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Solved: 2nd SATA drive having problems

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Gram123, May 1, 2010.

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  1. Gram123

    Gram123 Thread Starter

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    Hello,
    I had the following spec PC:

    Acer Aspire SA90
    320Gb Hitachi HDT725032VLA380 SATA hard drive, partitioned into C: & D:
    Intel Duo Core E4500 2.2Ghz processor
    2 x 500Mb memory
    Windows Vista SP2

    Everything was ok with it, but it was a little slow and I was running out of disk space, so I recently replaced the existing memory with 2 x 1Gb memory Transcend PC2-5300 DDR2-667 memory strips, and added a second hard drive, a 500Gb Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS internal 3.5" SATA-300. I connected the new HD to the motherboard with a cheapo SATA data cable.

    Shortly after installing these, I copied my entire iTunes library to the new drive, and set about ripping tons of my cds to the new drive, with the aim of checking through them to decide what I wanted on my iPod. There's barely anything else on the new (E: ) drive.

    Then the problems began. On booting, the PC would sometimes be absolutely fine, and on other occasions, the E: drive would be missing under Computer. Other times, it would be visible, but without the free space and disc size noted, and if I double-clicked to open it, it was say drive not found, or not formatted.
    On such occasions, I'd reboot, and lo and behold, the drive had returned.

    Then I noticed that when I connected my iPod to the PC, sometimes, it would have problems syncing all the tracks, and some would have exclamation marks next to them. Checking the locations of the files, I'd find they were either completely missing, or corrupt.
    When I rebooted the PC, the corrupt files would return to normal (i.e. they'd no longer be corrupt, leading me to believe they were never really "corrupt" in the first place), though the missing files would not return, so I'd have to copy them from the CDs again, or from an old copy of the iTunes library.

    During these irregular problems, sometimes CHKDSK ("One of your drives needs checking for consistency") would run at bootup, always finding no problems at all.

    Then, disaster struck, CHKDSK decided that a huge number of my audio files were "orphaned", and they got automatically deleted. I thought the CHKDSK sweep was going to be the same as usual, and so I let it run, but then all these "orphaned file deleted" messages flew by, and when the PC booted up, about half my tracks on iTunes had exlamation marks (approx 4,000 songs), plus about half of the other tracks I'd ripped to the drive had also disappeared (maybe another 1,000 songs). Recovering all this stuff is enormous pain, and very time consuming. I tried using SpinRite first, but it didn't seem to recover any of the files.

    I picked up a better standard SATA data cable, hoping this would be the answer, but it was not. I'm still getting the E: drive not appearing under Computer on occasion, and I'm still getting the occasional songs missing from iTunes. Now if CHKDSK runs, it alarms me, and I need to know if I should stop it from running in the few seconds it gives you on boot. I'm still using this hard drive, but there so many files on there, that I don't know for certain if a handful of songs here and there might have been deleted at some point and I don't know about it. I can't afford this to happen, as I don't have the time to keep re-copying songs to the drive!

    Moreover, I need to know what's causing the problems and what I can do to stop them?
    Could it be a problem with the PSU not having a large enough output? Or a dodgy MB? Or is it a problem with crappy Acer PCs generally?
    Should I flash the BIOS, as I saw suggested elsewhere? I've downloaded the official file from the Acer site to do so, but it comes with a warning saying it could cause me more problems, so I'm very cautious.

    I really wish I'd gone with my initial plan to get an external USB HD, as I'm sure I wouldn't be experiencing these problems if I had....

    Any help, as always, is much appreciated.
     
  2. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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  3. Gram123

    Gram123 Thread Starter

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    When I try to run the test, I get:

    Please check the drive cable.

    DRIVE CABLE ERROR
    ERROR / STATUS CODE: 0219

    I'm assuming this measn the data cable rather than the power cable. If it was a problem with the power cable, surely it wouldn't even see the drive.
    After receiving this error, I've booted back to Windows twice. On both occasions, the drive is visible under Computer, and it is accessible / operational. So there can't be a cable error, can there? Or is it possible that there is some sort of cable error, but it's not sufficient problem to stop data being read from the drive in Windows?!

    As mentioned in my first post, I am already onto my second data cable.
     
  4. Mumbodog

    Mumbodog

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    All I can suggest at this point is to try another data cable.

    .
     
  5. Gram123

    Gram123 Thread Starter

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    As I don't have another new SATA data cable to hand, I figured I'd just try and swap the cables over - I know that the data cable which connects the original hard drive to the MB is ok, as it has worked without problem for the last 2 years. So that cable is now connecting the new hard drive to the MB.

    I rebooted, and again I get the same error code:

    Please check the drive cable.

    DRIVE CABLE ERROR
    ERROR / STATUS CODE: 0219

    So this suggests that there's either a fault with the MB / connector, or for some reason the software isn't working as expected.
     
  6. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Get a USB External Enclosure .. or a USB adapter ... and install your HDD ...
    Then you'll know if it's the Drive/Cable or not .. or maybe your power supply.

    Something like one of These enclosures ... or These adapters

    If the drive is bad and you need to replace the drive ... I'd go with the WD Black series ... 5 year warranty.
    My new drives are the WD Blacks and SATA 6GB/sec (backwards compatible) w 64mb cache.
     
  7. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    I am wondering if this could be the cause of your problem. This is from the specs on your system.
    Next remember data you do not have at least two copies of is data you do not care about. If your music, data, whatever files are important to you, you will back them up. This way if there is a problem with the drive, it takes all of a few min to restore an image backup.

    Note a bios flash may or may not give you the ability to access large hard drives. You need to know the fixes contained in the bios update.
     
  8. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    This restriction wouldn't apply to a larger HD in a USB external enclosure .. Would it ??
     
  9. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    No, it should not. Since the usb interface has its own controller, the only limit would be an os limit. He had a 320gig drive so there should not be a windows problem.

    I would think it is a limitation of the sis chipset on his mb. Sis has always been problematic at best.
     
  10. Gram123

    Gram123 Thread Starter

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    I did as Noyb suggested and picked up a USB HD enclosure. It's slightly different from the ones you suggested, but I found one here in the UK that had a case fan (most don't seem to), which wasn't too costly.

    I've restarted the machine a handful of times since connecting the now "enclosed" HD, and all has been fine so far. The HD is running as expected, appearing under My Computer each time after reboot (and with the drive size noted), no CHKDSK errors at boot as yet.

    crjdriver - I'm hoping you're right, that the spec of my system simply wasn't good enough to support the 500Gb SATA. I'll keep an eye on it over the next week.

    Well, the files on the drive were from two sources - a copy of my original iTunes folder, plus music ripped from 100 or so CDs. So technically I did have 2 copies of almost everything - either in the old copy of my iTunes library on the D: drive, or on CD. The only exceptions were a handful of podcasts and stuff I'd downloaded, which I had to re-download.
    Contrary to what you suggest, though, the process of re-ripping all that music from the CDs and copying 4,000 randomly lost, non-contigious songs from my old copy of iTunes to the new one, was far from a simple task and took much, much longer than "a few minutes".
    Nevertheless, I'm on top of it now, and hopefully everything will be ok now.

    Oh, one thing - I tried running the Western Digital Diagnostics disc again, and it said "no WD hard drive found". Will this be because it's now in an enclosure, and connected by USB?
    It's still showing as a WD under Device Manager (WDC WD50 00AAKS-00V1A0 USB Device).

    Anyhoo, cheers guys.
     
  11. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    What I refer to is an image backup of the drive. It takes just a few min to restore an image. With the price of hard drives SO cheap now AND the fact that macrium gives away a free version of their imaging software, IMO there is no excuse for the lack of a backup image.

    I use acronis true image rather than macrium however I can say acronis has saved me a LOT of time over the years.
     
  12. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Other than the cost of an External Hard Drive to store the Backup images in .. But It's Cheap insurance.
    There are only two types of Computers made nowadays ..
    Those that have failed or got corrupted .. And those that will
     
  13. Maalox

    Maalox

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    For the data cable error with WDLG, the version you have is probably v.1.1.3, which is known to be buggy - it always gives that error. Try version 1.2.1 instead.

    You might want to review this thread about orphaned files. They are probably still there somewhere: http://forums.techguy.org/windows-7/919730-fixing-recovered-good-ntfs-data.html#post7354512 I was able to recover all of the orphaned files, actually branches, by searching the file system with wildcards (*.* etc.) and tracking back towards the annihilated root folder as far as possible. Once I copied them onto a new volume, they were just fine.
     
  14. Gram123

    Gram123 Thread Starter

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    Well, almost 3 weeks have gone by, and all is well with the hard drive now it is in an enclosure and connected via USB, so I'm gonna mark this solved.

    Cheers guys.
     
  15. crjdriver

    crjdriver Moderator

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    Glad it is working for you(y)
     
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