Help with a disappearing hard drive

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Camlax38

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Messages
86
Hey,

I am at my wits end with this hard drive.

I have a Maxtor 300 gig sata HD (not my drives of choice by far) that keeps disappearing.

I have the HD partitioned into two drives, one is 40 gigs I run windows on, the other is the remainder I used for storage. I also have other sata drives (3 others) hooked up to the pc.

Anyway, I've had this setup for about a year or so and had no problems. Recently, I started to get random freezes and from time to time I'll go to access an application or piece of media stored on the second partition and notice a path error. When I open my computer there is no second partition.

I've tried the chkdsk /f option on the second partition on start up and it seems to complete ok. I don't seem to get any errors in the applications or system menu's of eventviewer. I've run a couple of different hard drive diagnostics, like SeaTools and the Maxtor one and neither ever find a problem with the HD.

The only way I can seem to alleviate the problem is by rebooting, upon which the HD is detected again.

I am not sure if this is a failing sata cable or port (by why would the first partition still work?) Problem with the drive itself (again why no problems, unless the freezing is one, with the first partition) or a problem with windows.

When I formatted the drive I did both in NTFS. The drive is only about 2 years old, and doesn't seem to make any of the noises that I have heard previous failing drives make.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Edit: By the way the specs in my signature is not the same computer (that's out of date!)
 

Camlax38

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2005
Messages
86
Sorry, I just found hard drive errors under the system tab in event viewer. I am not sure what the hell I was looking at earlier.


It looks like every time the HD disappears it starts off with a warning like this "An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk1\D during a paging operation."

Followed by 15-20 errors (the red x kind) where the description is something like this "The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Harddisk1\D."

Followed by a few NTFS warnings to the tune of "{Delayed Write Failed} Windows was unable to save all the data for the file . The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere."

And finally ftdisk error "The system failed to flush data to the transaction log. Corruption may occur."

and then I think that is when the HD is disappearing.

Does this sound like a failing drive issue?

It appears that at the time this occurred I was not even home.

Thanks,

Cam


Edit: I think I am suspecting the SATA cables. Even those these are fairly new cables they are pretty cheapo ones. Does this sound like a cable issue?
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
1,850
Those errors are basically saying that Windows can't write system data to the drive because, well, the drive has vanished from the system.

Did you do the LONG test with the PowerMax diagnostics, or just the Short Test? The Short Test just checks the SMART status and may not find some trickier errors that that Long Test will uncover.

But you're right, there's a fair chance it's either the port or the cable as well. Replacing the cable is a quick, cheap, and easy diagnostic step. I have seen problems with a whole run of bad cables - systems we installed from another manufacturer, for example, used the cables that came with their motherboards and were later discovered to have a very high failure rate of that batch of cables... so it can happen. If possible, get the type with the metal locking clips that will attach the cable firmly to the drive.
 
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