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Problems With The Hard Drives

Reader How Tos: A System To Convert VHS and 8 mm Tape To DVD
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2:00 PM - I started formatting Drive E: again with NTFS. No indications of what is going on.

3:30 PM - Still no indication of any activity, so I exited out of format program and rebooted the machine.

3:45 PM - Checked Drive E: with Explorer. It said Drive E: needed formatting. So I started it from there. Again, no indication of any activity, other than the front panel drive LED was on solid.

5:00 PM - I rebooted the machine again. I moved the slave Maxtor from IDE3 port to IDE1 on the same cable as the boot disk. I started up the machine and used the Disk Manager to start formatting the Maxtor with a FAT32 format. This time I saw a percentage completion indication in the Disk Manager window. An hour and a half later, a window popped open to tell me that the drive volume was too large to complete the formatting. Boy, that sucks! What's the size limit on FAT32? I thought it was 2 TeraBytes? Why is Windows 2000 telling me a 152 GB drive is too large to format in FAT32?

6:30 PM - I rebooted system and started formatting the drive with NTFS. Once again, I got the percentage completion indication in the Disk Manager window, and an hour and 20 minutes later, it completed. Properly, this time, thank you very much.

Monday August 5, 2002

10:00 AM - I decided to run some real world speed/ timing tests on the newly formatted 152 GB hard drive. I ran 'copy' from the MS-DOS command prompt and copied a 500 MB file from the Pioneer DVR-A04 DVD drive (D:) to the 150 GB HD (E:). It took 208 seconds (timed with a stopwatch) for a transfer rate of about 2.5 MB/s. The Pioneer DVD drive has a maximum read speed of 24x, but this falls far short of that figure. This is closer to 16x. I will have to look into that later.

10:15 AM - Next, I used MS-DOS to copy the 500 MB from Drive E: to Drive C:. That took 17.5 seconds, for a transfer rate of 30.6 MB/s. Not bad for an ATA-33/66/100 interface.

10:30 AM - To confirm these figures, I used MS-DOS to copy a 4 GB file from a CD in Drive D: to the hard disk Maxtor Drive E: in 1277 seconds, for a transfer rate of 2.8 MB/s. Then I copied the same files from Drive E: to Drive C: in 164 seconds, for a transfer rate of 25.5 MB/s - still pretty close to the ATA-33 maximum speed of 33 MB/s.

11:00 AM - I ate breakfast and read the Promise RAID Function User's Manual. It says I can set the two drives up as a single large hard drive in the RAID 0 configuration, if I set both their configuration jumpers to 'master.' It didn't sound right to me, but it was time to experiment!

12:00 PM - I removed both of the Maxtor hard disks and set their jumpers to 'master' just like it says on page 7 of the Promise RAID Function User's Manual.

12:10 PM - I booted the system up and set BIOS to RAID. Only one 152 GB drive was recognized by the system. As I suspected, the book was misleading.

12:20 PM - I removed the second Maxtor hard disk drive, set its jumper to 'slave' and re-installed it.

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