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Hard disk causes rebooting if read from

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Jimmy the Hand, Jul 28, 2006.

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  1. Jimmy the Hand

    Jimmy the Hand Thread Starter

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    Hi, Everyone!

    This is my case:
    I run a Win XP Pro SP2 on a 250 GB SATA hard disk. In itself, it works without problems.
    But I've got another storage device, a 160 GB Maxtor ATA disk, which I use(d) for backup purposes.

    A few months back this second disk started to behave strangely. Some files were not accessible, and in general, copying files to and from the disk took ages to complete. I suspected bad sectors were to be blamed, so I sought and found a solution, which is called HDD Regenerator. It had found and recovered several bad sectors on the disk. More, it had found and recovered several bad sectors each time I ran it, so I made it a habit to run HDD Regenerator regularly, as a preventive maintenance task. This way my files got accessible again, and I thought the problem was solved.

    A week ago I experienced a severe worsening of the situation. I could not copy files from the drive at all, no matter how long I waited. I ran HDD Regenerator again, and the strange part is coming: It found no bad sectors at all! Then, in the last 4 days, the failing drive started to cause the system to reboot occasionally.

    This day the situation is like this:
    The OS boots normally, with or without the failing drive.
    In "My Computer" I can see the failing drive and its partitions.
    In Disk Management console I can even delete and create partitions on the disk.
    But each time I try to read from or write to the disk, format it or even open it from "My Computer", it causes the system to reboot. I can not even scan it for recoverable files, because each time I try it, the system reboots. And I tried it with several Data Recovery softwares.

    I know, the solution must be to replace the HDD, but I'd like to know, if there is a small chance to get my files back. Or just to know, what is the background of such a behaviour.

    Any suggestions?

    Thx.
     
  2. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    When you get any bad sectors, you start to worry immediately.

    When they start to increase daily (which they tend to do, as the hard drive surface fails) then its a very short period to a complete failure in most cases. I cannot believe you ran a fix regularly to keep using it as a maintenance routine basically!

    The prudent thing to do would have been to backup all data at the first sign of the bad sectors appearing, then replace the drive.

    There are that many parameters that could be causing the behavior its hard to tell, they could be related to the IDE on-drive controller failing as well, or the TOC having dodgy sectors, head issues. Or all of the above.

    The rebooting would tend to suggest the issue is related to the on-board electronics though, which may or may not be related to the sectors (i.e. you may have 2 concurrent faults).
     
  3. qldit

    qldit

    Joined:
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    Good Evening Gentlemen, Ashamedly I must agree with the "short-legged" one.
    When drives begin to accellerate with bad spot failures it is time to consider a new drive.

    As you have discovered Windows is quite selective with reads when a drive has problems.

    One alternative is to consider a Linux program (which reads drives differently) and copy the neccessary files that way to suitable media.
    A minor learning curve is involved.
    You can win. (unlike the kiwi netball team)
    G'day Kiwi, we have showers at last, temp 25 C at 1700hrs.
    Cheers, qldit.
     
  4. Jimmy the Hand

    Jimmy the Hand Thread Starter

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    Thanks for tre reply.
    I think, on-board electronic issues should not be so specific in choosing their times of occurrence. As I said, the rebooting comes exclusively when I try to read from or write to the disk. On the other hand, if I boot from floppy or CD, I can start day-long disk scannings and get not a single reboot.
     
  5. kiwiguy

    kiwiguy

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    Been nice here as well qldit, mid teens and sunny.
    We were forced to throw the netball match I believe.
    The ACCC were going to accuse NZ of being a sporting monopoly so we have to make the odd sacrifice. Perhaps you should dress the netball players in rugby gear and call them Wallabies (or is that Wannabies, I cannot remember?) as they would probably do better.
     
  6. Jimmy the Hand

    Jimmy the Hand Thread Starter

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    I'm making progress after all. In the BIOS I disabled the UDMA, and set the PIO mode to PIO 2 for the drive. (Before, it was PIO 4) I don't know, what they are doing, but BIOS help indicates that they are performance settings. Booting with these settings, I can finally scan the failing drive for lost data. It is frustratingly slow though. But slow is better than standing still, right?
     
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