Tough Hard Drive/System Problem

Custom / CUSTOM
February 10, 2009 at 21:37:44
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 2.999 GHz / 3582 MB
So here is the list of what's happening:
Only Happens with 500 Gb hard drive plugged in
Every 1:20 minutes computer stops responding completely for 1:02 exactly every time. At ~45 seconds into working time, computer stops working for less then 5 seconds, then works again for remaining time.
If you go into Windows explorer and click on drive, explorer freezes. Explorer will not end process from task manager. Can get explorer to go away (a.k.a no task bar or windows) and run new instance of explorer but then both are running.
Task Manager not ending any processes very well.
Can access the drive from dos and read the initial folders, but I could not enter any folder. Was able to copy part of a single file, took about 10 minutes, DOS window froze and it didn't copy any more.
With drive plugged in, BIOS usually takes a while to boot.
Have had brand new motherboard, and CPU since problem started.
Once got message: "could not write to file: H:\$mft" this was after the problem started, occurred in normal computer usage, not writing to the drive.
This is not a system drive, there are no windows components on the drive, there is 1 hidden folder with a bunch of letters and numbers for a title. This folder contains Windows media stuff, maybe the DRM stuff, not sure, and not sure why it's on that drive. Other then that there are no other programs on the drive, it is mainly used as a media drive. Was able to go into this folder only.
Can access other drives in the system.
Windows asks to do a checkdisk on the drive whenever it is plugged in. This ends up getting to the beginning of phase 2 and freezing.
Installed Western Digital Diagnostic Tools; ran the comprehensive test, started on the first cluster, after 2 hours still on same cluster with time remaining 16+ hours and counting up. Ended that, tried the simple test, got back a SMART error "03" didn't tell me much.
Also, on the "old' motherboard whenever it booted with the drive plugged in the windows load screen would show up dim, and bar would not move. It would eventually load but took about 20 minutes. Not a problem with the new setup.
Sorry for the novel of problems but I've tried to be thorough with the description of my problem.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am out of ideas.
Thanks,
Nick

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#1
February 11, 2009 at 03:49:48
Sure does sound like the drive is the issue. http://support.wdc.com/techinfo/gen... lists the SMART codes but I don't see 3 listed. Looks like you will need to contact their tech support to find out what error 3 is for that drive.

Silence is golden but duct tape is silver


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#2
February 11, 2009 at 05:47:14
try booting up into a linux live distro and accessing the drive....

Reformat?

Run a disk check tool via bios screen if it has one...


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#3
February 11, 2009 at 07:14:02
Nick,

You could also have a compatability problem.

I'd check with the HD Mfg web site to make sure there aren't any firmware updates available for the drive.

Also, since you mentioned that you have a new motherboard & CPU, I'm assuming you are running the most recent BIOS available?


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Related Solutions

#4
February 11, 2009 at 07:30:04
Nick,
Just found this re: S.M.A.R.T attributes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-M...

This says that "03" is a Spin-Up problem. This would seem to indicate a failing HD...


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#5
February 11, 2009 at 07:53:41
Thanks for everyone's reply:
@Greensystemsgo
"Reformat?" - I was trying to get some info off before reformatting. Probably will end up happening.
"Run a disk check tool via bios screen if it has one" - I've looked through the BIOS and never found any disk check tool, It's a ASUS motherboard so if you know they do let me know.
"try booting up into a linux live distro and accessing the drive...." - I'm not as familiar with linux as I should be(the change is inevitable), is there a specific module that you think I could use? Or are you talking about basic access (which I could also use)?(edit: nevermind found one:testdisk)

@kptech
"You could also have a compatibility problem." - The drive has worked for about a year just fine then stopped working on my previous system, which was right before I switched to my new system.
"I'd check with the HD Mfg web site to make sure there aren't any firmware updates available for the drive." - I checked couldn't find any, directed me toward Lifeguard diagnostics tools.
"Also, since you mentioned that you have a new motherboard & CPU, I'm assuming you are running the most recent BIOS available?" - The problem actually started on my previous motherboard. But I'll double check about updating the new BIOS. (edit: The BIOS is up to date)
"This says that "03" is a Spin-Up problem. This would seem to indicate a failing HD..." - Any suggestions? On the site it doesn't list it in red(pink?) as being "Potential indicators of imminent electromechanical failure"

Thanks again to everyone who replied,
Nick


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#6
February 11, 2009 at 11:33:03
Nick,
re: the "03" error. I too noticed that this error wasn't in the "red zone", but it also occured to me that if spin-up times are getting longer, a day may come soon when the drive won't spin-up at all.

I think the fact that you're experiencing the same problem with two different motherboard/cpu combinations pretty much confirms that the problem is with the drive. Essentually, you've tried it in two different systems and get the same results.

If you have data that MUST be recovered, you might consider one of the many companies that provide this service, but it can be quite expensive.


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