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Thread: Computer problem

  1. #21
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    I wish SMART was even slightly reliable. I've seen countless hard drives that are riddled with bad sectors and completely unusable or have fatal head problems, but all the SMART attributes are green. SMART is a very poor monitoring system because it does not define the process used to calculate the attributes. Manufacturers were left to come up with their own processes, and while the implementation of SMART was initially quite decent in some drives, inevitably they've all succumbed to the temptation to reduce RMA returns of failing drives by making SMART lenient to the point of uselessness.

    Anyone who's scanned a large number of hard drives with tools that actually do a reliable job of detecting faults will tell you the same story: SMART is hopeless on consumer level drives. On SSDs there's the additional issue that SMART is intended for spinning disks so SSD SMART attribs often end up just showing dummy (or very simplistic) values that have little to do with what state the drive's firmware is actually seeing. Best example of this I've come across was a SanDisk SSD that had NAND so badly fucked it couldn't sustain even 1MB/sec on writes, and had command latency sometimes measured in seconds. SMART attributes ware fine, green across the board.

    FWIW, I've had to scan thousands of drives over the years and eventually found two diagnostic tools I trust: MHDD and ATAMDT. That's it. MHDD scans every sector on the drive and times how long the drive takes to deliver each sector in milliseconds. If the drive is having any problems reading data and has to retry the read then it shows up as a slow sector. Too many of those is a strong sign the drive has platter (or NAND) damage. ATAMDT fires an endless stream of ATA commands into the drive's controller and watches for any failures or time-outs. It's an amazing tool for detecting controller or head assembly faults, quite often picking them up before there's any obvious symptoms in normal use.

    A good example is hard drives that seem to work fine, but start infrequently making an odd clunk noise. The usual diagnostic tests will invariably pass a drive like that as working as intended, when in fact the controller is dying and the 'clunk' is the drive resetting because a particular sequence of commands is causing the firmware to crash. Modern OSs deal with drive resets transparently, so the problem is masked until it becomes terminal. ATAMDT is the only utility I know of that will pick up that sort of problem with any reliability.

    I remember it also picked up on the command latency problems with the early JMicron-based SSDs. ATAMDT would run clean on those drives but start stuttering after a certain number of commands because the controller was being overwhelmed.

  2. #22
    Lana Torrin's Avatar
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    SMART is one of the main difference between consumer grade drives and enterprise grade ones.. I don't even bother checking the consumer grade drives, but enterprise ones we check regularly and generally I have found it to predict a disk fail pretty consistently (75-80% of the time we knew a disk was going bad before it eventually failed). We basically use it to bug the OEM to send us a replacement for when the disk fails so we can just hot swap the thing right away and then send them the dead one back. Means we don't need a stock of disks laying around taking up space (and because this environment has been built piecemeal we have SO MANY different types and sizes of disk).
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  3. #23

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    So I've tested my secondary drive and my DVD-drive on another computer, and both a dead. So it seems anything connected to SATA was messed up to some degree. I have deleted everything on my SSD, including partitions and am running it through some read/write tests in HDDScan, and it seems all sectors are ok.

    To test the SATA on my gaming computer I have gotten hold of a SSD from work that I can try and install windows on and see if it's running as it should. If that turns out ok and all peripherals are working in windows I will try and plug in the old SSD and see if I can get that up and running again.

    But if I my test are right and both 3 TB HDD and a DVD drive and to some degree my SSD was damaged/messed up then what was the problem? As far as I can see, the only thing capable of killing 2 drives is the PSU?

  4. #24
    Daneel Trevize's Avatar
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    Apologies if I missed it, but have you checked it's not the motherboard & chips that deal with specific SATA sockets? If you have a working drive, try it in other connections (I'm assuming you have 4-10 of them internally). Try a different drive in that first connection, try if problems occur only when several drives are connected, etc.
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    Idk about that, and i'm fucking stupid.

  5. #25
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    I am REALLY curious by now what the actual problem diagnosis will be
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  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renox View Post
    But if I my test are right and both 3 TB HDD and a DVD drive and to some degree my SSD was damaged/messed up then what was the problem? As far as I can see, the only thing capable of killing 2 drives is the PSU?
    A defective PSU that messes only with drives? Sounds a bit strange. Seems more like the controller has issues (see Daneel's post).

  7. #27
    FatFreddy's Avatar
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    Why the odd fixation on the PSU?
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    M8, i have discussions that spam multiple accounts, you aren't even on my level

  8. #28
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    Z68/Cougar Point chipset?
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  9. #29
    Daneel Trevize's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hel OWeen View Post
    A defective PSU that messes only with drives? Sounds a bit strange.
    Well it's not crazy, the 5V rails are different to the 12V ones going to the CPU, GPU. Though I'd imagine 5V is also part of the very varied connecter to the mobo in general, but it might its own 5V rail.
    Quote Originally Posted by QuackBot View Post
    Idk about that, and i'm fucking stupid.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by FatFreddy View Post
    Why the odd fixation on the PSU?
    Shrugs...

    Call it a feeling

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daneel Trevize View Post
    Apologies if I missed it, but have you checked it's not the motherboard & chips that deal with specific SATA sockets? If you have a working drive, try it in other connections (I'm assuming you have 4-10 of them internally). Try a different drive in that first connection, try if problems occur only when several drives are connected, etc.
    I've partly tested that. As in I've tried moving the SSD and the secondary HDD around and see if they show up in the BIOS.

    SSD shows in the BIOS regardless of the SATA socket it is connected to.
    The secondary HDD does not show up in the BIOS regardless of which SATA socket it is connected to. That secondary HDD also does not show up if tested in a different computer.

    I haven't tried with 2 drives as I only just got hold of a second working drive I can try, but that will not happen until Sunday when I get home.

    @My apparent PSU fettish.
    My reasoning goes like this:
    1 HDD is completely dead
    1 DVD drive is completely dead
    1 SSD was messed up, but apparently ok after complete format (not final verdict)
    the motherboard seems OK (not final verdict, just my impression so far).

    The HDD, SSD and DVD have all connect to a SATA connector and all get power directly from the PSU.
    The SATA connectors seems OK (still need to confirm this with a drive I'm 100 % sure works) so this leaves the PSU.
    The PSU have dedicated SATA power so could possibly fail on those outputs and not the other parts.

    It is very likely I am missing something and jumping to conclusions, but now you know why I keep mentioning the PSU.

  12. #32
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    What kind of motherboard have you got?
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    Quote Originally Posted by RazoR View Post
    But islamism IS a product of class warfare. Rich white countries come into developing brown dictatorships, wreck the leadership, infrastructure and economy and then act all surprised that religious fanaticism is on the rise.
    Also:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenta View Post
    walrus isnt a bad poster.
    Quote Originally Posted by cullnean View Post
    also i like walrus.
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    Yer a hoot

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by walrus View Post
    What kind of motherboard have you got?
    ASUS Z97-A

  14. #34

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    Ok, borrowed a working SSD from work and plugged in into my desktop. Did a clean windows install and booted up no problem. Everything seems to be working. Then I tried putting plugging in another SSD to see if the controller could handle 2 hard drives at the same time. I tried every combination of ports together and the computer booted and detected both drives in the BIOS no matter the setup.

    Then I tried pulling out the new drives and plugging in the old SSD and tried to do a clean install on it. That couldn't be done. It reported an error when the installation process tried formatting the SSD. Then I put in the borrowed SSD I recently installed windows on as well as my old SSD to see if I could format it from within Windows. This also gave an error, but now I got something in the error log. A lot of disk event 154 "The IO operation failed due to a hardware error". So that SSD is useless as well.

    After testing my secondary HDD and my DVD drive from my desktop I can confirm that both a completely dead. Nothings happens when they get power, so something is fried.


    Summing up:
    So what ever happened killed my secondary HDD and my DVD and damaged my SSD beyond use. After plugging in working drives I have confirmed that all the SATA ports are working both when one or two drives are connected. CPU temperatures are ok. After doing a fresh Windows install on a borrowed disk I have tested that all the other peripherals are working as they should. Whatever happened seems to have been confined to the drives.

    Anyone got ANY idea what happened or other suggestions what I should test?

    Is it safe to buy new disks and put into the system or is that just asking for the same to happen?

  15. #35
    Daneel Trevize's Avatar
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    Breaking several drives at once, but not having issues using the connectors & mobo they were connected to indicates a power problem, at least to me. What are the chances that different drives (a mix of HDD and SSD too) wear out at the same time?
    I'd replace the PSU. Not sure exactly what this is the symptoms of, but maybe repeated dips in power for that 5V rail, causing physical wear and/or corruption of firmware for the drives. They are their own little devices, with CPU, RAM, ROM/writable storage for firmware. Or some power surge but the mobo seems to have been more hardy. Have any lightning strikes/other power events recently?

    Just be sure you've checked the simpler things, like swap/test the cables used for both SATA and 5V. I assume you disconnect at the drive rather than the mobo & PSU, but some cases & modular PSUs make it easier to do it the other way.
    Last edited by Daneel Trevize; February 19 2017 at 08:37:33 PM.
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    Idk about that, and i'm fucking stupid.

  16. #36

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    I've been using my computer with a new PSU and a new SSD since I last wrote and I've had no problems. Been gaming and all the stuff I normally do and no instability, no sluggishness, nothing out of the ordinary. So I've wrapping this up and blaming the 3 wrecked drives on the old PSU. How or why I have no idea.

    Thanks for the help and suggestions.

  17. #37
    Movember 2011Movember 2012 Nordstern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renox View Post
    I've been using my computer with a new PSU and a new SSD since I last wrote and I've had no problems. Been gaming and all the stuff I normally do and no instability, no sluggishness, nothing out of the ordinary. So I've wrapping this up and blaming the 3 wrecked drives on the old PSU. How or why I have no idea.

    Thanks for the help and suggestions.
    OP's problem was fixed?

    "Holy shit, I ask you to stop being autistic and you debate what autistic is." - spasm
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    WTF I hate white people now...

  18. #38
    Daneel Trevize's Avatar
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    We did it reddit FHC!
    Quote Originally Posted by QuackBot View Post
    Idk about that, and i'm fucking stupid.

  19. #39
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    We are literally the best at this ever.
    Quote Originally Posted by lubica
    And her name was Limul Azgoden, a lowly peasant girl.

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