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My hard disk just died (I think)

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by MagnusB, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    I noticed lately that my 2nd disk wasn't listed during boot, but I never thought about it, cause I don't use it on my Windows partition (I use it as a data folder on my linux install, which I never use anymore). Yesterday I finally took action and took a look at it, and it seems it isn't even registered by BIOS.

    So I went to debugging:
    1. Change SATA cable - No result
    2. Changed position on motherboard - No result
    3. Changed power connector - No result
    4. Moved around all SATA connectors on motherboard (CD-Rom, front panel e-sata and 2 x SATA disk) - No result

    I think I have exhausted all my possibilities, and it seems the disk is dead. Anyone have a good idea to how I can further debug it?

    What happened is that my boss' laptop died, so I offered to save his personal data from it. To do that, I had to move some connectors out, and I can't really remember how I moved them, but I don't think I changed the setup I had, I just unplugged one of them, and then replaced it afterwards.

    My last attempt is going to be to move replace the position to the one my primary disk currently is in. If that fails, I am going to buy 2 x SATA 600 1 TB disks and replace both of my disks.
  2. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    Check the power connections. I once thought I had a dead drive and did what you did, but it turned out switching the power cable to the drive resolved it and I needed a new power supply.

    Other than that... If that does not work and it does not show up in Bios / cmos ..... It's toast. Recovering any data on it would be very (extremely) costly ($$$$$$). Unless it is the little "motherboard" on the drive and you can replace it (almost the same cost as the drive and often unlikely).

    I would suggest getting solid state drives (not hybrids though). Install OS on one and everything else on others.... Warp speed... You'll love it.
    MagnusB likes this.
  3. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    I've already tried a different power connector, different SATA cable and most of the ports on the motherboard. The current power cable also powers my primary disk, though with a different connector, so I doubt there are any problems with that.

    I think I am going to disconnect everything when I get home, then start moving my primary disk around on the motherboard, to check if any of the SATA connectors doesn't work. After that, same thing with my secondary (problematic) disk. I suspect it is toast, but I can't understand why. It is fairly new, compared to my primary, but it was dead cheap so it might be why it failed.

    I don't really want to get a SSD, they are expensive and have a shorter life span. I would have considered it if I intended to use Linux as my main system, as Linux is much better at handling disks than Windows, IMO. I might compare prices, but most likely I will get a new PSU (I really want a modular one, my tower is a mess with all the excess cables), and 2 new disks, one of them will be at least 1 TB.
  4. Saeed

    Saeed Well-Known Member

    I have encountered a similar situation with one of my Maxtor (now Seagate) hard drives...a BSY bug it was. BIOS doesn't detect the hard drive at all.

    Does the hard disk initially start and then turn off after 5 seconds or so. You can tell so by putting a hand on the drive and feeling a sort of 'buzz / vibration' on startup and then goes silent. And you sort of missed the most important piece of information...what make and model is the hard disk?

    If it's a BSY bug, it is repairable. I thought I had 'bricked' my hard drive, but luckily I was able to fix mine at home.
    MagnusB likes this.
  5. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    It is a Samsung drive, Samsung SpinPoint F2 EcoGreen Desktop Class HD103SI - 1 TB - SATA-300

    I was hoping it was a firmware issue, but I tried Googling the hell out of it, and no result. It is not real catastrophe for me if the disk is dead, none of the data is unrecovarable for me, what annoys me is that it is dead and I can't get a new one on the spot (nobody sells this kinda hardware on over the counter anymore, and if they do, it is damn expensive). It wasn't that expensive either, which was the reason for me buying it.

    I haven't tried to see if it spins up, as my tower doesn't really allow for checking the disk, they are all enclosed:
    I also have a policy of not booting up my computer when the tower is open, I have quite allot of money invested in it, so I am over cautious when it comes to dealing with it. I think I might be able to squeeze my hand between my primary and secondary disk (they are in the two top positions).
  6. Saeed

    Saeed Well-Known Member

    I see. Well, I can't find any information stating that the BSY bug affects this particular hard drive, so I'm gonna assume that this is something else.

    Not sure if this works, but no harm sharing. Samsung HD103SI 1TB Data Recovery Information

    Good luck! :)
    MagnusB likes this.
  7. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    Doh, I was afraid of that. I had my disk in the slide slot (2 slots, 1 for 3.5'' and 1 for 2.5'', both with a share power supply), and I tried to connect the 2.5'' in that slot, but it wouldn't fit. I am pretty sure I had disconnected my power chord, or at the very least turned the power switch at the back off. I also have my computer connected to a surge protected outlet...

    Well, it seems like it is a good time to do some housekeeping and getting new disks and power supply.. Any recommendations? I am leaning towards this one: http://www.coolermaster.com/product.php?product_id=6742

    I was thinking of getting it because of the fan control (my tower as 3 fans, in fact, I have the same tower they are using in that image series), but my motherboard does a pretty decent job at regulating them, so I don't think it is strictly necessary.
  8. Saeed

    Saeed Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I don't see any reason for you to have to change your power supply unless you think it's not coping with the power needs of your tower. If you do plan to, I would second your choice. My experience with Cooler Master has been excellent.

    Same goes for hard disks. They are pretty sturdy in build. My own preference are Western Digital drives...have never disappointed me to date. :)
    MagnusB likes this.
  9. Anthony Parsons

    Anthony Parsons Well-Known Member

    Doh... that is such an annoyance, let alone the inconvenience. RIP your HDD. :cautious:
    MagnusB likes this.
  10. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    I prefer WD as well, but I got the Samsung one cheap (now I know why) and my primary disk (also a Samsung) was a disk I got with a premade computer. I know don't need a new PSU, I want a new PSU :D Also, my current one is old, for my old system. I never got a new one for my current build, cause this one was just big enough, but now money is a bit less tight...

    I also like Cooler Master, my current one has served me well. Barely any noise, the only thing I don't like about it is the fact that it isn't modular, and I think it might be just enough for my current system. I am also very happy with my Cooler Master tower, good quality, plenty of space and barely any fan noise from 3 large fans. I think my CD drive and harddisks are the noisiest parts on my computer (n) It also keeps my hardware nice and cool...

    Thank you, Anthony, I will hold a funeral, with a sledgehammer, at first possible convenience :D It lasted just over a year, so it did not serve me well :(
    Saeed likes this.
  11. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Does the Hard Drive spin ?
    Does it click ?
  12. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    Don't know, I can't really access them while they are mounted. I am going to try one last thing when I get home today, but if that fails, I am just going to scrap it.
  13. Adam Howard

    Adam Howard Well-Known Member

    You have been misinformed. SSD drives last longer than physical moving parts. The prices vary and you should shop around.
    Anthony Parsons and Darkimmortal like this.
  14. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    I always shop around, and I rarely do anything halfway. I have been reading up on it, and they are getting there, but they still aren't as reliable as a mechanical drive, and are very much prone to firmware errors, among other things. Also the read / write problematic, which I am not so sure about, make them a bit more risky.

    I might just get one mainly because it is my personal computer, and I will be getting a mechanical drive anyway, but I still think the good old HDD is the safe choice.

    I also just got home, and finally figured out why I never got the drawings of my motherboard to match the reality, there was 4 more SATA connections which I didn't even see... I also moved my 1TB disk around a bit, and it is as dead as they come, nothing changed. So I am going to fetch up the shopping list I prepared earlier, compare a few prices and hopefully have my new stuff before the weekend.
  15. DBA

    DBA Well-Known Member

    I'm guessing he was referring to write endurance which is still somewhat a problem, however mostly just on an enterprise level.

    I'd recommend a SSD for your OS and pair of 1 TB (or bigger) drives in a RAID 1 (mirroring) config. The SSD gives you a great performance increase and the other two drives backup your data.

    I use a 128 GB SSD for my OS & programs and a pair of 2 TB drives in a RAID 1 config for all my data.
    Anthony Parsons, Steve F and MagnusB like this.
  16. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    I was thinking about doing that, cause I really wanted a smaller disk to hold my system files anyway. I doubt I will need 2TB space, I could barely keep up with my old setup, 1TB + 500GB, even when trying.

    I just flashed my BIOS, still no life sign from my disk. I didn't really expect anything, but I saw there was a new BIOS update from Asus while researching my problem.
  17. DBA

    DBA Well-Known Member

    2 TB's give you better valve for your money. 1 TB for $90 vs 2 TB for $120.

    Than again if you never see yourself even coming remotely close to filling up a 1 TB, go the cheaper route.
    MagnusB likes this.
  18. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Take the drive out and see if it spins. Plug it in to the USB via a SATA to USB cable or enclosure.
    If the drive ain't spinning or clicks, you are in trouble.
    MagnusB likes this.
  19. MagnusB

    MagnusB Well-Known Member

    I don't have anything to connect it through USB, and getting that will costs me about the same as a new disk, the data on it is nothing I desperately need, and for the most part it is old back ups, and some downloads. I have a fresher version of most of the data. It might be salvageable, but I don't see myself spending money on it.

    My current Windows partition is about 300GB, I use about 200 of those. I probably need more, cause the reason I only use 200 is cause I delete allot of the old stuff I barely use. I think with a 1TB data disk, I will be pretty safe. And if worst comes to worst, I have a 2TB external disk that is just aching to be used (another one I bought just because it was cheap).
  20. Luke F

    Luke F Well-Known Member

    As long as you don't get one with a Sandforce controller you won't have any problems you described and it will outlast a mechanical disk by up to 10x.

    In other words, don't get anything but Crucial or Samsung.
    Lucas and Steve F like this.

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