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Thread: HDD problems




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jämtland, Sweden
    Posts
    128

    Default HDD problems

    Well, seems like my PC just won't stop giving me problems. These are actually two issues, I'll start with the first one.
    1: I recently decided to create a RAID 5 array, so i bought two extra 250GiB WD harddrives, the same make and model as the one I'm currently using, WD2500KS-00MJB0 (250 GiB, 16MiB cache, SATA-2).
    I figured it would be pretty straight-forward, I read the RAID-5 manual, since my mobo only supports RAID-5 on the Sil 3114-controller, not natively on the nForce 4 ultra. I backed up my data, hooked up the drives to the controller, using the first three connections, set up my BIOS to enable the controller ( I had it disabled before, since I wasn't using it), set it to RAID mode and rebooted.
    Creating the array was pretty easy, I went with the auto configuration for RAID 5, 64 KiB chunk size, the total disk space ended up being approx. 464 GiB. I rebooted again.
    I had downloaded the latest OS-install drivers from Gigabytes website for the controller, so I fired up the Widows install-cd and went on with the installation. I loaded up the drivers from the floppy at the beginning. Everything seemed fine, but when I was about to pick a drive to install on it said it couldn't find any drives. I have no idea why, my first thought was that the array takes time to create, and that it wasn't finished, so I went through the manual, but it said nothing about that. So, I rebooted, and the second time I fired up the install, it detected the array. I figured it was just a fluke, so I created two partitions on the drive. When I selected a partition to install on, the installer reported that it couldn't write to that drive... by now I had lost all hope, thinking it was yet another part of my computer failing.. this is my first issue, so if anyone can help, anything I've missed, I'd appreciate you telling me.

    2: Anyway, I decided to hook up my drives to the nForce4 controller instead, and go with RAID-0. That, at leas, worked. I installed windows and everything seemed fine. But, lately I haven't been able to use my 160 GiB drive. I have them all connected to my nForce4 controller, but this applies when I have the 160GiB drive connected to the Sil controller as well. At the beginning (a few days ago) it worked fine, I could use it anyway. But then all of a sudden, when I was copying something to it, I got an all-too-familiar bluescreen, PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA, with the Ntfs.sys-file as the culprit. I thought this was just my luck, rebooted hoping that it actually was a one-time occurrence. It did boot - but it crashed when I tried copying again. The second time, when I rebooted, I got a bluescreen at bootup. Neither Last Known Configuration nor Safe Mode worked, so I was forced to unplug the drive (something similar had happened before when I had my 20GiB IDE drive connected, after installing Vista on it and trying to boot into XP) and then it worked. I ran WD diagnostics form Hiren's bootcd, ran a full scan, no problems. I reformatted the drive without booting into Windows, which worked fine, and, having formatted the drive Windows would boot fine. But then it followed the same pattern, first time I tried copying it crashed, I reboot, I copy again, it crashes. Permanently. Again. I'm pretty sick of having to compromise all the time, first my graphics card, now this... so, any ideas? Sorry about the length of the post, just wanted to be thorough... My specs are in my sig btw.

    Drivers:
    Graphics: ForceWare 84.21
    Mobo: nForce 4 AMD 6.84 (latest)
    I have onboard audio disabled in BIOS, so I didn't install the audio drivers from nVidia, nor the Network Management suite.

    Oh, as for the graphics card, I sent it in for an RMA, which is why I'm using a crappy nVidia 6200 TurboCache. But I still have to use old drivers for it, march ones, even with the 6200TC, otherwise my PC seems to crash from anything, even video playback... weird huh? I had the same problem with my X800XL, I had to use 6.3 drivers, anything newer would cause stability issues.
    Attached Files Attached Files

    Chieftec Bravo LBX01-B-B-SL
    580 W Hiper Type-R PSU

    Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 S.939
    AMD Athlon 64 Venice 3000+ at ~2470 MHz
    OCZ Gold EL PC 3700 Ram, 2.5-3-3-8 at ~456 MHz,
    2x512 MiB
    Gigabyte SilentPipe X800XL, 400/490 MHz
    Auzentech Digital X-Mystique 7.1CH DDL-RCE
    Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speakers
    1 x WD Caviar 8 MiB cache 1600JS-00MHB0 160GiB SATA-2
    3 x WD Caviar SE 16 MiB cache 2500KS-00MJBQ 250GiB SATA-2



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Bendigo Australia
    Posts
    1,788

    Default Re: HDD problems

    did you hit f6 when you were installing windows and load the driver for the raid controller? - it won't get picked up like a normal ide - that will fix your first problem, you'll have to make a floppy (hope you've got one) to put the drivers on

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jämtland, Sweden
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: HDD problems

    Quote Originally Posted by Kheldar View Post
    did you hit f6 when you were installing windows and load the driver for the raid controller? - it won't get picked up like a normal ide - that will fix your first problem, you'll have to make a floppy (hope you've got one) to put the drivers on
    I did that:

    I had downloaded the latest OS-install drivers from Gigabytes website for the controller, so I fired up the Widows install-cd and went on with the installation. I loaded up the drivers from the floppy at the beginning.

    Chieftec Bravo LBX01-B-B-SL
    580 W Hiper Type-R PSU

    Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 S.939
    AMD Athlon 64 Venice 3000+ at ~2470 MHz
    OCZ Gold EL PC 3700 Ram, 2.5-3-3-8 at ~456 MHz,
    2x512 MiB
    Gigabyte SilentPipe X800XL, 400/490 MHz
    Auzentech Digital X-Mystique 7.1CH DDL-RCE
    Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speakers
    1 x WD Caviar 8 MiB cache 1600JS-00MHB0 160GiB SATA-2
    3 x WD Caviar SE 16 MiB cache 2500KS-00MJBQ 250GiB SATA-2



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Bendigo Australia
    Posts
    1,788

    Default Re: HDD problems

    Quote Originally Posted by ifander View Post
    I did that:
    Maybe I should have read more carefully

    ummm, have you updated the mboard bios to latest version?

    Some motherboards will also allow you to upgrade the bios on the raid controller (other systems combine it into the mboard bios upgrade)

    version f9 looks like the latest - and it has updates to do with raid controllers

    http://www.gigabyte.com.au/Support/M...ProductID=1857

    the other trap I've fallen for, is trying to use non-raid drivers instead of the raid driver disk.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jämtland, Sweden
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: HDD problems

    OK, now I just feel stupid... should have thought of flashing the BIOS! It seems to be working (so far at least). So, thanks for the tip! I wouldn't be surprised if RAID-5 is working too...
    Have any ideas about the graphics card? It's a bit off-topic, I know. It's just that I can't figure out why two completely different graphics cards, one from ATi and one from NVIDIA, would show the same problem. That is, that I can't use new drivers, because pretty much everything, from games to video playback, generates a bluescreen. I'm forced to use old drivers, from around march... The ATi board was faulty, I checked it in my friends computer, and there were the same problems as on mine. But now the 6200 TC seems to have similar, if not identical problems! I've reinstalled windows on multiple occasions, to no avail. I'm pretty much convinced it's the mobo, there's not much else which could cause these problems, and besides, it would seem the graphics cards are somehow damaged by my system.

    Chieftec Bravo LBX01-B-B-SL
    580 W Hiper Type-R PSU

    Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 S.939
    AMD Athlon 64 Venice 3000+ at ~2470 MHz
    OCZ Gold EL PC 3700 Ram, 2.5-3-3-8 at ~456 MHz,
    2x512 MiB
    Gigabyte SilentPipe X800XL, 400/490 MHz
    Auzentech Digital X-Mystique 7.1CH DDL-RCE
    Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speakers
    1 x WD Caviar 8 MiB cache 1600JS-00MHB0 160GiB SATA-2
    3 x WD Caviar SE 16 MiB cache 2500KS-00MJBQ 250GiB SATA-2



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Bendigo Australia
    Posts
    1,788

    Default Re: HDD problems

    cool

    graphics card

    d/l directx_9c_decemeber and install that - might help

    maybe the bios update would help that as well.

    but it doesn't sound good - especially if you've reinstalled, pretty much rules out corrupt.

    I have found in the past that gigabyte boards can be a little fussy about which graphic cards will run (I use asus boards, mainly)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

    Default Re: HDD problems

    RAID 5 on a system drive? Been doing drugs lately? ;)

    RAID 5 will greatly decrease write performance and has a major CPU overhead for all writes, making it virtually useless as a system drive. It improves read performance, making it useful for network shares. It's very reliable and cost-effective considering it's overhead (only one drive lost for all arrays), but doesn't make much sense as a three-drive solution and makes no sense as a solution for a desktop computer. Without a XOR for parity calculations, you're going to kill performance even more, and the motherboard's extra RAID chip definitely doesn't have a XOR processor on-board.

    RAID 0 is okay, but you should keep in mind that hard drives are extremely unreliable -- in fact the most unreliable component in any modern computer. Putting drives in RAID 0 doubles the chance of failure over having one drive, and in total quadruples the chance of failure over having two separate drives. It does, however, provide a significant performance boost with minimal overhead.

    Still, I'd much rather have RAID 1, even for a system drive. The performance drop in write speed is minor and arguably made up for by the increased read speed and decreased access times. More importantly, it cuts the chance of failure in half. If I were you, I'd have one system drive and the other two drives in a RAID 1 for general storage, backup, and low-performance applications.

    As for your new problem, what blue screen error are you getting? The issue could be related to motherboard, RAM, processor, BIOS settings, drivers, or issues with accessing the hard disk. Even though it may seem like it's based around GPU-intensive apps, it could be caused by a seemingly unrelated component.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jämtland, Sweden
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: HDD problems

    OK, and I thought RAID-5 sounded so good.. should have read more about it.
    I understand that RAID-0 is pretty suicidal as far as data protection is concerned, but I'm willing to believe I'll be lucky enough not to have any problems by the time I get some new drives to replace the ones I have.. I can't really sacrifice the space for RAID-1, I need all of it. I was thinking of running regular backups instead, using the built-in windows utility, and using my 160 GiB drive as a spare, now that it's working.
    As for the graphics card, I'd be getting two different bluescreens, either PAGE-FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA or DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, related to different system files, like watchdog.sys, flpydisk.sys, vga.sys, Npfs.sys, fdc.sys, and so on. It all seemed pretty random to me.. the DRIVER_IRQL-error was more common playing games, and the PAGE_FAULT when playing back video. I can't give you many specifics though, since it's been more than a month since I RMA'd my board, other than which games were affected the most - that is, Source-based games and Oblivion (in all fairness, I didn't play much of anything else). At the moment though, using the 84.21 ForceWare drivers, I still get problems running Alien vs Predator 2, even though it's an old game. The PC simply locks up after twenty minutes of gaming or so, no bluescreen or errors when I reboot. I'm really grasping for straws here, I lost all hope for this PC a long time ago... must have been something i did to it 'cause you can't be that unlucky.

    Chieftec Bravo LBX01-B-B-SL
    580 W Hiper Type-R PSU

    Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 S.939
    AMD Athlon 64 Venice 3000+ at ~2470 MHz
    OCZ Gold EL PC 3700 Ram, 2.5-3-3-8 at ~456 MHz,
    2x512 MiB
    Gigabyte SilentPipe X800XL, 400/490 MHz
    Auzentech Digital X-Mystique 7.1CH DDL-RCE
    Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speakers
    1 x WD Caviar 8 MiB cache 1600JS-00MHB0 160GiB SATA-2
    3 x WD Caviar SE 16 MiB cache 2500KS-00MJBQ 250GiB SATA-2



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Minnesota, United States
    Posts
    4,543

    Default Re: HDD problems

    I'd try the 6200 in another system to see if it has indeed been damaged in that computer.

    As far as possible causes for that, the motherboard, PSU, and the environment could cause something like that. Provided you regularly clean your case out with compressed air, I'd suspect the PSU since the motherboard is brand new.

    That, or really bad luck. Two video cards going bad with such proximity is unlikely, but not unheard of. Be sure to test out that video card in another computer before you go replacing or RMAing anything.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Jämtland, Sweden
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: HDD problems

    Actually, I've tried two 6200 cards, one from ASUS, one from Club3D, both show the same problems, and the Club3D one is brand new, from the box. The PSU is even newer than the graphics card and mobo, about a year old now, and as for dust, well, I've cleaned my computer on three occasions, cleaning out dust from the fans, re-routing cables etc. I've had this PC for 14 months now... but how could the PSU cause this? If it's a problem with one of the +12V lines, wouldn't it affect more than just the graphics card?

    Chieftec Bravo LBX01-B-B-SL
    580 W Hiper Type-R PSU

    Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-9 S.939
    AMD Athlon 64 Venice 3000+ at ~2470 MHz
    OCZ Gold EL PC 3700 Ram, 2.5-3-3-8 at ~456 MHz,
    2x512 MiB
    Gigabyte SilentPipe X800XL, 400/490 MHz
    Auzentech Digital X-Mystique 7.1CH DDL-RCE
    Logitech Z-5500 5.1 speakers
    1 x WD Caviar 8 MiB cache 1600JS-00MHB0 160GiB SATA-2
    3 x WD Caviar SE 16 MiB cache 2500KS-00MJBQ 250GiB SATA-2



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