Phantom drive with errors fixed itself?


N

nalayar

Hi to all.

I just had a strange problem fix itself, and wondered if anyone had
any idea how it happened.

I'm running Vista Home Premium with SP1 and keep it updated. Mobo is
an MSI K9N Platinum with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 CPU with 2G of RAM,
in a Thermaltake Matrix case with a 750W Toughpower power supply.
I had a shutdown problem where the computer got to "Shutting Down" and
never seemed to finish, and as I wanted to get to bed, I shut down the
power.
The next day, the system took a long time to boot, but finally did. I
looked in Drive Management as I wanted to see that all the drives were
okay, and a Disk 2 showed up, unallocated. It was exactly the same
size as my Disk L: which is a WD Mybook (500G).
I then thought that by shutting off the computer that night, I somehow
did something to the Mybook drive, although another entry showed it
healthy in Drive Management.
After this for several days, I went through a convoluted sequence to
boot. I saw that when first turning on the system, the BIOS gave me an
error for this phantom disk 2; I had to wait until the system wanted
to check the disk for errors, cancel it, wait for the system to load
Windows (which it did but not the icons), and then reset the computer,
and then wait again for Windows to load...all told about 30 minutes.

I Googled "phantom hard drives" and found that this can happen when
installing more than one printer with a card reader.....which I just
did! I had an HP...and also installed an Epson, and both have card
readers.
I removed the Epson using the Control Panel, but the computer still
took forever to come up, using my sequence above. I figured I'd have
to reformat...pull all the USB drives, disconnect the other hard
drives, reformat, and re-install Vista.

Suddenly, on Thursday, I turned on the computer, heard several clicks,
and the system booted fine....probably in less than a minute. Drive
Management does not show the phantom disk 2 anymore, and all the other
drives show healthy.

How could this fix itself? And what could the clicks be....I hear them
when I push in the power button...maybe three or four in a row...and
then nothing, and several seconds later....a couple more, and then no
more until I power on again. The clicks seem too loud to come from one
of the hard disks.

Sorry for being so long, but this is a strange one for me...any
insight would be much appreciated.

Thank you.
 
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N

nalayar

Hi to all.

I just had a strange problem fix itself, and wondered if anyone had
any idea how it happened.

I'm running Vista Home Premium with SP1 and keep it updated. Mobo is
an MSI K9N Platinum with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 CPU with 2G of RAM,
in a Thermaltake Matrix case with a 750W Toughpower power supply.
I had a shutdown problem where the computer got to "Shutting Down" and
never seemed to finish, and as I wanted to get to bed, I shut down the
power.
The next day, the system took a long time to boot, but finally did. I
looked in Drive Management as I wanted to see that all the drives were
okay, and a Disk 2 showed up, unallocated. It was exactly the same
size as my Disk L: which is a WD Mybook (500G).
I then thought that by shutting off the computer that night, I somehow
did something to the Mybook drive, although another entry showed it
healthy in Drive Management.
After this for several days, I went through a convoluted sequence to
boot. I saw that when first turning on the system, the BIOS gave me an
error for this phantom disk 2; I had to wait until the system wanted
to check the disk for errors, cancel it, wait for the system to load
Windows (which it did but not the icons), and then reset the computer,
and then wait again for Windows to load...all told about 30 minutes.

I Googled "phantom hard drives" and found that this can happen when
installing more than one printer with a card reader.....which I just
did! I had an HP...and also installed an Epson, and both have card
readers.
I removed the Epson using the Control Panel, but the computer still
took forever to come up, using my sequence above. I figured I'd have
to reformat...pull all the USB drives, disconnect the other hard
drives, reformat, and re-install Vista.

Suddenly, on Thursday, I turned on the computer, heard several clicks,
and the system booted fine....probably in less than a minute. Drive
Management does not show the phantom disk 2 anymore, and all the other
drives show healthy.

How could this fix itself? And what could the clicks be....I hear them
when I push in the power button...maybe three or four in a row...and
then nothing, and several seconds later....a couple more, and then no
more until I power on again. The clicks seem too loud to come from one
of the hard disks.

Sorry for being so long, but this is a strange one for me...any
insight would be much appreciated.

Thank you.


I am replying to my own post....but I counted
the clicks....
there are 5...then 2...then 2.... but everything
boots okay!
Would Spinrite be an appropriate diagnostic
tool to use on these drives? My BIOS supports S.M.A.R.T.
and it is on.

Thank you.
 
A

Arno Wagner

Previously said:
I am replying to my own post....but I counted
the clicks....
there are 5...then 2...then 2.... but everything
boots okay!
Would Spinrite be an appropriate diagnostic
tool to use on these drives? My BIOS supports S.M.A.R.T.
and it is on.

Forget a bout SpinRite. It used to be good...several HDD
generations ago. It is basically worthless today. Get
a SMART tool and run a long SMART selftest. Also look
at the SMART attributes or post them here. The BIOS will
only report a failed SMART status, which, given the
over-optimistic vendor settings in most drives, goes bad
typically far too late.

Arno
 
N

nalayar

Forget a bout SpinRite. It used to be good...several HDD
generations ago. It is basically worthless today. Get
a SMART tool and run a long SMART selftest. Also look
at the SMART attributes or post them here. The BIOS will
only report a failed SMART status, which, given the
over-optimistic vendor settings in most drives, goes bad
typically far too late.

Arno


Thanks for the reply....what in your opinion makes
Spinrite worthless (not trying to start a war here...
but I'm curious as it lists for $89.00 on Gibson's
website).
I Googled SMART tool and all I got was a bunch
of websites about hand tools. Can you recommend
one or two please.
I'm going to look at the WD diagnostic program from
their website; see if there's any tools there I could use.

Thanks again...
 
R

Rod Speed

(e-mail address removed) wrote
Thats unlikely to be a coincidence.

Its normally better to try a restore point since before the install of the printers.

And if that doesnt fix the problem, try a repair install, before a clean install.

Presumably its getting its brain scrambled about drives due to the card readers.

There isnt much else that clicks much.

Nope, no evidence of a drive problem and spinrite is snake oil.

Its unlikely that a drive problem has shown up at the same time you
installed the printer, and given that others have seen problems with
those printers with card readers, its likely thats the problem.

A SMART report on the drives would eliminate the drives but you cant always get a SMART report on a USB drive.
Thanks for the reply....what in your opinion makes
Spinrite worthless (not trying to start a war here...
but I'm curious as it lists for $89.00 on Gibson's website).

Its what he lives off. Doesnt make it worthwhile.
I Googled SMART tool and all I got was a bunch of websites
about hand tools. Can you recommend one or two please.

I like Everest myself. The free one wont see the USB drive but the paid one may do.
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=4181
I'm going to look at the WD diagnostic program from
their website; see if there's any tools there I could use.

Yes, that should work.
 
A

Arno Wagner

Previously said:
Forget a bout SpinRite. It used to be good...several HDD
generations ago. It is basically worthless today. Get
a SMART tool and run a long SMART selftest. Also look
at the SMART attributes or post them here. The BIOS will
only report a failed SMART status, which, given the
over-optimistic vendor settings in most drives, goes bad
typically far too late.

Arno

Thanks for the reply....what in your opinion makes
Spinrite worthless (not trying to start a war here...
but I'm curious as it lists for $89.00 on Gibson's
website).[/QUOTE]

SpinRite used to do test-patterns that created
worst-case scenarios for the on-disk bit placement.
That was with MFM and RLL encoding. These encodings
are not sued anymore today and the test-patterns are
useless. In addition, disks today to maximum-likelyhood
decoding, which also prevents the approach of
SpinRite from working.

In addition, disks today can test themselves with
good precision. They can also report on thery own
state with reasonable accuracy by the SMART
attributes. SpinRite is basically a waste of money,
but it seems there are enough suckers out there
to keep the business going.
I Googled SMART tool and all I got was a bunch
of websites about hand tools. Can you recommend
one or two please.

I use the smartmontools (commandline for Linux,
but a Windows port is available). Some people
like Everest.
I'm going to look at the WD diagnostic program from
their website; see if there's any tools there I could use.

Possibly only things that give you a good/bad result
but nothing in between (wouldn't do for the customer
to call support ans start asking questions....).
Thanks again...

No problem.

Arno
 
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N

nalayar

SpinRite used to do test-patterns that created
worst-case scenarios for the on-disk bit placement.
That was with MFM and RLL encoding. These encodings
are not sued anymore today and the test-patterns are
useless. In addition, disks today to maximum-likelyhood
decoding, which also prevents the approach of
SpinRite from working.

In addition, disks today can test themselves with
good precision. They can also report on thery own
state with reasonable accuracy by the SMART
attributes. SpinRite is basically a waste of money,
but it seems there are enough suckers out there
to keep the business going.


I use the smartmontools (commandline for Linux,
but a Windows port is available). Some people
like Everest.


Possibly only things that give you a good/bad result
but nothing in between (wouldn't do for the customer
to call support ans start asking questions....).


No problem.

Arno


Thanks again for your input. Both Arno and Rod Speed
recommended Everest, so I bought the Ultimate Edition and will run
the SMART diagnostics (a very reasonable $35.00 in my opinion).

I want to thank both of you for your help. I can remember Usenet
before if became a SPAM dump (early 80's), but it's nice to see that a
few newsgroups are still viable and useful.

Thanks again.
 
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A

Arno Wagner

Previously said:
SpinRite used to do test-patterns that created
worst-case scenarios for the on-disk bit placement.
That was with MFM and RLL encoding. These encodings
are not sued anymore today and the test-patterns are
useless. In addition, disks today to maximum-likelyhood
decoding, which also prevents the approach of
SpinRite from working.

In addition, disks today can test themselves with
good precision. They can also report on thery own
state with reasonable accuracy by the SMART
attributes. SpinRite is basically a waste of money,
but it seems there are enough suckers out there
to keep the business going.


I use the smartmontools (commandline for Linux,
but a Windows port is available). Some people
like Everest.


Possibly only things that give you a good/bad result
but nothing in between (wouldn't do for the customer
to call support ans start asking questions....).


No problem.

Arno

Thanks again for your input. Both Arno and Rod Speed
recommended Everest, so I bought the Ultimate Edition and will run
the SMART diagnostics (a very reasonable $35.00 in my opinion).[/QUOTE]
I want to thank both of you for your help. I can remember Usenet
before if became a SPAM dump (early 80's), but it's nice to see that a
few newsgroups are still viable and useful.

Many people here give good advice (even Rod does pretty well
these days). There are a few tolls, both old and new, as
in any respectable newsgroup...

Arno
 

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