be attributable to a certain type of cable...
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a c 234 V Motherboard
a c 82 G Storage
March 31, 2011 2:10:43 AM

Are the drives certified for RAID use, e.g., WD RE3 drives?
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March 31, 2011 2:46:28 AM

GhislainG said:
Are the drives certified for RAID use, e.g., WD RE3 drives?
Best question. But did the OP say the drives are in a RAID or JBOD?

I would also suggest that the OP get whatever S/W they need to check the SMART info in the drives. That will help rule out a problem there as well as check for problems such as excessive temperature.

And the reason that GhislainG asked about RAID qualified drives is the behavior when the drive has difficulty reading a sector. In a RAID it is best for the drive to give up quickly and return an error so the OS can deal with the problem. Most consumer drives will continue to try to read the information as that's best for a single drive. In a RAID this behavior causes the OS to drop the drive.
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a c 234 V Motherboard
a c 82 G Storage
March 31, 2011 2:50:21 AM

You're correct. I'll admit that I've never seen drives disconnect unless they're in RAID, but that might be possible with some controllers.
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April 2, 2011 2:13:33 PM

Thanks guys - they actually aren't in RAID. I'll check out SMART info - wasn't sure what it was before so that's something new I can look into. I guess I could have multiple hard drives failing but it's just weird that it keeps happening the same way.... (by just intermittently and increasingly frequency disconnecting without bad blocks)... but it's always one hard drive at a time..
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!