View Full Version : Is my hard drive dying?

Urinal Puck
03-21-2003, 10:20 AM
PCP210 with stock IBM drive and gurus purchased Seagate drive (maybe 2 years old now).

My current setup has my system software and applications on the IBM and documents on the Seagate. I've had lots of problems the last couple of weeks...crashing on boot and restarts...and even more frustrating crashing while saving a document. More recently, the Seagate won't even mount on startup and I'm unable to get it to mount later.

Nothing has been added to the setup recently. I've check the connections of the scsi cable and power cable and double checked the termination settings. A couple days ago, the Seagate mounted and the System software warned of an error with the drive (several times) and then it unmounted.

I do not have the crashing problems when the Seagate doesn't mount, or when I boot with it disconnected.

Finally, the Seagate did mount just fine last night. Norton, Intech HDSD, and Disk First Aid found no problems with the drive.

Everything is backed up. I'm not in danger of any data loss. What should I do next?

Thanks for the help.


03-21-2003, 10:33 AM
1. Buy Disk Warrior www.alsoft.com (http://www.alsoft.com) - repair boot blocks AND build a new directory.
2. Order another drive.
3. Backup, initialize, clean install and restore.
3b. FWB Configure (4.5.2) is good for restoring a drive to manuf's defaults and edit the mode pages. Very helpful
4. If you initialize with Drive Setup 2.07 (recommended), or HDST 3.5,
run a test on the drive for bad blocks using the TEST Function.
5. use ResEdit or CC9 to verify that the system file is okay and doesn't need any minor repairs, actually quite common and easy to fix (ResEdit can repair a copy of the file, then swap them out).

i would not LLF unless everything else fails. It creates heat, can't be interrupted, is hard on a drive. Drive Setup Test is almost as good as LLF. ATTO ExpressTools Pro can also be used to ERASE a drive of all partitions or LLF (you can do multiple drives at once which is great if you need to).

When did you last initialize? Has it had the SAME OS version since? ie, even 9.0 to 9.1 is not the same and would be a good time to do so.

Editing the mode pages, you can see if it supports logging, error reporting, and if it will support auto reallocation of block read-write failures and what type.

I put a 68-pin drive w/ 8MB cache, 10K, on a 7300 w/ Granite adapter, and it flies!

- G.

[This message has been edited by Gregory (edited 21 March 2003).]

Urinal Puck
03-21-2003, 12:13 PM
Thanks for your help Gregory,

I have DiskWarrior. I'll run it when I get home, don't know why I didn't do it last night.

There is no system software on the Drive I'm having problems with. It's probably been close to 6 months since I last initialized.

What drive did you just purchase?


03-21-2003, 01:02 PM
Disk Warrior first, then Norton. Much safer. Even if the system isn't on the drive in question, the System file under OS 9 is very prone to a length error corruption issue.

Atlas 10K series, II/III/IV, are very good for higher reads and for working in older systems with that 8MB cache. I'd think that now that Cheetahs have 8MB cache that would present an option also. You can find the 18GB U160 Atlas 10K III for $97 www.googlegear.com (http://www.googlegear.com) (free shipping but small tax).

You can find some ultra2 cards for $25, the real cost is in the cable + terminator for lvd.

Urinal Puck
03-22-2003, 01:13 AM
Diskwarrior quits at the end of step 9 with an "unexpected error (-41)"

I've run it several times on both partitions with the same result.

Let me ask...is it dying? Should I just replace it, or am I jumping the gun?

If I go with the Atlas, what else to I need to purchase? Am I better off getting an IDE controller and drive?

I figure I'll get another two years or so out of this machine. When Finale goes OS X only I'll have to sadly move it aside.



[This message has been edited by Urinal Puck (edited 22 March 2003).]

03-22-2003, 07:18 AM
I'd go with IDE controller route. You might want Sonnet Trio even to add USB and FireWire along with IDE, then add IBM 180GXP, or the WD Caviar Special Edition.

You can use IDE drive in a new system or put it in a FW case later, and you shouldn't have any trouble getting near 40MB/s with a good set. Plan on spending $150 for PCI IDE and drive, or $275 maybe for the Sonnet Trio and drive.

- G.