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Thread: How does a hard drive just die?

  1. #1
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    How does a hard drive just die?

    I have pretty much completed my system and am finishing off some last steps. Well the hard drive that I bought to go in my system (Fujitsu 10 GB 3.5" manufactured in May 2000) has been working fine from day one and I had copied every CD I own onto it in MP3 format.

    Well about a week ago I had everything installed except the LCD so I took my monitor out to the car with an extension cord for power and tested everything. It worked great with the exception of the hard drive freezing a couple times when I had the stereo turned up (loud bass notes). This I can understand so I thought nothing of it. Well it was in the car for the last week mounted vertically with no suspension and hasn't been used. I get my LCD in the car and fire it up just to find the hard drive doesn't boot.

    It was spinning then stopping, spinning then stopping. It sounds bad. It would slowly start booting up, then stop, then continue, then stop. I brought it in the house and it won't do anything. I can't even boot from floppy. In fact I had it as the secondary drive and it stopped the primary drive from booting.

    As much as I need all my work to go down the toilet is there anything that can be done to salvage information or repair? Before I buy another I want to be sure this doesn't happen again. I haven't heard of anybodies dying after a week without even using it. Huge waste of $100 if I do say so.

    Help.

  2. #2
    FLAC MP3DUB's Avatar
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    A motherboard doesnt need a harddrive to post, or boot from a floppy. sounds like something else is wrong, ie psu, motherboard, cpu, memory (id say in order of likelyhood, most to least). And usually when a drive goes, it goes pretty spetacularly, especially in a high stress environment like a car, meaning a head crash would probably be the most common, and it would make a LOUD scraping noises.
    -Nick

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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the quick reply. It's not the computer because this occurs in either my home system which is what I'm using to type this and the car system. I didn't hear ay scraping just starting then stopping. It was like it couldn't get enough umph to keep spinning.

    Both systems recognize it as a 10 GB hard drive and all so not completely useless. Maybe the motor?

  4. #4
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    The platter speed regulation has gone tits up. Fujitsu drives seem notorius for this sort of thing. We have just had to replace more than 80 20gb fujitsu's all with this very same problem at work. All were bought at the same time, and all have failed within the space of 2 months of each other! Sometimes you will find it can stay running for a few hours, then just stop. After you reboot, the PC will say disk boot failure. Leave it off overnight and it works again. Listening carefully, you can usually hear the platter spinning up and down before shutting off. Eventually they die altogether, accompanied by a fair bit of heat.

    Dump the Fujitsu and get a different drive is my advice.
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  5. #5
    Retired Admin Aaron Cake's Avatar
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    This is the normal failure I see in Fujitsu and Quantum HDs. I have found that it is caused by BAD POWER, which slowly damages the drive. So before you replace it, make sure your 12V is actually 12V, and your 5V is actually 5V.

    There probably isn't any way to recover the drive short of a data recovery service. Which really shouldn't matter, since you of course have backups, right?

    You COULD try swapping the control board from another drive that is exactly the same. It might fix the problem enough to get your data off.
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  6. #6
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    Hey, mine died last night too. It does the exact same thing but mine is a maxtor and it gets really hot!! I think mine was a power problem. I knew I bought that 2 year extended warranty for a reason! I now keep all my mp3s on the network and just copy them over when I reformat my machine.
    Steve

  7. #7
    FLAC MP3DUB's Avatar
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    Do maxtors not come with a 3 year manufacturers warrenty anymore?
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  8. #8
    FLAC
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    I accidently killed an IBM drive while setting up my car pc a few weeks ago.. it slid across a bit of metal and *BZZT* followed by an imediate system shutdown. When I booted back up the disc didn't even spin up, and it wasn't recognized

    My backups weren't current enough to recover the data I need most off the drive.. so I'm pretty much screwed out of some important things
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  9. #9
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    Since were comparing tales of dead drives; Last weekend I was going to replace my 4gb Maxtor in the car with a 10gb Western Digital that I had been hording for the occation. Unfortunatly, when I plugged it in I was using an old AT PSU in the house to run the comp, and turning on was accompanied by smoke and popping components! I should be glad it didnt damage the MB I suppose. Cant figure out what happened though, I went back and checked that AT supply and its fine.
    -------------------------------------------
    (=========-) 99% complete
    --------------------------------------------
    AMD K6/2 500 @ 450mhz to keep heat and power usage down, 64Mb, slim CDrom drive, 64mb USB pendrive for MP3 transfer, 10Gb 2.5" drive for MP3, USB>RS232
    All jammed in external CDROM drive case.
    Kenwood KVC-1000r In-Dash LCD. x-10 MouseRemote. Destinator V2 Gps. DC-DC with onboard Shutdown controller.
    ----------------------------------------------

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by ShinkunoNamida
    I accidently killed an IBM drive while setting up my car pc a few weeks ago.. it slid across a bit of metal and *BZZT* followed by an imediate system shutdown. When I booted back up the disc didn't even spin up, and it wasn't recognized

    My backups weren't current enough to recover the data I need most off the drive.. so I'm pretty much screwed out of some important things
    Do what I do when people blow up the PCB on drives.
    Find another that's the same and swap the PCB's.

    If it's a 3.5" IBM Deskstar (Deathstar), I'm sure you can find plenty of dead ones on ebay. Seeing it's common they fail.
    Perhaps you can find one with a good PSB for a few bucks...

    That is if the data is that important.

    I had to save someone else from that two weeks ago...

    -Mario

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