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  1. #16
    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!

  2. #17
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Age
    71
    Posts
    64,554

    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.

  3. #18
    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!

  4. #19
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Age
    71
    Posts
    64,554

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Quote Originally Posted by comp_girl
    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!
    I'm not aware of any board/chipset level diagnostics that would apply in this case. Are there any disk drive and/or controller devices in the device manager flagged with an exclamation point? If not then I'd be more inclined to think the drive is the problem.

  5. #20
    Joined
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Well, before drives died, everything was fine - no exclamation points, nothing. After drives died - I could barely boot into Windows, and I dont think I checked. Now I cannot even boot into windows anymore w/ the hard drive attached, so there's no way to tell.

    Thank you for your help, BWM, and for taking time to look into my problem.

    This problem is very hard to diagnose/fix because there are no errors that lead to the crash, and after the crash my capabilities are very slim.

    I'm trying to make a list of what to RMA now...
    1. Hard Drive - is dead that's for sure, its going back.
    2. Memory - 1 stick is bad, and on the list

    Then I have a choice of :
    a. RMAing the board, just in case
    b. Getting a new PSU or RMAing the case
    c. Try to get non-SATA version of the Hard drive(then I can try not doing options a or b, since my IDE HDs are fine). I'm reluctant to just exchange for another SATA drive w/o exchanging Mobo or getting new PSU, because I'm afraid history would repeat itself.

    If you'd have any recommendations, let me know.
    I also opened a thread on the Albatron Motherboard section of this PcPerspectives forum, maybe they'll know something about this.
    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...

  6. #21
    Joined
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Juan Valdez's vacation hotspot
    Posts
    2,459

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Hard to say.....haven't messed with the Samsung drives much. One note though is that you mention a bad stick of RAM. Memory errors can be detrimental to the life of a hard drive.

    It is a good idea to run a few passes of a memory tester from a floppy or CD prior to connecting hard drive.
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  7. #22
    Joined
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Thanks for reply.

    Yes, now when new RAM comes in the first thing I'll do is put it through the MemTest.

    I did not even think to test my RAM initially because I did not experience any Windows errors/crashes except for the 2 ones that killed my SATA drives.

    For some reason this affected my SATA and not IDE (I've been running this computer on IDE HD for at least 10 days continuously w/o any crashes). I'm wondering tho if 8MB buffer on SATA vs. 2Mb or less on my old IDEs had anything to do with this.
    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...

  8. #23
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Age
    71
    Posts
    64,554

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Quote Originally Posted by comp_girl
    For some reason this affected my SATA and not IDE (I've been running this computer on IDE HD for at least 10 days continuously w/o any crashes). I'm wondering tho if 8MB buffer on SATA vs. 2Mb or less on my old IDEs had anything to do with this.
    It's possible for SATA to be more effected by memory problems than PATA. We've seen examples similar to yours. I don't think buffer size alone relates to the problem however. As has been said before, a similar problem exists in win-98SE which was fixed by a downloadable patch. I don't know if win-XP has the problem of if a patch addresses it, however. Might be a good idea to look for a "fast shutdown" option in the BIOS and disable it if there is one. That definately can cause problems because the machine tries to shut down before the contents of the drive's large cache has been written back to disk. Worth looking into.

  9. #24
    Joined
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    "It's possible for SATA to be more effected by memory problems than PATA."

    That definitely could be true. I know for sure that in both cases I downloaded all the latest updates and patches for XP (installed SP1). Maybe there's something missing, or maybe the latest patches IS my problem . Is it possible to install Bootable WinME or Win 98SE on SATA drive? I didnt think there's a way to specify SATA drivers for those Windows versions.
    If that's something that's doable - well, maybe that's another thing to try.
    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...

  10. #25
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Age
    71
    Posts
    64,554

    Problem Re: sata drives keep failing

    Quote Originally Posted by comp_girl
    "It's possible for SATA to be more effected by memory problems than PATA."

    That definitely could be true. I know for sure that in both cases I downloaded all the latest updates and patches for XP (installed SP1). Maybe there's something missing, or maybe the latest patches IS my problem . Is it possible to install Bootable WinME or Win 98SE on SATA drive? I didnt think there's a way to specify SATA drivers for those Windows versions.
    If that's something that's doable - well, maybe that's another thing to try.
    We'll feep plugging away at it until it is resolved. That's what old ornery guys like me do. And I'll keep your post bumped and flagged so we can get more member involvement.

  11. #26
    Joined
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    1,444

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Is it possible to install Bootable WinME or Win 98SE on SATA drive? I didnt think there's a way to specify SATA drivers for those Windows versions.
    Believe it or not; it's easier than for XP. if you load your 98SE or WinME from startup; it will actually see the SATA drive or even RAID array without any problem at all as long as you already created partitions using something like a 98SE or WINME Startup disc.

    After you install the OS reboot; you'll find an exclamation point in device manager. Then update it's driver using your drivers off the CD or a floppy you've created.

    Good Luck with this problem. Maybe you do have a memory problem. I've just never seen a memory issue result in hardware failures. Even when I've pushed the K8T800 SATA Raid controllers to the point of BSOD due to bus speeds of 225-235 FSB at most all I've had to do was re-create an array and load a clean OS. Hope your next drive works out better.

  12. #27
    Joined
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Thank you everyone!

    Well, I'll be waiting for my new mem come in, although 512Mb does not slow down the system by that much, so I can still use it.

    I think I'll give Samsung HD another chance and exchange it. When it did work, it was fast and very-very quiet. I think I'll try installing Win98 or ME (whichever i find first).

    Actually, I did try to re-format SATA drive using FAT using old Win98 startup disk, but fdisk could not see SATA drive. Although at this point, the drive was already corrupt and it could have been a problem. I'll have to try that with the new drive.
    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...

  13. #28
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Age
    71
    Posts
    64,554

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Let us know how it goes...

  14. #29
    Joined
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    57

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    Hello all!

    Well, I'm back. Just got my replacement Samsung SATA today. Have GOOD memory now. 1st thing will do - test the hard drive with Samsung's diagnostic utility.

    For now will use same mobo/CPU/PSU.

    Will let you know how it goes.
    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. #30
    Joined
    Dec 2001
    Age
    71
    Posts
    64,554

    Re: sata drives keep failing

    We haven't forgotten

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