Disappearing hard drives


R

rosawood

I have a new computer, custom built, with Windows XP Pro, AMD Athlon 64 x 2
dual core processor, 2GB memory, RAID configuration with two SATA drives, and
two additional hard drives, one a 500 GB SATA drive and one a 160 GB IDE
drive in a removable tray. Here's the problem. Either one or the other--or
both--of the extra hard drives will "disappear". The system doesn't see them
at all. Sometimes this happens after it's been in sleep mode, and sometimes
it happens out of the blue. If I reboot, voila! there they are again.

Does anyone have any idea why this is happening, and how I can fix it?
 
Ad

Advertisements

M

Mark L. Ferguson

In Device Manager, the Properties of the USB Root HUB , or drive Properties
might show a tab with the option to allow the device to be powered down.
(power tab, 'allow this device to be powered down'
 
R

rosawood

The removable drive isn't a USB drive, and the 500GB drive isn't either. The
USB Hub does show that it's allowed to be powered down, but I don't know that
it matters in this instance.
 
M

Mark L. Ferguson

Your 'removable tray' is probably going to have this 'power options' tab in
its properties. Your behaviour is very like a power down.
 
R

rosawood

The correct name is a "mobile rack". The OS sees it as a regular drive.

A little more information since I first posted:
this started after I installed a Seagate 500 GB SATA drive, which I've also
had to reformat. The first time I formatted it, I put it into use, and I was
writing a backup to it. It got about 1/3 of the way through and stopped. No
progress after that, the animation had stopped, though it said it was
writing. Cancel didn't work. I forced a reboot, and the drive was flaky
(when I accessed it, the computer would freeze), so I forced the partition to
go away (kept saying it was in use--I suppose a use bit was still set), and
then reformatted. It seemed okay but I hadn't used it at all. Then today
they both disappeared. I rebooted when I got through with what I was doing,
and it seemed like it was shutting down--and then stopped. Then I did a hard
reboot. It got stuck in various stages (3 reboots). The BIOS didn't show
the 500 GB drive, and showed the IDE drive (in the mobile rack) as a slave
rather than a master. So I powered it down, turned off the removable drive,
and rebooted again. It booted right up, and the 500GB drive was present once
again. So I tried to write to the drive. It started out okay, then in a
minute or two it hung, and after a long time, I had to force a reboot,
because nothing would work at all. Then it wouldn't reboot with that drive
connected. It just sat there looking stupid. making the same funny noises
that it had been making when it wouldn't write. Disconnected it, turned on
the removable drive, and all is well.

I don't know what's going on with the 500GB SATA drives, but I don't think
they're worth the paper to wrap them in for the garbage. I still have the
box. I don't want another one, but maybe something different would work.

I'm going to watch and see if I have any problems with the IDE drive
disappearing.
 
A

Anna

rosawood said:
The removable drive isn't a USB drive, and the 500GB drive isn't either.
The
USB Hub does show that it's allowed to be powered down, but I don't know
that
it matters in this instance.


rosawood:
Just to ensure we understand your present configuration and the precise
problem...

1. There's absolutely no problem with your RAID configuration involving the
SATA HDDs of that configuration, right? The system boots without incident
and functions properly as it involves your RAID configuration. Is that
right? So that the *only* problem you're experiencing is the one you
mentioned involving your two secondary HDDs, right?

2. The two HDDs with which you're experiencing problems are internal
drives - one, the 500 GB HDD and the other 160 GB PATA HDD. The 500 GB drive
is a fixed internal drive while the 160 GB one is a HDD contained in the
removable tray of your mobile rack. Do I have this right?

So there's no USB issue involved here, right?

3. Assuming all the above is correct...
I'm not entirely clear on the specific nature of your problem. Setting aside
any standby/hibernation issues, are you indicating that from time to time,
for no discernable reason, one or both of your secondary HDDs is (are) not
detected by the system? And this occurs even though those drives have been
detected by the system immediately following bootup?

And this problem occurs even when you've disabled standby/hibernation modes?

rosawood:
I was just about to send off the above in response to your original query
when I just noticed your latest post as follows...

rosawood said:
The correct name is a "mobile rack". The OS sees it as a regular drive.

A little more information since I first posted:
this started after I installed a Seagate 500 GB SATA drive, which I've
also
had to reformat. The first time I formatted it, I put it into use, and I
was
writing a backup to it. It got about 1/3 of the way through and stopped.
No
progress after that, the animation had stopped, though it said it was
writing. Cancel didn't work. I forced a reboot, and the drive was flaky
(when I accessed it, the computer would freeze), so I forced the partition
to
go away (kept saying it was in use--I suppose a use bit was still set),
and
then reformatted. It seemed okay but I hadn't used it at all. Then today
they both disappeared. I rebooted when I got through with what I was
doing,
and it seemed like it was shutting down--and then stopped. Then I did a
hard
reboot. It got stuck in various stages (3 reboots). The BIOS didn't show
the 500 GB drive, and showed the IDE drive (in the mobile rack) as a slave
rather than a master. So I powered it down, turned off the removable
drive,
and rebooted again. It booted right up, and the 500GB drive was present
once
again. So I tried to write to the drive. It started out okay, then in a
minute or two it hung, and after a long time, I had to force a reboot,
because nothing would work at all. Then it wouldn't reboot with that
drive
connected. It just sat there looking stupid. making the same funny noises
that it had been making when it wouldn't write. Disconnected it, turned
on
the removable drive, and all is well.

I don't know what's going on with the 500GB SATA drives, but I don't think
they're worth the paper to wrap them in for the garbage. I still have the
box. I don't want another one, but maybe something different would work.

I'm going to watch and see if I have any problems with the IDE drive
disappearing.

It's really hard (at least for me!) to diagnose the problem you're
experiencing from this distance. So I'm kind of groping in the dark as it
were.

Setting aside the 500 GB SATA HDD problem...
Are you now indicating that there's no current problem with your 160 GB PATA
HDD, the one you use in a mobile rack? I'll assume for the moment that's the
case unless you indicate to the contrary. In any event, you're quite sure
you've jumpered that drive as Master and the mobile rack's IDE data cable is
properly connected to your motherboard's primary (or secondary) IDE
connector?

We'll also assume you've properly connected the 500 GB SATA HDD to an
appropriate SATA connector on your motherboard. We'll assume that your
motherboard supports the SATA II data interface (3.0 Gb/sec) and that your
500 GB HDD is, of course, SATA II capable. But just in case your motherboard
does not support SATA II, can you jumper the drive for 1.5 Gb/sec.? I
honestly don't think that's the solution to the problem you're experiencing
but as I've said I'm groping in the dark here.

The other obvious thing to try is to use the diagnostic utility available
from the manufacturer of the drive and check it out for any defects. Have
you done this? (The fact that it may be a brand-new disk is immaterial).
Anna
 
Ad

Advertisements

H

Homer S.

The correct name is a "mobile rack". The OS sees it as a regular drive.

A little more information since I first posted:
this started after I installed a Seagate 500 GB SATA drive, which I've also
had to reformat. The first time I formatted it, I put it into use, and I was
writing a backup to it. It got about 1/3 of the way through and stopped. No
progress after that, the animation had stopped, though it said it was
writing. Cancel didn't work. I forced a reboot, and the drive was flaky
(when I accessed it, the computer would freeze), so I forced the partition to
go away (kept saying it was in use--I suppose a use bit was still set), and
then reformatted. It seemed okay but I hadn't used it at all. Then today
they both disappeared. I rebooted when I got through with what I was doing,
and it seemed like it was shutting down--and then stopped. Then I did a hard
reboot. It got stuck in various stages (3 reboots). The BIOS didn't show
the 500 GB drive, and showed the IDE drive (in the mobile rack) as a slave
rather than a master. So I powered it down, turned off the removable drive,
and rebooted again. It booted right up, and the 500GB drive was present once
again. So I tried to write to the drive. It started out okay, then in a
minute or two it hung, and after a long time, I had to force a reboot,
because nothing would work at all. Then it wouldn't reboot with that drive
connected. It just sat there looking stupid. making the same funny noises
that it had been making when it wouldn't write. Disconnected it, turned on
the removable drive, and all is well.

Hard drives ought not to make funny noises, especially clicking noises. Think about
RMA'ing the drive.

One bad drive can cause havoc with all the other drives in the system, even a bad
CD-ROM drive.

I own two 500GB Seagate Barracuda SATA drives, one internal and one external and
both have performed flawlessly.
 
Ad

Advertisements

R

rosawood

:

rosawood:
Just to ensure we understand your present configuration and the precise
problem...

1. There's absolutely no problem with your RAID configuration involving the
SATA HDDs of that configuration, right? The system boots without incident
and functions properly as it involves your RAID configuration. Is that
right? So that the *only* problem you're experiencing is the one you
mentioned involving your two secondary HDDs, right?

Correct.

2. The two HDDs with which you're experiencing problems are internal
drives - one, the 500 GB HDD and the other 160 GB PATA HDD. The 500 GB drive
is a fixed internal drive while the 160 GB one is a HDD contained in the
removable tray of your mobile rack. Do I have this right?
Right.


So there's no USB issue involved here, right?

Again, right.
3. Assuming all the above is correct...
I'm not entirely clear on the specific nature of your problem. Setting aside
any standby/hibernation issues, are you indicating that from time to time,
for no discernable reason, one or both of your secondary HDDs is (are) not
detected by the system? And this occurs even though those drives have been
detected by the system immediately following bootup?

Right again.
And this problem occurs even when you've disabled standby/hibernation modes?
Hmm. I haven't disable standby, and it *mostly* happens after standby,
though not always.
\
Are you now indicating that there's no current problem with your 160 GB PATA
HDD, the one you use in a mobile rack? I'll assume for the moment that's the
case unless you indicate to the contrary. In any event, you're quite sure
you've jumpered that drive as Master and the mobile rack's IDE data cable is
properly connected to your motherboard's primary (or secondary) IDE
connector?
I thought that was the case, but it seems I do have a problem with that one,
once it goes into standby and then wakes up again.
We'll also assume you've properly connected the 500 GB SATA HDD to an
appropriate SATA connector on your motherboard. We'll assume that your
motherboard supports the SATA II data interface (3.0 Gb/sec) and that your
500 GB HDD is, of course, SATA II capable. But just in case your motherboard
does not support SATA II, can you jumper the drive for 1.5 Gb/sec.? I
honestly don't think that's the solution to the problem you're experiencing
but as I've said I'm groping in the dark here.
Brand new motherboard, SATA II compliant, as is the HDD.
The other obvious thing to try is to use the diagnostic utility available
from the manufacturer of the drive and check it out for any defects. Have
you done this? (The fact that it may be a brand-new disk is immaterial).
Anna
I haven't done that as yet. This is the second HDD in a month, and this is
the replacement for the first bad one. The thought crossed my mind that I
should have made note of the S/N--but I didn't.I'm going to be running some tests on Monday, and hopefully that will give
me more clues. I'll also shut down standby mode and see if that eliminates
the problem; but then, that sets up another problem--that I can't use standby
mode.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top