09-13-2010 01:50 PM - edited 09-13-2010 01:57 PM
I have two 1TB Barracuda internal HDDs that I purchased awhile back (I'm thinking... ). I recall back when I first installed them I ran into some trouble with them (old email reminded me that was in late Feb of this year), but to be honest I have since flushed my brain because of the self-imposed heck of RAID1 on a home PC (the only time I’ve lost data was because of RAID). Of course I am no longer trying to use RAID, and my computer has been flawless without it for quite awhile (see system specs below).
Recently, the computer began freezing up at random (no perceivable reason), and when using the case power button to force a reboot WinXP had no idea it happened (no error report). Seemed like hardware eh? My PSU rails looked good (voltages stable and near specs) so I have not replaced the power supply. The platform is old (Socket A baby!) so I checked the likely mobo failure, but a replacement did not fix the problem.
I rebuilt the original system and found that one of the drives is now “clicking”… intermittently. I read a bunch in these forums (and others) and have since checked the drives with HD Tune 2.55; here are screen grabs of the results:
(can't seem to hotlink images, but the links work)
Thankfully it is the backup HDD that seems to be clicking. The drops in the graph corresponded to the audible clicks. I have checked both drives with SeaTools, but neither drive can be checked with most of its programs… strange? SMART, Short/Long Tests are “Unavailable” but both check out with the Short Generic (shall I bother with the Long Generic in Win or just get the DOS version so it can make repairs while its running?).
Seagate’s firmware upgrade tool returns “no upgrade necessary”, but this webpage says different:
Strange… I’ve checked the drive info with SeaTools and I am not mistaken about the model number, and both are CC37 firmware. One seems fine the other seems to be having trouble. Oh, that reminds me, I have since stabilized my computer by cleaning up the Registry and removing any bloatware (Creative’s software package is gigantic, and full of crud that runs in the background), so I am reasonably sure the OS HDD was not the cause. Maybe the other SATA HDD could cause XP to lockup with this behavior?
So after touching the PC internals the bugger is clicking; why? I found one poster here who thought changing to a different power cable solved his problem (I could have switched the PSU cable and I could switch it back) but another post said the clicking went away magically on two of the three drives like mine in their system… so many ideas, so little desire to chase this ghost.
What about an upgrade to CC46, as offered in the above link? I started to run the utility to just upgrade the backup drive’s firmware, but the utility gave me no indication I could choose which drive to update, so I cancelled it. Will I be able to specify which drive? What I’ve read has given me no proof that a firmware update will fix the problem, and could even slow the drives down by design. And I have little desire to run software to “fix” Seagate’s weak sectors (if that’s the problem). A little guidance might help me decide a course of action.
DFI LanParty NFII Ultra B
AMD Athlon XP3200+ (not overclocked while I’ve owned it)
2x 1GB PC3200 memory (Corsair XMS matched pair)
ATI Raedon 9800
Creative Audigy 2 (only running drivers, not Creative Bloatware)
2x Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200.12 HDDs (not in RAID)
Antec TruBlue 2 500W PSU
Antec Sonata case
09-13-2010 04:54 PM
09-14-2010 06:09 AM
Thanks for the tips on the firmware update, and reading the HDD tests. It's too bad I have to wait for Seatools to return an error when all agree the drives are on the highway to heck (just wanted to see if the server would convert my cuss word again .
The Antec Sonata holds drives in a horizontal orientation, or did I miss something?
It is WinXP SP3, fully updated, so its strange that Seatools is looking for something else, but I will look into the DOS version, or would a bootable CD be sufficient? HD Tune 2.55 seems unable to read the Seagate's SMART data (odd numbers).
I am going to try another PSU cable next, but first I'm off to work.
Nice to see another person still enjoying their completely adequate computer!
09-15-2010 12:10 AM
09-15-2010 11:41 AM - edited 09-15-2010 11:42 AM
well I could not eliminate the second drive's clicking with the other power cable, and with HDDs using only tens of watts I am fairly sure my PSU is adequate.
So I disconnected the second drive, no clicking from the OS HDD (same model & firmware), ran HD Tune again, and thought you might be interested:
OS HDD solo
I notice the access times are "tighter", or the cloud of yellow dots are less spread out. So a malfunctioning second HDD can influence the performance of the main OS HDD... oh, and the transfer times are also less variable (blue line).
I am working on the DOS SeaTools disc to check the HDDs, when I get some time.
09-15-2010 02:53 PM
09-17-2010 01:31 PM
Since HD Tune's number look funny I thought I'd get the SMART data from SeaTools, but v2.21 DOS does not find any HDD on my system... I'll have to look at the docs but perhaps it can't see it through the RAID controller even though it is not in an array.
So here is HD Tune's Reallocated Sector Count:
Current - 100 Worst - 100 Threshold - 36 Data - 0 Status - ok
I am really considering dumping these Lemons and getting data storage without known issues - I used to not look at other vendors besides Seagate, but now... I think I'd better. But perhaps I don't have to worry because I am considering SSD instead of HDD, however in order to capitalize on their qualities I would need a processor that can keep up so I am being tempted by the Upgrade Bug somethin fierce. I guess once every decade is not too often eh?
09-17-2010 03:45 PM
10-21-2010 10:04 PM
I've managed to solve the problem not upgrading the firmware, the unit is vulnerable to electrical interference from other components such as fan, coolers, other hardrives and chips from the mother board.
As seen in this post (spanish language) they managed to fix the issue carrying the drive into an external case or putting it far away from whatever can interfere with the drive, if you don't remove the interference, apparently the drive becomes into failure over time.
The issue starts with terribly slow transfers, and then clicking noise, and then SMART failures. Recomendations: remove from your computer use as external with the case opened and upgrade if you wish the firmare (not necesarily aparently), and put back in a place far away from other components. It gives your HD back to life and faster than ever. It may help.
12-18-2011 05:27 AM
I have the same drive ST31000528AS CC37. Bought this model from a computer store in Boston, MA. It came with a 5 Year warantee. I RMA'd and got a replacement - the 2nd drive crapped out too. And Now the 3rd drive is exibiting the same problem. When I boot up first thing in the day - the Seagate is not even listed - it doesn't show. ON the reboot - it shows, ,but I have to hit the F11 key to maually choose the Seagate drive ( the only boot device ) I have written a letter to SEAGATE - I am hoping that they'll swap for a drive with a different model number. I feel like this has been a raw deal.