02-16-2009 09:57 AM
Regarding the interaction between the FAD and other large drives and Vista computers, it would be useful to know whether problems with the FAD have originated on Vista computers. It seems possible that where people have had trouble using these drives on a Vista box, the problems might have originated on XP.
In my case, the theory would be that the trouble with the FAD has not progressed to the point where actual corruption of the drive's filesystem has occurred. It doesn't want to work properly on XP any longer, but it works OK on Vista. This may be a function of the aggregate size of the filesystem - is there a 100GB threshold in play perhaps? To test this, I can try offloading a big chunk of the files I have on there now to the Vista box, and then try it again on XP. This will have to wait until tonight...
If Vista is in fact a "safe harbor" for the drive, it would be very useful to know exactly what it is about Vista that makes this so. It may actually be the case that it is not Vista per se, but rather some default setting I happen to have on the Vista box in question, i.e. no write caching of hard drives. Again, I'll check on that this evening after I get back home.
The bottom line here is that it seems possible that there is a software solution for the problems people are seeing with the FAD. It may be that continuing to work with the drive once it starts to show errors in a particular environment (i.e. XP - the "Delayed Write Failed" articles in Microsoft's knowledgebase all point to XP) leads to unrecoverable errors in ALL environments, and that fixing the problem is simply a matter of changing settings in XP before the drive reaches a corrupted state.
02-16-2009 11:52 AM - edited 02-16-2009 01:07 PM
Note similar problems occurring over five years ago in XP with large (non-Seagate?) USB 2.0 drives:
The Delayed Write Error (DWE) is common to most of the complaints I have seen, here on this forum and elsewhere, regarding the FAD, and the DWE seems only to occur when write caching is enabled. XP is also common to most of the complaints where an OS is mentioned, and based on what I've read, XP by default enables write caching for drives considered "non-removable." Various criteria are used to decide whether to consider a drive non-removable, including the Removable Media Bit on the drive itself. My guess would be that the RMB on the FAD is turned off. I have read conflicting accounts of whether Vista enables write caching of removable media by default.
To those of you who may have drives that haven't become totally corrupted or unusable yet - try turning off Write Caching on your FAD. Go to the Properties dialog for the drive, check the Hardware tab, chose the drive in the list, click the Properties button. A new dialog will open. Click the Policies tab. If "Optimize for performance" or "Enable write caching" is selected, unselect it. If your drive is not too far gone, this may clear up the problem.
Please reply here regardless of whether or not this fixes your problem.
02-16-2009 12:32 PM - edited 02-16-2009 01:09 PM
This is interesting info. As a Mac user, it would be very helpful to me to know whether ANYONE who's had these problems is having them on a Mac.
Please reply if you are.
02-16-2009 02:59 PM
02-16-2009 05:42 PM
I think the $mft Delayed Write failures I have seen are unrelated to write caching. Every time I checked that in this process, it was already off. That's one of the reasons I ended up stumbling upon the page caching theory as the underlying culprit. It's still very likely imho that this idea is either coincidence or wrong, but like I said, if seagate tech support isn't going to act like tech support, we have to. And as to the extreme or FA desk issue - I think we've seen a fair amount of both in this (and other) threads on this subject. Mine are FAD. That's actually one reason it could be a non-hardware defect issue. If this is really the problem, or even the problem for some of us, it is simply inexcusable that Seagate isn't fixing this in their install or advicing users to make the changes themselves.
02-16-2009 06:02 PM
02-16-2009 07:22 PM
I followed the links you posted earlier and eventually wound up on a message board where some people had solved their DWEs by turning off write caching, so I thought that might represent at least a partial solution. As it turns out, I discovered this evening that the XP machine which has the problem with the drive does NOT have write caching turned on for this drive, while my Vista machine DOES have write caching on for it - exactly the opposite of what I was expecting.
So now I'm going to go back and reread your post re paging and see where that leads me. Once I discovered that I can use the drive with no problems on our Vista box, I was convinced that there ought to be a solution to this problem.
02-17-2009 07:12 AM
02-18-2009 02:20 PM
I have a 1.5Tb Free Agent that I purchased after my brand new Maxtor 1TB NAS drive died. I managed to get my data onto the new 1.5Tb drive, and it began to exhibit the EXACT same symptoms I see described by other users in this forum. The drive will "click" and give me delayed write failures. I cannot copy or delete my data off the drive.
I have used a USB cable from another USB drive which has multiple power leads to supply additional power. I have let the drive sit until it spins down. The only thing I have not done is remove the drive from its enclusure. I also saw one user post up about cooling the drive down. I am wondering if the drive will perform better in lower temps.
Here is what I am wondering. I understand this drive is not currently covered by the Seagate BIOS upgrade. But, on all the hardware support forums I visit (like Tom's Hardware). or when I check NewEgg, I find the same comments over and over. Lots and lots of failures.
So, here is the crux of my questions.
Is the BIOS to blame in these drives?
Can we get a definitive answer on what is wrong?
Is this a drive that data can be recovered by Seagate like the internal models?
The repsonses I have seen thus far from the forum support staff is for the end user to call Seagate tech support. I like many others am not interested in spending an hour to be given the run around by a cusotmer service rep who probably has no clue about my issue and will give me a rather generic answer.
Surely, someone at Seagate can comment on what this issues is or isn't. If it is BIOS, then can we upgrade it. If its a design flaw, then tell me so I can wipe the drive and return it. I purchased through Best Buy and want to get this returned before my 30 days is up if there is no possible resolution.
So, can someone from Seagate please help push this through to get a real answer?
02-18-2009 02:33 PM