External HDD Prob's - After PC Crash!

By MobiTec ยท 13 replies
Jul 23, 2006
  1. Hi Guys 'n' Girls

    I Have a Seagate Barracuda 200GB HDD in an External IcyBox which i mainly use for file storage...

    the other night my Pc crashed on me, BSOD!! (Believed to be some sort of
    RAM Prob.. not been able to solve issue yet, even though RAM has been
    replaced 3 times..) ANYWAY!...

    When i went to boot up my PC i loaded everything up, and went to turn on
    my IcyBox with my 200GB Hdd in (Plug and Play), Flicked the switch at the
    back and after about 10 Sec's i heard this "Beep!" and saw the lights on my HDD go OFF!

    I was curious so i waited, and it seemed to be trying to load up, then failing
    so i looked on "My Computer" to see if it was showing and it wasn't there..
    a couple of seconds later it appeared, after 8-10 retries and "Beeps!"

    i tried to access it and i was having difficoulty getting into it to see my files..
    and it seemed to really put a lag on the speed of my PC (Normally it is pritty instant)

    I thought i was going to loose ALL my files on it.. (near enough full.. 184GB)
    So i right clicked on the property's and ran the "Check Disk" facility, seemed
    to either have No errors, or freeze 3/4 of the way through, but whilst it was
    checking it would keep "Beeping!" and kept trying to Re-load..

    I'm in a bit of a muddle on what to do, as i dont want to loose all my files,
    (a lot of hard work and time went in to organising it)

    Can anyone shed any light on how i can solve it, or any idears on what to
    i believe my HDD has a 5 yr Warranty so that can be a last resort but i would
    prefer not to send it off.. if it can be solved without loosing or transfering files

    Thank You

    Ps, in the meantime i have ordered a 320GB Seagate Beasty to backup onto if all else fails..
    oh and i've attached a recording of the sound and the "Beeps", if anyone finds it usefull..
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Try the external drive on another computer if it runs fine then you know your system is the problem. Also check the voltages on the rails on our PSU. erratic or out of spec voltages can casue the problems you are describing.
  3. MobiTec

    MobiTec TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Hi iss.

    thanks for your reply, but i dont have another Pc, and i'm not sure how to check the PSU voltages,
    so if you can give me a little more guidance on that, it would be helpfull....

  4. MobiTec

    MobiTec TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Ive just discovered something else...

    I turned my PC off, and left my External HDD on, and it suddenly started to work..
    left it for 5 min and NOT 1 Beep!!
    when to switch PC back on and my PC wouldn't Boot and my IcyBox started to Beep again..

    turned IcyBox off and PC booted fine..

    i think there must be some sort of conflict but i dont know what...
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    To rule out drive failure (although I haven't seen your exact troubles due to a failing hard drive), I would remove the drive from the enclosure and install inside your computer. From here, we can run a nice, reliable test. Might I suggest running the most fitting diagnostic(s) listed here: https://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7602.html

    Run the diagnostic (FULL test) a few times and see if it works. At least this way we can check the drive and make sure it is still working okay.

    If the drive checks out OK, then the enclosure should look a bit suspicious. What would be great is if you have a 2nd hard drive (like the one you ordered) and install it inside the enclosure. Do the same errors occur? If yes, then your enclosure is screwed up.

    If no, then there's something very quirky going on.
  6. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    You cna check your voltages with the freeware program, SpeedFan.
  7. MobiTec

    MobiTec TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Here are my SpeedFan Results.. only issue is.. the IcyBox doesn't show on it
    and i think it is because it is "Universal Plug and Play" and connected Via USB


    Thanks for that, i will give that a try.. will it matter that there is no O/S on it?
    will SeaTools still Run??
  8. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    I would say your PSU is the source of the problem. your 3.3V rail is showing 3.86 which is to high. I have on several occasions seen USB device problems ( in each case it was an external hard drive.) when the 3.3V rail was high and or fluctuating. hopefuly it has not damaged your external drive controller. my advice, get a new PSU. ANd I would get one right away, if the PSU fails it can damage computer components.
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    No, it won't matter. Just make sure you don't run any 'repair' options, since repair with manufacturer utilities usually writes zeros across your drive. ;)

    Now, this is a good idea and I say run with it. The only problem with this is USB is 5v only. Anytime 3.3v is supplied by USB (for lower powered devices), the voltage is lowered via a regulator. It is not directly supplied by the PSU.

    I'm not an electronics engineer, but this is what I understand. If you know differently, please correct me with some sources.

    But yeah, anytime the PSU is involved, its very possible to have the symptoms you're having and I think swapping the PSU will be worth trying. The voltages are too high (in my opinion), but I'd by lying if I said I knew what the threshold is for voltage overage and underage etc... Doesn't look good to me though. ;)
  10. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    Yeah I dont know why a too high or fluctuating 3.3V rail causes problems for USB connected hard drives either. I just know from personal experience that it does. I have seen it several times including on one of my own machines just a couple of months ago. had a 420 Watt PSU that had been working great for 3 years suddenly started having unexplained glitches and when I connected a USB hard drive to it the hard drive appeared to be dead. checked the rails and found the 3.3 rail was fluctuating out of spec. replaced the PSU and everything was fine again.
  11. MobiTec

    MobiTec TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks iss & Rick
    You both have been a real help!! ;)

    just a couple more questions before i leave you 2 alone.. hahaha

    1, Does it matter what "Wattage" PSU i get, My PC is a Packard Bell - IMedia 5009
    and currently have a FSP 280W PSU ( Model No : FSP280-60PNA-I (PF) )
    a couple i have been looking at to replace are 450W, 550W, 600W and a 650W

    Will any of these be fine?? If not, What should i be looking for??

    2, I have also been having a lot of BSOD and Freezes, could this stem from the same problem... Faulty PSU??
  12. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    1. on that system more than 450 watts is probably a waste. take a look at the Antec truepower 430 watt PSU's they are quality PSU's.

    2. Yes. AND the BSOD's caused byt he faulty PSU can also cause corruption in the Windows OS.
  13. MobiTec

    MobiTec TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Oh No... just realised i need 1 with a 12v DC socket on for my speakers...

  14. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Yeah, it doesn't make any sense to me either. But what does make sense is you have yourself a power supply which is unstable so anything goes. :haha:

    This should be easily remedied by buying a $10 universal power adapter from a place like Wal-Mart. Are there any additional power specs? Anything around 12v and 1A (1000mA) should be easy to replace. If the amperage is higher, say 2A, then a more expensive power supply may be necessary.

    And I double what ISS said. Your PSU could be causing your random blue screens and just about any other computer problems you've been experiencing.

    Something else to keep in mind is there are two pretty common types of PSUs. ATX and Mini-ATX. Mini-ATX is really common for a lower wattage PSU like yours (280w) and also very common for prefab computers like those from HP, Compaq, Sony and the like. If you haven't already determined it, it will be important for you to find out if the power supply is mATX or ATX so we can make sure it fits properly. :)
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