TechSpot

Problems with 160 GB Maxtor Hard drive

By daddystabz
Sep 26, 2006
  1. It seems I'm not 100% out of the woods just yet. I had a plethora of issues earlier that led to me having to do a recovery/windows reinstall on my computer recently. You can read all about that at this thread: http://www.techspot.com/vb/showthread.php?p=336176#post336176.

    I am now having a strange issue since recovering the computer where it seems that everytime I try to open my G drive, the 160 GB Maxtor hard drive, it freezes up on me. In total I have 4 hard drives on this machine. 2 40 GB drives, 1 160 GB drive and 1 200 GB drive. They are set with a Promise/Raid configuration as per my motherboard...an Asus P4C 800 Deluxe.

    The window that would be showing the contents of the drive will freeze up when I try to explore the contents of the drive through "my computer" and my mouse pointer will intermittetly freeze on the screen several times. I have to try using ctrl+alt+delete to shut it down but most of the time have to hit the reset button on the computer. I sure hope this 160 GB drive isn't trying to fail on me. I've also noticed that when I double click on shortcuts on my desktop that point to programs on that drive also cause this weird freezing issue. This all seemed to start after me recovering the system. The only 2 things I did differently when recovering than what I normally do is that I installed the Promise/Raid configuration AFTER recovery and I changed the defualt file system on the 40 GB drive that is home to windows and not much else. I changed the file system from FAT 32 to NTFS.

    I will try to check out the jumper configuration later and see what to do next. Any help would be greatly appreciated and I thank you all in advance! You are all WONDERFUL!
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,987   +168

    Your systems power supply is probably working beyond it's max output, and is dieing. The 160GB + hard drives get very hot. Heat = lots of current draw. I aso have 4 hard drives, a CD/DVD burner and a DVD ROM. I have a 80GB, 60GB and 2 40GB drives in a Antec server case full tower, with an Antec 350 Watt power supply... The system is over 1 year old
     
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,657   +323

    Read this thread: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7602.html

    Run one of those diagnostic programs on the drive. With those symptoms if the drive really is bad one of those programs will tell you. If it passes those do a chkdsk on it to make sure the file structure isn't screwed up.

    I'm reluctant to say its power supply because apparently it was working fine earlier, and only appeared after a restore.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,987   +168

    But the 160GB wasn't the boot drive was it? Power supplies can fail any time for any reason you know... Was the RAID array lost? With all the different sized drives, I don't think RAID was set up
     
  5. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    My computer is in an Antec server case as well. I love the upgrade room those have. I replaced the default power supply that came with it for a 500 watt power supply. The power supply is pretty new. The problem only arose after recovering my system. I am checking to make sure my mouse or something isn't defective...it is a Microsoft wireless optical mouse, Wireless Laser Mouse 6000. I no longer use the keyboard that came with it because it is horribly inaccurate.

    The 160 GB hard drive that seems to be where the issue is centered is not and never was my boot drive. One of the 40 GBs is the boot disk and I keep pretty much only windows on it for when issues like this stuff occur that force me to recover my system.

    I am currently running 2 40 GB hard drives, 1 160 GB hard drive and 1 200 GB hard drive with 1 CD/DVD burner and a 3 1/2" floppy drive as well. All this is being ran off a 500 watt power supply that is pretty new...not even a year old I think. Also, I had forgotten to set up the Promise/Raid configuration at the time of windows install but went into device manager later after windows was up and running and set it all up afterwards. I also checke the Powermax diagnosis software that Maxtor has but I think it says on the webpage for it that it will not diagnose anything in a Raid configuration.
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,987   +168

    I love Antec cases! Can you move the data off the 160GB and reformat it in Windows? This might correct the freezing...
     
  7. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    That is what I'm thinking I may have to do but it freezes my mouse so much I'm not sure I'd be able to. Also, how can I reformat that extra drive without messing with the drive windows is on? I guess I wouldn't need to do a windows install on it. I'd probably need to do a format g: I'd assume. Or I could probably use the windows drive utility to format the G drive. I just a little while ago went in and was checking my settings in my bios. I noticed one setting had been set to IDE mode. When I changed it to Raid mode and went in 2 of my hard drives disappeared and were not showing up under "my computer." The G drive, the one with this issue, was one of them. I went back into the bios and changed it back to IDE mode and they showed up again. I'm beginning to wonder if the Raid/Promise stuff is set up right. This is such a pain. I really want to save some of the data off the drive.
     
  8. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Any ideas?
     
  9. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,987   +168

    As long as Windows "sees" the 160GB and you can move data to and from it, opposite click on the drive icon in My Computer and select FORMAT... with a little luck, the format will start and NTFS will be the file system. Once the format is complete, move the data back to the 160GB. I do this with all my drives except C the boot drive
     
  10. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    That's exactly what I want to do, but the problem is anytime I try to do anything with that drive the freezing starts and my mouse pointer freezes up and the computer becomes unresponsive...this will happen intermittently with me regaining use of the computer for short periods and then more freezing over and over until I have to hit the reset button.
     
  11. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,987   +168

    Remove the 160GB and see if the freezing stops for a period of time. The drive may even need a "low level" format inorder for it to be "normal" again
     
     
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,657   +323

    What does boot drive have to do with it or what I said? Power supplies can fail anytime yes, but so can hard drives.

    My current guess is something is messed up with the RAID and he'll probably have to start over. But there is still a decent chance something is wrong with the drive. I don't think those diagnostic tools give a crap whether its RAID or not, PowerMax has some drive cloning that may not work with RAID. But the real diagnostic tools are only looking at the integrity of the hard disk itself, not its file structure.
     
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,987   +168

    I was basically asking if the boot drive was involved. If the 160GB drive happened to be the boot drive, it might have been easier to check it, considering that the 160 drive is in a IDE/RAID channel. I've seen "dead" drives come back to life after performing a low level format. Because of where the 160GB drive is mounted, he may not be able to low level it...
     
  14. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,715   +89

    I've tried what you have with 5 Maxtor HDs in the case with 2 USB 2.0 HDDs I had made myself by using storage cases with pwr and USB2 plus the case. Everything was working okay then I couldn't get to the G: drive. but I could get to the H: USB2 drive. I found out that the G: drive had failed.

    I would recommend you taking off that Maxtor 160 and try it on a friends PC or bring it to work. If it works then you know it's not the drive. If it doesn't then you know it's bad. They do go bad. We have 30 of these drives at work. And I can tell you then do go bad and start to act weired where they won't show up.
     
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,987   +168

    "I would recommend you taking off that Maxtor 160 and try it on a friends PC or bring it to work. If it works then you know it's not the drive. If it doesn't then you know it's bad. They do go bad. We have 30 of these drives at work. And I can tell you then do go bad and start to act weired where they won't show up".

    The WD 160GB may fail S.M.A.R.T status, but this is exactly what a low level format might affect positivly. Western Digital has drive testing software that will allow you to write all "0"'s to the drive. Format it normally and use it. If it still acts flakey, replace it
     
  16. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Ok. Thanks for all the great tips. What exactly would a low level format entail? Would it delete all the info I have on the drive and where can I get a pointer guide and software to carry this out? Thanks!
     
  17. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Anyone know?
     
  18. N3051M

    N3051M TS Rookie Posts: 2,800

    low level format will wipe the hdd clean and write 0's on it, to bring it back to near-factory conditions. You will loose everything on that drive.

    Run the diagnostic tool if you can or just hook it up to another PC and see if it reads.. its the easiest option to get your data back or find out if the HDD fault or if its a local problem on your PC.
     
  19. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,987   +168

    Right N3051M,
    In the "old days" a low level format could only be done by the drive manufacturers. Today, a low level format can bring a hard drive back from the dead. I have performed low level formats on 2 of the drives in my system now. They were removed from other systems. I could not do a standard format on these. After the low level format, the drives performed normally
     
  20. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Ok. I will try the preliminary stuff first. Is there a guide to doing these low level formats or does anyone have a link to any place that can help me? I just wish there was some way I could save some of the info on that drive that is important to me. I'll see if it works in my girlfriend's computer. Thanks!
     
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,657   +323

    Why don't you run a full diagnostic test first before you do anything like a low level format. You just said you looked and it said something about not compatable with RAID, then I explained the diagnostic tests don't care at all whether its raided or not.

    No need to go low level formatting anything if you just have a corrupt file system from a botched software raid setup.
     
  22. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Posts: 1,060

    If you have 2 different sized drives in raid, the data capacity is only the size of the smallest drive - could this have something to do with it? I know its a longshot, but it could do!

    Regards,

    korrupt
     
  23. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    a low level format also marks out bad sectors.
     
  24. daddystabz

    daddystabz TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 129

    Which diagnostic tests would you suggest I run? I looked at Maxblast by Maxtor but it states on it that it will not work with a RAID configuration. I also took the drive off and put it in my girlfriend's computer. It showed up but it started freezing her system the way it does mine. There has to be an issue with it. I also now have a problem with it now showing up on my system at all. In IDE mode I can only get 2 hard drives to show up and in RAID mode it shows 3. I am pulling my hair out.
     
  25. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,657   +323

    Maybe you haven't really read my replies. Any of those diagnostic utilities by seagate/western digital/maxtor/hitachi will work. I also told you that they don't care about raid, they are looking at the integrity of the drive not the file structure within. For the love of GOD just run a full SMART test on it.
     
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