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HDD issue


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
So last Spring my system slowed to a crawl. Boot time would be greater than 5 min. I finally found that my hdd was failing. Oddly enough, it was the data drive, I installed a new Seagate Barracuda and everything went back to normal. Now, with no warning, my data drive is gone and my system boot time is stupid slow. If I reboot and check out the drives in the CMOS, it won't see the failing drive. Which I think is weird that if the system can't detect it, why is it slowing everything down? Anyway, I'm sure I'm going to have to replace the drive, but I just can't help think there is something else wrong. I don't know, I'm going to download seatools and see if anything can be done. I'm just super depressed about everything I've lost. I'm also concerned about sending the drive in for warranty, you know, since it might have some "legitimate" programs on it.


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
Well Seatools can see the drive. It fails both the short and long drive self test. Passes the short generic test and is currently doing the long generic test. More to come.


The One and Only
Same happened to me when one of my fubar 500GB drives (one of those... i think Seagate, that had the massive failure problem for an entire line of drives usually after a relatively short time of use... except mine failed long before that issue even came up widespread and announced). Drive was working fine one day... next thing i know everything on my computer was running slower than hell. tried to reboot, took forever.... then nothing wanted to run. restarted my computer again, and i think it kept locking up on the windows boot logo. Same situation IIRC, being my storage drive.

Think what it boils down to is that even though it's not usable, and for some odd reason not seen in the BIOS, the system still notices it's there, being connected to power and SATA and all, and constantly tries to initialize the drive and access data from it. That's probably why even though the drive isn't usable, it slows everything down to a crawl.

Dark Atheist

Staff member
Political User
backup your stuff get a new drive - or you risk losing everything when it suddenly fails, it could last a few more days, even months if your lucky or it could fail in minutes


Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
I'm getting the new drive today. I'm hoping against hope that I can at least copy my music collection from my Zune back onto my system. Everything else is gone.
RAID 1 and automatic daily backups is a must for me anymore. Got too much to lose. I remember the days when I used to lose EVERYTHING and had to start back from complete scratch.
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Stranger Than Fiction
Political User
I'd be interested in doing that, but my only raid experience is from actual servers. In those when a drive fails you know which one by the LED's on the case. In a standard desktop how does one know which drive has failed. Especially in my case when the drive failed without warning yet still sounds and feels like it should be working. Is it just trial and error?
With the RAID software installed under Windows, it should tell you which SATA or PATA channel the failed drive is on. Which controller, too, if you have more than one RAID controller (I have two built into my current motherboard), six AMD (in reality Promise) and two Gigabyte SATA channels.

Dark Atheist

Staff member
Political User
if its an nvidia bored yo may be SOL - last time i looked at raid on 570 nvidia amd board i had it gave me nothing but head aches, could look into it on here as its a diff board but im not holding my breath, mind you plenty of good raid pci-e and such cards about now though

American Zombie

Staff member
Political User
May have been better off with a single drive and backing up from time to time.

Reason is Raid 1 may read a bit faster (a small %) than a single drive but will never write faster.
In fact in most if not all cases it is slower to write because it has to write all the data twice.
Since Raid 1 is redundant you will also have 50% overhead.

Myself I just image the system Within Win 7.

Just picked up a drive dock (review) so I can insert or remove a drive whenever I want and not have to plug in anything or open the case.

Put drive in dock, backup, remove and store drive until I back up again.
I agree that there are different places and times for both RAID 1 and for more normal backups. I actually use RAID 0+1 so that I get a speed increase as well so it ends up actually somewhere between just RAID 1 performance and RAID 0 performance (still quite fast). I personally can hardly stand single SATA hard drive systems as far as disc speed.

The nice thing about RAID 1 is when there's a hard drive failure, there's no backups to restore. Everything is still left running just the way it was with minimum or zero intervention. Just replace the failed hard drive when you can and you're back to being redundant. No software to install, no backup program quirks or overhead.

If someone has, say, less than 50 gigs of data (not counting Windows) then it's arguable that a simple backup may be more efficient, but that kind of size of data is getting less and less common. Plus if you still want to cover your butt in case the hard drive goes bad, then you still want to backup to another drive or another medium. Backing up to a removable media is a pain in the butt if doing so on a regular basis, and if you're backing up to a second hard drive, you might as well just do RAID 1 to begin with. Whatever solution anyone feels is right for them won't be wrong. As long as it does the job and as long as you have SOME kind of solution, then that's all that matters.

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