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Data corruption

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July 17, 2004 11:11:04 PM

Data corruption. Is my problem.

Over the past 2 years I have went through three different motherboard (while upgrading) and get the same results. Is it the motherboards or the hard drives. The motherboards I used were - Asus A7V8X-GBL, GIGABYTE GA-K8NS PRO, and Asus K8V SE Deluxe (in order). Of course the last two were for my main a64 system. I have had many different sizes and types/brands of hard drives over the past few years, but the ones that I am currently using are WDC’s WD740GD, Maxtor’s 6Y200P0, Hitachi’s IC35L090AVV207-0. With any and all of these drives plugged into any of the onboard controllers I receive the same results.
1.) Windows may or may not install. If it does it becomes corrupted and then stops booting. Saying that files or missing or corrupted.
2.) If I use my trusty Promise SATA150 TX2plus pci controller card, everything works fine. But what ever drive is plugged into the onboard sata or onboard raid controller data gets corrupted. Lets say I put an archive on that drive and try to extract it, it says that the archive in damaged and wont extract. If I move the archive to another drive after being on that drive then it does the same. How ever it works fine on any drive that is not on these controllers. This happens with every archive.
3.) If I burn a dvd with data that comes from a drive that is on an onboard controller, faster then 6x the dvd will come up with missing data. Files will be incorrect sizes.

Now when using these boards I have never, NEVER gotten the onboard raid ide interface (not standard ide), or sata controllers to work correctly. I have always had to use my trusty Promise SATA150 TX2plus pci controller card. I have sent my drives back to western digital or Maxtor (receptively), for rma thinking that was the problem. But it didn’t solve it. I have also rma the motherboards thinking that was the problem. I have also replaces the cables, bought a bigger power supply and ran the diagnostic utilities that the manufacture makes and the drives pass. Nothing so far as worked.

But when I use the onboard ide (not raid) ports then everything works fine (excluding my sata devices). No corrupt data.

All drivers, bios, and utilities are up-to-date. Any ideas? This is really starting to get on my nerves.


Main System Specs
AMD Athlon64 3200
Asus K8V SE Deluxe
ATI Radeon 9800XT
Kingston Hyperx 1GB
SB Audigy
SATA150 TX2plus
WD740GD
Samsung 172X<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by songoku on 07/17/04 04:12 PM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : data corruption

a b V Motherboard
July 18, 2004 6:06:14 PM

What has not been changed through all these upgrades that has been with you all this time, Power Supply, CPU, RAM, it would literally be impossible to get three different M/Bs, and they all have the same ending problem, or for that matter the HDDs, something else is wrong besides M/Bs and Hdds.

I would check my voltage outputs on my P/S first, and make sure you have enough Wattage to support everything, sometimes the P/S is overlooked as being a problem, when its the problem all along.



<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=25..." target="_new">My Rig</A>
July 19, 2004 12:38:59 AM

Its funny you mention the ps. With all of these different boards I get different voltage readings with the same power supplies, I guess its time to get a voltmeter.... But anyways my current power supply is the thermaltake silent power 420watt. This should be enough power especially for my “old” XP system. And I would assume for my a64 system, but maybe not. I have been pondering getting an Antec True power 550 for some time, but am currently waiting until they add the new video card power plugs. Once they do that I will buy one on my next pay check. “I can feel the power….Whhaaaaaaa”

During the course of these systems though I have tried/bought different power supplies. Antec 330 watt, Generic 550 watt (I know, I know….Had to), Enermax 350 Watt, Thermaltake 420 Watt. I get the same result with all of them.

About the only thing that has kind of been the same is my ram. I have two sticks of Kingston Hyperx 2700 512mb. But that is with my a64 systems. With my XP system I had an Samsung stick. And one my the Hyperx sticks is brand new. As in 1 month old. I have also been wanting to get better/faster ram, but so far overclocking on the socket 754 is limited. So that will have to WAIT as well.

As far as voltage. I have pc probe set an alarm off if anything gets past 3% out of normal. And it never has. Even when I play games.

When I first build a system, I use Prime 95, windows version memtest86 (I think that’s what its called), 3D Mark 03 (ran in loops), and zero all drives, and run all utilities that the manufacture makes for their drives. This is all to tests for stability. With all of my systems they eventually pass with flying colors.

Just to reiterate. I only get corrupt data problems on the drive that is on the motherboards controllers. Standard ide and pci controllers work great. And I get these errors in linux as well as in windows.


Main System Specs
AMD Athlon64 3200
Asus K8V SE Deluxe
ATI Radeon 9800XT
Kingston Hyperx 1GB
SB Audigy
SATA150 TX2plus
WD740GD
Samsung 172X
Related resources
a b V Motherboard
July 19, 2004 3:18:02 AM

Maybe you're having electrical fluctuations in your area that is affecting the Power Supplys output, I got a Battery Backup Unit [Uninteruptable Power Supply] and a host of problems I was having just disappeared, if you don't have one maybe you should consider getting one, the better ones monitor the voltage and send a constant steady voltage to the computer, take control and shutdown your computer in your absence during a power failure, have brown out protection, undervoltage and overvoltage protection, lightning protection, and power surge protection, and some insure your equipment to $150,000.00, if the unit fails to protect your computer not a bad investment if you ask me.



<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=25..." target="_new">My Rig</A>
July 19, 2004 3:44:43 PM

This is due to a driver/hardware incompatibility issue. Make sure you are using the correct divers for the RAID controllers. More than one Promise controller is not supported in most systems because the driver for one controller will overide the driver for the other. All the boards you have used contain an onboard Promise controller, hence if you have your TX2 installed along with the onboard RAID my guess is you are overwriting the drivers for the onboard RAID with your TX2 drivers and this is leading to your onboard RAID controller malfunctioning.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/myanandtech.html?member=114979" target="_new">My PCs</A> :cool:
July 20, 2004 6:32:08 AM

Power –
I don’t think its related to power issues. I have had these systems at different locations. And off the top of my head the last 3 were all in different cities. Unless all cities around my area have this problem. But dough full.

Drivers –
Your description of driver incompatibility is not valid in my case. When I first build the systems, my tx2 was not present until I had to add it. Which of course involved zeroing the drives and…..The ever so anticipated windows reinstall. Thus since I am only installing one onboard controller driver this issue would never happen.

New information -
I would like to recently add that I have now zero all my drives completely (full erase) and the problem is still present. Also I have contacted WDC on many occasions pertaining to this problem and my raptor. They said that the motherboard’s controller was unable to accept the raptors high data transfer. Does this have any merit?

Also at times windows will run, temporally. But as soon as install something (anything large). Or copy data (from one drive to the next) that is over/around 500MB then the data is corrupt if it transfers. But most of the time it does not and I get the blue screen, or a restart.


Main System Specs
AMD Athlon64 3200
Asus K8V SE Deluxe
ATI Radeon 9800XT
Kingston Hyperx 1GB
SB Audigy
SATA150 TX2plus
WD740GD
Samsung 172X
July 22, 2004 2:39:30 PM

This post is more a bump then anything else, but what can I say? :D 

Anywho, i have some new developments. For no reason what so ever (that i can come up with). I was copying a large amount of data from one drive to the other. One of the drives was temperately put on the motherboard controller. My system started going really slow (as in i couldn’t go anything), and making some noise. Eventually it froze and now XP is all messed up. Most of my users don’t have a start menu anymore (including a taskbar). I have tried to recreate some user accounts and make some new ones, but there still messed up.

I hope this will soon lead to a solution.


Main System Specs
AMD Athlon64 3200
Asus K8V SE Deluxe
ATI Radeon 9800XT
Kingston Hyperx 1GB
SB Audigy
SATA150 TX2plus
WD740GD
Samsung 172X
July 24, 2004 10:39:10 PM

I’ve found it!!!!!

Apparently I am not alone with my problem of data corruption. While researching this issue with google. I came across many accounts of other people have the exact same problem as me with promise controllers. Now after some testing and through my research here is a nice little problem list. –
1.) Promise chips require a lot of ram. More ram then most, if not any other controller chip manufacturer. I do not know how much one should have, but its worth looking to. The reason is because promise uses the systems ram as cache. Most other controllers have their own. How this affects anything I have no idea. But it’s what I have found.
2.) Some promise cards have problems working with drives that have an 8MB cache. This was supposed to be fixed back in April of 2003. I don’t know of a way to test for this, but it’s just again something that I have found.
3.) Having two promise drivers installed with cause the problem. In my own tests and on google. I have found that if you use two promise drivers then you will get data corruption problems as well. Now whether this means, drivers are being over written or not it has happen in my own tests 7 out of 10 times. (I am referring to data corruption, not whether drivers were over written or not. As I do not currently know who to check for that.)

It’s interesting. I have contacting Asus, Promise, WDC, and Allstarshop.com. My results are interesting. Asus said “sent the boards back”, and they will have someone test them (again. They said this last time, but at least the effort is there), Promise did not respond yet (its been almost a week), WDC said to use a know qualified controller card (which the tx2plus is, but the other ones are not, thus no support), and allstarshop’s tech did some tests for me and found that some boards its true and some its not. (I bought about 10 raptors from them already. So this is why they did this. Thanks allstarshop).

In other words my problem as stated before was the fact that I was using more then one promise controller. I don’t know if it’s a driver issue or what, but the fact remains the problem is there. I have now zeroed my main drives again. Put my raptor and main backup drives on my tx2plus and put my other drives my via6420 and have had no problems. One of the tools that helped me out a lot was called “Bart's Stuff Test 5” (<A HREF="http:// http://www.nu2.nu/bst/ " target="_new">http:// http://www.nu2.nu/bst/ </A>. It’s the first tool that I have found of its kind. It writes data to your drive and then verifies it. It does this several different methods so you can be sure your drives are working properly. I ran this bad boy on my onboard promise 378 controller, and it error-ed out, how ever on my tx2plus no errors, and on my via6420 no errors. And I let them run for several hours. Except 378, it never ran for more then 20 minutes.


Main System Specs
AMD Athlon64 3200
Asus K8V SE Deluxe
ATI Radeon 9800XT
Kingston Hyperx 1GB
SB Audigy
SATA150 TX2plus
WD740GD
Samsung 172X
July 25, 2004 3:29:39 PM

I have thought I posted a response to this earlier, but apparently I was dreaming or hit a wrong key!

Some of what you "discovered" is correct.

1 - Promise cards DO NOT require any more RAM than any other card. A properly installed Promise RAID Controller card will work perfectly fine in ALL Windows 2000 Configurations where the minimum RAM requirements are met. (128mb.) That being said, the Promise Array Management software prior to v4.x.x had a memory leak . (This may have ONLY occured in v3.x.x, but I am not sure.) This leak would pose less of a problem if there was more RAM in your system, but this really had nothing to do with the Promise Controller card requiring more RAM. (Specifically, it was the "Agent" system service that had the memory leak, but this was installed with the Promise Array Management software.)
Also while ALL Promise cards do have some RAM, there are models that have substantial RAM. (64mb up to 128mb.)

2 - I have not noticed the 8mb of cache to be an issue, but when drives started to use large cache sizes there were many controllers that did have issues. (Promise, and otherwise.)

3 - Having multiple instances of the same, or separate, Promise controller card is an issue. This is an unsupported configuration and to my knowledge Promise has NEVER claimed it was supported.

Past Posts from me in regards to this:
<A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">03/19/2004 onboard sata conflict with sata PCI adapter </A>
<A HREF="http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/modules.php?nam..." target="_new">02/27/2004 Promise Array Management (PAM) & Synchronization </A>

P.S.
Do to the inability of Promise cards to support multiple cards per system, I will be switching to an alternate SATA RAID Controller. (Specifically LSI Logic.) I have, always like Promise, but I am in need if much more space and more drives at this time.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by jim552 on 07/25/04 12:18 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
July 26, 2004 12:24:27 AM

thanks for clearning that up and the links your provided.

Are there any TCQ controller cards out yet (PCI-32bit only)?

Main System Specs
AMD Athlon64 3200
Asus K8V SE Deluxe
ATI Radeon 9800XT
Kingston Hyperx 1GB
SB Audigy
SATA150 TX2plus
WD740GD
Samsung 172X
July 26, 2004 5:44:54 AM

I have not found any TCQ, (Tagged Command Queuing), enabled controllers as of yet.

However, that is not real big on my priority list at this time. I am content with the current performance that I am receiving. Since my current level of performance is working well for me, anything additional would just be "icing on the cake". (The company I work for, while not cheap by any means, doesn't really go for "icing".)

What I really waiting for are the motherboards to start supporting PCI-Express. (I think that is the one I am waiting for. I understand that PCI-X and PCI-Express are two different things. I think it is PCI-Express with separate and multiple channels that is coming next. Rest asured when it gets here I will know the acronym.)

I really wasn't planning on changing/upgrading my controllers until those new motherboards and controllers started to arrive, but recently we have had a need of increased storage capacity so I am upgrading early.

I am thinking, that for Me, TCQ will come into my sights sometime next year. I, generally, stay a few steps back from that darn "bleeding edge"! (However, if my new LSI-Logic controllers do support it I will be happy to let you know.)
September 26, 2011 7:21:28 PM


I concluded recently that my promise ultra 100 tx2 card was causing corruption in my HD after cloning.
At first it seemed to go well but after less than a dozen bootups I would get various startup issues on the drive
like the "system.ced" corrupted hive issue. Or the blue "drive not accessible" screen. Then I would switch cables &
boot on my original drive with the ghost drive as slave and Windows would automatically "correct" the corrupted drive by
combing through many files and redirecting parts of them to the "found.000" folder and you know how fun that is. I tried updating
the cards firmware and driver but it didnt help. After so many failures I figured my drive was dying but it passed all tests
so I got wise and tried doing the cloning from the motherboard instead. After I put the drive back on the promise card and
sure enough it corrupted again. Finally I re-cloned and kept the drive on the motherboard and I haven't had an issue since.
This was weeks ago, I dont know what the deal is with these cards or if they go bad but I'm not taking any more chances.
!