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Old 03-03-2004, 10:30 AM   #1
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Question Hard Drives issues and random I/O errors

Hi all,

I've had weird problems with my hard drive lately (Quantum Fireball AS 30Gb). I experienced random crashes on various OS (mandrake 9.2, windows 98 se, windows 2000 pro). It runs fine for a while and then when I'm listening to music or moving a file or else, the hard disk makes a few faint clicking noises, the led stays on for a bit then shuts off and the drive is not accessible anymore. Mouse work for a bit then everything freezes. When trying to recover from it in Mandrake (trying to shut the X-server, unmounting etc.) I get the following errors:
end_request: I/O error, cmd 1 dev 03:08 (hda), sector 4064

end_request: I/O error, cmd 1 dev 03:06 (hda), sector 7552

Then I have to cold reboot otherwise the hard drive is not recognized anymore. After a cold boot it is recognized perfectly... until the next crash.
I dont't have any apparent hardware conflicts in windows 2000 or in linux.

I ran the utility test from Maxtor and it found no errors on the drive, I (low level) formatted the drive several times, I checked the connections and they seem fine. I haven't tried new IDE cables yet though.
I can run checkdisk in win 2000 without problem, I can do the same on my linux partition (fsck does not find anything wrong).

Since it happened for various OS, I'm thinking it would be hardware related.
Other info: My AMI bios is up-to-date and all the settings are according to mobo and HD recommendations, the temperature of CPU is fine, everything else seems fine too (all hardware is recognized).

COuld it be a bad IDE controller, the mobo failing, RAM issues, power supply?

Thanks for any help/tips/suggestions!

My (cheap) config is:
Asrock K7Vm2 (integrated sound, LAN, Video)
Duron 1.4GhZ
384MB DDR 266
Quantum Fireball AS 30Gb (primary IDE)
LG GCE 8520B CDRW (secondary IDE)
Mandrake 9.2 (10Gb)/Windows 2000 (20gb)
Old 03-03-2004, 10:50 AM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
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Quantum Fireballs are known to be junk. They've even been known to catch on fire earning them the nickname of "firestarters". Maxtor bought out Quantum some time ago and had a bunch of warranty problems with the Quantum inventory they got in the purchase. From what you describe, you should backup your data now and start shopping for a new hard drive.
Old 03-05-2004, 09:53 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Location: US
Distribution: Slackware 13, Ubuntu 9.04, Windows XP Pro
Posts: 61

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bad hard drive

I must agree that you probably have a bad hard drive - especially if it's the same sector that shows up in the error. Check whether it's the same error that shows up.

I have an idea about how you can jerry rig your drive, so the error does not happen again. If it's always the same sector that screws up try not to use that sector. In order for that to happen you must figure out which cylinder is the bad one. Then create a small partition around the "problem sector". DO NOT USE THAT PARTITION - it's bad. Create your other working partitions around the bad partition.

Most of all back up your irreplacable data. When you get some money buy a new Maxtor. They are the most reliable; a friend researched the matter after his IBM disk died. Peace.



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