help with HD spin diagnosis - Storage

This is a discussion on help with HD spin diagnosis - Storage ; Hi, I'm trying to determine why a hard drive will spin down, then pause, then spin up. I've owned it for more than a few years and its never done that before. I ran dx tests on the drive and ...

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  1. help with HD spin diagnosis

    Hi,

    I'm trying to determine why a hard drive will spin down,
    then pause, then spin up. I've owned it for more than a few years
    and its never done that before.

    I ran dx tests on the drive and it passed ok.
    I do have a UPS APC 650 400watt power supply that I plug
    the computer into. Recently I added some speakers that
    are 75 W each. The power supply in the computer is 400w.
    Since that would be a total of 550W, could that cause the
    hard drive spinning down and back up? I'm not sure
    if the '400w' rating on the UPS has to be taken that literally
    unless the power completely gets turned off. Since its
    intermittent its hard to determine what it is. Dangit!

    If its not the UPS I guess its some loose power connection
    or power cable that needs replacing inside the computer.

    I have one of those TRIOS drive selectors, and regardless
    of which drive I boot to, I hear the drive spin down *occasionally
    and the system pauses. Then it spins back up. TRIOS people
    are unavailable, no website/email, but I don't think its the
    TRIOS.


    itchy

  2. Re: help with HD spin diagnosis

    itchyneebanshee@hotmail.com wrote:

    > I'm trying to determine why a hard drive will spin down, then pause, then spin up.


    Its usually the drive itself deciding to do that, not some external factor like the power supply that causes that sort
    of effect.

    > I've owned it for more than a few years and its never done that before.


    > I ran dx tests on the drive and it passed ok.


    Presumably that means that it doesnt spin down and back up very often.

    > I do have a UPS APC 650 400watt power supply that I plug
    > the computer into. Recently I added some speakers that
    > are 75 W each. The power supply in the computer is 400w.
    > Since that would be a total of 550W, could that cause the
    > hard drive spinning down and back up?


    Nope, because the 400W rating on the power supply in the computer
    is the maximum it can supply not what its actually drawing in your computer.

    > I'm not sure if the '400w' rating on the UPS has to be taken
    > that literally unless the power completely gets turned off.


    Correct.

    > Since its intermittent its hard to determine what it is. Dangit!


    Yeah, intermittents can be a complete plain in the arse.

    One obvious approach is to plug the computer into the mains
    without the UPS and see if you ever get the spin downs and
    spin ups in that config. If you dont, the UPS could be the
    problem, but thats unlikely because if it was, you'd expect
    the whole system to shut down, not just the drive spin down.

    > If its not the UPS I guess its some loose power connection
    > or power cable that needs replacing inside the computer.


    Thats certainly possible. Particularly with the older molex
    power connectors to the drive, the metal tunnels the pins
    go into can open up over time and not make good contact.

    The easy test for that possibility is to swap the connector
    for one thats currently being used for an optical drive and
    see if that makes the problem go away.

    > I have one of those TRIOS drive selectors, and regardless
    > of which drive I boot to, I hear the drive spin down *occasionally
    > and the system pauses. Then it spins back up. TRIOS people
    > are unavailable, no website/email, but I don't think its the TRIOS.


    It could very well be that. Try it with the drive directly connected
    to the power supply in the computer, with no TRIOS involved.



  3. Re: help with HD spin diagnosis

    itchyneebanshee@hotmail.com wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm trying to determine why a hard drive will spin down,
    > then pause, then spin up. I've owned it for more than a few years
    > and its never done that before.
    >
    > I ran dx tests on the drive and it passed ok.
    > I do have a UPS APC 650 400watt power supply that I plug
    > the computer into. Recently I added some speakers that
    > are 75 W each. The power supply in the computer is 400w.
    > Since that would be a total of 550W, could that cause the
    > hard drive spinning down and back up? I'm not sure
    > if the '400w' rating on the UPS has to be taken that literally
    > unless the power completely gets turned off. Since its
    > intermittent its hard to determine what it is. Dangit!
    >
    > If its not the UPS I guess its some loose power connection
    > or power cable that needs replacing inside the computer.
    >
    > I have one of those TRIOS drive selectors, and regardless
    > of which drive I boot to, I hear the drive spin down *occasionally
    > and the system pauses. Then it spins back up. TRIOS people
    > are unavailable, no website/email, but I don't think its the
    > TRIOS.
    >
    >
    > itchy


    If those 75W speakers are rated as 75W PMPO, then they are probably
    about 5W RMS; not enough to worry about. PMPO is an advertising
    invention, barely related to reality -- see Wikipedia at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audio_power and look for the section
    labeled "Actual ratings compared"

    You might want to download and run HDtune for your HD -- it has a
    Health tab, and its Error Scan might find something.
    --
    Cheers, Bob

  4. Re: help with HD spin diagnosis

    Previously itchyneebanshee@hotmail.com wrote:
    > Hi,


    > I'm trying to determine why a hard drive will spin down,
    > then pause, then spin up. I've owned it for more than a few years
    > and its never done that before.


    > I ran dx tests on the drive and it passed ok.
    > I do have a UPS APC 650 400watt power supply that I plug
    > the computer into. Recently I added some speakers that
    > are 75 W each. The power supply in the computer is 400w.
    > Since that would be a total of 550W, could that cause the
    > hard drive spinning down and back up? I'm not sure
    > if the '400w' rating on the UPS has to be taken that literally
    > unless the power completely gets turned off. Since its
    > intermittent its hard to determine what it is. Dangit!


    > If its not the UPS I guess its some loose power connection
    > or power cable that needs replacing inside the computer.


    > I have one of those TRIOS drive selectors, and regardless
    > of which drive I boot to, I hear the drive spin down *occasionally
    > and the system pauses. Then it spins back up. TRIOS people
    > are unavailable, no website/email, but I don't think its the
    > TRIOS.


    Sounds like a problem with the power connectors. One thing that
    can help is to tap on all possibly defective components.
    It is by no means a reliable approach, but sometimes you
    can localize faulty connections that way. It just takes a very
    short outage (say, 1 ms) to cause a drive to spin-down.
    The outage also does not nee to be on both power lines
    (+5V, +12V), one is enough. Because of the shortness,
    usinf conventional measuerement equipment does not really help.

    Arno

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