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  1. #1
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Hard Drive Failures

    On the longshot chance that someone may have a tip for me, or want to keep an eye out for..... ????? I have an "old" Pentium Pro 200 machine on my home LAN, running WinME and not much else. I kept the machine around only to use it as a "backup server." It has four Maxtor hard drives in it - the boot drive is 8 gig and the other 3 are 40 gig (they're inexpensive and enough for my rotating backups). When I prepare hard drives for use, I FDISK and FORMAT using a Win98SE boot floppy that I use for such purposes. If you're a reader of the software forum, you'll remember that I was having a snit at Drive Image 7 some time ago which turned out to be, not a DI problem, but the failure of two of the 40 gig drives within two weeks of one another. These failures were confirmed by the latest Maxtor diagnostic software. I bought two replacement Maxtor 40 gig drives and thought I was back in business.

    The only thing I run on this machine, or TO it really (from my "main" machine - this XP Pro), is a nightly backup of daily-changing files using BackupNow and a once a week full image of five partitions using Drive Image 7. Yesterday whilst I was trying to do my weekly DI imaging, it failed after one partition, saying it could not write to the LAN destination. Same story as several weeks ago! This morning I did a scandisk on the ailing drive to find over 9 gig of BAD SECTORS. This is one of the two new drives! I'm in the process now of re-running FDISK and a full format to see if this was a glitch or something more serious. If the problem persists, I'm obviously gonna have to run the Maxtor diagnostics again to see what it reports.

    I know I'm coming from way out in left field on this one, but I just thought I'd say something to the general populace. I don't know if my luck is just really crappy this year with hard drives, if there could be something else going on with the box hardware OR (wild, I know) could BackupNow or Drive Image be doing something "bad" to cause these disk failures. More later.....

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Hard Drive Failures

    When mysterious things happen to computers, I always think "Power Supply."

    Maybe do a stress test using http://www.nu2.nu/bst/ ?

  3. #3
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    Re: Hard Drive Failures

    I would look else where for the causeing of these problems with your Maxtors. I use nothing but Maxtor and never have had one fail on me yet. The big word being YET. I don't think BackUpNow or Drive Image is doing anything to your Hard Drives. Me thinks you have other problems, and as JHELFER said it might be Power Supply. Then again might just be a fluke and maybe you got a hold of a bad New Hard Drive.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Hard Drive Failures

    Thanks for the tips, fellas. But I don't think it would be the PS, unless it's power to the second IDE chain. The C and D drives are operating like champs. The two drives that have failed are E and F lettered. I think maybe the work "fluke" is a good one, or at least that's what I'm hoping. This morning I did a repeat FDISK and FORMAT and then a scandisk which reported NO bad sectors! Followed that up with the Drive Image process on five partitions (from this machine to the re-formatted destination) and it went without a hitch. I guess it could be something in the second IDE chain - after all, this IS a Pentium Pro 200 motherboard and that technology didn't last too long WAY back when!

  5. #5
    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Hard Drive Failures

    Curious, just what kind of power supply are you running here? Pushing 4 hard drives (and am I correct in inferring IDE 0 & 1, master and slave on each?) is asking a lot of a run of the mill ps, and if it's in the 200w range, boy that's asking an awful lot. Remember that even though there are plugs for 4 devices, that doesn't necessarily mean that the system can handle heavy use out of each of the channels! That Pentium 200 was built in a time when a typical installation would be a 4 gig hd and a cd-rom, not 4 40gig drives all spinning at once....

    kip

  6. #6
    Gold Lounger
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    Re: Hard Drive Failures

    Run the Maxtor diagnostics before doing an fdisk or format.

    A bad 9GB would indicate serious drive problems.
    Could happen even if the drive were on a PC that was protected by a UPS.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Hard Drive Failures

    Well you and Jim may be right, Kip. I don't have the covers off yet but as I remember it, the PS is 250 0r 300, but I'll have to look.. Time to take off the cover...

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Hard Drive Failures

    I just wanted to report back for the info of those of you who were kind enough to steer me in the right direction. I know it's been over a month, but I wanted to make sure..... I have to conclude that there was something amiss with the power supply but I didn't bother to do any electronic testing. The 250 watt that was in there came with the case several years ago and I continued to get errors about software unable to write to hard drives that I NOW know to be OK (Maxtor diagnostics). So, I just went to the local CompUSA and bought a 300 watt replacement, installed it and haven't been having any failures. I guess (hope!) the new PS cured the problem. Thanks again for all the advice!

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