Velociraptor 600G drive randomly disappears from windows, returns upon reboot

For the last few weeks, my Velociraptor 600G drive has been randomly disconnecting from windows (no trace of it anywhere in the system). Rebooting the system shows the drive in BIOS, and upon entering windows it will be there. It will eventually disappear again after a random amount of time (10 minutes, 10 days, etc.). I have had this drive for over a year now. I use it as a data drive; the OS is on another disk using a seperate SATA controller

I downloaded Data Lifeguard Tools. I checked the SMART data for the drive, and everything passes with flying colors.

I suspect I am having problems with the SATA III controller on my board (a Marvell 91xx SATA III controller). I updated it’s drivers to the latest ones I could find on ASUS’s support site, but still have the issue.

At one point a file become orphaned during one of the disconnects, and chkdsk ran upon boot automatically and fixed the issue.

Here are some relevant system specs:

ASUS Rampage III Extreme motherboard

Windows 7 x64bit

Marvel 91xx SATA III controller

WD Velociraptor 600gb drive WD6000HLHX

Drive is set up to use AHCI mode in BIOS.

Any ideas as to what cudl cause this? More importantly, ways to fix it. Thanks! :smiley:

i would recomend try another drive in the same SATA port…

for now you should backup your contents for another drive…

Fortunatly, I have a backup of it, but not a complete one as the drive disappears sometimes before the backup can finish. =/

I don;t have another sata III drive to test int he port. would a sata II (or I) drive work for this purpose?

So, I managed to test it with an old SATA 1 drive I ad laying around, and I was able to transfer 36gigs without an issue. I suppose that leaves just the drive or the cable as the possible points of error.

hmmm you can try putting your" think faulty" drive to another port… you should do a backup just in case… try again and again… it may die soon… and you will regret it after…

just in case

Oh I tried that too. It fails on both ports (slowing down to a crawl of 4MB per second data transfer).

I talked to my buddy, and after all the tests I ran and the behavior, we are thinking the drive has bad sectors. We started to notice that the drive mostly fails on access to files that were recently added. If I stay in folders that were added in the past, or read files from the past; the drive functions rather normally (albeit slow copy speeds).

Either way, It’s a very expensive Velociraptor, so it should have zero bad sectors after a year of use. I’ve RMAed it.

Fortunatly it is backed up because I do nightly backups to an external drive. I am probably going to lose about a week’s worth of stuff though because trransfering some of the newer additons to the drive is triggering the disconnect.

As it turns out, I am about 95% sure the SATA controller on the motherboard is at fault. It’s hard to say, because an old SATA I drive that i hooked up to the controller did not fail, but other SATA III drives did report problems upon scanning (of which those problems did not show up after moving to a different controller).

The hard drive which was originally having issues is on another controller now, but appears to have some sector damage now. It has not disappeared in days, but reading new files added to the drive causes teh HD LED to stay lit and whatever read operation was initiated just hangs.

I figured I would update this in case someon else had the problem and wanted to see my symptoms and what eventually happened.

thanks for your input… maybe your sata controller did something to the drive … and triggering bad sectors