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Dell 8400 keeps killing hard drives

Tags:
  • Power Supplies
  • Hard Drives
  • Dell
  • Components
Last response: in Components
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October 12, 2012 9:57:25 PM

I have a Dell 8400 desktop that has killed 2 hard drive back to back, the original one and a a brand new one. The the two drives are not recognizable when connect to another computer. They both received power, I can hear and fell it spinning, but it will not read. Also they DONT click so I am not sure what type of damage they have.

I am trying to figure out what is wrong with my computer before I put another drive in it. My guess is that it is one of the following:

- Power supply unit (PSU), large amounts of voltage are spiking on the power rails.
- Could motherboard be causing it or have a faulty controller chip
- As simple as the cable I was using?
- Northbridge on motherboard might be damaged?

I pulled out the PSU (Dell Model N350-00) and tested the voltage with no load and these are my results:

P1 Power Connector
1. Orange = 3.30
2. Orange = 3.30
3. Ground
4. Red = 5.01
5. Ground
6. Red = 5.01
7. Ground
8. Grey = 5.0
9. Purple = 5.11
10. White = 12.10
11. White = 12.10
12. Orange = 3.30
13. Orange = 3.30
14. Blue = - 11.96
15. Ground
16. Green Power
17. Ground
18. Ground
19. Ground
20. Empty
21. Red = 5.01
22. Red = 5.01
23. Red = 5.01
24. Ground

Molex P9
1. Red = 5.01
2. White = 12.10

Molex P8
1. Red = 5.01
2. White = 12.09

Mini
1. Yellow = 12.09
2. Red = 5.01

Sata
White = 12.10
Red = 5.01
Orange = 3.30

More about : dell 8400 killing hard drives

a b ) Power supply
October 12, 2012 10:14:48 PM

Hi :) 

I own computer shops..and we do repairs....

Either PSU or make of hard drive.... if its MAXTOR for both...thats the problem...any other make and back to faulty PSU...

All the best Brett :) 
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October 12, 2012 10:20:46 PM

Are you saying my PSU is faulty based on the voltage readings? My hard drives were made by Seagate / Barracuda and the PSU is the original Dell. Not sure what you are saying.
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Related resources
a b ) Power supply
October 12, 2012 10:59:58 PM

bodeekw said:
Are you saying my PSU is faulty based on the voltage readings? My hard drives were made by Seagate / Barracuda and the PSU is the original Dell. Not sure what you are saying.



Hi :) 


Dell don't make psus...they buy in the cheapest rubbish they can....Try a PROPER make psu, like OCZ or Corsair etc...

All the best Brett :) 
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a c 243 ) Power supply
October 12, 2012 11:05:36 PM

bodeekw said:
Are you saying my PSU is faulty based on the voltage readings? My hard drives were made by Seagate / Barracuda and the PSU is the original Dell. Not sure what you are saying.

No way of telling with no load readings
Contrary to popular belief the 350w Newton was a pretty good psu, at 7 years old it's been stretched a bit though
You would need a Dell compatible psu ( aka switchless ) or need to cut the back panel in order to change it out
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October 12, 2012 11:38:22 PM

How do i test the PSU with load?
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October 12, 2012 11:40:47 PM

delluser1 said:
No way of telling with no load readings
Contrary to popular belief the 350w Newton was a pretty good psu, at 7 years old it's been stretched a bit though
You would need a Dell compatible psu ( aka switchless ) or need to cut the back panel in order to change it out


I had this Dell 8400 since 2004, still have original receipt, $2,400.00, but should I replace the PSU it or is there another problem? I cannot afford to damage another hard drive.
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October 13, 2012 1:56:37 AM

Brett928S2 said:
Hi :) 


Dell don't make psus...they buy in the cheapest rubbish they can....Try a PROPER make psu, like OCZ or Corsair etc...

All the best Brett :) 



I wouldn't call it rubbish, because I had it since 2004 with no problems til now. Not even sure if the problem is the PSU. Oh well.
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October 13, 2012 5:07:08 AM

delluser1 said:
No way of telling with no load readings
Contrary to popular belief the 350w Newton was a pretty good psu, at 7 years old it's been stretched a bit though
You would need a Dell compatible psu ( aka switchless ) or need to cut the back panel in order to change it out



OK, I put the PSU back into the computer and my results while booting and idling where:

- White 12v = fluctuated between 11.98 and 12.01
- Red 5v = between 5.01 - 5.06
- Orange 3.3 = straight to 3.30 and it remained there

I suppose this means my PSU is still good and there is some other reason why my hard drives are failing.
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