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Thread: Auto power off

  1. #21
    FLAC PatO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Afton MN


    2 yrs, 4GB West. Dig. drive.
    Cut power once per day on average and I've disabled scandisk on bootup. (Win95b)
    No bad sectors. No corrupted files.

    I run scandisk every few months and it comes up with a couple lost file fragments almost every time, yet the files are recovered and the system lives on. Windows has got to be doing some critical file management so the system isn't corrupted...
    CarPC Stolen. Starting over.
    Ne1 recognize the avatar?

  2. #22
    Variable Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Yarmouth NS, Canada


    Um. When drives didnt park themselves, you wouldn't scratch the disk when it turned on. You would simply lose any data that was in the buffer when you shut down.The read head does NOT touch the platter.. it just comes very very close. Now, you could cause SERIOUS problems if your drive got jarred without it parked, because the read head is out on the platter and could easily do damage.. But it would be just as likely if you jarred the drive while it was running. Old drives were much more easily damaged this way. Its just not really a problem now I find unless you actually drop the thing.

    As for the whole not shutting windows down properly. Hmm.. I've had a system for two years now. The hard drive that is in the system has been there for 1.5 years. I have NEVER shut it down properly in the car. NEVER. Bad sector count? ZERO..

    I used to run a scandisk regularly just in case.. (mostly worried due to the drive in the car in the first place).. No problems. Not even a single one. Any time I have reloaded windows, it was by choice to try ME, or switch back to 98 etc etc... The system has been shut down many a time in mid boot as well, and still no problems.

    Oh, that DOS/Windows format? Same deal. They both just erase the file pointers in the FAT. The data is still there and can be recovered. A low level format will write every sector on the drive to zeros. That usually gets everything (and can kill some drives too, its not recommended by some drive manufacturers, however others provide a tool.. go figure)

    In my opinion, shutting the computer down is not necessary. But live by your own experience/inexperience.The shut down controllers however are great to auto start & auto shut the computer down in case you forget to flip the switch.
    MP3 Cavalier -
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  3. #23
    Live and Kickin'
    Arby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2000


    Quick slightly off topic question: Is there a way to stop windows from booting up in safe mode? If the power gets cut while windows is still booting, it boots up in safe mode, and I have to reset it again

  4. #24
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    London, Ontario, Canada


    Originally posted by Callahan:
    <STRONG>Um. When drives didnt park themselves, you wouldn't scratch the disk when it turned on. You would simply lose any data that was in the buffer when you shut down.The read head does NOT touch the platter.. it just comes very very close. </STRONG>
    Actually, in older drives the head does touch the drive. This is why it called a "landing zone". The head comes to a rest and lands on that track. I don't know if this is relevant in newer drives (I doubt it is).

    In older drives, the head could actually become stuck to the surface of the disk. A quick twist of your wrist was necessary to unstick the head so the drive could spin up...
    Player: Pentium 166MMX, Amptron 598LMR MB w/onboard Sound, Video, LAN, 10.2 Gig Fujitsu Laptop HD, Arise 865 DC-DC Converter, Lexan Case, Custom Software w/Voice Interface, MS Access Based Playlists
    Car: 1986 Mazda RX-7 Turbo (highly modded), 1978 RX-7 Beater (Dead, parting out), 2001 Honda Insight
    "If one more body-kitted, cut-spring-lowered, farty-exhausted Civic revs on me at an intersection, I swear I'm going to get out of my car and cram their ridiculous double-decker aluminium wing firmly up their rump."

  5. #25
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Madison, WI


    First of all , I appreciate most of you for good messages. From this messages , it's obvious that who knows what they're talking about and who are not.

    I hope this will help you to have right information.

    1. FAT : FAT is File Allocation Table , this is not a file. I should more clear with this in my first message.

    2. losing setting: when the power get cut off, any opened programs might lose their setting and files. I think every body agree with this.

    3. Corrupted Windows System files : This doesn't happen every time but when the windows shuts off improperly, windows system file(s) will/might be corrupted or lost. Most of times , it can be fix by scandisk (which automatically pops up after improper shutdown) but sometimes it leaves more damages on system files for scandisk to fix. One of the common system error message is "HIMEM.SYS file is missing , please re-install Windows." after computer boosts up. But it can be fix if you reinstall windows.

    3. Damaging Hard Drive Sector: HD contains many many sectors , and bigger capacity = more sectors. But there are two kinds of sectors, there are sectors that HD read/write files from, and there are boost sectors that have HD information. This boot sector information are created by low-level format additional information is added by high-level format.
    .....Each area of a formatted hard drive contains sector data as well other location information. This is data that was put down when the Low Level format was done. Additional data is put down when DOS does the High Level format. ..... --
    ZDNET Source URL
    and EVEN BRAND new hard drives have some BAD SECTORS
    Generally manufacturers will ship hdd's that have up to 1% drive capacity in bad sectors...OEM's won't usually replace unless there is a 5% bad sector issue...unless the bad sectors are in the area of the boot sector. -- ZDNET Source URL
    Those who say don't have any bad sector in their HDs are either lying or don't know anything about sectors.

    HD doesn't know itself that had bad sectors or not it's OS job to tell HD that which ones are bad (also called bad sector flag) in Windows, scandisk does this job BUT scandisk DOES NOT always detect all bad sector and leave them unmark , This will cause the HD to write files on bad sector, b/c of this you will get error messages , longer time to open/save files and other problems.

    like I mentioned in my other messages, these bad sectors cause by a lot of things; physical damage, virus, program crashes, and , the most common cause, improper shutdown(power failure).
    A bad sector....must be expected if the power goes off in the middle of a write operation -- ZDNET source URL may have one or two blocks of data go bad due to many factors such as power failures during a write or just a bad spot on the disk. -- ZDNET Source URL
    but like I said few improper shutdowns are ok , HD works fine with some bad sectors but if you shut down your computer improperly every times, you will get more and more bad sectors and then you will start to have some problems.

    But it doesn’t have to have HD to have a lot of bad sectors to causing problems, Remember I said there are two kinds sectors? If you get damage on your boot sectors , the computer can not read HD information and the computer will NOT recognize the hard drive. Well this doesn’t happen often but if you are heavy-load windows programs with often system crash (like mine) and a lot of power failure, then you will see this problem. This happens often at big companies’ computers due to their programs and people’s improper shutdowns.

    jjhonson - …. I don't understand how you make the link between the FAT being corrupted and the hard drive being unuseable. The FAT is strictly an OS-managed area of the disk. It has nothing to do with low-level hard disk operation.
    It is

    If the bad block is in the right place it can stop your FAT system from operating, esp. if it blows one of the File Allocation Tables -- ZDNET"],5594,906576,00.html]ZDNET Source URL[/URL]
    This will start to happen when you have many bad sectors. So technically it’s not FAT that makes HD unusable but it’s bad sector that makes HD unusable. But your FAT usually goes bad before this happens and if you are having problem with FAT you will see some problems with your computer.

    For cure for bad-sectors is low-level format. Unlike someone said, you CAN do this. But this will not fix all bad sectors, specially if you have a lot of them.

    The primary cure is to do a Low Level format ( blowing all of your data away in the process ) and then doing a high level format again. Then test the drive again. Don't be upset to see a couple of bad blocks still there - not all drives are perfect and some blocks will not be recovered in all cases Tables -- ZDNET"],5594,906556,00.html]ZDNET Source URL[/URL]
    If you don't have too many, ….You can try the LL Format and see if it comes back, but don't hold much faith that the bad blocks don't come back. -- ZDNET"],5594,906576,00.html]ZDNET Source URL[/URL]

    If you have a bad sector on your disk you will need to replace it as it will only get worse and worse.
    The conversion tool would not work with a bad drive nor would you want it to as it would probably bomb when it hits that bad part on the drive and you would lose everything. . -- ZDNET"],5594,913067,00.html]ZDNET Source URL[/URL]

    4. Hard disk scratching : Like I said before , I was talking base on my experience with older Hard drive which didn’t have auto parking system. I wasn’t familiar with new hard drive system , thanks to those clear this for me. Now I learn something new. But is there power remains in hard drive to auto park after the main power get shut off? Or like ‘Aaron’ said there is a spring makes auto park ? I’ll check and see if my HD makes click sound after power off.


    I used references from ZDNET to help you understand better. If you can find more information about sector and FAT in internet.

  6. #26
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Salt Lake City, UT, USA


    On the hard drives I've taken apart it's the spinning disk that parks the head. I'm not exactly sure how it works but I could start spinning the platters and the head would move over and park itself. So unless you opened the hard drive and stopped the platters from spinning right when you killed the power to your car player it should always autopark.
    Just thought that was an interesting tidbit of info.
    1983 BMW 733i
    Cyrix 166 32MB with MPXPLAY And no display. Player sits on the back seat with a keypad in front. Someday I'll mount this thing for good...
    Gathering parts for carplayer v2.0!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Chester, United Kingdom
    I'm not saying this to get into an argument, but from my years of being a PC system engineer, here is what I have to say -
    An improper shutdown of windows could corrupt files, but it is quite unlikely to trash your windows so bad that you can't boot. A good idea is to ghost your windows partition and keep a copy of it if you want to restore. Keep your MP3 files an stuff on a separate partition, that way if you have to format your windows partition you don't have to copy your mp3's back on. Your MP3 partition is even less likely to get trashed by an improper shutdown because the files are only being read.

    There are 2 copies of the FAT tables on your partition, they get compared when you boot and the most up-to-date one gets copied to the older one, this redundancy is there just in case one was being written to when the machine was powered down.

    An improper shutdown will not damage the drive physically, all new drives auto-park the read write heads. The most likely cause of bad sectors is physical shock, when a drive is parked (off) i can handle around 45 - 70 G force, when it is powered on and in use it can usually handle 10 - 20G force, obviously drives vary and 2.5" drives can handle shock better than 3.5" drives.

    I would say if you are going to be shutting your machine off without shutting windows down then run scandisk every so often so that it fixes any problems caused. Why not make shutting windows down part of your 'getting out of the car' routine if you have time, - put the parking brake on, shutdown windows, turn off the ignition, take off your seatbelt, get out the car.
    Epia M10000, 256Mb RAM, 60Gb HDD, DVD-RW, External 120Gb HDD, Travla C134 case, Liliput 7" Touchscreen, GPS, 802.11, Bluetooth, FM Tuner.

  8. #28
    Constant Bitrate JayKaye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Sydney, Australia
    EDIT: oops! just realised there was a second page to this thread and jjohnson's reply sums up what im thinking


    Accord, im sorry but I really dont think you know what your talking about. It seems you dont either if you needed to goto ZDnet to source true information. Your HDD stories have been changing every time you post a reply, your latest reply seems to be the most correct, however there are still a few issues there (or maybe I just cant understand what your trying to say?). I am not trying to be mean here, but please dont post things that you arent sure about. Going from Hardware to Software Engineer and now to Network Engineer myself I understand how the hardware works, but to people who dont they may actually believe some of the stuff you said.

  9. #29
    FLAC mauri's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Maveric
    This link not work correctly


  10. #30
    Constant Bitrate
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Vic. Australia
    the thread is from 2001!

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