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Old 05-04-2009, 11:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hard Drive Noise/Freezes

Hi,

At Christmas I installed a secondary, media storage HDD on my computer.

Hardware:

Asus P5B Motherboard
Intel e6600 2.4GHz running @ 3.0GHz
Stock cooler
4GB Geil PC6400 DDR2
460W Zalman PSU
XFX 260GTX (216 core)
320GB Samsung Spinpoint HDD (OS and programs)
DVD-RW

And the problem drive: 1TB Samsung Spinpoint HDD (Media storage)

Until a couple of weeks ago everything was running fine, no problems at all. Recently the 1TB storage drive has been making whirring noises and freezing for a second or so at a time; this freezes any media (music, films etc) playback coming from the drive for a second also.

It might just be me but the problems seem to escalate when I'm trying to access more than one part of the drive, say I'm watching a film and downloading at the same time. I used to have further problems when my hosuemates were accessing the drive over the network (it was shared so they could access my media). For now I've turned off sharing and stopped downloading but the problems persist.

After a while of whirring and freezing, the drive seems to cut out and my computer won't read it again 'til it has been restarted.

I tried to use the Samsung diagnostic tool (shdiag.exe, it must be run from DOS) from their website but when I added the file to a bootable DOS 6.22 CD-ROM that I made, it complained that I was missing a "banana" driver for the CD-ROM and wouldn't do anything with the disc beyond boot into DOS. I can upload the image of the CD-ROM that I made if it's any help.

tl;dr - hard drive bought new at xmas keeps freezing and eventually cuts out. Couldn't get the manufacturer's diagnostic tool to work and now I'm stuck. I don't want to RMA the drive (if I still can? It was OEM from scan.co.uk) 'til I know there's nothing more I can do.

Thanks for any help in advance!

EDIT: I'm using Windows Vista Home Premium, 32bit
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Old 05-04-2009, 12:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Noise/Freezes

Hello,

The first thing I would do is backup any important data on the 1TB HDD that you don't want to lose, just in case it go poo poo. Sounds like a hardware fault to me.

Still, the next thing I would do is check the disk for errors using CHKDSK. Open up command prompt and type CHKDSK X: /R (where X: is the drive letter of the 1TB Hard Drive). Once that is completed, I would also check to see if the hard drive needs to be defragged, and defrag it if needs be: How to Defragment Your Disk Drive Volumes in Windows XP.

If all those steps didn't work, then I suggest you get it RMA'd.
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Old 05-04-2009, 01:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Noise/Freezes

Hi, thanks for the prompt reply. Note that I'm on Vista Home Premium 32bit on a single, full drive partition on my main drive. The 1TB drive is a single, full drive NTFS partition purely for storage. The first thing I did was back up all the data, thanks for the reminder though haha.

I've scheduled a checkdisk for next time the computer reboots (I need it for work at the moment) and I'll post the results soon as I have them. All my hard drives are scheduled to defragment at 01:00 every Wednesday (as is the Vista default) so that drive should has been defrag'd recently anyway so that can't be the problem.

Completely unrelated, but my dad had a very similar issue with his old PC, on the primary and only HDD, an 80GB IDE running XP. When he gave it to me (having bought a laptop), I formatted it and reinstalled XP, and it's had no problems since (although it is rather slow).

If I were to format the drive might that clear any error? It sounds like a physical hardware problem since there is an audible rattle... Can an error on the disk cause a physical problem (i.e. the rattle)?

Thanks for your help, any further input is much appreciated!
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Noise/Freezes

Hello,

The problem on your dad's PC was probably a software issue.

You could try formatting the hard drive if all of the other options (mentioned) don't work.
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Old 05-09-2009, 07:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Noise/Freezes

Check disk found nothing :/

It's been good for a few days, if the problem starts again I'll reformat it and see. Hopefully that'll cure it, I don't have much time at the moment so dealing with an RMA would be an effort I don't want to have to go to, haha.
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Noise/Freezes

*bump*

I haven't had chance to reformat (that's a job for next week, post exams), but I've discovered the source of the problem.


Could it be something to do with the size of the file (i.e., the hardware can't deal with it because of filesystem or whatever), or is the file simply corrupt? Can a single corrupt file mess with a hard drive like that?

Or does anyone have any other ideas?

tl;dr - source of problem found - 2 large 4GB iso files. Is the problem the drive being unable to handle the files or corruption in the files? Or something else?
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Old 05-27-2009, 08:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Noise/Freezes

Unless the drive you are using is in FAT32 then the file size will be of no issue. NTFS can handle a file of any size. Only FAT32 will give you problems of a file size of 4GB. In fact it wont even allow them. Since that is the limitation of FAT32.
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