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Spinman

System Lockup / Hard Drive Clunking

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One of my machines has started displaying problems - wondering if anyone has any out of the box suggestions...

Clean system - have run anti-virus and spyware detection tools - results are clean. Just to be sure, recently performed a clean install.

System will lockup after about 15 minutes (don't know if it is time related, or work related). Hard drive access light is on steady. Keyboard inoperative. Have to hit the reboot button on the case (or power off / on). Several minutes prior to lockup - one of my hard drives starts to give the clunk / clunk sound of a drive beginning to fail. I have 8 drives in the machine - 4 stand alone drive and 4 assigned to 2 raid-1 arrays. OS is on C:\ (stand alone), while all data files (My Documents, etc) are on the 2 raid arrays.

Have run Maxtor and Segate drive analysis from floppy disk during boot - all drives are reported as functioning normally - SMART is normal - no problems detected. If I take this at face value - wondering if this might indicate a power supply (voltage) or motherboard (chip) problem - or if I should refocus back on the hard drives.

My next step would seem to be to reassign the data file folder pointers (not the data) back to the C:\ drive so that I can safely disconnect the raid drives. I would then disconnect the 7 other drives (one at a time) and use the system to see if lockup and clunk noise continues. If so, proceed to another drive. If not, reconnect and see if it returns. Replace drive as testing indicates.

I guess I'm confused as to why the drive tests report that the drive are OK, but I'm getting the clunking, the lockup and the constant hard drive activity light (when lockup occurs).

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how long has this system been running without problems? list the full system specs of it.

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Had a simliar problem with my raid drives also. Diagnostics would show all drives OK. This was using the seagate and maxtor software along with other utilities. The thing is, raid drives are treated as ONE drive only using the diagnostic software. After I backed up my raid, broke the raid config and ran the diagnostics I found the problem. The sound I had was that of a crunching soda/beer can. And to make it worse it was VERY random. I sat for an hour one day using a screwdriver with the point on the drive and handle to my ear listening for noises. Never came until 10 minutes after listening for an hour. So if your drive noise is happening ALL the time or VERY frequent you might be able to depict which drive is causing the problems by using a screwdriver or similiar tool placed on the HD case. The screwdriver works like a stethoscope. Learned this many moons ago as a mechanic.

jd

Edited by 03GrandAmGT

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@Spinman,

Or test each drive separate, just connect it with the power supply and see what will happen in 1 hour or so, will be less hard the using the screw driver to your ear and your drive to listen to it.

For sure it’s a ball bearing problem, SMART will indeed give you nothing and those test software also not. I’m sure you putted all drives on top of each other, this is why drives die faster but for sure you already knew that ;).

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HD Tune Version v2.52 indeed is very good, but will not give you any thing, could be that you can stress the drive until it crashes :P. It’s a mechanical thing and the software will not "see" any bad things.

*HD Tune Version v2.52 RULEZ!!! :thumbup

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PSU might be the cause, if the drives are fine in another computer.

The sound not only occurs if the drive is failing, it'll also happen if the power drops below minimum for a short time.

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Yep - had plenty of "tested fine" but are "physically damaged" hard drives here, so it could well be that when the HDD "bumps" [cant think how to put it right now] that the system locks up and the HDD light is on.

Its further possible that the reason for the lockup is due to the problem area being where the OS has been installed on the HDD - though it isn't always the case.

Of course, it could also be problem with overheating too - so check your temperatures, and also make sure the PSU is giving the system stable power [speedfan might help you check those btw ;)]

failing that, treat yourself to a new, faster, bigger HDD and if the problem continues, at least you'll have a nice new HDD when you find the problem [if it does continue, take the new one out and put the old back in - you dont want to damage the new one prematurely after all lol]

Regards

Nath.

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The clinking and clunks of the hards when it spins it not always the desired problem, The drive itself does fuction but in a serverly limited capacity. But as each time does by, each new scrape, pit and dip in the platters represents new and hard problems. When in a raid enviroment, how it is configured and how the controller monitors them with the software as well, makes it hard to diagonse it. True raid controllers show you if an error exist in your configureation. As the other have mentioned above, i would recommend you to investigate further.

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The system itself is nearly 4 years old - no problems to date, with the exception of previously failed hard drives. Hardware is constantly updated.

When I do a drive test using a floppy dos test - this is testing each drive individually - because the raid drivers have not loaded. However, I'm assuming that the vendor test program is properly using the raid chip properly.

I have relocated my windows folder pointers off of the raid drives and back onto the C:\ drive. Next step is to break the raid configuration and boot with each drive as a stand alone device (if necessary). I was able to place my ear next to the drive cage and isolated the clunking drive to cage #2 - but was unable to determine a particular drive.

This evening I removed my PCI ATA/100 card, and the drives attached to it - and have not had any lockup or clunking for the past 3 hours. I'll need to retest the card and drives to ensure they are operating properly. Starting to wonder if I was experiencing a conflict between the Promise 20276 Raid and the Promise Ultra 100 - even thought they have been installed and operational together for several years.

Got to love the diagnostic process - swap and replace - until problem is isolated.

Gigabyte 8IEXP motherboard running hacked full raid

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Could be you have a SOFT based raid. I do remember that during my search for diagnostic utilities for raid thast I came across a site where they had raid cards catagorized by type. Meaning some Raid cards are really no different than the software raid you can get with W2K or XP. The higher end models $200 to whatever did have onboard diagnostics. Basically there are two types of raid cards. 1. LOW end that emulates the same as software raid and 2. HIGH end which have microprocessors (RISC processor), bios and other goodies. Myself, my raid is an onboard Highpoint 370 ATA-100 (CHEAP). I will look for that link regarding the differences and post as soon as I find it. In the meantime below are a couple of links to show the difference.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList....Subcategory=410

Hope this helps.

jd

Here are a couple that describe the difference.

http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1977005,00.asp

http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global....;l=en&s=biz

Edited by 03GrandAmGT

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