01-22-2009 04:25 PM
I've had a Central Axis file server for 6 Months. Recently it stopped working. It is worth the cost of a replacement for me to get the data off the drive if it happens to be readably on my pc directly.
The symptoms are:
1. power on.
2. Power light=on Activity light=off Drive Status Light=blinking steadily
3. After 5 seconds: Drive spins up, followd by Activity light flashing randomly.
4. After 10 seconds: Activity light stops, Drive status light(s): solid red, plus steady blinking white.
I took the drive apart. It was fairly difficult, but didn't take too long.
I installed the drive in my computer directly (running Vista). I ran two different Linux EXT2/3 drive mounting programs, and mounted the drive read-only.
I was able to see folders, and copy data from the drive... for a bit.
After about 700 meg, the drive stops working. This is very repeatable. I shut down my computer, start it up. Can copy files, and after a short bit (not heat realated) It fails.
This symptom seems similar to what I've been hearing with the genaral 1TB drive firmware problem. I understand that the problem has to do with the corruption of some data in an area of the drive where the drive stores status information. It loops through this finite space, and once it gets to the end, begins again at the beginning. Since the failure I'm seeing seems to be realated to how much I use the drive, and not how long it's been powered on, nor how warm it is, I'm thinking it is similar the the issues people have had with standalone units.
So the point of my post.
a. has anyone experience similar problems.
b. has someone discovered a workaround.
c. is it likely that if I send it in for a replacement, i'll get a unit with a similar problem.
d. are my observations completely wrong, and why.
The model of drive installed is a Barracuda 7200.11, ST31000340AS, P/N98X158-568
The firmware is D81
--------------- SeaTools for Windows v18.104.22.168 ---------------
1/22/2009 5:49:52 PM
Serial Number: 9QxxxxEY
Firmware Revision: SD81
Identify - Started 1/22/2009 5:49:52 PM
Identify - Pass 1/22/2009 5:49:56 PM
SMART: Supported and enabled
48-bit Address feature set supported: True
Max LBA: 1953525168
Host Protected Area features: Supported and enabled
Mandatory Power Management: Supported and enabled
Security Mode: Supported not enabled
SET MAX security extension: Supported not enabled
Advanced Power Managment: Not Supported
Download Firmware: False
SMART self-test supported: True
SMART error logging supported: True
Drive Temperature(C/F): 39/102
Power-On Hours: 3766
SMART - Pass 1/22/2009 5:51:58 PM
Short DST - Started 1/22/2009 5:52:33 PM
Short DST - FAIL 1/22/2009 5:53:06 PM
SMART - Pass 1/22/2009 5:53:35 PM
Identify - Started 1/22/2009 5:53:50 PM
Identify - Pass 1/22/2009 5:53:53 PM
01-27-2009 04:25 AM
I've had the exact same behavior with two out of three Central Axes that I've bought--at least as far as the red solid plus white blinking status light. I found some documentation about the status lights, but it doesn't cover this case.
I haven't gone to the trouble of removing the drive yet. I'm wondering if I might be able to install the drive from one of the "dead" enclosures in the enclosure that seems to be still working to access the data.
Anyone ever tried? Any help would be much appreciated as the data on the drives is valuable to me.
01-31-2009 01:42 PM
I have had 3 Shared Storage 2TB drives fail, all within one week of having them. Then, they sent me a Cental Axis Business to replace the last Shared Storage. Within 2 days, same problem as you are having. I am 0 for 4 with them. I paid $800 for the Shared Storage last summer - I"m writing it all off as I've spent more hours trying to make it work than its worth. Zero for 4? Come on.
BTW-in all my cases, the issue has been the 'one white blink plus 4 red light blinks', meaning the controller is not working and is not repairable by me (per support).
02-08-2009 11:01 AM
02-08-2009 12:21 PM
Yes, that is the same unit - mine is a 2TB unit. Seagate Tech Support just had me send the unit back to them for a specific review of the product by someone on their end and is having a new unit shipped to them for verfication that it works prior to sending back out to me.
The support team was very nice on the telephone, but they still claim that they are not aware of this problem and seem genuinely surprised at it - even though there are quite a few forum listings of similar problems. We'll see how the next one works. Unfortunately, even if it does work, I've lost trust in using it as my #1 backup, so I will purchase another drive for primary backup duty.
02-08-2009 07:37 PM
06-10-2009 10:44 PM
I had these exact problems, and called support. My immediate problem was that I had saved everything to my Maxtor Cantral Axis drive prior to a reformat and XP reinstall of my main drive, and the Central Axis drive failed with the flashing red LED during the re-load. I called technical support on June 6, 2009 and was told (1) my drive would not be repaired, but I could get a warranty replacment and that (2) in response to my question about security, that once it was repaired the drive would be wiped to government standards (3) the flashing red LED was not a known failure message. Having read Axis' post here, as well as the post by everest at http://forums.seagate.com/stx/board/message?board.
More troubling, by far, was what I saw during the disassembly procedure. It is obvious why these drives fail, and the fingerprints of the design process are all over this unit. The device's design did not consider thermal issues until late in the design process. The thermal management arrangement is pathetic (I will not describe it - despite its shortcomings, it is clearly MAXTOR proprietary) This might have been adequate if the device had had its advertised sleep mode, but with the drive's running constantly, the thermal management system rapidly came to thermal equilibrium with the drive and was of no further benefit. Based upon my expetience (18 years) in reliability and design, every consumer of this product can expect to have to exercise the warranty provisions. From my (admittedly) inaccurate assessment of the system temperature, just by holding it when there is no (intentional) disk activity at all, I estimate the temperature inside the case to be approximately 65C. Several of the components (whose max temperature I checked) on the interface board are rated at only 55C. The constant failure rate portion of the lifetime curve increases exponentially with temperature. This is why these devices are failing. The airflow through the bottom is constricted. There is less than half a millimeter of clearance between the bottom of the unit and its vents. This unit had much of its thermal management inserted very late in the process, probably to meet a shipment schedule. This product really had no chance at all.
The internal drive has been working flawlessly since freed from its literal infernal housing. You will violate the warranty when you crack it open to salvage the drive (and your data), but the option is to return it for a brand new drive. Do you really want to replace a failed drive with one which has the exact same problems? That you must decide for yourself.
In a nutshell, it apprears that although many people have complained about this failure symptom (continuous flashing exclamation point LED), that support has never heard of it. I am being charitible in suspecting that this is because it is the interface board which has failed, and that support's 8 x 11" checklist simply doesn't have that listed. However, I can state that by cracking the drive's case, I was able to recover ALL of my data from this poorly-designed device and I managed to salvage the internal drive (which has been reformatted to NTFS and is now used as a second backup).
06-15-2009 12:50 AM
To be fair . . .
I had claimed 100% recovery of my data, but I ran a checksum on all of the recovered data I mentioned in my last post. There were a total of 8 files that were not recovered with unchanged checksums. All were images, and, of course, they are really messed up. Now I am looking for an application that can adjust the data in a .jpg image to kill the corrupt portion - they were my daughters' dance recital photos.
06-15-2009 08:43 AM
06-17-2009 10:37 PM
I bought this drive at Staples 2 months ago and it failed in this way. It was making clicking sounds for a week before it showed a flashing light. I called technical support from their website and they would only replace the drive - not repair. After reading the posts, I disassembled the drive, and it was as easy as the postings said. It took me about twenty minutes with two screwdrivers. There were two metal blocks which I couldn't figure if I needed, but they were attatched to the casing that was holding the actual drive. I put this drive into my computer and I was able to get data out with Explore2FS. Thank you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But the problem I have is I can recover 5-10 GB of data (varies) before the Explore2FS crashes and requires a rteboot. The drive just isn't there anymore. I can't get the whole thing back in one operation. What dio I do? Do I reboot 100 times?
Has anyone had this problem?