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Maxtor 120 GB HD clicks constantly on Intel CA810EAL system when all by itself



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 4th 04, 08:47 PM
Rod Speed
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default Maxtor 120 GB HD clicks constantly on Intel CA810EAL system when all by itself


Jim wrote in message
...

I just encountered one of the strangest hard drive problems
I've seen. At first I thought the Maxtor HD was dying, but now I'm
blaming the motherboard or power supply without knowing for sure.


I'd appreciate others' evaluation of these steps
to see if they can tell me what's happened:


Using an Intel CA810EAL ATX motherboard, 300W power supply, everything
connected with 80 pin ATA133/UDMA cables, and Windows 2000 SP3:
- Primary master: WD 30 GB HD ATA/100
- Primary slave: WD 100 GB HD ATA/100
- Secondary master: cheapo brand 24x CD-ROM drive
- Secondary slave: Maxtor 120 GB HD (Diamond Max Plus 9 120 GB
7200 RPM ATA/133 with 2 MB buffer... warranty expires in 10 days).


In the above configuration everything worked fine. However, I decided
to copy the partitions from the WD 30 GB HD onto the Maxtor 120 GB
and make the Maxtor the primary master so I could replace the WD 30
GB with a WD 120 GB as the secondary slave.


As soon as I moved the Maxtor 120 GB to the primary master, the
Maxtor clicked constantly and the computer wouldn't boot. Sometimes
the CPU and case fan would shut itself off like it was a power issue.


This bit is crucial, this shouldnt be seen with a hard drive fault unless
its intermittently shorting one of the rails and shutting the power
supply down. And the detail below doesnt support that proposition.

I then disconnected all drives and power cables EXCEPT
the power into the Maxtor 120 GB. It still clicked constantly
and the computer wouldn't boot. I tried different connectors
to make sure there were no shorts.


That cant eliminate shorts, just poor connections, but you cant get
shorts with those molex connectors anyway, just poor connections.

I tried master, slave, and cable select jumper positions
on the Maxtor, different UDMA cables, and both master
and slave positions on the cables. It still clicked every time.


I returned everything to its original configuration
and the Maxtor worked perfectly again.


Weird.

I disconnected everything except the power
cable to the Maxtor and it clicked again.


Even weirder. Does look like its a flakey power supply thats
shutting down with particular load configs. Basically getting it
wrong on there being too much load on the 5V or 12V rail.

I then plugged in the power connectors to the 2 WD HDs, and then
the Maxtor no longer clicked, but the WD HDs clicked a couple times.
This is without any UDMA cables attached to the drives! I then plugged
in the power to the CD-ROM drive (back to its original configuration)
and everything was fine... the computer booted but of course it
couldn't do anything without the UDMA cables attached.


I tried various combinations of the Maxtor as master and slave, and
it would not work by itself as master or as slave with either WD HD
on the same channel. In fact, when it was master it made the WD HD
click a few times instead and the system still would not boot.


I happened to have another Maxtor 120 GB HD of the same type
(except a 8 MB buffer) and tried plugging the power cord into it
all by itself as before. It clicked just like the other Maxtor drive.


Based on all of this I decided the Maxtor drive was not actually dying
10 days before its warranty expired, but instead this motherboard


Very unlikely to be the motherboard when the drives click
with just the power connected to them in some configs.

or power supply has an attitude problem with these 2 Maxtors
-- unless I have the other 3 drives plugged in. I tried an old
Maxtor 30 GB HD just for fun and it worked fine.


Yeah, certainly looks like a flakey power supply.

Might be an intermittent short to case with the motherboard
mounting and you're disturbing that enough when reconfiguring
to get different results in different configs, because the short
to case with the motherboard mounting is variable.

I had another system with the same case and power
supply, but a different motherboard. The Maxtor had
no problem plugged in all by itself on that system.


I'd try moving that power supply to the original case.

Does anyone know what the problem is here?


See above.

How can 2 Maxtor drives in good working order (they
haven't been used very much) not work when plugged
into a particular system unless you plug in more stuff?


Either a flakey power supply or an intermittent short to
case with the motherboard mounting could do that, tho
its more likely to be the power supply since the configs
that do cause drive clicks are reasonably reproducible.

That makes me hesitant to blame the power supply


No reason to, the load variation may well matter to
trigger the power supply shutdown when it decides
that particular configs are loading the supply too much.

and more likely to blame the Intel motherboard.


Thats quite unlikely given that you still get drive
clicking with just the power connected to the drives.

My final solution:


Gas and cremate the whole system ? Tad radical |-)

I plugged in a Maxtor ATA133 PCI card allowing me
to keep the previous configuration (1 Maxtor, 2 WDs,
and 1 CD-ROM) while adding a WD 120 GB HD for
4 HDs total. Now everything works great. I would've
gone that route initially if I could've known I'd
have these inexplicable problems.


I wouldnt use a system with that sort of flakeyness myself.

It bound to bit you further down the track.

Try the configs that clicked with the power supply swapped.

Is it safe to assume the fact these drives clicked a lot while trying
to figure this out didn't harm them because they are all working now?


Nope, you should do a scan for bads. Some drives will generate
bads when the power is banging up and down while writing.


  #2  
Old April 5th 04, 07:24 PM
Rod Speed
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default


Jim wrote in message
...

Rod Speed, thanks for the advice.


The system only acts flaky when I have a Maxtor 120 GB HD
without the 3 other drives. I used it all day to back up data (one
PC to another) and then read back the data without any problems.


If I have a power supply problem as seems likely by your
comments, do you know why when I return to my original
configuration (1 Maxtor, 2 Western Digitals, and 1 CD-ROM
drive) and then I add another Maxtor HD, it still works fine?


I think the most likely explanation is that the overload
circuitry in the power supply is getting fooled in the
situation where there is just that drive plugged in
and is shutting the power supply down temporarily.

That doesnt happen with more drives plugged in.

You'd think if it couldn't supply enough power for 1-3 drives,
adding more drives would make it worse instead of better.


Yes, but not necessarily with a weird fault with the power supply.

And since you do have a different power supply you can try,
I'd try that other power supply and see if that stops that effect.

I've never dug through Maxtors utilities.


I cant see that thats likely to help much, because the same
argument applys, why does it only misbehave when its the
only hard drive plugged in ? And you can hear the WDs
clicking in some configs, which makes it more likely its
a power supply problem than specific to just one drive.

Its more likely that its the load on the power supply thats
seen with just that maxtor drive connected that is fooling
the power supply overload circuitry and causing it to
trigger, producing the audible clicking in the drive. Or
just seeing say the 12V rail voltage nothing like what
it should be in that specific config for some reason,
due to a flakey power supply. Which isnt seen when
you have a different hard drive config, then the rail
voltage is good enough so you dont get the clicking.

I hope the CDROM disc they supply with the drive
has a good error scan utility, but somehow I doubt it.
I have yet to find a really good HD error scan utility.


There's quite a few around but again, I cant see thats
relevant since the drive scans fine in some configs.

Maybe the "Sandra" utility has something.


Nope, not thats much use.

I know Windows' built-in disc scan is pretty weak.


I'd try the other power supply, because thats an easy test.


On Mon, 5 Apr 2004 05:47:46 +1000, "Rod Speed"
wrote:
Jim wrote in message

I just encountered one of the strangest hard drive problems
I've seen. At first I thought the Maxtor HD was dying, but now I'm
blaming the motherboard or power supply without knowing for sure.


I'd appreciate others' evaluation of these steps
to see if they can tell me what's happened:


Using an Intel CA810EAL ATX motherboard, 300W power supply, everything
connected with 80 pin ATA133/UDMA cables, and Windows 2000 SP3:
- Primary master: WD 30 GB HD ATA/100
- Primary slave: WD 100 GB HD ATA/100
- Secondary master: cheapo brand 24x CD-ROM drive
- Secondary slave: Maxtor 120 GB HD (Diamond Max Plus 9 120 GB
7200 RPM ATA/133 with 2 MB buffer... warranty expires in 10 days).


In the above configuration everything worked fine. However, I decided
to copy the partitions from the WD 30 GB HD onto the Maxtor 120 GB
and make the Maxtor the primary master so I could replace the WD 30
GB with a WD 120 GB as the secondary slave.


As soon as I moved the Maxtor 120 GB to the primary master, the
Maxtor clicked constantly and the computer wouldn't boot. Sometimes
the CPU and case fan would shut itself off like it was a power issue.


This bit is crucial, this shouldnt be seen with a hard drive fault unless
its intermittently shorting one of the rails and shutting the power
supply down. And the detail below doesnt support that proposition.

I then disconnected all drives and power cables EXCEPT
the power into the Maxtor 120 GB. It still clicked constantly
and the computer wouldn't boot. I tried different connectors
to make sure there were no shorts.


That cant eliminate shorts, just poor connections, but you cant get
shorts with those molex connectors anyway, just poor connections.

I tried master, slave, and cable select jumper positions
on the Maxtor, different UDMA cables, and both master
and slave positions on the cables. It still clicked every time.


I returned everything to its original configuration
and the Maxtor worked perfectly again.


Weird.

I disconnected everything except the power
cable to the Maxtor and it clicked again.


Even weirder. Does look like its a flakey power supply thats
shutting down with particular load configs. Basically getting it
wrong on there being too much load on the 5V or 12V rail.

I then plugged in the power connectors to the 2 WD HDs, and then
the Maxtor no longer clicked, but the WD HDs clicked a couple times.
This is without any UDMA cables attached to the drives! I then plugged
in the power to the CD-ROM drive (back to its original configuration)
and everything was fine... the computer booted but of course it
couldn't do anything without the UDMA cables attached.


I tried various combinations of the Maxtor as master and slave, and
it would not work by itself as master or as slave with either WD HD
on the same channel. In fact, when it was master it made the WD HD
click a few times instead and the system still would not boot.


I happened to have another Maxtor 120 GB HD of the same type
(except a 8 MB buffer) and tried plugging the power cord into it
all by itself as before. It clicked just like the other Maxtor drive.


Based on all of this I decided the Maxtor drive was not actually dying
10 days before its warranty expired, but instead this motherboard


Very unlikely to be the motherboard when the drives click
with just the power connected to them in some configs.

or power supply has an attitude problem with these 2 Maxtors
-- unless I have the other 3 drives plugged in. I tried an old
Maxtor 30 GB HD just for fun and it worked fine.


Yeah, certainly looks like a flakey power supply.

Might be an intermittent short to case with the motherboard
mounting and you're disturbing that enough when reconfiguring
to get different results in different configs, because the short
to case with the motherboard mounting is variable.

I had another system with the same case and power
supply, but a different motherboard. The Maxtor had
no problem plugged in all by itself on that system.


I'd try moving that power supply to the original case.

Does anyone know what the problem is here?


See above.

How can 2 Maxtor drives in good working order (they
haven't been used very much) not work when plugged
into a particular system unless you plug in more stuff?


Either a flakey power supply or an intermittent short to
case with the motherboard mounting could do that, tho
its more likely to be the power supply since the configs
that do cause drive clicks are reasonably reproducible.

That makes me hesitant to blame the power supply


No reason to, the load variation may well matter to
trigger the power supply shutdown when it decides
that particular configs are loading the supply too much.

and more likely to blame the Intel motherboard.


Thats quite unlikely given that you still get drive
clicking with just the power connected to the drives.

My final solution:


Gas and cremate the whole system ? Tad radical |-)

I plugged in a Maxtor ATA133 PCI card allowing me
to keep the previous configuration (1 Maxtor, 2 WDs,
and 1 CD-ROM) while adding a WD 120 GB HD for
4 HDs total. Now everything works great. I would've
gone that route initially if I could've known I'd
have these inexplicable problems.


I wouldnt use a system with that sort of flakeyness myself.

It bound to bit you further down the track.

Try the configs that clicked with the power supply swapped.

Is it safe to assume the fact these drives clicked a lot while trying
to figure this out didn't harm them because they are all working now?


Nope, you should do a scan for bads. Some drives will generate
bads when the power is banging up and down while writing.



 




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