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Scared Newb: HDD grinding, slows MB/s significantly

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March 2, 2013 4:04:05 AM

Hi, I have a couple of questions.

Most importantly, I have 2 150GB velociraptors in Raid 0 as boot drive. For a while now, it has a grinding sound. Recently used HD Tune, saw that during grinding it can drop to 30 MB/s. Should I fear the Raid drive will die soon with this issue?

I play some games (starcraft 2 mostly) and there are freezes for short periods, which I suspect are from this issue. Is that a possible cause?

My solution: I want to buy a Samsung 840 Pro SSD and clone my system to that drive. Would ideally use the Raid 0 velociraptors for another data drive.

Next question: I know very little about IDE vs SATA vs AHCI. I believe it is set as SATA now (as it's in Raid 0, but maybe I'm wrong that this would be a given). I hear 840 Pro would require AHCI for use of Trim (still not so clear on how necessary that is or what that is in general). Can I have the 840 Pro, still have the Raid 0 data drive, and have 840 Pro work at optimal levels?

Any help for a struggling newb appreciated!
Thanks

a b G Storage
March 2, 2013 4:35:09 AM

Test the drives with http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=612...

You should already have the BIOS set to RAID (vs IDE or AHCI) which will automaticaly treat any not-raid drive as AHCI.

Cloning is not a very good idea but you can as a last resort. Would need Acronis or something similar (available at the above WD site or the Pro may come with one).

Clean install is always the best idea. Will need a disk with the RAID driver (do you have an intel system? that will be Intel Rapid Storage Technology - RST).

Yes you need TRIM and it will work on the non-RAID drive (the SSD). If the WD drives are throwing errors you don't want to keep using them for anything (it's probably only one so could use the other).
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March 2, 2013 5:14:53 AM

Thanks for the fast response and great info!

I ran the WD test software you linked above. It detected my Data drive (one that isn't an issue) and took about 1 minute to tell me it passed when I ran test.

However, the Raid boot drive (listed as drive 1) has a model number of just random characters I don't even know how to type. The serial number is blank. Capacity says 0 MB. Smart status: ? Not Available.

When I run the test, it instantly says Pass, but time elapsed is literally 0 seconds. It's weird because under the "logical drive" list of drives (not the section where you can run tests and see PASS/FAIL), it lists my C:/ drive as having "total space" of 300 GB (NTFS system is only other info it gives in this area).

Also, I may do fresh install of windows 7, but only have the upgrade disk and it seems pretty intensive to get that to work for fresh install. I think 840 Pro has software migration link, but have heard lots of people couldn't use it for some reason. Acronis looks to be 50 bucks, and I was wondering if there are any reliable free options for this if the Samsung software doesn't work for me.

Thanks again!
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March 2, 2013 5:24:39 AM

Sorry, just saw this: I found a way to see properties of the Raid drive that is unrecognized(?). In this window it says: Device type: Raid ; Capacity: 0 ; Firmware revision: More undecipherable characters ; Health Status: Warning ; Device Serial Number: (blank)

Under all this it says: Volume(s) contained on this drive: C: capacity 279.46 GB.

So in some places it seems to recognize size, in others it doesn't.

Obviously most concerning is Health Status: Warning
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2013 5:38:02 AM

I would first back up any data you might have and it's possible one of the drives in that raid are going bad. Acronis is probably the best 50 bucks you'll ever spend as you won't need to worry about a clean installation if you don't have time to deal with a reinstall. The thing with Acronis, i always had an extra PC to restore an OS that has gone bad, i haven't had any experience or know how to restore a back up on a single computer.

I have never really seen the point in raiding a boot system, maybe it runs a bit faster with 2 or more hard drives but it does make it harder to diagnose which drive is faulty. The problem with your setup is that if one hard drive is failing it's possible that the other drive will fail as a result. Don't quote me on that, it might just have data corruption & not as a physical failure even though data corruption can lead to premature physical failure.

Don't use the computer unless your attempting to get it fixed. That's the best solution for now until you can get the tools and things you'll need to figure out what hard drive is failing unless your backing up data. If anything if there's no important data you could always get linux and find out which drive is the one failing. But then you'll have to make sure it's hooked up correctly when you disconnect stuff.

There also might be some linux tools to see if any of those drives are even repairable (if the grinding is just superficial noise, doubt it but you never know anymore) and tell you whether it needs replacement.
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2013 5:39:52 AM

Yep, there's something wrong with one of those drives. I would avoid using the computer until you can fix it.
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March 2, 2013 5:58:43 AM

Well, that's at least a solid excuse for getting an SSD.

Did you find something that confirms there is a problem based on my WD program test results? I would be interested in reading up on the issue.

Thanks for the help!
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2013 1:44:48 PM

Quote:
Health Status: Warning


That's obvious enough that there is a problem with your drive. SSD's are not clearly that much more reliable then hard drives, some one else might point you in the right direction for that one. I was going to get a SSD but considering hard drives are still cheaper i went that route for the time being, so cost wise your still getting more out of a hard drive then an SSD. They will run far much faster then a hard drive though so that is a plus.
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a b G Storage
March 2, 2013 2:42:06 PM

There is an acronis download link at the wd site that may help u for free - not dlsure what features it has.
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March 2, 2013 5:15:23 PM

Thanks guys, I really appreciate all the help!

Yeah I will try that WD acronis, but it says it transfers from one WD drive to another WD drive...not sure they actually regulate that.
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