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Cause of hard drive failure?

microsoft.public.windows.vista hardware devices






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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-14-2008
Bonnie.
 

Posts: n/a
Cause of hard drive failure?
I purchased a HP Media Center PC approx 16 months ago. Shortly after I
purchased it I started getting what appeared to be an intermittent hard disk
error - the screen would suddenly go black, system would attempt to reboot
and I would get a message in the lines of "SMART FAILURE predicted... Windows
detected a hard disk problem... Immediately back up your data and replace
your hard disk drive. A failure may be imminent." Then it gives some options
to to go to the BIOS or to continue. Sometimes I can reboot immediately
(usually reboots to safe mode first, then will reboot normal), other times I
need to reattempt several times before it will actually reboot (the SMART
FAILURE screen pops up each reattempt). Once I am able to reboot it's pretty
unpredicatable when this screen will show up again... sometimes a day or so
later, other times it would be stable for a few weeks.... the reason I was
able to 'test' for a while is 1.... after the problem occurs I backed up and
removed all important data from the drive and 2... since the computer was
only a few months old HP was sending me a replacement warranty drive.

Once I recieved the replacement drive I created an image of the original
drive, copied it to the new drive and sent the 'faulty' drive back to HP. I
assumed everything was fine, but the problem started occuring about 4 months
later. So again, I made sure everything was backed up, created an image &
contacted HP for another warranty drive. Once again, everything worked
fine... for a while. Now, one year later out of the blue this 'hard drive
failure is imminent' problem is popping up again.

On each occasion I have run chkdsk and scandsk diagnostics and there are no
problems detected so that's a bit confusing to me. Is there anything else I
should be checking that could be creating the problem - perhaps a faulty
cable or something else. My computer has 2 hard drives - the primary C drive
is the one that is 'failing' and it is mounted 'vertically' on a chasis. The
second drive is mounted 'flat' on the bottom panel. Would it make any
difference if I swapped locations of the two drives???? Only thing I can
think of hear is the primary drive is in use more (since it has the OS and
all program files) and perhaps the constant spinning creates a vibration
since its mounted on a chassis, causing the cable to vibrate a little
loose????

Anyone have any thoughts?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-14-2008
fuzor_silverbolt
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Cause of hard drive failure?

If you are getting a SMART error then the drive is usually bad. The
controller on the motherboard could be bad as well, espcially since you
have had so many bad drives, which is either bad luck or your drive is
bad now because your motherboard controller is bad or there may be a bad
connector on your power supply. I've had a bad power supply or two in
only a few of my customer's computers, the bad power supplies would just
chew up hard drives and motherboards but would pass any voltagemeter
test I used to diagnose the power supplies with the power supply tester
which is for sale at most online e-retailers. So don't rule that out.
Try a different but known good power supply first, if possible, and see
if the smart errors go away.

Then confront HP, tell them that the power supply killed your
motherboard and is eating hard drives every 4 months if that's the case.
Beause it is really odd and unlucky to get so many bad drives. I'm
guessing that the second drive may be from an older system and hasn't
ever been replaced before and isn't having problems, so I think there's
either a problem with the power supply connector being used or the power
supply is no good and maybe the motherboard is bad. This is all
hypothetical because I can't actually see your computer and diagnose it
any further than what you have shared here.

I've had bad experiences with Maxtor brand hard drives. You should use
the disk utility that is provided on the hard drive manufacturer's web
site to determine if the hard drive is faulty.

Here are links to the big 4. Maxtor has been a subsidiary of seagate
for a while now, but I'm including it since some PC makers (*HP COUGH
CRAP COUGH*) like to put Maxtor branded drives into their systems still
(sometimes).

Maxtor - 'Maxtor - External Storage, External Drive, Hard Drive'
(http://www.seagate.com/maxtor)
Seagate/Quantum/Maxtor - 'Seagate Technology' (http://www.seagate.com)
Western Digital - 'www.westerndigital.com'
(http://www.westerndigital.com)
Hitachi GST & IBM (Deskstar) Hard Drives - 'Hitachi Global Storage
Technologies' (http://www.hitachigst.com)

You should use a power supply tester that can test all of the
connectors on your power supply and verify that the correct voltage is
being supplied. Also, HP does offer a hardware diagnostic software ISO
that can be burned to bootable CD-R (depends on model) that will
diagnose the hardware and give a usually effective result.

Orientation of the drives doesn't matter if the drives aren't jostled
around while they are spinning. I know that drives don't like to be
mounted at 45 degrees and flat mounting gives the best performance
results. The straight up and down mounted drives usually causes them to
make noises during disk activity that is more than the flat mounted
drives.

The little bit of vibration a hard drive makes during normal operation
shouldn't cause it to loose it connection with either the power
connector or data cable. If this is the case replace the data cable, if
the connector on the power supply does not snugly fit into the power
socket of the hard drive, replace the power supply, don't fart around
and try to "fix" a power supply or you may end up in the hospital. Just
my generic friendly warning, never alter or repair power supplies or
their connectors, just replace them as directed on their affixed
stickers.


--
fuzor_silverbolt

-----------My Rig-----------
Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6700 @ 2.66GHz (4 CPUs),
~2.7GHz
Memory: 3326MB RAM
Hard Drive: 984 GB 2x500GB RAID 0
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
Monitor: SyncMaster 2220WM/G22PW/220WM(Digital)
Sound Card: SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC
Operating System: Windows XPô Pro 32bit
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-14-2008
IkidUnot
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Cause of hard drive failure?
I would also doubt that any connectors should be coming loose. If the drive
is vibrating that much, it's definitely got bad bearings, and would not be
able to write data reliably over the long term. Vibration that extreme would
cause the drive heads to touch down (this is called a crash) and damage them
or possibly the platter(s).

Is it possible that the environment inside your PC is just too hot?

Can you try to intall your primary drive (the one that's failing) into
another PC as a secondary? This would allow you to get an independent test -
presuming the PC you put it into has SMART monitoring.

It shouldn't really matter, but can you mount the drive horizontally when
you replace it? If it concerns you that it's vertical, you could try this. I
wouldn't recommend changing the orientation of the current drive. This can
lead to read errors, slowing performance because the drive has to re-read
data.
--
-me.
Let this forum know if this helps or if you figure out the problem, so
others can benefit.



"fuzor_silverbolt" wrote:

>
> If you are getting a SMART error then the drive is usually bad. The
> controller on the motherboard could be bad as well, espcially since you
> have had so many bad drives, which is either bad luck or your drive is
> bad now because your motherboard controller is bad or there may be a bad
> connector on your power supply. I've had a bad power supply or two in
> only a few of my customer's computers, the bad power supplies would just
> chew up hard drives and motherboards but would pass any voltagemeter
> test I used to diagnose the power supplies with the power supply tester
> which is for sale at most online e-retailers. So don't rule that out.
> Try a different but known good power supply first, if possible, and see
> if the smart errors go away.
>
> Then confront HP, tell them that the power supply killed your
> motherboard and is eating hard drives every 4 months if that's the case.
> Beause it is really odd and unlucky to get so many bad drives. I'm
> guessing that the second drive may be from an older system and hasn't
> ever been replaced before and isn't having problems, so I think there's
> either a problem with the power supply connector being used or the power
> supply is no good and maybe the motherboard is bad. This is all
> hypothetical because I can't actually see your computer and diagnose it
> any further than what you have shared here.
>
> I've had bad experiences with Maxtor brand hard drives. You should use
> the disk utility that is provided on the hard drive manufacturer's web
> site to determine if the hard drive is faulty.
>
> Here are links to the big 4. Maxtor has been a subsidiary of seagate
> for a while now, but I'm including it since some PC makers (*HP COUGH
> CRAP COUGH*) like to put Maxtor branded drives into their systems still
> (sometimes).
>
> Maxtor - 'Maxtor - External Storage, External Drive, Hard Drive'
> (http://www.seagate.com/maxtor)
> Seagate/Quantum/Maxtor - 'Seagate Technology' (http://www.seagate.com)
> Western Digital - 'www.westerndigital.com'
> (http://www.westerndigital.com)
> Hitachi GST & IBM (Deskstar) Hard Drives - 'Hitachi Global Storage
> Technologies' (http://www.hitachigst.com)
>
> You should use a power supply tester that can test all of the
> connectors on your power supply and verify that the correct voltage is
> being supplied. Also, HP does offer a hardware diagnostic software ISO
> that can be burned to bootable CD-R (depends on model) that will
> diagnose the hardware and give a usually effective result.
>
> Orientation of the drives doesn't matter if the drives aren't jostled
> around while they are spinning. I know that drives don't like to be
> mounted at 45 degrees and flat mounting gives the best performance
> results. The straight up and down mounted drives usually causes them to
> make noises during disk activity that is more than the flat mounted
> drives.
>
> The little bit of vibration a hard drive makes during normal operation
> shouldn't cause it to loose it connection with either the power
> connector or data cable. If this is the case replace the data cable, if
> the connector on the power supply does not snugly fit into the power
> socket of the hard drive, replace the power supply, don't fart around
> and try to "fix" a power supply or you may end up in the hospital. Just
> my generic friendly warning, never alter or repair power supplies or
> their connectors, just replace them as directed on their affixed
> stickers.
>
>
> --
> fuzor_silverbolt
>
> -----------My Rig-----------
> Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
> Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6700 @ 2.66GHz (4 CPUs),
> ~2.7GHz
> Memory: 3326MB RAM
> Hard Drive: 984 GB 2x500GB RAID 0
> Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
> Monitor: SyncMaster 2220WM/G22PW/220WM(Digital)
> Sound Card: SigmaTel High Definition Audio CODEC
> Operating System: Windows XP‚ĄĘ Pro 32bit
>

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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2008
w_tom
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Cause of hard drive failure?
On May 13, 10:04 pm, Bonnie. <Bon...@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
> On each occasion I have run chkdsk and scandsk diagnostics and there are no
> problems detected so that's a bit confusing to me. Is there anything else I
> should be checking that could be creating the problem - perhaps a faulty
> cable or something else. My computer has 2 hard drives - the primary C drive
> is the one that is 'failing' and it is mounted 'vertically' on a chasis. The
> second drive is mounted 'flat' on the bottom panel.


First, those are not hardware diagnostics. Those are Windows
diagnostics. It is an HP. Computer manufacturer is more responsible
- provided comprehensive hardware diagnostics that give numbers and
detailed messages. Without those numbers and messages, then the few
who can actually answer your question will not post.

Only one 'disk drive computer' controlled both drives. If either
drive is defective, then the one computer will report a failure. Is
the defect in drive two but you keep replacing drive one (because
drive one controls drive two)?

Second reason for failure are completely and always defective power
supply voltages. Completely defective power supply can boot a
computer. The naive then assume the power supply is good. Power
supply causes strange things to happen once every month. Does that
sound like your computer? 'Sound' means nothing. Again, the numbers.
Voltage measurements are the only way to identify or eliminate that as
a reason for a failure.

Heat is not a problem. Your computer must be in love when a room is
100 degrees F. A computer that is failing in a 70 degree room does
not have a heat problem. It has a hardware problem. How to find a
completely defective machine? Operate it even in a 100 degree room.
If it fails, a hardware problem probably exists - another reason why
more responsible computer manufacturers provide comprehensive hardware
diagnostics - to find that failure even when heat makes the failure
easier to find..

Step back. Is your problem with hardware or software? Windows does
little to find hardware failures. Windows works around hardware
failures - does everything possible to ignore those problems. However
Windows also has system (event) logs so that months after a problem
occurs, then a hardware guy can identify the problem. What (exactly
letter by letter) does each failure message in those logs say? Just a
few suggestions that would go after a problem rather than its
symptoms.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-20-2008
IkidUnot
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Cause of hard drive failure?
For hardware diagnostics, you'll need to know who manufactured the hard disk
(Western Digital, Seagate, etc). Then you may be able to get diagnostices
from their site.

--
-me.
Let this forum know if this helps or if you figure out the problem, so
others can benefit.



"w_tom" wrote:

> On May 13, 10:04 pm, Bonnie. <Bon...@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:
> > On each occasion I have run chkdsk and scandsk diagnostics and there are no
> > problems detected so that's a bit confusing to me. Is there anything else I
> > should be checking that could be creating the problem - perhaps a faulty
> > cable or something else. My computer has 2 hard drives - the primary C drive
> > is the one that is 'failing' and it is mounted 'vertically' on a chasis. The
> > second drive is mounted 'flat' on the bottom panel.

>
> First, those are not hardware diagnostics. Those are Windows
> diagnostics. It is an HP. Computer manufacturer is more responsible
> - provided comprehensive hardware diagnostics that give numbers and
> detailed messages. Without those numbers and messages, then the few
> who can actually answer your question will not post.
>
> Only one 'disk drive computer' controlled both drives. If either
> drive is defective, then the one computer will report a failure. Is
> the defect in drive two but you keep replacing drive one (because
> drive one controls drive two)?
>
> Second reason for failure are completely and always defective power
> supply voltages. Completely defective power supply can boot a
> computer. The naive then assume the power supply is good. Power
> supply causes strange things to happen once every month. Does that
> sound like your computer? 'Sound' means nothing. Again, the numbers.
> Voltage measurements are the only way to identify or eliminate that as
> a reason for a failure.
>
> Heat is not a problem. Your computer must be in love when a room is
> 100 degrees F. A computer that is failing in a 70 degree room does
> not have a heat problem. It has a hardware problem. How to find a
> completely defective machine? Operate it even in a 100 degree room.
> If it fails, a hardware problem probably exists - another reason why
> more responsible computer manufacturers provide comprehensive hardware
> diagnostics - to find that failure even when heat makes the failure
> easier to find..
>
> Step back. Is your problem with hardware or software? Windows does
> little to find hardware failures. Windows works around hardware
> failures - does everything possible to ignore those problems. However
> Windows also has system (event) logs so that months after a problem
> occurs, then a hardware guy can identify the problem. What (exactly
> letter by letter) does each failure message in those logs say? Just a
> few suggestions that would go after a problem rather than its
> symptoms.
>

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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2010
SyberBrat
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Cause of hard drive failure?

I know this is an old thread, but this might be helpful.

I have a HP TouchSmart IQ815 with a SG sata 500gb drive. The computer
is still under warranty, and before it runs out I will probably contact
HP about the issue, however here is my solution:

From time to time I get the same errors as described in this forum. I
have experienced a lockup, received a blue screen, a black screen, a
windows recovery notice, and also a notice at boot that an OS did not
exist. In three months all these errors have happened about 4 times.
When these errors happen you cannot access the recovery partition
either. Plus if you use the recovery disks you will also get an Error
100a message. You would think after all these errors that it would be
something major, but all I do is turn off the power, unplug power
supply, remove my back cover, and wiggle the power cable and sata cable
that is connected to the drive. I barely wiggle it, and just make sure
itís all the way in. While Iím in there I also do a quick dust cleaning
with a can of compressed air. I know it sounds ridiculous, but
seriously it must either be the connectors on these drives or the
cables. I would like to add that the cable is routed through the frame
in such a way that it has nothing to do with the motherboard in my
situation, like I said I simply make sure the connections are all the
way in the hard drive. So far this has not happened when I was doing
something important, but at an average of once per month, it can be
annoying. The cables have clips that you must press to release, but they
still seem like they could be tighter after you snap them in. I know
back in the not too distant past, techs use to put craft glue on
connections to keep them from creepin loose, lol maybe its worth a
try?

Iím sure some of you may have different issues, but maybe this will
help someone.


--
SyberBrat
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 01-28-2010
David B.
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Cause of hard drive failure?
You could have at least quoted the original post so we had a clue what the
original problem was, and the intelligent thing to do in your situation is
to replace the SATA cable before you lose all your data

--


--
"SyberBrat" <guest@unknown-email.com> wrote in message
news:3af40f91292aba48f03cb32647477640@nntp-gateway.com...
>
> I know this is an old thread, but this might be helpful.
>
> I have a HP TouchSmart IQ815 with a SG sata 500gb drive. The computer
> is still under warranty, and before it runs out I will probably contact
> HP about the issue, however here is my solution:
>
> From time to time I get the same errors as described in this forum. I
> have experienced a lockup, received a blue screen, a black screen, a
> windows recovery notice, and also a notice at boot that an OS did not
> exist. In three months all these errors have happened about 4 times.
> When these errors happen you cannot access the recovery partition
> either. Plus if you use the recovery disks you will also get an Error
> 100a message. You would think after all these errors that it would be
> something major, but all I do is turn off the power, unplug power
> supply, remove my back cover, and wiggle the power cable and sata cable
> that is connected to the drive. I barely wiggle it, and just make sure
> it's all the way in. While I'm in there I also do a quick dust cleaning
> with a can of compressed air. I know it sounds ridiculous, but
> seriously it must either be the connectors on these drives or the
> cables. I would like to add that the cable is routed through the frame
> in such a way that it has nothing to do with the motherboard in my
> situation, like I said I simply make sure the connections are all the
> way in the hard drive. So far this has not happened when I was doing
> something important, but at an average of once per month, it can be
> annoying. The cables have clips that you must press to release, but they
> still seem like they could be tighter after you snap them in. I know
> back in the not too distant past, techs use to put craft glue on
> connections to keep them from creepin loose, lol maybe its worth a
> try?
>
> I'm sure some of you may have different issues, but maybe this will
> help someone.
>
>
> --
> SyberBrat


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