Drive responding intermittently


#1

I have a 320 gb caviar SE16 drive, nearly 3 years old ( wd3200aaks ).  In just the past few days it started behaving intermittently, and has gotten worse to the point that I can’t boot windows vista off it.  I’ve ruled out computer, cable, driver issues as I’ve tested on 3 different systems.

Here are the symptoms:

  1. at boot, i tell vista to boot to safe mode, and while loading drivers, it loads a few drivers then pauses for 10-30 seconds with no disk activity at all, then loads a few more, then pauses, and so forth.  Almost cyclical, it has disk activity for a second or two, then pauses for 10 seconds.  Eventually it gets to crcdisk.sys and it sits there forever, even hours at a time and never finishes booting

  2. if I make it a secondary drive on a different system, I can get to the drive letter, get a reponse to simple commads like dir, but if I try to copy files off, it copies a few in a second or two, then pauses, with no drive activity, and then resumes for a second or so, and pause…

  3. with Hard Drive Sentinel running, the SMART values check out as ok, but if I run a disk access test, you can see on the chart, a few seconds of normal 15ms disk seek, then 30 seconds of infinite disk seek time- 36000ms.

  4. Data life guard quick test passes, with no errors, but an extended test started running with just one little bar of progress after 50 minutes and estimated completion was 5+ hours.  I cancelled it.

From what I can tell the disks themselves are fine, the data is all there.  Something is blocking access when run as a secondary drive and holding up windows to the point that in some cases Vista or win7 will blue screen with a irql_not_less_or_equal fault

Any ideas before I RMA it under warranty?  I’d like the data, but only if I can recover it myself.


#2

You might be experiencing a mechanical failure, if you’ve ruled out the usual suspects, like motor failure.  I’d RMA it.


#3

Thanks Bill for the suggestion.  It may have something mechanical going on, but here’s the weird thing.   For Vista/Win7 I have this intermittent behavior, and Ubuntu 9 couldn’t even mount the drive.  But I loaded up the UBCD4win disk, which uses a very generic disk driver (disk.sys), and I can browse the drive and move files off no problem so far.  I’ve copied off 30 gig of files without a hiccup and it went plenty fast with none of the intermittency.

So all I can guess at is the advanced capabilities of SATA drivers are having trouble with this drive’s controller, and if I use a real simple driver, it behaves normally.

Regardless I’ll rma it, since it’s under warranty and I don’t intend to use UBCD4win as my regular operating system…

–sigmeda


#4

Well, I’m glad you got your data, at least.  And, yes, I’d probably RMA it, anyway.