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Losing hard drives - power issues?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Bootie, Sep 9, 2004.

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  1. Bootie

    Bootie Thread Starter

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    Hi folks,

    I've lost the hard drive in 3 PCs in the office in the past 3 months. All of them gave similar messages indicating physical damage to the hard drive itself.

    After talking with a number of techie friends, they have all suggested that I may have a problem in our office with the power (spikes, surges, dropouts, etc...). I trust their opinions and knowledge.

    I'm just curious to hear from others about the possible connections between power and hard drive failure. Can we test our power and see what's going on? If we are getting a lot of spikes and dropouts, is it fair to say with much degree of certainty that this is the cause of our problems?

    If so, we can't go putting a full UPS system on every PC in the office, but I'm sure we also want more than a $10 Wal-Mart power strip. I've seen some power strips at Best Buy for around $60 which claim to filter noise and also regulate the voltage - is this what we need?

    Thanks in advance,
    Bootie
     
  2. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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    Wayne
    how old are the PC's, its just possible they have all worn out together....

    can you borrow a power monitor - i only know them as a dranitz - they monitor spikes etc.
    I would expect to see other problems on your PC if your getting spikes etc- system crashes - software type problems etc...
     
  3. Bootie

    Bootie Thread Starter

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    They were all (about 25 total) purchased through Dell about 3 years ago. No reason for hard drives to start crapping out in that amount of time, IMO. The hard drives I've had to pull out are all IBM Deskstars - no telling if there is just a problem with that model.

    There may be random crashes that happen which I am not aware of - I'm sure they don't call me for every little thing when a simple re-boot fixes it.

    The first one that went bad gave a DOS message when booting up one day that basically said, "Hard disk error. Make a backup of your data immediately and replace your hard drive."

    The other 2 both gave "NTLDR is missing" errors - I tried all suggestions from Microsoft on those errors and no help - when I tried formatting the drives, they both failed with messages like, "Format incomplete - disk is damaged or unreadable."

    My main problem is that I've got 20+ more PCs that were all purchased together with these others. I'm trying to guess whose is going to go bad next.

    All were previously formatted with FAT32, but I'm using NTFS on the ones I had to replace.
     
  4. etaf

    etaf Moderator

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  5. Brian666

    Brian666

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    This may sound "strange," but just having lost 6 hard drives in two separate machines, and nobody can explain why, it may have some bearing.

    My problem SEEMS to have been caused by bad Ethernet cards. I had the problem about 18 months ago and determined, by process of elimination, that it was indeed a bad Ethernet card. When I replaced it the problem went away.

    Then, just recently, it re-occurred in another machine. It finally dawned on me to try the elimination process again, and sure enough, it appeared that the fault was with the Ethernet card. Just to prove my theory, I used an entirely different machine that ran OK. I then put the suspect Ethernet card in that second machine and promptly destroyed the hard drive. Not content, I tried it yet again and ruined other drives that previously had run OK.

    In the first instance, the card was a no-name brand from Taiwan and had something called ASOUND software with it. The second was a Siemens SpeedStream 1020 PCI 10/100 Ehernet Adapter.

    I've replaced the "bad" card with a new one from Belkin. So far, for several days, it seems to perform correctly and didn't eat my hard drive.

    This information may or may not be useful, but it's a place to start.
     
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