Author Topic: Finding bad hard drive  (Read 1940 times)

Offline atsmob2112

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Finding bad hard drive
« on: Dec 27, 2009, 12:35 AM »
I am suffering from a problem of determining the cause of multiple BSOD failures on my new build. Just prior to each crash I hear the "clicking" noise coming from my hard drives and then at some point in the next 10 min the system goes down. Problem is I don't have just one drive...or two...or three: I have six drives. Two are set up in a raid 1 (500GB SGx2; which holds the operating system and most .exec files), the others are in a raid 0 setup (1.5TB SGx4; this raid 0 is used for large work files). All data is backed up on an external/off site storage site and other assessable computers so there is not much worry about important files being lost/restored. What I need, or would like, is a way of determining which drive is bad so I don't have to go through and remove each one and see what happens; this seems like a nightmare to me. I wonder if it's even a bad drive. Does the clicking noise mean anything else?
 
So my question is. Is there a diagnostic tool out there that will help me determine which drive is the malfunctioning one? Or at least some advice on how to track this down without wasting time on a steep learning curve. I've tried to include extra information at the bottom in the hope that it will help.
Any help is appreciated

My system is:
OS: Vista home premium 64-bit
MB: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P
HD's: SG Barracuda SATA, 500 GB x 2 (raid 1); SG Barracuda SATA, 1.5 TB (raid 0)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Yorkfield 2.83GHz 12MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Quad-Core Processor
Ram: Ballistix (8GB) PC2-6400, DDR2-800
VID: EVGA 896-P3-1255-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16
PS: CyberPower Intelligent LCD Series GreenPower UPS CP1350AVRLCD 1350 VA 810 Watts
« Last Edit: Dec 27, 2009, 12:43 AM by atsmob2112 »

Offline Bill

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #1 on: Dec 27, 2009, 05:41 AM »
Most HD manufacturers have a diagnostic program to test the health of their drives.  Check out the SG web site.  And, welcome to Poasters.

Bill
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Offline scuzzy

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #2 on: Dec 27, 2009, 09:56 AM »
The BSOD you're receiving may not be associated with the hard drive, but with the RAM.

I suggest that you download and run Memtest86. If you find problems with the RAM, you'll need to run Memtest86 again with only one stick of RAM at a time.

Bill's suggestion to use the hard drive manufacturer's diagnostic software is also a good idea.

Lastly, double check to make sure that every component and cable is fully seated in your motherboard. This is a common error with new builds. Don't make any assumptions - remove each component/cable one by one and fully reseat it. Sometimes it can be difficult to properly seat certain cards, RAM, etc.
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Offline atsmob2112

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #3 on: Dec 27, 2009, 10:25 PM »
I wondered if it could be a bad RAM stick as well. I will take your suggestion and let you know how it turns out. Good thing I've got some time off from work so I don't have to rush through the process.

Offline atsmob2112

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #4 on: Dec 27, 2009, 11:37 PM »
So I tried using the Memtest86, and Memtest86+ but it doesnt work with a 64 bit OS according to windows. Any other ideas?

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #5 on: Dec 28, 2009, 12:45 AM »
You'll need to create a boot cd and run Memtest before Windows loads. Go to the download page and download the ISO for creating a bootable CD. Once you've created the CD, reboot the computer with the CD in place and Memtest will run.
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline atsmob2112

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #6 on: Dec 30, 2009, 01:10 PM »
I Got it to work and the test came back with 76K errors. I don't even know if that is a lot? I assume this means a track down and replacement of some bad RAM caerds? I appreciate your advice in all this.

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #7 on: Dec 30, 2009, 01:26 PM »
This means that you have one or more bad RAM modules. You'll need to run the test again - one module at a time - to find out which one(s) is/are giving you problems.
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline atsmob2112

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #8 on: Dec 30, 2009, 01:32 PM »
Will do, and I'll let you know the results. Thank you very much for all the help!

Offline atsmob2112

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #9 on: Dec 31, 2009, 05:50 PM »
So I've run the test on each possible combination of the RAM sticks and I get errors on all of them. By my math that means that at least three must be bad, and I was wondering how likely that is? or if I should be looking for a problem that would cause this outcome before I replace the RAM and find myself with the same problem again. I was wondering if maybe it could be the motherboard in any way that you may know, or any other ideas. Anything would be much appreciated.

Offline scuzzy

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #10 on: Dec 31, 2009, 06:10 PM »
If each one had errors, then all three are bad. Yes, it happens. If you bought them as a set, then they were made in the same batch.
Antec Performance TX640B Case | WinXP Pro SP3 & Win7 64-bit | Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R | Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale LGA 775 3.16GHz Dual-Core | 8GB (4x2GB) PC6400 G-Skill RAM | eVGA 7600GT 256MB PCI-E | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 16MB Cache | 74GB WD Raptor SATA 8MB Cache | 320GB Seagate Barracuda SATA 16MB Cache | External 640GB WD Caviar SATA 32MB Cache | Sony DRU-V200S DVD/RW | PC Power & Cooling Silencer 500W | Samsung SyncMaster 2494 (24") LCD Monitor | LG Flatron W2361V (23") LCD Monitor

Offline atsmob2112

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #11 on: Dec 31, 2009, 11:52 PM »
Thanks for all the help. I've requested an RMA from Crucial and will replace the RAM as soon as it's all cleared. I'll stop bumping this thread to the top and start a new one with any updates or other questions. Thanks again! take care

Offline Chandler

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #12 on: Jan 01, 2010, 02:13 AM »
Have you checked the memory voltage in the BIOS? Most memory sticks are 1.8V or 1.9V, but there are some which run at 2.0V. Check to see what your Ballistix memory should be running at - some of those modules require 2.0V whereas motherboards usually default to 1.8V or 1.9V.

Offline atsmob2112

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #13 on: Jan 03, 2010, 02:38 PM »
I checked the specs on the RAM and they stated a 2.0V, just as you guessed the BIOS defaulted to 1.8V. I manually switched it to 2.oV, and so far no system crashes even under heavy loads. I am thinking I should replace the RAM anyway, if there is any chance that using a low voltage may have caused damage for the 2 months that it was set incorrectly

Offline pat

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #14 on: Jan 03, 2010, 02:44 PM »
Try running the tests again with the new voltage setting, if you still get errors then replace the ram.

My experience with Crucial RMA service has been very good, but you will be without ram if you send it in all at once.
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Offline Buffalo2102

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Re: Finding bad hard drive
« Reply #15 on: Jan 05, 2010, 04:03 AM »
A low voltage wont have caused any damage.  As PAT says, if they pass the tests at the correct voltage then you will be fine.
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