Sorry if this gets long. I want to include as many details as possible. The situation is described in detail, the questions I have are at the bottom.
Last week, my wife was working on the computer and called to say Windows had locked up. The machine then rebooted itself and could not get past the "Detecting IDE drives...." message on the BIOS. Tried many on/off cycles. Nothing.
Open the case and find that the Master Spinpoint 1614N is not spinning. This drive is suspended
just below my FDD cage, with the PCB facing up, the drive horizontal to the ground, and a grounding wire to the case. I've had these drives less than 6 months. The drive gives a faint twitch when first powered on but nothing else. The Slave Spinpoint 1614N spins up fine. The Slave drive is mounted in a SD2002 that is turned on its side so that the drive is vertical (perpendicular to the floor) and the SD2002 sits on the bottom of the case against the removable side. I had both drives on a rounded cable, but switching to a flat 80-pin cable gave the same results. These drives use the same set of wires from the PSU, but switching one drive or both drives to an alternate set of power wires gave the same result. Tried the drive in an external enclosure to try to troubleshoot the PSU and IDE controller. Same result--no spin.
I finally got the drive to spin up by grounding myself to the case (all work with the case open is done with a grounding strap on my wrist), holding the drive PCB-side-down in my hand and gently (or sometimes not so gently) "tapping" the side of the drive with the ball of the palm of my hand. I typically did this just as the PC was powering on, hoping to get the extra "power-on" burst that HDDs use to get spinning. I was able to make an image to the Slave drive.
Removed the Master, put the Slave into the Master position (now suspended under the FDD cage and running on IDE1 Master). This involved a 90° turn for the HDD. Restored my image to this drive and was 10 minutes into backing up to an external Firewire drive when the HDD started grinding and came to a stop. Subsequent reboots--no spin, just a very faint click (about 12-15 in 3 seconds, then a 2 second pause then repeats).
Of course, because I had improperly assumed that both drives would not fail, I had already erased my first drive (using Autoclave) to get it ready to RMA.
:o I typically backup at the first of the month. This all started January 28.
Now I was out a month of email, etc. Not too bad, but would rather have all my data back.
I installed a Seagate 60GB V and put a basic Win2K install on it. And put the second failed 1614N in the slave position.
For all my free time for 2 days I tried to get my second failed drive to boot/spin. I even tried swapping the PCBs on the two drives. Just the ticking.
Finally after praying for the return of my data, I move past gentle taps and start beating my drive. Full hand slaps to the top and the side. Pounding the side with the ball of my palm and FINALLY....putt-putt-putt..... it spins up.
I am able to image the data AND get a copy to an external HDD as well.
ANALYSIS and QUESTIONS:
- When one drive failed I chalked it up to simple component failure.
- When the second drive failed, I wondered if something happened because of the 90° turn when I moved the drive from vertical to horizontal and put it in the new mounting position.
- But then I start to wonder if there is something wrong with my PSU or HDD controller on the motherboard that could have caused the motor failures. Is there any way to test this other than waiting to see if my Seagate drive fails, too?
When I get the data restored to the Seagate drive, I plan to run MBM to see if I am having any severe fluctuations in the PSU rails. When I was running MBM while backing up to the external drive, the 12V oscilated between 11.73 and 11.80--but not systematically--the changes did not follow a pattern, but .07 doesn't seem like a big fluctuation. The 3V and 5V rails seemed stable.
- Other opinions or suggestions?