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Hard Drive Woes

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#1 RandomUser


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Posted 22 January 2008 - 01:05 AM

I have a number of Seagate Barrucuda's with Model Number ST303204N1A1AS-RK.

As far as I can tell these drives do NOT utilize perpendicular recording, which I am all for.
However, both drives are set up in a test environment Server 2003 and one on XP Pro.

Both motherboards appear to be using Sata as IDE which is not supported by Microsoft** on XP or Server 2003.

That being said, my drives are being fragmented A LOT. And further, the XP machine is stating errors with the
Master File Table which it says is fixed when running chkdsk on Boot. Running chkdsk again in read only mode
again states errors in the File System. And there are several files that are larger on disk than actual size. This tells me
then that the File system is continually corrupted. Yuck. The Server machine simply fragments a lot but no file corruption
as of yet.

Server 03 is set up on an ECS intel 945-a version 1.0 or something. Which it appears only supports APM and not
ACPI. Never get one of those again.

XP is set up on an Intel D101G or something which is actually an ATI r200 southbridge I believe. Don't remember seeing
anything about ACPI on this either, although I'll research it further and update.

I don't remember entering an F6 ahci or Raid driver for either on which tells me these are both using Legacy IDE instead
of AHCI Sata.

I re-installed the Server with the AHCI intel driver which seems to be working minus the fragmentation which may be
fixed by forcing sata 150mb but I don't see how this will improve things. I guess the Sata chip is capable of AHCI, but it's
not an overall system option in the BIOS.

And the Intel/ATI board, well, I'm thinking that the IDE microcode in windows is causing the filesystem to become corrupted.

What are my options to fix this, short Of buying Motherboards that I know support ACPI and Sata AHCI/RAID?

**I found an article about two years ago stating Sata as legacy is not supported, but I'm unable to find the article currently.
The Not Supported thing was on the M$ website. Currently it appears as if they don't advocate for Sata operation in IDE mode,
however, they do provide the information about how to work around problems.

Edited by RandomUser, 22 January 2008 - 07:41 PM.

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#2 RandomUser

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 06:45 PM

So, I found in the Bios that My DG101 board from intel does support ACPI and I can force the AHCI Sata Driver.
This is a good thing. Also, when running
in read only mode, it passes some times and fails
others. When it fails it states Problems with the File System as I previously stated and sometimes states problems
with the Master File Table.

I also found that doing a repare from the Recovery Console
chkdsk /p
that version frees up some space.

So my thought is that the Update Sequence Number Journal (USN Journal) Was getting bad information probably from
the Master File Table because i beleieve that's where the USN journal is stored or where it gets it's information.

The it hits me that I performed a quick format of the drive which means the Integrity of all sectors is not checked.

So, I've come to this conclusion based on the information I've read on searches from google, microsoft.com, and my
XP Pro Resource kit Book:

I need to limit the transfer rates to 150mb because of some requirments of windows in order to force the AHCI Sata
driver, and edit the registry so that Windows doesn't think the drive is IDE. I don't know if this is going to be much
fun however. Getting a HDD to work should not be this much hassle.

Also, I'm running a restore with a Low Level format so that Windows Marks bad sectors as non-useable.

That's right I believe part of this is due to bad sectors, on a Brand New HDD. It's been intermittent so I didn't understand
the problem completely when I started this goose chase.

As far as the ECS board, I'm just going to leave the HDD as is and Limit the Transfer Rates to 150mb because I figure if that
machine is an AD, DNS, and Web Server, OF COURSE Fragmentation is going to happen a lot.

#3 usasma


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Posted 27 January 2008 - 08:23 AM

I have had issues in the past with SATA as IDE and I usually recommend against using it unless it's absolutely necessary (as in some HP laptops).

That being said, since the SATA as IDE isn't supported by 2003 - I'd suspect that this would be the cause of the problems that chkdsk is finding. Running SATA as SATA would probably fix it (as long as you do limit the transfer to 150 mBps). BUT, I'd check to be sure before committing this to mission-critical work.
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#4 RandomUser

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 12:10 PM

Well, after running the Low Level format on the Intel/ATI board everything is cool.
Can you believe it. a bad hard drive out of the box.

The ECS Board's driver is just goofy but not causing any real issues.

This was a mess.

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