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Lost two primary HD's in 4 years.... why?

Tags:
  • Homebuilt
  • Western Digital
  • Hard Drives
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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September 29, 2011 12:43:45 PM

Hello All,

I have a homebuilt system which consists of an Asus P5W DH motherboard, an NVIDIA 7950GT Video Card, Kingston Memory and either Seagate or Western Digital Hard Drives. I have had the system for about 4 years and I have lost two primary hard drives. The first drive was a Western Digital Drive and the last one was a Seagate drive. Luckily, the Seagate was still under warranty so I was able to return it for a new drive. Anyway, when I lost the first drive, it was due to errors on the drive. There were so many errors that the drive was basically unreadable. I was able to re-format the drive (so I guess the first loss was not really a loss) but I was not able to recover any data from the drive. The second drive failed a couple of weeks ago. I did notice that the PC was hanging on the Asus spalsh screen for a long time before loading the OS and then one day the motherboard would not recognize the drive. Luckily, I had backed up the drive as I suspected it was about to fail. I had also downloaded software from Western Digital to test the drive and it tested fine.

So I have since replaced the Western Digital with a new Western Digital Drive which is running fine; however, when I go into the AMI BIOS, I notice that the primary does not show up as the primary or first master. The primary drive shows up as the third IDE Master. I would think that the primary drive (drive with OS) should show up as the primary drive in BIOS, right? Also, when the splash screen dissappears the message which says, "no hard drives found" still appears. This has always happened but I wanted to bring it up.

In terms of physical connections, following is how the drives are connected:

Primary Hard Drive - SATA1
No Connection - SATA2 (There is a label for SATA2 but no connection)
Secondary Hard Drive - SATA3
CD Burner - SATA4

Sorry for the laundry list of symptoms but I cannot work out why these drives keep failing. My guesses are:

Heat - Maybe the Mobo is getting too hot? I do have 4 fans so unelss it is poor circulation, I should have enough air flow
Bad Power Supply - if it was the power supply, wouldn't other devices fail?
Bad Motherboard - this is my primary suspicion. Perhaps the hard drive controller is faulty?

Any other ideas?

Thanks, Bill

More about : lost primary years

a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2011 2:30:05 PM

It is probably just plain old bad luck. Some poor person has to have their HDD fail to counteract my good luck with drives lasting over a decade :-D

An easy way to check for heat issues is to look at the SMART data. Unless it is cooking (over 60C) I doubt heat is an issue. I also doubt it is a power supply or motherboard issue. Either of those would lead to HDDs failing much faster than a 2yr average.

As for the labeling, is it possible that you have two IDE ports and the SATA is in IDE mode so it lists the first SATA port as the third IDE. I really don't know what would cause it, but if it is still booting fine I'm not sure what the problem is.
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September 29, 2011 4:55:54 PM

nordlead said:
It is probably just plain old bad luck. Some poor person has to have their HDD fail to counteract my good luck with drives lasting over a decade :-D

An easy way to check for heat issues is to look at the SMART data. Unless it is cooking (over 60C) I doubt heat is an issue. I also doubt it is a power supply or motherboard issue. Either of those would lead to HDDs failing much faster than a 2yr average.

As for the labeling, is it possible that you have two IDE ports and the SATA is in IDE mode so it lists the first SATA port as the third IDE. I really don't know what would cause it, but if it is still booting fine I'm not sure what the problem is.


lol.... yes, could be just bad luck.

How do I check SMART data? How do I check it?

When I used SPCCY (Some program that looks at each device and gives temps), everything was 30 to 45 degress Celsius.

Agree totally on the "if it anit broke, don't fix it labeling". My concern was I wanted to try to fix anything that might be causing the hard drives to fail. I still find it odd that in DOS mode (or whatever you all non-windows mode) that a message comes across saying, "no hard drives found".
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 29, 2011 6:26:24 PM

Windows doesn't natively support SMART checking, but there are a few tools that can read the data. SPCCY is probably looking at the SMART data and reporting only the temperature. SpeedFan is another tool you can use to check the SMART status. I've used HDTune to check SMART data too.
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