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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Strange hard-drive behavior

    Using a 320 GB WD SATA hard drive as a backup drive. Drive in MyBook case would spin up and then spin down after making a few clicks. Tried the drive in my PC by unplugging my main drive and drive spins up fine and stays running. Did not try and configure the drive as it was taking my boot drives place. So I bought a new enclosure for the drive, thinking the circuit board of the MyBook was bad.

    Now I get the same thing, but the drive seems to keep spinning, but does not show up in Windows. If I lay the drive so it is flat instead of on its' side, the drive shows up.

    I am using the USB cable and the drive as a USB external. I did not think to try the drive flat with the MyBook enclosure and probably will not.

    Is this an indicator of the drive going bad? Even though this drive is 6 years old, it only gets used 3-4 times a year for system backup so I can say that it has <20 hours on it.
    I also cannot get the drive to show up using the firewire interface. I am running Win 7 HP 64 bit.

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    If the hard drive is powered by the USB interface, try a short USB cable and/or a different USB port.

    Jerry

  4. #3
    New Lounger Frozwire's Avatar
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    Possibly a USB power issue as jwitalka pointed out, you could also try to use a USB Y-cable to in order for the drive to have sufficient power to work properly.

  5. #4
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    If the drive is making some clicks, it may be going bad.

  6. #5
    Silver Lounger
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    It could be worth checking it over as it's making clicks.

    http://knowledge.seagate.com/article...S/FAQ/184611en
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-06-17 at 11:39.

  7. #6
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    I tried a different USB port on the PC and have had success 2X so far with the drive on its side. Also ran the scandisk and some errors were found. The clicking sounds stop after about 5-6 of them and the drive seems to work OK after that. Thanks for all the help.

  8. #7
    Silver Lounger
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    If it still only works on its side, try laying it flat and waggle the cable as placing it on its side could add tension to the connection.

  9. #8
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I think you are lucking out with the clicking having stopped. I would at the very least do a complete backup of the drive immediately, because you should never hear a clicking noise, no matter how the drive is oriented.

  10. #9
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    If you intend to use the drive on its side, you might try (re)formatting it in that position. Don't know if this is still current thinking, but it used to be that you always formatted the drive in the spatial position that you intended to use it. Might be worth a try.
    Gary

    Quote Originally Posted by ldb View Post
    Using a 320 GB WD SATA hard drive as a backup drive. Drive in MyBook case would spin up and then spin down after making a few clicks. Tried the drive in my PC by unplugging my main drive and drive spins up fine and stays running. Did not try and configure the drive as it was taking my boot drives place. So I bought a new enclosure for the drive, thinking the circuit board of the MyBook was bad.

    Now I get the same thing, but the drive seems to keep spinning, but does not show up in Windows. If I lay the drive so it is flat instead of on its' side, the drive shows up.

    I am using the USB cable and the drive as a USB external. I did not think to try the drive flat with the MyBook enclosure and probably will not.

    Is this an indicator of the drive going bad? Even though this drive is 6 years old, it only gets used 3-4 times a year for system backup so I can say that it has <20 hours on it.
    I also cannot get the drive to show up using the firewire interface. I am running Win 7 HP 64 bit.

    Thanks

  11. #10
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    Hi,

    Just a few things worth considering.

    In my experience, Western Digital are just about the most reliable drive manufacturer these days so if it has only had 20 hours of actual use then failure is unusual – provided it’s not been bumped around mechanically. Having said that, many consider that if a faulty electronic component is going to fail it will do so early on rather than later.

    Whilst the ‘Click of Death’ usually means just that, the fact that yours has responded to Scandisk fixing some errors could mean that all is not lost. The orientation problem is unusual and the comments by others that the USB connection could be intermittent may well be true and even account for writing some errors to the drive that Scandisk has now tried to correct.

    A suspect drive is best viewed/tested by connecting it into a desktop PC as a slave to the OS drive, rather than as a replacement as you have done. This would also rule out dodgy USB connections as you are connecting direct to the HD power and data connectors. You’ll need a spare data and power cable to connect it as a slave.

    Before you set the drive up in a PC, install Defraggler onto the PC from the link below (wait for the save box).
    http://filehippo.com/download_defrag...46a9a0c3c17b4/
    Defraggler is very good at its main job but also gives easy access to the drive’s own SMART statistics, which should give a good indication of its state of health – just open Defraggler, choose your drive and the Health tab will show you what is going on.

    If the health report says ‘Good’ then your problem is almost certainly in the USB connection or the pcb. If SMART says anything else then the drive is most likely on its way out. It is possible to rescue a faulty drive, and the data on it, with software such as Steve Gibson’s ‘SpinRite’ (the only one I trust) – but at $89 it’s probably more expensive than a new drive.

    If you need to save the data off a failing drive the best tactic is the old trick of wrapping it in an anti-static bag, or aluminium cooking foil, and popping it into the freezer for 24 hours. Then quickly reconnect it to drag the data off before it rises back to normal temperature. If that is successful I’d run another SMART test on it – some claim the thermal shock can correct a problem drive (but I’ve never seen that personally).

    Best of luck, Chris
    Industrial electrical engineer, running a system building/repair business in Cornwall, UK, for the last 14 years.

    Built my first computer in 1978 - in the days when you had to hand-solder in all the components!
    Until Windows 8, I thought we were still moving forwards!

  12. #11
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Just a quick comment on the "freezer trick" commented on in the above post.

    Consider this only as a last ditch attempt at data recovery if you are not going to send it for professional recovery - and only attempt it if you are sure that this has a good chance of succeeding (a 'slow to spin up' drive that often isn't seen in the BIOS or with a damaged (cratered and smoking) controller board component (they're the only 2 drives I've used this method on, 100% success rate)).

    Other problems will need different treatment.

    Diagnose first.

  13. #12
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wadtite View Post
    If you intend to use the drive on its side, you might try (re)formatting it in that position. Don't know if this is still current thinking, but it used to be that you always formatted the drive in the spatial position that you intended to use it. Might be worth a try.
    Gary
    That was the accepted wisdom, back in the day, when HD's were still in the Megabyte range. It's one of the first things I learned about hard drives, about 34 years ago. I still do that now, when formatting an HD, without questioning that old wisdom. It seems to work.

    Clicking is not a normal function of any hard drive. It means the drive is trying to find the data that's being requested. The drive may have gone out of alignment.
    Old floppy drives did something similar, by moving the read head to the track Zero position and trying again to find the data.
    It could also mean that the drive is developing bad sectors on the platters.

    There are two acceptable means to find and block out bad sectors...I've used them both, with GREAT success.

    My first choice is to back up all the good data on the HD and then boot up the PC with my DOS Utilities CD and run the DOS format routine.

    DOS cannot accurately display the size of a large hard drive, but it will continue formatting the drive till it reaches the end. (last sector)
    Along the way, it will examine every sector on the drive for it's ability to record data, and it will add any bad sectors to the Bad Sector map, also
    stored on the drive. Those sectors will never be used again.

    My second choice would be to use a program called simply, "Spinrite". In effect, it does the same thing as the DOS format. It tries to recover bad sectors, and failing that it blocks them out just like "Format". It's only drawback is the price tag. I think I paid $99.95 for mine.

    But there is one HD failure mode that I've never found a fix for.....I call it "Slow Mode".
    In "Slow Mode" a drive may take a half hour or more just to boot up, and many minutes to load a program.
    I once tried to save just the data files from such a drive, to another drive, and it took three days.

    Hard Drives are a marriage of electronics and mechanics. Too much heat, over-voltage or vibration can kill them.
    I suspect that heat was the demise of this one:


    This was an OEM, WD drive. The controller card had a piece of foam overlaying the controller, preventing it from cooling properly. That may have been ok in the arctic, but here in Florida it was a disaster. Just one more reason in a long list, why I'll never use another WD drive, for anything but a scratch disk.

    Cheers Mates!
    Doc
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  14. #13
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    I think that I have a better way than using Spinrite or reformatting, to fix bad sectors. I use IObit's Disk Doctor utility. If I remember right (always dangerous, in my case), it's free. (I probably wouldn't have it if it wasn't!) So, no need to save the data and reformat. The only time I have used the save the data (if possible) and reformat technique, has been in the past on floppy drives. Works great, but a lot of hassle for a big hard drive. Disk Doctor removes the need for the reformat just as well as Spinrite, without the cost.
    wadtite

  15. #14
    3 Star Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    DrWho

    Was there an image in your last post(#12)??
    I am getting the feeling I am not seeing images here. I just toggled my settings twice....

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  16. #15
    Super Moderator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    DrWho

    Was there an image in your last post(#12)??
    I am getting the feeling I am not seeing images here. I just toggled my settings twice....
    http://i54.photobucket.com/albums/g90/DrWho1943/Computer%20Stuff/HDFailure_zpscaf41519.jpg

    If you don't see it or using the URL above gives you a blank page, it's probably a security/privacy setting or extension, either in your browser, some active security software or something passive like your hosts file.

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