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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 01-11-2013, 09:33 AM   #1
bfr03
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SSD possible damage


Dear All,

I have Intel 910 PCIe-based SSD. I installed into a PC and I got two disks
I created two partitions out of them (dev/sdb5 and /dev/sdc5) . till this point everything is working correctly

next I add a PCIe expansion chassis, I moved the SSD from the PC's motherboard to the expansion back-plane. when i booted my PC, it was able to find that intel 910
SSD was there but did not show any disks !!!

I installed the SSD back into the PC, now I only see one disk, the file system was damaged but I was able to recover it (/dev/sdb)

However, the second disk is gone !!! (/dev/sdc) it does not appear as a device any more in /dev folder

i tried fdisk -l, cfdisk ,fsck and gparted, dev/sdc just not there any more, only sdb is left !!!

Please any ideas?
 
Old 01-11-2013, 02:40 PM   #2
business_kid
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Could be a timing issue. PCI backplanes are for 33Mhz stuff as a rule.

Put the 'missing' disk somewhere sensible and check if it's working.It could be something as silly as a cable
 
Old 01-11-2013, 02:48 PM   #3
masterclassic
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Quote:
I installed into a PC and I got two disks
I created two partitions out of them (dev/sdb5 and /dev/sdc5)
/dev/sdb and /dev/sdc mean that there is at least /dev/sda too.
Number 5 for the partitions means that there is at least an extended partition on the hard drives, as 5 and up are reserved for logical partitions.

Normally, SSD drives are compatible with any SATA port. However, I found the following in the web:
Quote:
> Are there compatibility issues,

Maybe, at least for an advanced use. My SSD drive appears to have
confused my disk managers.
Acronis Disk Director no longer sees my
hard drives from the recovery CD. And there is an occasional
problem when copying/restoring the primary partition. Also
consider the possible need to upgrade the firmware (you can find
that information in reviews).
Some ideas:
- Is the computer's chipset compatible with SSD drives?
- Is any BIOS update perhaps needed?
- Is the drive detected by the BIOS during POST?
- Did you try to have only one hard drive connected to the computer? You can use the latest stable GParted live cd/usb to boot.
- Did you check for eventual BIOS settings for the SATA configuration? You can play with IDE or AHCI mode for the sata ports.

I even found suggestions to restore to default from any overclocking settings, or reset the BIOS by removing the button cell (this was by the OSZ support).
 
Old 01-11-2013, 02:51 PM   #4
masterclassic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
It could be something as silly as a cable
Of course, loose cable connections are often a source of problems.
 
Old 01-12-2013, 01:52 AM   #5
bfr03
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Thanks everyone, let me provide more details

the /dev/sda is my original harddisk.
before the problem, the SSD appeared like two disks: sdb and sdc
when i partitioned them i got:
sdb1 is zero length partition and sdb5 is 200 GB ext3
sdc1 is zero lenghth partition and sdc5 is 200 GB ext3

after i moved the ssd to the PCIe extension backplane. something wrong must have happned
the pc detected the SSD but failed to show any disks

after i returned the SSD back to the original motherboard of the same pc where everything ran properly as it should. i was only able to find sdb partition with its two parts: sdb1 and sdb5
they were currpt and needed to be formatted, the disk sdc disappeared completely, it is not in /dev any more, gparted only shows sda and sdb, no more sdc

is it possible that something in the chassis damaged one of the arrays of disks!?
 
Old 01-12-2013, 03:22 AM   #6
business_kid
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If you were working with MBR and not GPT, the recommended system is
sdb1 - whatever
sdb2
sdb3
sdb4 (or the last of up to 4 primary partitions) Extended partition
sdb5 - 1st logical partition.

But there's actually no need for that. I would use sdb1. Software doesn't like a zero length partition, and you have no need to use an extended one.
 
Old 01-16-2013, 02:55 PM   #7
masterclassic
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Zero length partition, I can't understand it.
The partition boot sector is the minimum required, so you need at least 1 MiB (for MiB aligned partitions) or 1 cylinder (for older cylinder-aligned drives).

Can you check the drive with any manufacturer's tool too?
I had unexpected results with a new (non SSD) hard drive. I thought it can be some incompatibility between SATA3 and SATA2, but I finally found that it was just a defective hard drive.

You can retry, step by step:
Be sure that the BIOS detects correctly the drive.
create the partition table, create a first partition non empty, create other partitions if needed, and so on. Use the default MiB align option.

Last edited by masterclassic; 01-16-2013 at 03:00 PM.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 03:29 AM   #8
business_kid
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Quote:
sdb1 is zero length partition and sdb5 is 200 GB ext3
sdc1 is zero lenghth partition and sdc5 is 200 GB ext3
Getting back to here. What probably happened is that the extended partition data somehow got copied onto the partition table. OTOH, the partition types could simply be wrong, and the driver is guessing.

Have you run testdisk on these drives? It's pretty good at pulling out partitions. Also you cannot/should not have had just sdb1 & sdb5. You need sdb1, sdb2(extended) & sdb5
 
Old 01-17-2013, 08:05 AM   #9
bfr03
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Dear All,

unfortunately, I have traveled to a different country now, i have no access to that SSD anymore so I wont be able to try anything for the time being.

what is confusing me is not how the disks were partitioned, I agree its strange, but is that an entire disk disappeared! /dev/sdb has a strange partitions but it is still working as 200 GB disk

It is the /dev/sdc that completely disappeared with its 200 GB of capacity, there were nothing for me to fix with no device to target ! what went wrong during the installation of the SSD on the PCIe expansion system? I suspect static electricity that went through the SSD.

If I got the chance to go back there or get someone to work remotely on that SSD, then I will attempt to fix it again.

Thank you very much everyone
bfr03
 
Old 01-17-2013, 08:31 AM   #10
masterclassic
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Do you think that the drive is damaged? If so, you can check it.
I don't think that static electricity would damage a drive so easily. Of course it is possible, but I think electronic devices are now much more resistant and better designed compared to the early cmos circuits, to support such electric loads.

Connecting the drive to a running system (power on) with no support to hot swap, is an issue, too. Hot swap is usually supported in AHCI sata mode, not in IDE mode.

I have no experience on installing such PCI-e sata cards. However, I wonder if there is anything to do with the card setup. You can check the card too, with a known working hard drive.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 08:36 AM   #11
bfr03
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I think it is damaged because the fix of the problem does not seem to be possible though software. (since the disk is not even visible anymore), I did not use hot swap, i shutdown the system properly before installing and removing the SSD

I have no idea why damaged the SSD. is there a hardware test that I can suggest someone in that lab to try on the SSD (I am in other country now)
 
Old 01-17-2013, 10:13 AM   #12
masterclassic
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Quote:
is there a hardware test that I can suggest someone in that lab to try on the SSD (I am in other country now)
An easy check would be to connect it on a verified working SATA port (say, put it alone on a motherboard on the first SATA port according the motherboard manual, no other drives, no expansion card), power up the system and check if it is detected by the POST and the BIOS setup. Try IDE and AHCI modes for the SATA controller.

If the BIOS detects the drive, one can boot the computer using a Linux support live cd, check the SMART information (do SSD drives give SMART info like rotating drives? ) or GParted for partitioning.
 
Old 01-17-2013, 10:18 AM   #13
bfr03
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yeah i did such a test (its PCIe not SATA though), I connect it directly to the mother board without any expansion and i was able to boot my PC, I used Gparted and fdisk -l. as i said, only one disk showed up. instead of 400 GB i have 200 GB
 
  


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