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Hard-Disks keep breaking down?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by I see SPY!, May 7, 2011.

  1. PHaS3

    PHaS3

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    Yeah i had a home server with a dodgy 500W psu that was cooking hard drives too. Replaced PSU, no more issues.
     
    I see SPY! says thanks.
  2. BazookaJoe

    BazookaJoe

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    I had a buddy 2 years ago go through 4 drives in 1 year just like you - He swapped out his PSU and has never had a fail since - there was NOTHING measurably wrong with his psu's VOLTAGES - but clearly changing it fixed the problem.

    The reason here is far more technical than voltages - see PSU's don't actually make nice clean voltages - they use rapid spikes of high voltages at various frequencies in a process known as (PWM) pulse width modulation - that allow the PSU to dynamically "generate" the power you need and ONLY the power you need and then adjust it as your needs change.

    These spikes are then smoothed out by capacitors to make them LOOK like a constant output voltage. This is all very simplified, and its a lot more complex than that -but the point is that what it outputs can change DRASTICALLY as your load changes - and its possible that under an EXACTLY specific set of conditions some form of pulse resonance or other form of not directly observable interference can be happening - especially if the PSU has one or two "slightly faulty, but not faulty enough to initially show any signs", parts.

    Pulse width resonance - a potential result of all sorts of component failure in a high frequency switching power supply can have all sorts of bizarre and unpredictable effects - and definitely cause the loss of hardware attached.

    Testing the "voltages" actually tells you very VERY little about the health of a PSU, and how safe its outputs are - apart from saying "Its totally Screwed" or "It does not appear to be TOTALLY screwed" there is still room for HUNDREDS of types of failure to be occurring within the PSU that are virtually impossible to test for without an entire PROPER load bench and a good array of oscilloscopes.

    Relatively speaking PSU's are so cheap anyway - I'd throw it out straight away.
     
    HTC, I see SPY! and qubit say thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. scaminatrix

    scaminatrix

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    Bloody hell, this is more common than I thought!
    I see SPY!: At this point you should be patting yourself on the back for going with a decent brand PSU in the first place :) Ok, it's faulty, but at least you got no worries about getting it replaced. You haven't made the mistake that many many others have...
     
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  4. HTC

    HTC

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    Then, the problem here is too much oscillation in the HDD's power cables, which is causing the HDDs to fail: didn't know this could happen with an apparently "in good working order" PSU.


    My suggestion to the OP is for him to invest in a PSU from a reputable brand and make sure it has much higher capacity then what he currently needs. Here's my line of reasoning:

    1 - if you ever plan on upgrading your PC with more GPUs, more HDDs or whatever, a higher wattage PSU will cover that: will cost you now, but you'll end up saving in the future.

    2 - there can be instances where you have a PSU with high enough wattage but not enough amps: which ever PSU you end up getting, make sure it's amps are more then enough for your needs.


    Bare in mind: just because it's "reputable brand" doesn't mean such a PSU can't fail.
     
  5. theoneandonlymrk

    theoneandonlymrk

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    very wity should i bother with another sugestion.
    ill try, the woble pc a bit and it shutting down thing has me thinkin you have a bad earth/connection in there somewhere.

    prob shoulda bothered readin all thread sos
     
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  6. user21

    user21 New Member

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    The rail you have provided must be having some lose or loss power change it!!! make sure if your have connected other peripherals with it try removing those at once

    "IF NOT"

    well its the same bug i had few years back on my system running dualcore, asus p5kpl-cm with 4gig dhx and 400GB WESTERN DIGITAL drive, the problem raised just as yours.

    solution was: rescanned the data found viruses causing problems to make the harddrive critical in response and hense S.M.A.R.T errors on poweron, later upgraded my drive to 1tb 64mb WD green and since then no problems what so ever
     
  7. I see SPY!

    I see SPY! New Member

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    I ended up requesting an RMA number from Corsair and mailed it a couple of days ago.

    Now I just have to wait for it to come back. Hopefully it will be the last of this story :ohwell:
     
  8. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Yeah, I think your problems are over with another PSU. :toast: I'll keep the thread subbed.
     
  9. scaminatrix

    scaminatrix

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    Cheers for keeping us updated :)
    Just a question that I couldn't find the answer to when reading back; how long ago did you buy your PSU?
     
  10. Jstn7477

    Jstn7477

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    I bought 3 WD 5001AALS 500GB drives and 2 failed in that manner in different rigs within 24 hours. In my case, I think the drives were just part of a ****** batch as the 3rd drive continues to work flawlessly. Your case might be different though, as your PSU could be defective and have a high ripple, but don't rule out strings of bad drives as something unimaginable. I don't think dirty power would cause bad sectors, unless it has damaged the drive's electronics or causes the heads to hit the platters.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  11. I see SPY!

    I see SPY! New Member

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    I finally got my replacement PSU from Corsair yesterday. It's a TX 650W V2, refurbished, I suppose, considering it has bits of glue visible here and there. Now I just need to install the power supply and hard-drive, reinstall everything again and hope it's the end of it :)

    Also, a quick question: does Corsair usually send out an e-mail to confirm when the RMA is received/processed/sent?
    I was a little surprised when I saw a delivery notice from UPS the other day without any warning.
     
  12. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    Likely. Manufacturers love to drop refurbished goods on RMA customers.
     
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  13. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    Swing and a miss. I don't exactly know where you studied power supplies, but you have a few fundamental errors.

    The PSU (modern ones) uses a high frequency signal that they generate from the initial outlet power. Switching on and off at certain points in the cycle to only allow certain voltages through. This voltage is rectified (AC to DC), then smoothed by a capacitor array or linear regulator. PWM signals are used to switch the system during the initial harvesting of the high frequency power, but are not the source of it.

    After being smoothed, the power is 100% DC. There is a ripple voltage, but it is so small that it is well within the acceptable tolerances of the device it is connected to.

    Where power supplies randomly kill things is not the ripple, but high frequency noise on the lines due to inductance. This noise is not detectable to most DMMs because of response times, but it does damage electronics. This is why voltage readings are misleading as far as a PSU's health.

    Basic electronics concepts aside, inductance is dang near impossible to predict. Minor variations in construction can produce very different amounts of induction, which is why some cheap PSUs are great and other are crap. Large suppliers occasionally develop this issue, but generally do enough testing to minimize its influence on produced goods.

    Replacing a PSU is definitely the most likely solution, given nothing else seemed to be dying. Motherboards generally have surge suppression hardware, which insulates them from high frequency noise. I would bet that anything connected to that power rail gets fried, whether it be optical drive or HDD.
     
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