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WARNING! Damage to your hard drives.

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  • WARNING! Damage to your hard drives.

    People! Listen up!
    Yesterday I ran a through check of my new external hard drive which I was using for about 3 days now. I did a surface scan (although only completed 1/3) - I DETECTED 12 MEGABYTES IN BAD SECTORS!
    The hard drive is new. The reason I did the check was because it started skipping my songs and make funny noises, like if I was playing my music from a scratched CD.
    So be warned - those things are fragile. Now I'm going to have to complete a full scan (which usually takes up to 30 hours for just one 30GB partition). This sucks guys, I really have to figure out how to protect the drive now.
    00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
    Newest install - my quickest ever
    My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
    My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

  • #2
    mount vertically? to something rigid?
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    • #3
      Hmm. Maybe I should buy some high end RC oil filled shocks , reduce the spring rate, and make myself a little harddrive shock box :-D
      car computer rev 5: 8" lilliput and usual suspects

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      • #4
        these things happen, but they are rare. exactly how did you have it mounted?
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        • #5
          Originally posted by wizardPC
          these things happen, but they are rare. exactly how did you have it mounted?
          It was inside an external PCMCIA enclosure that was sitting under my seat. About two days after I purchased it it started skipping my music. I first tried everything - from re-installing Windows to connecting it to a desktop PC. There was enough power and the hard drive was new.
          Today I did diagnostics - holy cow, 12 mb in bad clusters, and that's only 1/3 of the check. I downloaded some special utility from manufacturer's website and hope to get it fixed within the next 12 hours. Otherwise I will have to wait several days before Windows ScanDisk completes. By the time it scanned 1/3 of my drive it has slowed to a crawl and I doubt that several days would be enough.
          If I can't fix this drive, I will have to buy a new one and hang it on rubber "suspension".

          Interestingly enough, my laptop HD (7 GB) works fine for over 3 month now that I have this carputer. The laptop hard drive is around 8 years old - the laptop I use was manufactured back in 1996.

          This sucks, yesterday I had to drive to Burger King without my music
          I still have the Pocket PC tho, but I'd rather not use that tiny thing for my music when I have a working carputer.
          00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
          Newest install - my quickest ever
          My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
          My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Yuriy
            It was inside an external PCMCIA enclosure that was sitting under my seat.
            That is your problem. Your hard drive nees to be firmly mounted to something that won't move. I bet it bounced around a whole bunch sitting under a seat.

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            • #7
              Not really, it was attached to the seat firmly. I would not let it bounce around for several reasons:
              1. It could get in the way of my gas/brake pedals
              2. It could get damaged
              I attached it to the seat using rubber bands and tape.
              However, it could still be a problem.
              Either way, do you guys have any suggestions on how to protect the drive from this sort of damage?
              Wrap it in pillows maybe?
              00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
              Newest install - my quickest ever
              My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
              My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

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              • #8
                Will it help to wrap it into this stuff?

                The hard drive heats up pretty good - could overheating be a factor?
                After all, it sits in the enclosure under the seat and there is only one fan which doesn't cool the hard drive, only its power supply unit.
                00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
                Newest install - my quickest ever
                My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
                My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

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                • #9
                  the reason your laptop harddrive has no problems is because it is built to take the abuse more since it is intended for travel and movement.

                  a desktop harddrive assume that you will hardly ever move it around.

                  only real solution is either wrap it in packing bubbles, or make it a suspension box. my recommendation is to mount it vertically in a suspension box. gives it air to breathe.
                  "If it works this good why F with it?" -KMFDM "Intro"

                  Strive for ethical wardriving: http://faq.wardrive.net/

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                  • #10
                    Its not really suprising; you'll have to either replace frequently, or use ruggedized drives. I have found that laptop drives fair better than 3.5" drives, but the vehicle is a harsh environment. Its why Alpine and such are loathed to put a HDD solution on the market, the warranty problems would make for poor profit margins.

                    Use two drives, RAID1 and throw drives away regularly.
                    .//Daren
                    (Epia M10000/C134) (C137/MII 10000) Liliput /Opus 150W/DVD/512MB/80GB/Hummer H1
                    MediaCar/CoPilot7/Routis

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Yuriy
                      Will it help to wrap it into this stuff?

                      The hard drive heats up pretty good - could overheating be a factor?
                      After all, it sits in the enclosure under the seat and there is only one fan which doesn't cool the hard drive, only its power supply unit.
                      I assume you are talking about a desktop hard drive? If so I doubt that heat is an issue here, more the additional shocks the hard drive gets from being in a car - its a pretty unfriendly enviroment in there and they aren't really meant to be moved around a whole lot.

                      You could try mounting it on rubber or something but I don't see it as any kind of solution. Laptop hard drive's are designed to take some impact so are a far better bet in a car IMHO, although you do have to pay for this additional protection.

                      Could you try returning the drive if its new?

                      CarPC Progress: Glacial
                      Currently: Scavenging for bits and hatching plans
                      Got: Car, Dell CSx P3-500 laptop, docking station, USB2 PCI card, USB extension cable, USB2 hub, VGA extension cable.
                      Need: Screen.

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                      • #12
                        Are you sure that the drive you have was DOA (Damaged On Arrival)?

                        Hard drives (and other computer parts), like everything, can sometimes come bad from the factory. Maybe the little movement it went through was enough to just prompt the errors to appear more than before.

                        I've been using a 3.5" Seagate Barracuda drive for about 6 months now, with no problems at all.

                        I did however have a couple of problems with a Maxtor drive, one of the newer FBD (Fluid Bearing Drives) ones. It wouldn't work properly in the car during the winter. Moved it inside, and put the Seagate in the car, and have had no problems with either since.


                        Garry
                        Co-Developer of A.I.M.E.E
                        www.aimee.cc

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                        • #13
                          It could be DOA. But I didn't experience any skipping during first few days of operation.
                          I will do a throughout surface check this time and then we'll see if this happens again.
                          After doing the incomplete surface check, skipping almost stopped.
                          It's a good thing, because now I know the source of the problem.
                          If you're saying that heat isn't an issue, I will most likely wrap the enclosure in plastic "bubbles" - they are great shock absorbands and I have a sheet of just the right size.
                          00 Saturn SL2, boosted @ 8 psi - CarDomain
                          Newest install - my quickest ever
                          My 2nd carputer - b4 I broke the touchscreen
                          My very first carputer - voted the most ghetto

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                          • #14
                            I've never had a problem myself (in over a year) - and that's including accidentally driving over a brick while the HDD was spinning. That's in an MR2 which had pretty hard suspension and now a Ford Focus with sports suspension, driving daily on harsh British country roads with no concern for the HDD!

                            You can usually find the maximum operating shock the drive will support on the manufacturer's web site - yes 2.5's generally are more tolerant to shock.

                            Mine isn't mounted in anything special, it's screwed as normal to the case chassis. The only different is the drive is mounted vertically, so the spindle is facing the same direction as the wheels.

                            Other people have also added rubberised mounts to absorb some of the shock but even that could be overkill as long as it is mounted in a way to minimise the chance of a head crash.
                            Ford Focus MP3 : www.stevieg.org/carpc Blog Updated 29 January 2009!
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                            • #15
                              I wouldn't go as far as to say heat isn't an issue for a HD, but in this instance I think vibration is more likely to be the culprit - although as Confused points out a bad drive is a distinct possibility.

                              If the drive is new I would definitely return it, I wouldn't advise covering it in bubble wrap though as this could make heat an issue. Modern HD's can get pretty warm under load, instead try mounting it as advised by stevieg - UK roads can be pretty poor and if he's had good results with it mounted vertically with the spindle facing the same way as the wheels then it should work for you too. Good luck!

                              CarPC Progress: Glacial
                              Currently: Scavenging for bits and hatching plans
                              Got: Car, Dell CSx P3-500 laptop, docking station, USB2 PCI card, USB extension cable, USB2 hub, VGA extension cable.
                              Need: Screen.

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