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Thread: Hard Drive screwed in cold weather!?!!?

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate
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    Apr 2000
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    Little Rock, Arkansas
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    Angry Hard Drive screwed in cold weather!?!!?

    Hey all, had my system in my car since about april or so and it doenst get that cold down here in arkansas except in actual winter months. But the past few days its gotten colder and colder, highs of 40s, lows of teens. Since its gotten colder, ive noticed my computer doesnt wanna boot up properly. Ive brought it in after its been in my car and immediately hooked it up. It starts booting but when it should continue past bios, it locks up. Ive gone into bios and had it autodetect my hard drive and it detects it. But then I try again and it doesnt work. If I let it sit for a while, it works eventually. Obviously something is getting too cold, hard drive most likely. Is there anything I can do to keep this from happening? Ive got my hard drive on a removeable rack so I guess I can just start taking it in and out as I come and go, but would much rather not have to do so. But if no other solutions, guess I will. Thanks for the help in advance.

    Grand Am-P3
    The Grand aMP3 Project
    Car: 96 Pontiac Grand Am
    Current Setup: AMD K62 300MHz, 64MB DIMM RAM, 20GB WD Hard Drive, Basic Video & Sound

  2. #2
    Newbie
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    Mar 2000
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    Priceton, NJ, USA
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    Post

    I know this sound obvious but did you check the connections?

    Once my heat in my house went out over for about week. During that time I tried to boot up my computer and it was doing almost exactly what you've described here. After trying about 100 different things, I finally checked the connections. What I found was that IDE cable connection was lose around the controller (on the motherboard) and it it very lose around my slave drive. After I pushed them all back in snugly it all worked fine.

    Now, Since I'm the only one that lives in my house the only way I could imagine this is happening is that it got cold enough to contract cables and the connectors enough mess with the connection.

    I know it all sounds far fetched but the computer is a old p90 (even had the error chip) and it was the only time I had that type of problem with it in the 6 years I've owned it.

    Hope it helps,
    Blackwind

  3. #3
    FLAC
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    Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
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    Cool

    I just hope u don't have or using a maxtor HD. Double check your cables. Do you have all ur setup in a box or you have everything exposed?



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  4. #4
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    Post

    connections seem firm enough, but like I said Im using a hard drive tray so the connectoin in there might be a lil loose. Actually I am using a Maxtor 13GB. Would that really be the cause?!? Ive got my setup in a normal desktop case. Only thing coming out from the box is a power for the LCD. As I said in the beginning, the bios will autodetect the correct settings for the hard drive and all so I dont think its losing its connection. If it is the brand of hard drive, what brand should i buy? we buy "wholesale" for our company and it just depends on what the company we buy from has in stock. I bought the drive about a year ago so of course I woudltn really wanna replace it already, especially since im low on funds as it is. Well, thanx so far, keep em coming.

    Grand Am-P3
    The Grand aMP3 Project
    Car: 96 Pontiac Grand Am
    Current Setup: AMD K62 300MHz, 64MB DIMM RAM, 20GB WD Hard Drive, Basic Video & Sound

  5. #5
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    London, Ontario, Canada
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    Cool

    After you brought the HD inside, did you give it some time to warm up? If not, then condensation was probably preventing it from booting up.

    As for your other problems, I run my player in the middle of Canadian winters. Right now, it is -5 where I am and everything is running great. Check out my specs below for info on what hardware I am using.

    I will side with the others that have replied to this post. It sounds like something that is already loose is being aggrivated by the cold. Check cable connections, DIMMs, AGP and PCI slots, BIOS chip, etc. All of these can work loose over time...

    ------------------
    Aaron Cake
    London, Ontario, Canada

    Player: Cyrix 200, 32MB RAM, 10.2Gig Quantum HD, Onboard EtherNet/Sound/Video, Custom Lexan Case, Arise DC-DC, Win95 Kernal w/Custom Player
    Car: '86 Mazda RX-7 w/Basic Performance Upgrades
    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."

  6. #6
    Variable Bitrate
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    Post

    well, I took my hard drive inside last night and then when i put it in my car this morning, everything worked fine. Ive got a hard drive tray (as stated before) so if theres a loose connection, its in the hard drive tray itself. Ive checked all the connections in it and it doesnt appear to be it. However it maybe where the tray connects with the slot, in which case I wouldnt be able to prevent. In any case, Ive had it sitting out in my car since this morning when I came to work and went out to test it a few min ago and it worked fine. Guess Ill just have to take it inside at night due to the cold. I saw where cenwesi put something about a maxtor hard drive, which it is. Just wondering if anyone knows actual facts that this could be it. In any case, its working fine now so I guess Ill just have to take it in at night. Thanx for your continued help.

    Grand aMP3
    The Grand aMP3 Project
    Car: 96 Pontiac Grand Am
    Current Setup: AMD K62 300MHz, 64MB DIMM RAM, 20GB WD Hard Drive, Basic Video & Sound

  7. #7
    Newbie
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    Aug 2000
    Location
    Oregon
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    Post

    I've found it's just impossible to fully rely on the computer to always boot properly. I keep an extra ATX extention switch by my console in case anything goes wrong.

    Cold has been a minor issue here in OR. It's not -5 or anything, but even in the 20's sometimes the drive wants to spin up longer (and won't detect properly until it does). I just let it sit an extra second or two, and tap the atx button a couple times (off, then on)

    Thankfully, in OR it doesn't get THAT cold.

    -Matt

  8. #8
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    Cool

    Also, I have noticed that some of the HD trays out there just suck. I have a neighbour that constantly has problems with his machine locking up. This is due to the HD tray. I also have customers with similar problems. They just don't make all that great a connection, and introduce one more failure mode to a machine that is already taking a lot of abuse. Probably a good idea to buy "ruggedized" HD trays.

    ------------------
    Aaron Cake
    London, Ontario, Canada

    Player: Cyrix 200, 32MB RAM, 10.2Gig Quantum HD, Onboard EtherNet/Sound/Video, Custom Lexan Case, Arise DC-DC, Win95 Kernal w/Custom Player
    Car: '86 Mazda RX-7 w/Basic Performance Upgrades
    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."

  9. #9
    Newbie
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    49

    Post

    Try the hard drive out of the tray. Leave it in the cold over night and power it up in the morning. It might be the conecter on the back of the tray misfunctioning in the cold.

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