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Thread: Let's discuss hard drive issues (yet again) - Potentially serious problem

  1. #1
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    Let's discuss hard drive issues (yet again) - Potentially serious problem

    Okay, I've read almost every thread and post relating to the whole hard drive situation. Some people say they've never had any problems and others (the OP's) do have the problem, and it seems like it's never solved. I have a 2.5" 250GB harddrive that is mounted on the rubber pieces on top of screws. My computer was initially bolted down under my seat, but then i unbolted it because i was having hard drive issues and needed to bring the computer into my house. The hard drive issues are that on turns, and i guess a combination of bumps and normal vibrations in addition to the turns, there is a grinding noise, i believe caused by the platter spinning and being disrupted by the combination of turns, vibration and bumps, usually though my system wouldn't freeze, but sometimes it would, so i'd have to restart the computer using the manual switch, and it would make me go into Windows Repair (since i don't have a keyboard in my house, i couldn't go down to the "Start Windows Normally" option", and when it would go into repair, i couldn't continue without the keyboard, i dont know if there is a way to get the touchscreen to work when it is in repair mode). Ok so that is essentially the problem, the grinding --> freezing --> repair mode. I don't think i've gotten a disk read error, i had desktop problems recently and i can't distinguish whether or not it was the carpc or the desktop that was having the disk read error.

    Ok so solutions, i have one method i want to try, first i want to purchase SATA data and power extension cables, there's actually all in one extension cables out there as well, and then run it to say, the console storage box/arm rest storage. I want to completely pad it and have the hard drive in it, so that maybe the effects of vibration and turning and bumps may be eliminated due to a lot of cushioning, definitely making it anti-static first. I think the problems i'm having currently arise from the back that it is directly screwed onto the motherboard tray of the case, so when the car and case experiences turns and bumps and vibration, the harddrive has really no cushioning or protection (i dont think the rubber is doing anything b/c of the fact that it is still mounted on screws to the plate) and a much more cushioned surrounding would be helpful.

    Has anyone done something similar, or had similar problems? My other method that i will go forth with if the first method fails is to get an SSD, clone the harddrive over to it and probably run it strictly for OS purposes, and really limit the writing and deleting of data on it, because of the life cycles of SSDs, which i am still not even close to understanding or knowing the truth about, is it really 5 years? Even if you run it strictly for OS? And what if you use it for storage of media and stuff but don't write/delete stuff onto/from it very often or intensely?

    Any input would be great!! I'm starting to get annoyed w/ having to have my carpc completely offline, especially when driving to work, school, and distant places!!!


  2. #2
    MySQL Error scott_fx's Avatar
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    i dont think it's a bad idea to get it off the floor, though im not sure about the length you can extend an sata cable.

    maybe try isolating the hard drive from the solid mounts first. Also try mounting it vertically with the plates spinning on the axis that you're turning. (i.e. stand it on end with the plates facing the front and rear of the car) this way the only forces that would make them hit each other would be acceleration and stopping... rapid acceleration and rapid stopping.... dont hit anyone and you should be good. im one of those that had a 3.5" mounted solidly w/o a problem... so im just brainstorming here
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    I think the issue can easily be mitigated by using a cheap-o SSD for your boot partition and the HDD for your storage. That way when there's grinding, your music will skip (not ideal) but will continue to work when it recovers. I read a post here that recommended mounting the HDD vertically so that the arm doesn't damage (aka cause the 'grinding'?) the HDD.

  4. #4
    Low Bitrate chris_h's Avatar
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    i would recommend an Extreme Environments (EE) drive or an SSD like you said

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    wikipiedia says that sata cables can't be longer then 1m, or 3.3ft..

    otherwise, i support what scottfx said. placing the drive on it's side is probably your best option.

    being that you said you have been through the other threads, i am sure you have run across the posts about being careful about creating secondary vibrations...

    something i tried in the past is some battery isolation bumps--
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/BATTE...-/280682907400

    they are a firm silicone-- i cut up one of the bumps into 4 parts, then mounted some studs on the hdd to poke into it, and just glued the 'bumps' to my carpc board..

    i didn't believe it made the issue any better or worse, but always worth a shot...

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    Thank you EVERYONE for the replies, i will definitely try out each and everyone one of your suggestions! I will first try getting it off the solid mounts, as that must surely be a problem. I think 3.3ft (1m) would be more than enough, and I have considered the vertical positioning w/ the plates facing the front and rear, i think that would work, i definitely see the logic, sounds like a solid suggestion. Vertical positioning along with a good amount of cushioning and less than 1m of extension.

    If somehow that makes it worse or doesn't work (which i doubt it would get any worse) i think i will use a small 16GB SSD, i've considered SSD, but the only thing that is deterring me from that route is the write cycles effecting the life expectancy, i read a couple of forums that have a whole host of tweaks to do in order to increase the life expectancy. Does anyone know whether or not the "2 years" and "5 years" life expectancies mean 2 and 5 years of full usage? As in 2 years x 365 days x 24 hours of usage? Or just 5 years flat?

  7. #7
    MySQL Error soundman98's Avatar
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    try to isolate your tests--first try mounting it sideways solidly, and then if that fails, move to vibration dampening. i know this issue is bothering you(it bothered me enough to just buy a ssd) but i fear doing too many tests all at once could make the problem worse, and allow you to blame the wrong component for the vibration..

  8. #8
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    With the low prices of SSDs these days its pretty much a necessity to run one for your boot drive. It will completely remove the chance of drive failure from the car environment. I think as it becomes easier to run media off "the cloud" it becomes much less essential to have a media drive, so the SSD can be your only drive

    As I just had a drive fail today, I'm in the same boat. I'm tired of dealing with those issues. Thankfully drives are cheap enough where you should have a backup / spare ready to swap.
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  9. #9
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    My CarPC runs from a Compact Flash card. Nice and quick, and bumps and vibrations don't hurt it at all.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dscustoms View Post
    With the low prices of SSDs these days its pretty much a necessity to run one for your boot drive. It will completely remove the chance of drive failure from the car environment. I think as it becomes easier to run media off "the cloud" it becomes much less essential to have a media drive, so the SSD can be your only drive

    As I just had a drive fail today, I'm in the same boat. I'm tired of dealing with those issues. Thankfully drives are cheap enough where you should have a backup / spare ready to swap.
    Yeah I'm going to have to buy an SSD, for sure for boot purposes to ensure that it will always work on bumps and stuff, and have just garmin and CF and the necessities on it, that way if i'm on my way to an unfamiliar place, the OS and GPS will continue to work. the cloud? Do explain, i mean i'm aware of clouds in general but are you using some sort of cloud network right now?

    And yes I'll definitely isolate first.

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