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Hard-Disks keep breaking down?

I see SPY!

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#1
Hey guys, I'm having quite a problem here and could use some new ideas.

I have had the desktop listed on my avatar for nearly 3 years:
-C2D e7200;
-P5Q-Pro motherboard (no modded bios);
-2x2gb DDR2;
-ATI 4850;
-A single SATA2 hard-drive;
-a couple of 120mm fans.
All this powered up by a Corsair TX-650W.

Some 9 months ago my Western Digital hard-drive (5000AAKS) suddenly died- clicking noise, not recognized in the bios. Never had any issues reported by SMART.

I RMA'd it and got a new WD drive- same model (5000AAKS). Installed it but few weeks later it started reporting problematic sectors (according to SMART). Also the red light showing disk activity would turn on and stay like that for minutes, stopping me from accessing the drive. Obviously, it was also botched up.

So I sent that 2nd drive on its way to WD and a couple of days ago got my replacement- same 500gb model. Installed the drive, put Windows 7 on it and all my other software and today... it's reporting problematic sectors in SMART and the activity light is constantly blinking :(

I gotta say... I'm a little lost here, and very annoyed by this mystery. Seems to me that the problem is one of these three:
-WD keeps sending me defective/low quality drives(getting 3 bad drives in a row? What's the chance of that?) ;
-the motherboard is defective;
-the power supply is defective.

Any ideas or suggestions?
Thanks a lot!
 
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#2
Based on the information that you have given you have narrowed it down to the most likely causes.

I would say that the chances of you having a dying PSU is tied for first place (in the most likely to be causing your headaches category) with WD sending you bad drives.

I would 1) monitor your voltages on the 3.3V rail, make sure your PSU isnt doing something obviously crazy. (you can use software/bios for this)

2) If another drive dies, I would ask for a different 500GB model.

Most importantly, buy an external and back up your sh*t, so you can easily restore, without having to reinstall everything. A dying motherboard is unlikely to kill an HDD, but it is possible. Chances are your ram would be the first to go if your MB was in its last throws.
 
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#3
Do you have access to another brand of HD for testing?

Use a multimeter to test a molex for voltage.

Call WD and explain 3 bad drives see what they say...maybe they send you a new drive this time or an upgraded model.
 
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#4
My guess is that the storage controller on the motherboard is defective. A few years ago, the HDD failed in my parents' PC and I discovered that it was screwing up other drives that I connected as well, regardless of what PSU was used (thankfully I only tried with fresh drives that were under warranty and had no important data on them).

Now, there is of course still the possibility that the PSU is defective. To be on the safe side, you can try RMAing the board and PSU.
 

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#5
Based on the information that you have given you have narrowed it down to the most likely causes.

I would say that the chances of you having a dying PSU is tied for first place (in the most likely to be causing your headaches category) with WD sending you bad drives.

I would 1) monitor your voltages on the 3.3V rail, make sure your PSU isnt doing something obviously crazy. (you can use software/bios for this)

2) If another drive dies, I would ask for a different 500GB model.

Most importantly, buy an external and back up your sh*t, so you can easily restore, without having to reinstall everything. A dying motherboard is unlikely to kill an HDD, but it is possible. Chances are your ram would be the first to go if your MB was in its last throws.
Voltages are:
3.328V on the 3.3;
4.920V on the 5;
12.040V on the 12.
Seems okay, right?
About the disk, I'll probably contact WD to see if they can send me a different one- maybe black or green, instead of the blue.

Do you have access to another brand of HD for testing?

Use a multimeter to test a molex for voltage.

Call WD and explain 3 bad drives see what they say...maybe they send you a new drive this time or an upgraded model.
I'll try to get a hard-drive from a friend- and hopefully not ruin that one too :D

My guess is that the storage controller on the motherboard is defective. A few years ago, the HDD failed in my parents' PC and I discovered that it was screwing up other drives that I connected as well, regardless of what PSU was used (thankfully I only tried with fresh drives that were under warranty and had no important data on them).

Now, there is of course still the possibility that the PSU is defective. To be on the safe side, you can try RMAing the board and PSU.
A motherboard killing drives? Well I'll be damned... It seems I'm going to be RMAing the drive, the power supply and the motherboard :mad:

I'll probably contact Corsair to see what the techs suggest.
 

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#6
For proper voltage measuring you gotta use a multimeter. Software/BIOS doesn't always show correct info, especially if there are spikes involved.
 
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#7
I'll try to get a hard-drive from a friend- and hopefully not ruin that one too :D
I wouldn't risk it unless the friend is aware of the risks, has an active warranty, and is not concerned about data on the drive.
A motherboard killing drives? Well I'll be damned... It seems I'm going to be RMAing the drive, the power supply and the motherboard :mad:

I'll probably contact Corsair to see what the techs suggest.
Might as well send e-mails to WD and Asus explaining the situation as well.
For proper voltage measuring you gotta use a multimeter. Software/BIOS doesn't always show correct info, especially if there are spikes involved.
Even if he measures with a multimeter or PSU tester (much easier), and the voltages are within spec, I wouldn't dismiss the possibility of the PSU being defective. I've come across more than a few that were within spec but didn't work properly.

edit: Of course, if the voltages are out of spec, then that's a very quick way to determine that it's a bad supply.
 
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#8
Have you tried using another SATA cable?

Maybe i'm grasping @ straws but, couldn't a damaged SATA cable cause issues with the HDD?
 

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#9
Have you tried using another SATA cable?

Maybe i'm grasping @ straws but, couldn't a damaged SATA cable cause issues with the HDD?
I also though of that :laugh:, switched the SATA cable. Also tried connecting to another SATA port on the mobo and used another cable on the psu...
 

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#10
yeah I had a monitor that wouldn't work and just before I RMA'd it I decided "hell I'll try another power cord" and bam, worked.

Until you get another brand hard drive from a friend to try for a few days you won't really know.

If it does kill it as well I'd be hesitant to say it's anything but the motherboard. Your PSU voltages don't seem way out of spec - still worth it to get a multimeter and make sure that way instead of using software to determine it
 
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#11
could be that the drives getting too hot 50 + that kills drives quick wheres it situated and is it running at over 45 or so
 
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#12
could be that the drives getting too hot 50 + that kills drives quick wheres it situated and is it running at over 45 or so
I don't think that to be very likely or the first drive would have failed a lot sooner. Unless the intake fan failed or something, but I think he would have noticed that by now.
 

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#13
could be that the drives getting too hot 50 + that kills drives quick wheres it situated and is it running at over 45 or so
The drives never get over 35ish. Even if they did get hot, it would be a world-record dying out in 2 days :eek:
 

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#14
I got 3 of the older one ( 250GB ) and find found out if the temps any more than 45c in raid and 50c single they would fault.
 
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#15
Hello folks,

I asked a friend to check the power supply with a multimeter and he finally told me his findings: everything works perfectly. So, it's not the power supply.

In the meanwhile I installed another disk- also a WD, but an AAJS. Works perfectly fine, no problems whatsoever. Also, I notice that it doesn't get even remotely close in terms of temperatures that the AAKS's usually get...

So now I'm pretty convinced it's WD that keep sending me defective drives, or serviced ones that are low-quality.
I'll try to talk to them and see if there's anything that can be done. Anyway, seems like it's case closed.
Thanks for your help!
 

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#16
Hello folks,

I asked a friend to check the power supply with a multimeter and he finally told me his findings: everything works perfectly. So, it's not the power supply.

In the meanwhile I installed another disk- also a WD, but an AAJS. Works perfectly fine, no problems whatsoever. Also, I notice that it doesn't get even remotely close in terms of temperatures that the AAKS's usually get...

So now I'm pretty convinced it's WD that keep sending me defective drives, or serviced ones that are low-quality.
I'll try to talk to them and see if there's anything that can be done. Anyway, seems like it's case closed.
Thanks for your help!
thanks for the follow up. I always find it sad i get into these threads and then the OP dissapears right before we finally saw a happy ending. Its actually pretty infuriating.
 
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#17
thanks for the follow up. I always find it sad i get into these threads and then the OP dissapears right before we finally saw a happy ending. Its actually pretty infuriating.
yeah and it also creats dead ends on google for those researching similar issues.
 

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#18
And another drive bites the dust :(
Everything was working fine with a SATA drive a friend borrowed me until a couple of days ago when I started my PC and the drive reported bad sectors. Some days later and the bios doesn't even recognize it.
I borrowed a multimeter and tested the power supply again:

5V- 4.97
12V- 12.20
3.3V- 3.40

All normal, except something (maybe) weird- with the multimeter connected, if I touch the power supply or move the case even a little bit it shuts down and restarts.

Apart from that, everything seems to be working fine until now at least.
Is there anything else I can do with the multimeter to further test the power supply? I used it on the PSU with it inside the case and connected to the same old components.

I don't really know if I RMA the PSU because the voltages are normal and it seems to work okay. And paying for shipping to Corsair and back would probably cost about the same as buying a new PSU :ohwell:
Anymore new ideas to help someone on the brink of throwing the freaking PC out the window?

Thanks for helping, guys!
 
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#19
I don't really know if I RMA the PSU because the voltages are normal and it seems to work okay.
I RMA'ed a PSU that was working fine - except the fact that it killed several graphics cards over the space of a year or so. Antec replaced the PSU with no argument. I would imagine Corsair would be the same too.

I'd recommend to RMA the PSU with a short note saying that it's eaten several HDD's this year already. You only have to pay for the postage to send the PSU to Corsair, they pay the postage to get the new PSU back to you. You might even be able to claim the postage costs back from them. I believe you would have to send it to Holland.

if I touch the power supply or move the case even a little bit it shuts down and restarts.
Damn man, get it out before it fries more stuffs!!
 

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#20
Sounds like something is not grounded, or something is short circuiting. You're probably moving something that's shorting out the power supply every time you tap/move the case.

Follow scaminatrix's advice; RMA that PSU.
 
T

twilyth

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#21
The first thing i would have tried is putting the drive in an external case and booting from a cd or thumb drive then doing a torture test on it externally. That would have immediately told you what the problem was or wasn't.

External SATA to USB2 cases are dirt cheap and well worth the $20-30 bucks you will pay for one that is half way decent. I like the docking stations myself since I think you get better heat dissipation. And I've rarely had a problem with the power brick or onboard PSU of the case.

I also just wanted to mention that with drive 1, the only time I've ever heard a clicking sound is on an IDE drive with a bad controller card. So I would guess that the first was probably defective. IDK about drives 2 and 3.

If you want to isolate where the short is coming from, I would take the PSU out of the case and put it next to it. Then you could see if tapping the PSU causes the short or if tapping the case does. If both, then it's going to be the power connector or the wires that supply it. Obviously be careful when playing with a PSU outside the case - ESPECIALLY when there is a very good chance there is a short somewhere.
 
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#22
Yeah. multiple hard drives failing on the same rig , been there done that. If you already changed sata cables and ports then all you can do is eliminate the psu and the mobo. = ( bad luck mano !
 
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#23
motherboard or a PSU short. The restarts are pointing to a bad or shorting PSU, or a motherboard that is flexing and touching just a bit. Disassemble and try it on a bench without a drive connected.

I had a motherboard that did funny things to drives when they were connected a few years ago, it got sent back and its replacement was OK.
 
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#24
Sounds like something is not grounded, or something is short circuiting. You're probably moving something that's shorting out the power supply every time you tap/move the case.

Follow scaminatrix's advice; RMA that PSU.
Agreed with both points!

Also, try figuring out if the mobo is touching the back of the case: usually, short circuiting starts there.
 
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#25
I have same problem, after 3 hdd died and replaced, I replace the psu and after that no more problems