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Hard drives keep failing

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March 12, 2005 9:13:33 PM

Does anyone know what could cause hard drives to keep going bad? Over the past 3 years I have had 4 Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 8, 7200 rpm, 40 GB, drives go bad. The first 2 were in a RAID 0 array, and I thought that I had traced the cause to a failing power supply due to the fact that my floppy drive went too. I replaced the power supply and had no problems for about a year until my second RAID 0 array started to go as well. I figured out that one of the drives was bad, so I took the remaining drive and used it as a stand alone drive. It ran fine for about 6 months, and now it seems to be going bad as well. Could there be another issue with my system that is causing these drives to fail, or is there just a high failure rate with these Maxtor drives? I need to replace the drive that is currently in my machine, but I would like to know whether doing so would cure the problem or just a symptom. Thanks in advance for any help that anyone can offer.

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March 12, 2005 10:17:06 PM

If you dont have a good quality PSU, even if it is one with what looks like high wattage (400+), if the quality is not there, you'll be killing drive all of your live. Poorly vented case doesnt help too, as drive get hot too.

My advice, bases on experience, good quality branded PSU and air circulation between the drives.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
March 12, 2005 10:58:28 PM

what symptoms did the drives display?

I've had 2 maxtor drives which worked fine, then 1 day just refused to spin up! The first one happened last year, and one just failed last month, going to RMA it when I get the chance

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March 13, 2005 1:19:06 AM

I've had 3 120gb maxtor drives die in the last 2yrs or so. The 3rd one actually just died 3 days ago, lol. They all did the same thing. The computer hangs when scanning for IDE drives for a few seconds and then the drive shows up as "MAXTOR CALIPSO" with a bunch of random characters after it. Then it just starts doing the clicking of death nonstop.
I think you and I just have bad luck with Maxtor drives :( 

<A HREF="http://www.folken.net/myrig.htm" target="_new">My precious...</A>
March 13, 2005 2:17:58 AM

Well, as far as my power supplies, they have both been Antec 550 Watt PSU's. Cooling shouldn't be much of an issue as my system is water cooled. When they start to go bad, my system runs slowly. I notice that when the system starts to hang, that I can hear the drive spin up loudly and make a chirping noise. Like I said, this has happened to 4 Maxtor drives, all the same kind. The only thing i can think of is that due to the way I have my hardware mounted in my case, the drives are, i guess, upside down. That is, if there is an up side and a down side. But, if I am the cause, then that is all I can think of that I did to mess them up. I just want to make sure that if I go out and replace the drive that I won't have to do it again in 6 months. I want to correct the problem, not just replace a bad drive.
March 13, 2005 2:26:42 AM

The way the hd is mounted shouldn't make a difference. As long as it is securely mounted it doesn't matter what direction it is mounted.
Do you have a large speaker system? Big subwoofer + hard drive = dead hard drive, lol. I've actually seen that a lot.

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March 13, 2005 12:10:01 PM

I do have a large subwoofer, but it is in a separate location from the rest of my machine. Also, due to the fact that I have a large subwoofer, the wife insists on me using headphones about 85% of the time, so I really can't see that being much of a factor.
March 13, 2005 12:15:57 PM

Most reasonably quality speakers are sheilded, and as long as your PC or drive arrays are greater than 12" away should not be a problem. That said, I would not set my PC on the subwoofer cabinet!

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March 13, 2005 10:57:39 PM

But is your drive are cooled with something, or just put is the case, without any fans of some kind blowing air on them?

You should leave at least one inch between them to assure proper cooling, and even more is better. a small fan blowing air on them would help too. And.. is the radiator for your water cooler is right underneath your HDD??? It should not..

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
March 14, 2005 8:24:15 AM

Turn off your PC, wait 2-3 minutes and touch your drives. If they are still the least bit warm then they are running too hot and you are shortening their lifespan.

Adequate cooling and ventilation makes a huge difference.

Whenever I have to place hard drive close together I always make sure I have a couple (near silent) fan's blowing on them.

Also a good powersupply won't help if you house gets bad power. A high end battery backup with line conditioning is sometimes necessary.

A good sign that you need one is when your monitors keep dying.
March 14, 2005 4:18:32 PM

>now it seems to be going bad as well.

I don't understand your problem. What do you mean 'seems to be going bad'? Drives either work or they don't. What makes you think it's going 'bad'. Have you run the PowerMax diagnostic on it? What code did the drive give you for RMA? Is it developing bad sectors? What exactly is going wrong with it? What does the SMART say? Lots of questions but it's very hard to tell what's wrong when someone says 'it's gone bad'.
March 15, 2005 9:08:19 PM

By on top, do you mean directly one over the other or if they have some space to breath?

I once had some problem with HDD mounted too close each other, not enough circulation between them. My cousin HDD would sometime crash when his radiator for his water cooler was right underneath the HDD, heating it too much.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
March 16, 2005 7:20:08 PM

Actually, drives can have a slow death. Once bad blocks/clusters start appearing - it only gets worse. As long as the boot sector doesn't fail, the drive will work, albeit slowly.

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a c 158 ) Power supply
March 17, 2005 10:46:43 AM

LOL! Ye Olde Deathstar going down in ball of flames!

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a c 158 ) Power supply
March 17, 2005 10:39:30 PM

*shudders* Glad I never got one of those puppies!

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