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  1. #1
    Joined
    Aug 2004
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    Exclamation sata drives keep failing

    AMD 2600XP
    GA-7VAXP-ULTRA
    5900XT
    MAXTOR 120GB SATA HDD
    768 MB CRUCIAL RAM

    recently i just had a maxtor 120gb SATA hdd replaced because it comletely crashed. However i've only had the new one installed a week and it has just shown the first sign of failure as the first one. I'll give you a run down of what happened to the first drive maybe one of you will know whats happening..

    first pc failed to shut down, windows would shut down but would not powerdown unless mouse button was clicked.

    second would not powerdown from windows, had to use power button

    third pc refused to boot and data on hdd was unretrievable

    got an error code from powermax and they replaced the drive but after only having the new drive a week and its doing the same it must be something in my system thats causing this.

    Anybody got any ideas..

  2. #2
    Joined
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    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Sounds like a potential power supply problem. Have you tried swapping it out or using a different set of cables from it? What are the +5 and +12 volt power rails reading?

  3. #3
    Joined
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    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Not sure what power supply your using of if you have been monitoring power. This would be good to check. I did note that you are using a Maxtor drive with Via, though it usually works, there seems to sometimes be compatibilty issues between Via and Maxtor lately.
    AMD RIGS:
    Main Rig: Antec P160\A7N8X-Dlx\1007 Uber\Thermalright SP-97-Ceramique\XP-M 2500@12X210\NB Vantec Iceberg\2X Corsair XMS 256 PC3200LL\WD Raptor X2 (RAID 0)\WD 800JB\ATI 9800 Pro\NEC 2500A\Vantec 520W PS

    Shuttle Rig: SN45G\Stock Ice-Ceramique\XP 2500@10.5X202\Mushkin Black Lvl I PC3200\ATI AIW 9600 Pro\WD 1200JB\Lite-On LTC48161H


    Current evaluation testing: Plextor PX-712SA (SATA Optical Drive).

    My Pets...... 3112 Driver Comparison....NCQ Desktop Performance

  4. #4
    Joined
    Aug 2004
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    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Hello,

    I have very similar problem with SATA drive that keeps crashing and dying, although my specs are different:

    Albatron KX600S Pro
    Athlon XP 3000 Barton
    Samsung 80 GB SATA HD
    1 GB Ram
    ATI Radeon 9200
    Case w/ generic 420W PSU + 3 case fans
    2 IDE hard drives(1 Maxtor 1 Seagate).

    My problem is that after about 5 to 10 days of working perfectly fine Windows XP Home Reboots, the HD crashes and reformatting/low level formatting does not work. Mobo sees the HD, software sees it too, but it is rendered inaccessable and unrepairable. This happened to 1st HD, I RMAed it, and then same thing happened to another one.

    If you have any updates on whether your problem got fixed and how, or if you're still having it, please update this thread.

    Thank you.

  5. #5
    Joined
    Dec 2001
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    65
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    64,554

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    I'd recommend eliminating your memory sticks as a possible cause.

    http://www.memtest86.com

    Also, are you overclocking? And what is the make and model # of the PSU?

  6. #6
    Joined
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Thanks for the tips, BWM.

    Yes, I'm suspecting PSU, but eliminating things would be nice. Will do the mem test, and let you know the results. BTW, I have also IDE bootable drive with Win XP Home, and it runs stable.

    Here's the PSU info: RaidMax KY-520ATX. Here's the link to the picture:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage....156-139-05.JPG

    Thank you for suggestions!

  7. #7
    Joined
    Dec 2001
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    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Quote Originally Posted by comp_girl
    Thanks for the tips, BWM.

    Yes, I'm suspecting PSU, but eliminating things would be nice. Will do the mem test, and let you know the results. BTW, I have also IDE bootable drive with Win XP Home, and it runs stable.

    Here's the PSU info: RaidMax KY-520ATX. Here's the link to the picture:
    http://www.newegg.com/app/Showimage....156-139-05.JPG

    Thank you for suggestions!
    It may also help to update/change your SATA driver. Other members will have more insight on that.

  8. #8
    Joined
    Aug 2004
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    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    I used the latest driver downloaded from the Mobo's manufacturers website.

  9. #9
    Joined
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Ok, ran Memetest86. With 2 Ram modules, I got errors in test #4 and test #5. When testing individually, 1st Ram module got the same error (same failing address and error bits #s) in the test #4, but no errors in #5. 2nd Ram module is testing out fine in all 3 slots of the mobo. I did not run extended tests yet on the 2nd one - that would be the next task, but it is pretty obvious I'll have to RMA the 1st one. So, u think its entirely possible that bad memory was crapping out my SATA drives with such consistensy? I ran computer on my old IDE hard drive for a while now and have not had the same problem yet. Do you think its just a matter of time, or it is possible that SATA is just more sensitive and they don't make them like they used to?

    FYI, the memory is Mushkin PC3200 512Mb sticks.

    Thanks for your help!

  10. #10
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Age
    65
    Posts
    64,554

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    I'm beginning to wonder about your motherboard at this point. SATA, the controllers more so than the drives, have been finickey on several boards. nVidia based boards in particular. I don't have enough first-hand experience with a problem like yours to offer much more advice, unfortunately. I'm reasonably sure that your memory has something to do with it because it is involved in DMA mode data transfers to and from the drive. Have any of those drives actually failed as reported by the drive maker's diagnostics? If not, then I think it is a motherboard and/or driver problem.

    We need more member involvement to help you. C'mon everyone.

  11. #11
    Joined
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Well, I have not actually been able to run manufacturer's diagnostic. It seems that the more I try to do something with that hard drive, the worse it becomes, and every step down the road it just does less and less. Here's the usual chain of events: I try to run chkdisk (from WinXP Boot Disk)(fails), I try to reinstall windows - reformat drive, re-partition it. That fails too. Next time I'm trying to boot up from CD, windows sees the drive but when trying to install it - cannot access the drive, and does not recognize any partitions, does not allow to remove them or add them. Then i boot up from Samsung's diagnostic disk, and try to low-level format the drive (I guess I should have tried running diagnostic 1st). While low-level formatting, diagnostic program either hangs or power company messes with electricity and voila, manufacturer's diagnostic program won't even come up(crashes before loading up fully). After that happened, Mobo cannot boot at all (hangs before even looking to bootable drives)if the HD is set to SATA-IDE mode in the BIOS. I had to clear CMOS to reset mobo to manufacturer's defaults (this sets HD to SATA-RAID mode), and mobo would boot ok, and start up.

    BTW, the SATA drive is Samsung SP0812C, and the utility I used for it was Disk Manager.

    The mobo is Albatron KX600S Pro, it has VIA VT8237 chipset for SouthBridge, which includes SATA controller. Is there a way to test that chip to help determine whether its faulty or not? I wrote to the Mobo manufacture awhile ago, and they have not responded yet.

    If anyone has any thoughts on this, I'd really appreciate it!

  12. #12
    Joined
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    Re: sata drives keep failing

    VT8237 is usually outstanding with SATA drives. Samsung drives rarely fail as well. I'm not familiar with your particular board. Are there other SATA ports on the board, and have you tried the drive on them? The drive may be bad but it would be nice to have a way to prove it isn't a bad port or SATA cables.

  13. #13
    Joined
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    There are 2 total SATA connectors on the board - I tried them both with the same result.

    I also used different SATA and power cable for each hard drive that failed (total 2), so I dont think its the cable.

    I even tried plugging in my HD in another computer with known working SATA drives/connectors, and windows would not even boot with it (not from it - was trying to boot from another bootable drive, while having that drive connected). I overcame that same problem in my own computer by disabling mup.sys in my Win install on the good IDE hard drive. But even after that, even tho Win would boot, it would be VERY-VERY slow (like waiting 10-30 seconds before computer reacts to anything) so running any kind of decent diagnostic in Windows Environment was out of the question.

    Yes, I searched internet for "testing" software for the board/chipset and could not come up with anything. If you hear/see something like that, please let me know!

  14. #14
    Joined
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Here's update on my progress...

    The new version(1.21) of HUTIL Samsun HD utility CAN DETECT my SATA drive! Its important, because 1.19 version could not, and now I can actually run manufacturer's diagnostic, which I did and the drive passed on all of their tests including surface scan.

    So, I know the drive is good, at least for now.

    I also installed ActiveSmart. Here is the link to the screenshot:
    http://us.f1f.yahoofs.com/bc/2219f15...A8GSBBSM9g98ow

    Looking at these values and the ones that are changing (for ex. Spin-up-time keeps fluctuating between 79 and 75), how can I determine what's going on and whether this hard drive is going down?

    For some reason, this drive shows up as 9.1Gb, even tho its 80 Gb, but the amount of free space is reported correctly (64Gb out of 76...)

    Does any one else know of any tools to determine if a hard drive is going south?
    My setup:
    Albatron KX600S Pro Motherboard
    Athlon XP Barton 3000
    RAM Mushkin 3200 DDR 2X512
    Video ATI Radeon 9200
    2 IDE HDs
    RaidMax case and 420W PSU KY-520A
    5 case fans
    No OCing...

  15. #15
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Age
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    Posts
    64,554

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Quote Originally Posted by comp_girl
    Here's update on my progress...

    The new version(1.21) of HUTIL Samsun HD utility CAN DETECT my SATA drive! Its important, because 1.19 version could not, and now I can actually run manufacturer's diagnostic, which I did and the drive passed on all of their tests including surface scan.

    So, I know the drive is good, at least for now.

    I also installed ActiveSmart. Here is the link to the screenshot:
    http://us.f1f.yahoofs.com/bc/2219f15...A8GSBBSM9g98ow

    Looking at these values and the ones that are changing (for ex. Spin-up-time keeps fluctuating between 79 and 75), how can I determine what's going on and whether this hard drive is going down?

    For some reason, this drive shows up as 9.1Gb, even tho its 80 Gb, but the amount of free space is reported correctly (64Gb out of 76...)

    Does any one else know of any tools to determine if a hard drive is going south?
    Good morning. The link you provided isn't working so I can't see the info. I'm confident that your drive is fine, however. Small sinup time variations aren't unusual, and I believe the error in size report is due to a DOS related problem similar to what is discussed in the following MS article. It is just cosmetic as long as windoze reports the capacity correctly.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default...;EN-US;q263044

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