Phantom drive with errors fixed itself? - Storage

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  1. Phantom drive with errors fixed itself?


    Hi to all.

    I just had a strange problem fix itself, and wondered if anyone had
    any idea how it happened.

    I'm running Vista Home Premium with SP1 and keep it updated. Mobo is
    an MSI K9N Platinum with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 CPU with 2G of RAM,
    in a Thermaltake Matrix case with a 750W Toughpower power supply.
    I had a shutdown problem where the computer got to "Shutting Down" and
    never seemed to finish, and as I wanted to get to bed, I shut down the
    power.
    The next day, the system took a long time to boot, but finally did. I
    looked in Drive Management as I wanted to see that all the drives were
    okay, and a Disk 2 showed up, unallocated. It was exactly the same
    size as my Disk L: which is a WD Mybook (500G).
    I then thought that by shutting off the computer that night, I somehow
    did something to the Mybook drive, although another entry showed it
    healthy in Drive Management.
    After this for several days, I went through a convoluted sequence to
    boot. I saw that when first turning on the system, the BIOS gave me an
    error for this phantom disk 2; I had to wait until the system wanted
    to check the disk for errors, cancel it, wait for the system to load
    Windows (which it did but not the icons), and then reset the computer,
    and then wait again for Windows to load...all told about 30 minutes.

    I Googled "phantom hard drives" and found that this can happen when
    installing more than one printer with a card reader.....which I just
    did! I had an HP...and also installed an Epson, and both have card
    readers.
    I removed the Epson using the Control Panel, but the computer still
    took forever to come up, using my sequence above. I figured I'd have
    to reformat...pull all the USB drives, disconnect the other hard
    drives, reformat, and re-install Vista.

    Suddenly, on Thursday, I turned on the computer, heard several clicks,
    and the system booted fine....probably in less than a minute. Drive
    Management does not show the phantom disk 2 anymore, and all the other
    drives show healthy.

    How could this fix itself? And what could the clicks be....I hear them
    when I push in the power button...maybe three or four in a row...and
    then nothing, and several seconds later....a couple more, and then no
    more until I power on again. The clicks seem too loud to come from one
    of the hard disks.

    Sorry for being so long, but this is a strange one for me...any
    insight would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.

    >Al


  2. Re: Phantom drive with errors fixed itself?

    On Sat, 08 Nov 2008 16:04:41 -0500, nalayar@verizon.net wrote:

    >
    >Hi to all.
    >
    >I just had a strange problem fix itself, and wondered if anyone had
    >any idea how it happened.
    >
    >I'm running Vista Home Premium with SP1 and keep it updated. Mobo is
    >an MSI K9N Platinum with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 CPU with 2G of RAM,
    >in a Thermaltake Matrix case with a 750W Toughpower power supply.
    >I had a shutdown problem where the computer got to "Shutting Down" and
    >never seemed to finish, and as I wanted to get to bed, I shut down the
    >power.
    >The next day, the system took a long time to boot, but finally did. I
    >looked in Drive Management as I wanted to see that all the drives were
    >okay, and a Disk 2 showed up, unallocated. It was exactly the same
    >size as my Disk L: which is a WD Mybook (500G).
    >I then thought that by shutting off the computer that night, I somehow
    >did something to the Mybook drive, although another entry showed it
    >healthy in Drive Management.
    >After this for several days, I went through a convoluted sequence to
    >boot. I saw that when first turning on the system, the BIOS gave me an
    >error for this phantom disk 2; I had to wait until the system wanted
    >to check the disk for errors, cancel it, wait for the system to load
    >Windows (which it did but not the icons), and then reset the computer,
    >and then wait again for Windows to load...all told about 30 minutes.
    >
    >I Googled "phantom hard drives" and found that this can happen when
    >installing more than one printer with a card reader.....which I just
    >did! I had an HP...and also installed an Epson, and both have card
    >readers.
    >I removed the Epson using the Control Panel, but the computer still
    >took forever to come up, using my sequence above. I figured I'd have
    >to reformat...pull all the USB drives, disconnect the other hard
    >drives, reformat, and re-install Vista.
    >
    >Suddenly, on Thursday, I turned on the computer, heard several clicks,
    >and the system booted fine....probably in less than a minute. Drive
    >Management does not show the phantom disk 2 anymore, and all the other
    >drives show healthy.
    >
    >How could this fix itself? And what could the clicks be....I hear them
    >when I push in the power button...maybe three or four in a row...and
    >then nothing, and several seconds later....a couple more, and then no
    >more until I power on again. The clicks seem too loud to come from one
    >of the hard disks.
    >
    >Sorry for being so long, but this is a strange one for me...any
    >insight would be much appreciated.
    >
    >Thank you.
    >
    >>Al



    I am replying to my own post....but I counted
    the clicks....
    there are 5...then 2...then 2.... but everything
    boots okay!
    Would Spinrite be an appropriate diagnostic
    tool to use on these drives? My BIOS supports S.M.A.R.T.
    and it is on.

    Thank you.

    >Al


  3. Re: Phantom drive with errors fixed itself?

    Previously nalayar@verizon.net wrote:
    > On Sat, 08 Nov 2008 16:04:41 -0500, nalayar@verizon.net wrote:


    >>
    >>Hi to all.
    >>
    >>I just had a strange problem fix itself, and wondered if anyone had
    >>any idea how it happened.
    >>
    >>I'm running Vista Home Premium with SP1 and keep it updated. Mobo is
    >>an MSI K9N Platinum with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 CPU with 2G of RAM,
    >>in a Thermaltake Matrix case with a 750W Toughpower power supply.
    >>I had a shutdown problem where the computer got to "Shutting Down" and
    >>never seemed to finish, and as I wanted to get to bed, I shut down the
    >>power.
    >>The next day, the system took a long time to boot, but finally did. I
    >>looked in Drive Management as I wanted to see that all the drives were
    >>okay, and a Disk 2 showed up, unallocated. It was exactly the same
    >>size as my Disk L: which is a WD Mybook (500G).
    >>I then thought that by shutting off the computer that night, I somehow
    >>did something to the Mybook drive, although another entry showed it
    >>healthy in Drive Management.
    >>After this for several days, I went through a convoluted sequence to
    >>boot. I saw that when first turning on the system, the BIOS gave me an
    >>error for this phantom disk 2; I had to wait until the system wanted
    >>to check the disk for errors, cancel it, wait for the system to load
    >>Windows (which it did but not the icons), and then reset the computer,
    >>and then wait again for Windows to load...all told about 30 minutes.
    >>
    >>I Googled "phantom hard drives" and found that this can happen when
    >>installing more than one printer with a card reader.....which I just
    >>did! I had an HP...and also installed an Epson, and both have card
    >>readers.
    >>I removed the Epson using the Control Panel, but the computer still
    >>took forever to come up, using my sequence above. I figured I'd have
    >>to reformat...pull all the USB drives, disconnect the other hard
    >>drives, reformat, and re-install Vista.
    >>
    >>Suddenly, on Thursday, I turned on the computer, heard several clicks,
    >>and the system booted fine....probably in less than a minute. Drive
    >>Management does not show the phantom disk 2 anymore, and all the other
    >>drives show healthy.
    >>
    >>How could this fix itself? And what could the clicks be....I hear them
    >>when I push in the power button...maybe three or four in a row...and
    >>then nothing, and several seconds later....a couple more, and then no
    >>more until I power on again. The clicks seem too loud to come from one
    >>of the hard disks.
    >>
    >>Sorry for being so long, but this is a strange one for me...any
    >>insight would be much appreciated.
    >>
    >>Thank you.
    >>
    >>>Al



    > I am replying to my own post....but I counted
    > the clicks....
    > there are 5...then 2...then 2.... but everything
    > boots okay!
    > Would Spinrite be an appropriate diagnostic
    > tool to use on these drives? My BIOS supports S.M.A.R.T.
    > and it is on.


    Forget a bout SpinRite. It used to be good...several HDD
    generations ago. It is basically worthless today. Get
    a SMART tool and run a long SMART selftest. Also look
    at the SMART attributes or post them here. The BIOS will
    only report a failed SMART status, which, given the
    over-optimistic vendor settings in most drives, goes bad
    typically far too late.

    Arno

  4. Re: Phantom drive with errors fixed itself?

    On 9 Nov 2008 06:14:25 GMT, Arno Wagner wrote:

    >Previously nalayar@verizon.net wrote:
    >> On Sat, 08 Nov 2008 16:04:41 -0500, nalayar@verizon.net wrote:

    >
    >>>
    >>>Hi to all.
    >>>
    >>>I just had a strange problem fix itself, and wondered if anyone had
    >>>any idea how it happened.
    >>>
    >>>I'm running Vista Home Premium with SP1 and keep it updated. Mobo is
    >>>an MSI K9N Platinum with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 CPU with 2G of RAM,
    >>>in a Thermaltake Matrix case with a 750W Toughpower power supply.
    >>>I had a shutdown problem where the computer got to "Shutting Down" and
    >>>never seemed to finish, and as I wanted to get to bed, I shut down the
    >>>power.
    >>>The next day, the system took a long time to boot, but finally did. I
    >>>looked in Drive Management as I wanted to see that all the drives were
    >>>okay, and a Disk 2 showed up, unallocated. It was exactly the same
    >>>size as my Disk L: which is a WD Mybook (500G).
    >>>I then thought that by shutting off the computer that night, I somehow
    >>>did something to the Mybook drive, although another entry showed it
    >>>healthy in Drive Management.
    >>>After this for several days, I went through a convoluted sequence to
    >>>boot. I saw that when first turning on the system, the BIOS gave me an
    >>>error for this phantom disk 2; I had to wait until the system wanted
    >>>to check the disk for errors, cancel it, wait for the system to load
    >>>Windows (which it did but not the icons), and then reset the computer,
    >>>and then wait again for Windows to load...all told about 30 minutes.
    >>>
    >>>I Googled "phantom hard drives" and found that this can happen when
    >>>installing more than one printer with a card reader.....which I just
    >>>did! I had an HP...and also installed an Epson, and both have card
    >>>readers.
    >>>I removed the Epson using the Control Panel, but the computer still
    >>>took forever to come up, using my sequence above. I figured I'd have
    >>>to reformat...pull all the USB drives, disconnect the other hard
    >>>drives, reformat, and re-install Vista.
    >>>
    >>>Suddenly, on Thursday, I turned on the computer, heard several clicks,
    >>>and the system booted fine....probably in less than a minute. Drive
    >>>Management does not show the phantom disk 2 anymore, and all the other
    >>>drives show healthy.
    >>>
    >>>How could this fix itself? And what could the clicks be....I hear them
    >>>when I push in the power button...maybe three or four in a row...and
    >>>then nothing, and several seconds later....a couple more, and then no
    >>>more until I power on again. The clicks seem too loud to come from one
    >>>of the hard disks.
    >>>
    >>>Sorry for being so long, but this is a strange one for me...any
    >>>insight would be much appreciated.
    >>>
    >>>Thank you.
    >>>
    >>>>Al

    >
    >
    >> I am replying to my own post....but I counted
    >> the clicks....
    >> there are 5...then 2...then 2.... but everything
    >> boots okay!
    >> Would Spinrite be an appropriate diagnostic
    >> tool to use on these drives? My BIOS supports S.M.A.R.T.
    >> and it is on.

    >
    >Forget a bout SpinRite. It used to be good...several HDD
    >generations ago. It is basically worthless today. Get
    >a SMART tool and run a long SMART selftest. Also look
    >at the SMART attributes or post them here. The BIOS will
    >only report a failed SMART status, which, given the
    >over-optimistic vendor settings in most drives, goes bad
    >typically far too late.
    >
    >Arno



    Thanks for the reply....what in your opinion makes
    Spinrite worthless (not trying to start a war here...
    but I'm curious as it lists for $89.00 on Gibson's
    website).
    I Googled SMART tool and all I got was a bunch
    of websites about hand tools. Can you recommend
    one or two please.
    I'm going to look at the WD diagnostic program from
    their website; see if there's any tools there I could use.

    Thanks again...

    >AL


  5. Re: Phantom drive with errors fixed itself?

    nalayar@verizon.net wrote
    > Arno Wagner wrote
    >> nalayar@verizon.net wrote
    >>> nalayar@verizon.net wrote


    >>>> I just had a strange problem fix itself, and wondered if anyone had
    >>>> any idea how it happened.


    >>>> I'm running Vista Home Premium with SP1 and keep it updated. Mobo is an
    >>>> MSI K9N Platinum with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000 CPU with 2G of RAM,
    >>>> in a Thermaltake Matrix case with a 750W Toughpower power supply.


    >>>> I had a shutdown problem where the computer got to "Shutting Down" and
    >>>> never seemed to finish, and as I wanted to get to bed, I shut down the power.


    >>>> The next day, the system took a long time to boot, but finally
    >>>> did. I looked in Drive Management as I wanted to see that all the
    >>>> drives were okay, and a Disk 2 showed up, unallocated. It was
    >>>> exactly the same size as my Disk L: which is a WD Mybook (500G).
    >>>> I then thought that by shutting off the computer that night, I
    >>>> somehow did something to the Mybook drive, although another entry
    >>>> showed it healthy in Drive Management.


    >>>> After this for several days, I went through a convoluted sequence
    >>>> to boot. I saw that when first turning on the system, the BIOS
    >>>> gave me an error for this phantom disk 2; I had to wait until the
    >>>> system wanted to check the disk for errors, cancel it, wait for
    >>>> the system to load Windows (which it did but not the icons), and
    >>>> then reset the computer, and then wait again for Windows to
    >>>> load...all told about 30 minutes.


    >>>> I Googled "phantom hard drives" and found that this can happen when
    >>>> installing more than one printer with a card reader.....which I just did!
    >>>> I had an HP...and also installed an Epson, and both have card readers.


    Thats unlikely to be a coincidence.

    >>>> I removed the Epson using the Control Panel, but the computer
    >>>> still took forever to come up, using my sequence above. I figured
    >>>> I'd have to reformat...pull all the USB drives, disconnect the other
    >>>> hard drives, reformat, and re-install Vista.


    Its normally better to try a restore point since before the install of the printers.

    And if that doesnt fix the problem, try a repair install, before a clean install.

    >>>> Suddenly, on Thursday, I turned on the computer, heard several
    >>>> clicks, and the system booted fine....probably in less than a
    >>>> minute. Drive Management does not show the phantom disk 2 anymore,
    >>>> and all the other drives show healthy.


    >>>> How could this fix itself?


    Presumably its getting its brain scrambled about drives due to the card readers.

    >>>> And what could the clicks be....I hear them when I push in the power button...
    >>>> maybe three or four in a row...and then nothing, and several seconds later....
    >>>> a couple more, and then no more until I power on again. The clicks seem
    >>>> too loud to come from one of the hard disks.


    There isnt much else that clicks much.

    >>>> Sorry for being so long, but this is a strange one for me...
    >>>> any insight would be much appreciated.


    >>> I am replying to my own post....but I counted the clicks....
    >>> there are 5...then 2...then 2.... but everything boots okay!
    >>> Would Spinrite be an appropriate diagnostic tool to use on these drives?


    Nope, no evidence of a drive problem and spinrite is snake oil.

    >>> My BIOS supports S.M.A.R.T. and it is on.


    >> Forget a bout SpinRite. It used to be good...several HDD
    >> generations ago. It is basically worthless today. Get
    >> a SMART tool and run a long SMART selftest. Also look
    >> at the SMART attributes or post them here. The BIOS will
    >> only report a failed SMART status, which, given the
    >> over-optimistic vendor settings in most drives, goes bad
    >> typically far too late.


    Its unlikely that a drive problem has shown up at the same time you
    installed the printer, and given that others have seen problems with
    those printers with card readers, its likely thats the problem.

    A SMART report on the drives would eliminate the drives but you cant always get a SMART report on a USB drive.

    > Thanks for the reply....what in your opinion makes
    > Spinrite worthless (not trying to start a war here...
    > but I'm curious as it lists for $89.00 on Gibson's website).


    Its what he lives off. Doesnt make it worthwhile.

    > I Googled SMART tool and all I got was a bunch of websites
    > about hand tools. Can you recommend one or two please.


    I like Everest myself. The free one wont see the USB drive but the paid one may do.
    http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=4181

    > I'm going to look at the WD diagnostic program from
    > their website; see if there's any tools there I could use.


    Yes, that should work.



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