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Old April 14th, 2006, 10:05 AM   #1
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My 2nd hard drive disappeared!

When I tried to play back a WAV file I had just ripped to my D: drive (WD 120GB SATA w/8MB buffer), Windows Media Player froze up and my system halted. When I closed everything down in Task Manager, my D: drive no longer appeared in My Computer. Upon rebooting, the computer froze up on the POST screen. When I disconnect the problematic drive, my PC boots up normally. When I reconnect the D: drive, computer doesn't boot properly -- it freezes on the BIOS splash screen, and pressing neither Tab (to display POST) nor Delete (to enter Setup) gets a response. Pressing the Reset button a few times sometimes gets me booted into Windows, but the D: drive is missing.

Is that hard drive dead, or did something go wrong in the BIOS? All I did was rip a song from a CD, which I do frequently for making music videos. Since I didn't change anything in the BIOS, I think the problem is either a dead drive, bad SATA cable, or faulty SATA controller chip on my motherboard. Can you think of anything else or recommend a course of action? Right now, I plan to take the machine in for a diagnostic test because I'm too busy at work to mess with this. I just need it fixed. I have three active projects on that drive!!!

P4 2.8C (socket 478)
1GB DDR400
Foxconn Intel 865 motherboard w/integrated 5.1 audio, LAN, and Firewire
2 x 120GB WD SATA drives
Lite-on DVD+/-RW
eVGA Nvidia FX5200 dual head video w/128MB
Windows XP Home, SP1a
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Old April 14th, 2006, 11:03 AM   #2
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You should have a WD disk that came with your drive that you can boot to, off your optical drive. Boot off of that and see if that software sees the drive.

I used the recovery disk from them awhile back to repair a drive that windows couldnt' repair. WD has pretty decent tech support so if all else fails give them a ring.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #3
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fried hard drive

Thanks for the reply, Steven. Simple problem: dead hard disk. Luckily, I had no client projects on that drive. Last night I replaced it with a Seagate 300GB SATA w/16MB cache for $115. As suggested by the technician at my computer store, I spaced the hard drives farther apart to avoid heat pockets, but I don't think heat was a factor. If it was, wouldn't the upper drive (my boot drive) have been the one damaged, because heat rises?
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Old April 18th, 2006, 12:54 PM   #4
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Not necessarily. It depends on the available air-flow in the box. How old was the drive, and do you run your box 24/7? Is your fan working? Predicting drive failure is not worth the effort. Rather than wait, I typically replace the system drives after one year of use (I have two, one for boot and apps and the other for supports and data). Video and project drives with intermittent use usually last about two. I have seven drives in my Dell 650, and I have the box cracked open to keeps things cool.

You could add a removeable HD carraige to your PC to house your second hard drive. The chassis part that fits into the computer will have it's own fan, so you'll benefit from extra cooling for that drive.

You could also add a seperate hard drive cooler, at the exspense of taking up a bay, and additional noise. Otherwise, it's best you keep backups of your daily work.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 01:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Borek
Thanks for the reply, Steven. Simple problem: dead hard disk. Luckily, I had no client projects on that drive. Last night I replaced it with a Seagate 300GB SATA w/16MB cache for $115. As suggested by the technician at my computer store, I spaced the hard drives farther apart to avoid heat pockets, but I don't think heat was a factor. If it was, wouldn't the upper drive (my boot drive) have been the one damaged, because heat rises?

Tim I bought this a while back when I built my NLE. http://www.antec.com/uk/support_prod...p?ProdID=81800

This has two large fans in it, I have a total of 8 internals and it stays cool a cucumber with nothing more than stock cooling. I have a total of 4 or is it 5 fans in it, I can't remember.

Sometimes drives just die. Some of your modern boards comes with software to monitor temperature. If not, then there is third party software that you can get even for free that will monitor all kinds of things.

I wouldn't sweat trying to figure out exactly what happened, but make sure you are cautious from now on about heat, power surges etc.
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Old April 18th, 2006, 04:29 PM   #6
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don't even try to run an hdd without a fan blowing air across it somehow... i just built a pc that has a 120mm fan in the front of the case, and the hdd's mount sideways, right in front of it: http://www.ultraproducts.com/product...&productID=411

$50 after the rebate, on sale at radioshack.com, with free shipping.

the thing about a big fan like that is that some of 'em turn slower, which makes 'em less noisy than a small fan that turns faster... the smaller fan on the back of the power supply is louder than the 120mm fan in the front of the case.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 02:45 PM   #7
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Ultra

Dan, that Ultra case is awesome! I might get the one with 500W power supply for me next DIY box. The price is definitely right.

As for HDD cooling, my PC has no intake fan in the front. I do, however, have these:
stock Intel fan over P4 2.8 Northwood CPU
80mm side-mount intake fan offset above the CPU
80mm rear-mounted exhaust fan
80mm intake fan on bottom of power supply
80mm exhaust fan on back power supply

70F outside air is pulled through the side of the case and blown over CPU, AGP, and PCI card. The heated air is blown out the back through the case exhaust fan and through the power supply at the top of the case. With those five fans, my case never gets hotter than 33C. At idle (with hard drives spinning), the CPU temp is 29C and the case temp is 23C. While rendering, the CPU maxes out at 48C but under normal workload it stays under 45C. (Note: I work in a basement studio, where the temperature is a constant 70F year round. Ambient air is much hotter on the second floor of my house.)

That PC was built for me by at my recently closed PC Club franchise, and because they catered mainly to gamers with high-performance PCs, I trusted them to tell me if anything was missing. I guess that was a mistake. My case does have a slot for a front intake fan, but it's down at the very buttom beneath the drive cages, so any fan wouldn't blow directly across the drives anyway.

Here's the case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811182532

I don't plan to give this any more thought -- not until my boot drive fails :) -- but if the time comes to build a new NLE machine, I will pass over the $40 specails and buy one with improved HDD cooling.
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Old April 19th, 2006, 03:10 PM   #8
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i have an old pc server case that i paid $500 for, many years ago, and it has that same fan arrangement down at the bottom of the case, where it's not blowing on anything.

the other thing about the ultra case is that it has an adjustable funnel right above the cpu fan, that's ported to the outside of the case, and you can feel the cool air being drawn into the open end of the funnel.

it was the hdd mounting arrangement that sold me on it, tho... it looks like three hdd's can sit in front of that big 120mm fan, and each one of 'em is in a slide-out, shock-mounted tray.

the biggest negative about the case is the lousy way that the fan attaches to it's snap-in plastic mount, because it's difficult to bolt up the fan to the mount, and i broke off one of the snaps :-/
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