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Dead HDD


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#1 computerdownhouse

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 04:55 PM

A second-hand Hitachi 40gb Slave drive just suddenly stopped working.

 

Two nights ago I deleted some unnecessary settings in my system registry. Within twenty four hours my system began freezing. I'd reboot and everything would be fine for a while.

 

A disk health program on my master drive said both drives were okay. In fact the grades on this slave drive were all steady or improving. Curiously the temperature setting kept getting more positive - all figures in blue. This slave hdd is supposed to have a number grade somewhere around 170, though it was usually around 160. But by now it was 200. (A higher figure indicates a colder temperature, a lower figure - in red - indicates a hotter temperature.)

 

The last time I rebooted, BIOS would not recognise my slave drive. At one point it also stopped recognising my master drive. I powered off, waited twenty minutes and this time BIOS recognised my master drive. And the disk health application still keeps saying that my Master drive is in fantastic condition.

 

I can hear and feel the slave drive start up. No unusual sounds. Though the drive doesn't automatically spin every ten minutes like it used to - it did this to ensure the heads didn't stick to the hdd.

 

Inputting the slave drive's configurations into BIOS doesn't help. BIOS reports Disk 1 failure.

 

I've since unhooked the slave drive, had a look at it, and set it aside. Will plug it back in some time this weekend. May even test it on a different junk computer I've got in storage.

 

Will a dead slave hdd cause Windows to freeze? I don't believe anything I was doing involved the slave drive when my system hung.

 

Does the fact that the temperature number grade kept getting more positive suggest that it's not necessary the disk inside the hdd but another component inside the hdd case?

 

A quick glance at internet articles suggests that power supply and IDE cables can sometimes be a problem.

 

FWIW, the slave drive acted as a back-up drive for my master drive and flash drives. My master drive is almost entirely backed up to CD Rom. Nothing terribly important if this slave hdd is dead and gone, but if I can retrieve the files I will.



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#2 RolandJS

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Posted 06 November 2015 - 05:07 PM

If read from, write to calls are being made to the 2nd HD, which is slowly, slowly failing, yes, Windows can freeze while attempting many times to fulfill those commands.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#3 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 01:56 PM

I wouldn't go around deleting registry keys unless you really know what you're doing.

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#4 computerdownhouse

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 02:27 PM

These legacy registry keys belonged to now uninstalled programs. These registry keys had been added in the last month or so. I do occasional backups up my registry files. The current registry setting is almost identitle to my October registry settings.

 

As for the slave HDD. Managed to get it temporarily working again. The disk health application again said the disk was in fine condition. The partition table and the partition boot records are all intact. A quick scan shows that the many zip files on the drive are still intact. Rebooted my computer to get a third hdd on it to so that I could back up the not too important files on this troublesome drive and it conked out again.

 

BTW, I remember that my paging file was on this slave drive, so I strongly suspect that explains why the system kept freezing.



#5 RolandJS

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Posted 07 November 2015 - 05:26 PM

Hitachi's computer side of their web site might have some good diagnostic tools for your 2nd hard-drive.  Did you have a chance to look-see what's available?


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#6 donkat

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Posted 08 November 2015 - 12:26 PM

In cmd run chkdsk/r and or sfc /scannow. Run as administrator. In Run or start type cmd and press the Ctrl/shift key for admin.



#7 computerdownhouse

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 05:03 PM

Good news.

 

Over the weekend I put it and another old hdd on my optical cable IDE. Curiously, I didn't have to use master/slave jumper pins. Voila, both drives worked. I copied the contents of the original slave drive onto the other old drive. Been running diagnostic tests and both disks are okay. They go up a few points on some SMART tests, then down on others. But nothing dramatic. I reboot the machines and the hdds are still happy. Chkdsk reports no problems. A somewhat thorough check of various files shows no corruption. Partition tables and MBR are all intact.

 

I had a sneaky suspicion that this was either a flaky IDE cable, buggy BIOS or a related system problem. Curiously, to get the disks to work I can't use the user-defined cylinder/sides/heads option in my BIOS set-up, which until now worked quite nicely on these disks. Had to change it to the auto feature. I also find that if I move drives around on the IDE cables, I have to wait twenty minutes or so - a quick reboot confuses BIOS and the disks sometimes hang.

 

At some point I'm going to move the hdd back to the original slave IDE cable slot, see what happens.

 

The disks are ten years old - Hitachi and the other one is either a WD or a Seagate. Nothing I'd put anything valuable on, but good enough for storing mp3, mpeg, etc in the short term until I can motivate myself to purchase a reasonably modern desktop computer.

 

Many thanks to those who took the time to read and respond to my posts. May everybody else who suffers an hdd mishap enjoy such a happy outcome!



#8 computerdownhouse

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 06:32 PM

Hitachi's computer side of their web site might have some good diagnostic tools for your 2nd hard-drive.  Did you have a chance to look-see what's available?

 

Yep. I downloaded a Dos-version diagnostic application "Drive Fitness Test". The windows version predictably doesn't work on my system. Everything is okay. The program created several log files which I cannot read. They have a .blz extension. I expanded these but still cannot read them. The website does not seem to offer a logfile viewer. Nor does the DFT Guide tell you anything about these logfiles.

:killcomp:

 

Other than that no other problems these last two weeks.



#9 Captain_Chicken

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 11:25 AM

In the future you can use revo uninstall to completely remove programs and their registry keys.

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#10 computerdownhouse

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Posted 24 November 2015 - 03:14 PM

It wasn't a registry key problem. I have shareware programs that delete these keys. The timing I suspect was coincidental.
 
 

Hitachi's computer side of their web site might have some good diagnostic tools for your 2nd hard-drive.  Did you have a chance to look-see what's available?

 
Yep. I downloaded a Dos-version diagnostic application "Drive Fitness Test". The windows version predictably doesn't work on my system. Everything is okay. The program created several log files which I cannot read. They have a .blz extension. I expanded these but still cannot read them. The website does not seem to offer a logfile viewer. Nor does the DFT Guide tell you anything about these logfiles.
:killcomp:
 
Other than that no other problems these last two weeks.






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