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HDD going bad?

Last response: in Storage
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February 20, 2012 1:53:37 PM

I've got a 7yr old system that is soon to be replaced. For the past 6mos, I have had intermittent failure on boot, and CHKDSK errors during startup.
Errors such as orphaned files, and once it reported bad clusters.
The HDD is a Western Digital Caviar Black 500GB installed on SATA controller. This is the boot and main data drive for now, but there is another SATA drive in the system as well.

This drive is only a little more than 2yrs old.

I have run Data Lifeguard both from DOS and Windows, but it never reports any problems. That said, it says that SMART technology is not available on this drive. I thought all of WD's drives built within the last 5yrs had it.

I have not lost files so far, and have been doing almost daily backups.

To complicate matters, the mobo has its problems too. I needed to re-flash the BIOS the other day after numerous errors on boot.

So, I will be replacing this system in a couple of weeks, but want to use the current 500GB drive for storage (not for boot; I ordered another WD Caviar Black; 1TB).

I have run various other HDD utils from the "Ultimate Boot Disk" but none has found errors. It seems that these errors only pop up during system start-up, so I am starting to think that there is nothing bad on the HDD at all, but that all of the problems are with the MOBO. Is it possible for a bad SATA controller or other issue with the MOBO to cause what appears to be a failing HDD?

I guess ultimately, I will set up the new system, and use this questionable drive, run all the tests that are available, and since it will not be the boot drive, or primary data drive, I can allow the tests to overwrite all data on the drive to perform more extensive tests.
I believe that WD drives are warranty for 5yrs, so I should be able to send this drive to them for analysis and possible replacement. I can do that once I have the new system up and running.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

FW

More about : hdd bad

a b G Storage
February 20, 2012 2:03:16 PM

It is indeed possible for the motherboard/hdd controller to be going bad.
You can go into the actual SMART part of the hard drive and see what it says with a utility. I use passmark diskcheckup myself. This kind of software can also tell you if you are having communication errors which could point to a bad controller or cable. Yes, indeed a bad cable. I have had several bad cables myself.

Good luck =D
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a c 265 G Storage
February 20, 2012 2:07:40 PM

Run WD's utilities on that drive and if it gets errors you can use the report as basis for an RMA. Controller on the board can cause those errors as well but if both your drives are on the same controller then they should both have the symptoms.
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February 22, 2012 3:00:57 AM

memadmax said:
It is indeed possible for the motherboard/hdd controller to be going bad.
You can go into the actual SMART part of the hard drive and see what it says with a utility. I use passmark diskcheckup myself. This kind of software can also tell you if you are having communication errors which could point to a bad controller or cable. Yes, indeed a bad cable. I have had several bad cables myself.

Good luck =D

I tried running Passmark Diskcheckup, but it cannot detect any SMART enabled drives, despite the WD5001AALS that is installed in the system, and seems to be working properly (except for the occasional CHKDSK errors on startup).
This drive is only a bit more than 2yrs old, so it should have SMART, shouldn't it?

When I connect my WD Elements 1.5TB drive to the system, Diskcheckup does detect its SMART data.

Any ideas?

Thanks

FW
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February 29, 2012 12:14:42 AM

Now I have errors on the other drive connected to the same controller. It's water under the bridge now, as I am replacing the whole system less the video card tomorrow. I will install this HDD as a backup drive (after removing and re-creating all of the partitions) and run whatever checks I can. If there are still errors, then I guess it's the HDD.

FW
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