Help understanding SATA and master/slave configuration (laptop)

By RySi · 5 replies
Jun 1, 2011
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  1. Ok here is my issue. I will appreciate any help I can get. If this topic has been done before I apologize and ask that you all bear with me.

    I owned a laptop. Things went sour eventually and I ended up removing my hard drive from the laptop. I got a new laptop and wanted some extra storage space. Flash drives just weren't working for me as they didn't provide enough gigs for what I wanted to store. I ended up buying an external hard drive kit (Rocket Fish) and put my old hard drive inside of it so that it would function as a USB drive. Things worked out swell for a while until I wanted to clear up the old data from my previous computer. When I tried to delete the old folders with my desktop info and in the folder labeled "Windows" (for example) and it said that I didn't have permission. I got frustrated when I realized that I now had seriously limited storage capacity. Aside form that my "new external hard drive" needed a power source or it would go to sleep. I ended up just buying a regular external (Iomega 500gb) and have it now. It doesn't have an external power source but seems to just turn off randomly or go to sleep which worries me. I have a lot of info on it. (Thats another issue though) I am now resorting back to my Rocket Fish but can't just get the darn thing to be read as a USB and have permission to do whatever I want to on it. Instead I don't have permission to delete any of my old data. I looked up master slave configuration but then realized that my hard drive doesn't have jumpers. Still not sure what those are either. To make a long story short I just want to use my old hard drive as a USB but no one can seem to help me.

    Oh and my hard drive is SATA I think.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    SATA drives don't have a master/slave relationship. So you won't need to mess with jumpers.

    To be able to delete the files you probably need to take ownership of them.
  3. RySi

    RySi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I appreciate the help. I have another question. I have taken control of the individual folders and begun deleting them but this is taking up too much of my time. If I just reformat the hard drive would it then be a clean slate for me use as a usb? It wouldn't somehow reinstall Vista onto it even though its not in a computer anymore would it?
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Sure you can format it. You might want to do it through Disk Management if you want to be sure and take out a restore partition (if there is one).

    Disk Management is located in the Computer Management part of the Administrative Tools control panel. Find your drive there (if you are unsure, having Disk Management open when plugging in the USB will help) and right click on the partition(s) on it and delete. Then recreate a partition setup that you want. You probably just want 1 partition.

    Post back if you have more questions.
  5. RySi

    RySi TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok I formatted my external hard drive in NTFS. I began to format regularly and when it took over eight hours I cancelled it. It then locked me out of my own drive and said:

    "An unexpeccted error has occured. Check the System Event Log for more information on the error. Close the Disk Management console, then restart Disk Management or restart the computer."

    When I tried to access folders inside of it or do a disc check it would display a message saying:

    "The drive cannot find the sector requested"

    I unplugged it from my laptop and when I plugged it back in it let me do a quick format. That worked out fine. I then had a completely free drive which didn't ask for permissions. That was good. I began transferring files to it and then I got another error message and it wouldn't let me access anything again. I unplugged it and since then it has been working fine. Out of curiousity though I went and downloaded a diagnostic check program from Western Digital (the makers of the drive. The results for my main C: drive all turned out fine. For my E: drive though, the one that is the external, it says

    Smart Status: Fail

    Re-allocated Sector Count
    ID: 5
    Value: 118
    Threshold: 140
    Worst: 118
    Warranty: 1

    Also this is from the Help section:

    S.M.A.R.T. is an attempt to predict imminent drive failure by monitoring selected drive performance and calibration characteristics. Each monitored characteristic (Attribute) is used to calculate an Attribute Value. Attribute Values range from 1 to 253 with 1 being worst case, 253 being best case, and 100 being nominal.

    For WD drives, the normalized attribute value will range from 1 to 100 or 1 to 200, depending on the attribute. Error rate, total spin ups, spin up retries and calibration retries attributes are implemented as during normal operation (“on-line”); whereas, Multi-zone Error Rate test is performed “off-line”. This test performs a read-verify-all operation and calculates an error rate. These Attributes are updated and stored on the drive in the reserved area of the disk. Also stored on the drive is a set of Attribute Thresholds that correspond to the calculated Attribute Values. An impending degrading or faulty condition is indicated when the calculated Attribute Value becomes less than or equal to its corresponding Attribute Threshold value.

    I have no idea what this means. My question is will the "Re-allocated Sector Count" contribute to drive failure? Will it function normally? Did this happen because of my format or was there already damage to my drive?
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    The drive is dying. If its less than 3 years old it should be under warranty though. So investigate the RMA process for a WD drive. You should be able to get a new drive of the same size (or at least a recertified one) for free, you just have to send your old one back - but they should cover the shipping.

    So to answer your question - yes it will fail, no it will not function normally, and no you did not cause it.

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