Hard drive issue

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Banzi, Dec 6, 2013.

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  1. Banzi

    Banzi Registered Member

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    Hello, was wondering if some of the technical folk here can help.

    Bought a new PC last year from PCSpecialist & it only has a 120GB Intel SSD 520 in it so I added the 1TB Samsung F3 SATA II from my old PC to it.

    My issue is that the 1TB Samsung drive is only detected & given power if I boot into the UEFI BIOS then take side off the case & remove the power cable from the drive then connect it again, that then makes the drive spin up & work fine.

    It means that I have to leave the PC running 24/7 because if I shut it down then power it back on I have to do the above for the drive to get power & be picked up in BIOS & in Windows, I don't want to damage the drive by constantly removing & reconnecting the power cable to the drive.

    Have check BIOS settings & even reset to default & also tried optimal settings.

    Emailed the PC builders & they just said the drive must be faulty, the drive works fine & no data errors or anything like that.

    Motherboard is a ASUS AMD Sabertooth 990FX.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    If you are sure the drive is not spinning up, that is, it is getting power but not spinning, then it sounds like the drive is faulty to me too. The BIOS really has nothing to do with the drive getting power - once the PSU is signaled to power up. I would try a different power connector on a different power cable. This will ensure you have a good power supply connection and if it still does not spin up when you start the computer, the drive is bad.

    If careful, you can remove the drive from the case and with the data cable disconnected and you holding the drive in your hand (avoiding contact with the circuit board or electrical contacts) when you power up the computer, you will be able to feel the drive spinning. There will be a slight vibration and you will definitely will be able to feel the torque (gyroscopic effect) of the spinning platters as you "gently" move the drive.

    If the drive spins up every time, then it could still be a data problem. I would try a different SATA cable and I would connect it to a different SATA port. Also check your motherboard manual. On some motherboards (like this Gigabyte board I am using for example) if you connect a SSD to the mSATA (mini-SATA) port, one of the standard SATA ports is automatically disabled.

    You might consider putting the drive temporarily back into your old (or another) computer and see if it works there.
     
  3. Banzi

    Banzi Registered Member

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    Many thanks for the reply Bill.

    This is what happens, if I shut down the PC at night the next morning when powering on the 1tb Samsung drive doesn't spin up (no noise or vibration etc) & doesn't show in the BIOS or in Windows explorer or disk management.

    I restart the PC & enter the UEFI BIOS then take the side panel off the PC & remove the power cable from the 1tb drive then reconnect it, the drive then spins up so I put side panel back on & exit the BIOS, when PC boots to Windows the drive shows in Explorer & Disk Management & works great.

    I have tried the drive back in my old PC & it works fine & powers on when PC boots etc.

    On the Newer PC I have tried the drive in different SATA ports (both SATA 2 & SATA3) & also tried different SATA cables & power connectors but the drive wont power on from a cold boot until I remove the power connector & connect it back, drive works fine with restarts.

    Have also checked the drive thoroughly with ChkDsk (full test) & other disk checking tools & they all report the drive as in good health & no errors.

    It mainly bothering me due to all the price increases in UK power prices as I just leave it on 24/7

    The drive used to have Windows 7 on it in the old PC, on the new one I had Windows 8 on it for a bit but wiped that due to issues with that OS, at the moment it is MBR drive that has 3 partitions Backup, Games & Downloads.

    Cheers again for the help :)
     
  4. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    I would try a different PSU. Electronics, especially motors, draw a lot of power when first powering up, then demand less once running. It could be the 12V rail of your PSU just cannot support the demand during initial power up.
     
  5. Banzi

    Banzi Registered Member

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    Cheers again Bill.

    The PSU is a CORSAIR 750W ENTHUSIAST SERIES™ TX750 V2-80 PLUS, that has been checked as well by a friend that is a electrical engineer & there are no issues with it.

    This is the PC spec.

    Case COOLERMASTER CM STORM ENFORCER - GAMING ENTHUSIAST CASE
    Processor (CPU) AMD BULLDOZER EIGHT CORE FX-8150 (3.60GHz/8MB CACHE/AM3+)
    Motherboard ASUS® SABERTOOTH 990FX - TUF SERIES MILITARY GRADE MOTHERBOARD
    Memory (RAM) 16GB KINGSTON HYPER-X GENESIS DUAL-DDR3 1600MHz, X.M.P (4 x 4GB KIT)
    Graphics Card 2GB AMD RADEON™ HD7870 - DVI,HDMI,2 mDP - DX® 11, Eyefinity 4 Capable
    Memory - 1st Hard Disk 120GB INTEL® 520 SERIES SSD, SATA 6 Gb/s (upto 550MB/sR | 520MB/sW)
    DVD/BLU-RAY Drive 24x DUAL LAYER DVD WRITER ±R/±RW/RAM
    Memory Card Reader INTERNAL 52 IN 1 CARD READER (XD, MS, CF, SD, etc) + 1 x USB 2.0 PORT
    Power Supply CORSAIR 750W ENTHUSIAST SERIES™ TX750 V2-80 PLUS® BRONZE
    Processor Cooling TITAN FENRIR EVO EXTREME HEATPIPE CPU COOLER (£39)
    Sound Card Asus Xonar DG 5.1 SoundCard & Headphone AMP
    Wireless/Wired Networking 10/100/1000 GIGABIT LAN PORT - AS STANDARD ON ALL PCs
    USB Options 6 x USB 2.0 PORTS @ BACK PANEL (MIN 2 FRONT PORTS) AS STANDARD

    When I have the time I will strip the system right down & rebuild it but this seems to be one of those issues that is mystery.
     
  6. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    You could also try your HDD in a friends PC, at least that is what i would do. :rolleyes:
     
  7. Banzi

    Banzi Registered Member

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    Cheers for the reply Noob.

    Will be doing that today, will take the drive down to my cousins & try it in his & report back :)
     
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Being an electrical engineer does not mean he has the proper test equipment on hand to test it properly and conclusively for excessive ripple and other anomalies that affect computer stability. This cannot be done with a simple multi-meter. I would still swap in a known good PSU, unless you can verify he used a "power analyzer" or "oscilloscope" with the PSU under a variety of realistic loads. And did he verify the voltages were within "required" tolerances as specified by the ATX Form Factor PSU Design Guide (see “Table 2. DC Output Voltage Regulation” on Page 13)?

    With all due respect to EEs (as a certified master electronics technician, I've worked with EEs most of my long life) they know "theory" and how things work on paper but very often not how things are when "applied" in the real world where NOTHING is perfect.

    Frankly, I highly doubt he tested the PSU for power anomalies under a heavy load during startup - which is when you are experiencing this problem.

    If the drive works fine in your cousin's machine, you need to try a different PSU in yours. While Corsairs are certainly a quality brand (and one of my preferred brands), until Man can create perfection 100% of the time, there will always be samples that fail to meet or maintain design and theory specifications.
     
  9. Banzi

    Banzi Registered Member

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    Thanks for the reply Bill.

    The drive worked fine on my cousin's PC from a cold boot & also on his spare PC.

    The guy that did the testing is a old family friend, he used to work for some the big IT companies like HP & NEC & has been into computers since the very early days of them, he also does IT work for the local council as well as PAT testing etc. He has run his own shop for a good few years as well where he fixes pretty much anything electrical & also builds & repairs PC's.

    He used a power analyser as part of the testing & the voltages were all correct both under light load & heavy load, he also tried the PSU in his own stress testing rig which is a high end system with dual GPU's & again no issues with the PSU.

    I have known him since I was a kid & respect his skills, he also did all of this free of charge & tested it over almost a full week.

    I guess it just one of those weird issues that can't really be explained, will most likely get a new drive to replace that one soon anyway.

    Many thanks to yourself & Noob :)
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Okay - if that was the case, the PSU was surely tested properly. :)

    Since that drive works fine in 3 other computers (your cousin's 2 and your old computer), then I don't see how it could be a drive problem - so I am not sure buying a new drive would solve your problem. If me, I would try a spare drive in your computer instead of buying a new one to see what happens.

    The fact this drive does not "spin" up still points to a power problem because nothing else (motherboard/BIOS or data) is in circuit until AFTER it comes up to speed - only the power supply. You could test this by disconnecting the data cable - you should "feel" it spin up. And the PSU does not have a communications channel to the drive - only power. So I would STILL try a different PSU - perhaps that PSU does not like your motherboard or your house power! There are many times where I have had one device work fine here but not there for no apparent reason. In my radio maintenance days, we used to blame it on "gremlins" or call it "FM" - not for frequency modulation, but for a certain type of magic! :cautious:

    It might be worth putting a meter to your wall outlet (or ask your family friend to check it out so you don't turn yourself into a crispy critter and stink up the house! ;)) You might also get a AC Outlet Tester. I recommend one with a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupt) indicator as it can be used to test bathroom and kitchen outlets too. These testers can be found for your type and voltage outlet, foreign or domestic, at most home improvement stores, or even the electrical department at Walmart. Every home should have one. They don't show the actual voltage, but they do tell if the outlet is properly wired and grounded. A poor ground can introduce a lot of noise and/or allow RFI into the circuit.

    A "good" UPS with AVR (automatic voltage regulation) would check your outlet but provide an alternative power source for testing this too. Higher end UPS have a LCD panel that will show the actual voltage too. And FTR, I believe all computers should be on a "good" UPS with AVR anyway - but that's for another discussion.

    Again, the fact the drive spins up fine on three other computers is pretty conclusive the problem is NOT with that drive.

    I'm reaching now, but does this happen only with the first power up of the day? That is does it only happen after the computer and drive (and house too!) has cooled down for the night? What happens if you get it running and use it for an hour to get it (and the house) fully warmed up, then shutdown for a minute and boot it up again? Does the drive start? If it starts then, then that might suggest worn bearings or a lubrication problems.

    Again, reaching here, if your PSU's +12VDC rail is cranking out at 11.45VDC when under load (like when first starting up a cold computer), that would technically still be within required specs (which is ±5%, or 11.4 to 12.6V). And if your cold drive motor is looking for +12.50 VDC that is also technically within specs but still more than 1V spread and maybe, when the motor lubricant is cold and hard, too much of a spread to get it going. Okay admittedly, these are big IFs, but when nothing makes sense, you have to stretch for an explanation.

    Not sure what to suggest at this point but I would not be spending any money on new parts until figured out. Since you still have your old computer, I would swap PSUs - just to be 200% sure this is not gremlins or FM.
     
  11. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    What are your BIOS settings for additional drives? It could be a setting there that is preventing the PC from seeing the drive on boot.

    I recently had an issue where a BIOS setting would cause a 1962 Operation System not found error just by putting in a different graphics card. The HD was still fine, but the new GPU rendered the HD unbootable due to a BIOS setting.
     
  12. Kyle_Katarn

    Kyle_Katarn Registered Member

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