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Bad drive cable

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#1 Kilroy


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Posted 24 April 2014 - 08:15 AM

For those that read these forums to learn I thought I would write up a recent issue I had.


The issue started with a drive failing in my machine.  I started getting SMART errors in Windows that the drive should be backed up and replaced.  Since most of my drives are copies of my DVDs data loss isn't an issue so I ignored the issue.  I ordered a replacement drive and pulled the problem drive from my machine.


As always seems to happen, when I was working on that issue I caused another issue.  Since I have a dozen drives in my machine and most are all the same size I had to find the drive.  While looking for the drive I was lazy and didn't pull the cables before pulling the drives out far enough to verify the manufacturer to pull the correct drive.  I broke the SATA connector on the expansion card I purchased to add four additional drives and broke another 90 degree SATA cable on the drive end.  I replaced the 90 degree cable with a straight cable from my spares and ordered four meter long SATA cables to go to the expansion card.


The SATA cables arrived and installed them and my machine started taking 20 minutes to boot.  I updated my BIOS and no change.  So, I ordered a new SATA expansion card, same make and model of what I currently had installed, thinking that perhaps the broken connector was causing my issue.


The new SATA expansion card (If you're looking to add additional SATA drives I highly recommend this card) arrived and installed it yesterday.  I had the same issue after installing the new card.  Next I thought perhaps I had an issue with a drive, a previous boot had an issue "installing" a drive.  So, I disconnected the SATA cable from all of the drives except one and booted, normal boot.  I shut down and connected a second drive and booted, normal boot.  I shut down and connected the third drive and booted, boot hung the same as before.  I cut power to the machine and connected the third drive to the four cable and boot, normal boot.  I did not move the cable to a known working port yet, but the odds of having two different cards with the same issue are very high.


Hopefully people can learn from my mistakes.  Remove cables before pulling hardware so that you don't damage your equipment or your cables.

Edited by RKilroy, 24 April 2014 - 08:16 AM.

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#2 Scoop8


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Posted 24 April 2014 - 08:45 AM

Thanks for the reminder about cable length awareness.  It's an easy thing to forget when removing components.


I have a couple Sata hot-swap racks installed to save time swapping HDD's which also eliminates potential cable connection issues.


Also, thanks for that link.  Good idea for an expansion Bd.


"Kilroy was definitely here" :)

#3 synergy513


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Posted 24 April 2014 - 12:35 PM

yes, those sata connectors are sensitive. i bent one at the hard drive receptacle and next thing i knew the drive wasn't communicating. luckily, the sata cables are inexpensive hardware so it was an easy fix.

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