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The disappearing disk

JohnG

Senior Member
Weird one.

About every third or fourth time I start up my Percussion PC, one of the drives doesn't appear. Restarting usually restores it.

What do you do about that? Unfortunately there are (ahem) seven drives attached to this MOBO, which I suspect is not "ideal"
 

mjsalam

Active Member
That is odd. Is it the same drive every time or a different one? External or internal? If the same drive is the SMART status showing all good?
 
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JohnG

JohnG

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That is odd. Is it the same drive every time or a different one? External or internal? If the same drive is the SMART status showing all good?

Internal drive, always the same one. It's on a PC -- does that have SMART?
 

storyteller

Senior Member
I Have seen this happen under several separate scenarios.

  • If you have too much power being drawn from a usb hub... meaning that especially if you have 7 ports or more, the power supply for the usb hub has to have enough power for all of the devices. Most hubs are FAR short. Your power supply needs to be at least 60 watts...

  • If you are drawing too much power from your outlet, but it isn’t quite causing the breaker to trip

  • if you are having brown outs... meaning, your power may not be as constant as it appears. Any fluctuations in power can cause hard drives to show up or disappear. The only way to resolve this is to have a UPS that does instant battery switching for brown outs. This is a more rare feature than you would think. But, once I took care of this issue, I’ve never seen any hardware issues as described again.
 

SlHarder

Active Member
I would definitely backup what you can't easily redownload, then gently wiggle those sata cables. Could be a fix, might really break, either is better than intermittent.
 

dzilizzi

Senior Member
Usually when that starts happening to me, my drive soon dies. I don't know if it is the constant reconnecting that kills it or if it was already dying.
 

el-bo

Senior Moment
I Have seen this happen under several separate scenarios.

  • If you have too much power being drawn from a usb hub... meaning that especially if you have 7 ports or more, the power supply for the usb hub has to have enough power for all of the devices. Most hubs are FAR short. Your power supply needs to be at least 60 watts...

  • If you are drawing too much power from your outlet, but it isn’t quite causing the breaker to trip

  • if you are having brown outs... meaning, your power may not be as constant as it appears. Any fluctuations in power can cause hard drives to show up or disappear. The only way to resolve this is to have a UPS that does instant battery switching for brown outs. This is a more rare feature than you would think. But, once I took care of this issue, I’ve never seen any hardware issues as described again.

I've definitely experienced the first scenario. And perhaps there is some interplay with scenario 2 (and/or 3), that would account for the intermittent-ness of it all 🤷
 
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JohnG

JohnG

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So this happens from cold boot?

Yes. But not all the time.

Sounds like I should bite the bullet and replace the drive. I have an extra one so not fatal -- thanks everyone!

If you have too much power being drawn from a usb hub

Very good point about USB but it's an internal drive on the SATA with a mondo power supply. And the disks are all SSDs which, unless I'm behind the times, draw less power than HDDs.

Your other points also are very wise. I burned out several computers many years ago because I didn't realize my power was both jumping around and too low (closer to 100 than 120, the US standard, and fluctuating down into the 90s, back up / all over). Hired electrician, separate line into studio, added power conditioners, backup batteries, hospital grade outlets -- so you are right 100% but that part I think is covered.
 
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JohnG

JohnG

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Going to follow the express / implied advice and immediately make a backup. Copying now...

Fortunately had a spare 500GB SSD so am ready with the hardware!
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
Internal drive, always the same one. It's on a PC -- does that have SMART?

A sign of it going bad is when Windows starts scanning that disk before going into the OS. SMART isn't always reliable. A drive has to really go bad before SMART lets you know. Some of my old WD drives were starting to wear out and these are ones over 10 years old. If I ever do a complete SSD makeover I will probably go with 4-5 1TB SSD. I still don't have have faith in them and their price for large ones.
 
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JohnG

JohnG

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If I ever do a complete SSD makeover I will probably go with 4-5 1TB SSD. I still don't have have faith in them and their price for large ones.

Maybe I'm a coward or luddite or just ignorant, but I still have a (very marginal) belief that I'd rather have several drives than one giant one. One giant one does make backing up much simpler.
 

storyteller

Senior Member
Your other points also are very wise. I burned out several computers many years ago because I didn't realize my power was both jumping around and too low (closer to 100 than 120, the US standard, and fluctuating down into the 90s, back up / all over). Hired electrician, separate line into studio, added power conditioners, backup batteries, hospital grade outlets -- so you are right 100% but that part I think is covered.
Sounds like you've covered the potential power issues. Good to hear! I'd still make sure your UPS does have instant battery switching for brown-outs though. It is a feature you'd think most UPS's would have, but it is actually not very common. Hopefully you've got it solved with just a replacement HDD though.:thumbsup:
 

Polkasound

Senior Member
Usually when that starts happening to me, my drive soon dies. I don't know if it is the constant reconnecting that kills it or if it was already dying.

That was the case for me a couple years ago. Just a month apart from each other, both spinner drives in my 2013 PC started randomly disconnecting. I determined it wasn't the cables, so I replaced the drives (with SSDs) and everything has been working fine since.

One of the spinner drives was just for storage, so I let the disconnecting continue for a few weeks until the drive finally gave out and died.
 

dzilizzi

Senior Member
That was the case for me a couple years ago. Just a month apart from each other, both spinner drives in my 2013 PC started randomly disconnecting. I determined it wasn't the cables, so I replaced the drives (with SSDs) and everything has been working fine since.

One of the spinner drives was just for storage, so I let the disconnecting continue for a few weeks until the drive finally gave out and died.
I probably need to back up my computers again.....

Generally, I make a new image before I let Windows run an update. My documents are on a second drive that gets backed up a little more often. What I really want is a program that just copies new files to a backup. I've done the bought backup programs and had trouble restoring old files when they change their format or go out of business.
 

Manuel Stumpf

Senior Member
I had this with loose or worn out SATA cables in combination with the housing fan pulling air through the PC housing making the SATA disk in that one specific SATA slot disconnecting.
If possible I would suggest to exchange two disks and see if the same disk fails again, or it is tied to the SATA slot/cable. It tells a lot when the problem is travelling along with the disk or not.
 

telecode101

Active Member
lots of good replies. you could also check the firmware of the drive and update it to see if helps. though I would just replace the drive. it's unusual for a drive to just start disspearing. unless it's faulty or a faulty connection.
 
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