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Two new SATA drives are freezing my system

Posted on 2004-10-30
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
System is as follows:
ASUS A7V600 MB with latest BIOS
768MB RAM
Athlon xp 2600
80GB drive
WinXP Pro SP1
350w PSU


First thing to say is that prior to the installtaion of these SATA drives the whole thing was working fine. Installed the two SATAs in a RAID 1  format using the onboard controllers which is all went fine.I can see the SATA mirror under my computer showing what it should do. Started process of copying over my many mp3 and video files to the SATA mirror but noticed that every so often the system froze completely. At first I thought it may be a problem with my cordless mouse so I changed this to a standrd mouse which made no difference.. I carrried on copying over the files and eventually after about 6 or 7 freeze ups got all the data transferred. Now though it doesnt matter if I'm trying to play an mp3 or video file off the new drives or simply doing something else on the the existing IDE drive randomly the whole thing will freeze. Also occasionally the PC will refuse to boot up correctly. I was maybe thinking power supply although others tell me its doubtful (Maxtor drives are s__te they say and they think more than likely its the drives) As i say the wierd thing is that eventually all the data got transferred so they must be kind of ok but its this periodic freezing for no reason????

Any more info that you require that ive forgotten please ask

Many thanks
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Question by:maderic
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    Expert Comment

    by:tapkep
    Try reinstalling VIA 4in1 and SATA RAID drivers.
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    Expert Comment

    by:SuperCableMan
    This sounds like a power issue.  I was having this problem on about hte same Wattage PSU with 3 regular ATA133 disks.  I upgraded my PSU and no more problem.  Using SATA Disks in a RAID configuration you're gonna need to buff up that pSU.
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    Author Comment

    by:maderic
    I've thought it was a power issue from the start simply because everything was ok before. The sata setup went fine and as I said eventually all that data  got copied. Trouble is I cant get myself another PSU until Monday. Out of interst what power supply would you recommend??
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    Expert Comment

    by:SuperCableMan
    Whenever i upgrade my PSU i generally just by the best POWMax i can afford.  Its always an investment thats worth it.  
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    Expert Comment

    by:nobus
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    Author Comment

    by:maderic
    Thanks for that link on Power needs - very interesting. I did that and i came out at about 320w. Dont know what you think of that with a 350w psu??

    Also what about waht supercableman suggested. Does using SATA discs in a RAID1 configuration require more power?? Because if it did i'd be dangeroudly close to my psu limit??
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    by:nobus
    You are already TOO CLOSE to the limit, so get a bigger one !!  NOW  !
    Even if you connect a usb device (carries up to 0.5A) could be enough to bring your system down; also, over the years, it can degrade a bit, so ....
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    Author Comment

    by:maderic
    Sorry to have taken so long but ive only just got and installed my new 480w psu. Guess what I still get this freezing of the pc whether I'm working on the SATA drives or not.I transferred quite a lot of data tonight but after a while it would always freeze. Wot I cant understand is why it freezes when im doing nothing nothing on the SATA drives??

    I can return these drives but i'm not convinced theres nothing else wrong. Any ideas??

    Thanks
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    Expert Comment

    by:nobus
    Well, did you test the drives? it could be a bad SATA controller of course.
    You can also test the drives with a pci hard disk controller :

    http://www.meritline.com/pci-to-sata-controller-card.html
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    Author Comment

    by:maderic
    Nah I didnt test the drives, didnt have anybody able to to be honest. Bearing in mind i'm using the onboard controller I reckon its probably that. I might get one of those SATA PCI cards and have a go with that. Out of interest the machine is a lot slower to boot now with these two new drives installed. Would you expect this to be the case?
    Only thing that worries me is what will happen to the data on the drives if I go to a PCI CARD. Will it be a case of simply plugging in to the card or not because I remember the last time the connection to the drives were lost it stated stuff like do you want to build the array and other stuff I cant remember? Or will I have to set up the array agin now that I'd be using the card instead of onboard?

    Many thanks
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    Expert Comment

    by:nobus
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    by:nobus
    now, about your data : backup first if possible at all, then you can start playing with thee disks and controllers!
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    Author Comment

    by:maderic
    Ok Nobus it must be the disks as I have now tried a PCI controller as well and its exactly the same. Unless I have done something fundamentally simple wrong it must be the disks. I've also tried difffernt cables to no avail. I'm out of ideas. Do you think its the disks?
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    Expert Comment

    by:nobus
    Well, to answer your question : it's probable, but not yet 100% sure.  
    From your first post i assume the system was working fine with IDE disks, then you changed only the disk for SATA drives, and had the problem. If this is correct, and you did NOT change anything else, it could be (just a list) :
    - power supply - - taken care of
    - SATA controller - - taken care of
    - SATA disks
    - motherboard

    other than some exotic failure, i agree with you that it is the disks
    a last thing to try : do you have an ide drive to test left? if that runs ok, we've covered everything, and since those are new drives, you can turn them in and get a warranty swap
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    Author Comment

    by:maderic
    Yes. In the first instance I has one 40GB IDE drive(the boot drive) and one 80GB IDE as the primary slave which was storing my MP3 files and videos etc. The system was absolutely fine like this. Problem strated to happen as soon as I started transferring the files from this 8oGB drive to the SATA drives. I no longer have this drive installed as I wanted to make more room in the case so I could get more space between the disks (air flow etc)

    As it stands now all the data I wanted to put on the SATA drives is there but it freezex randomly. Also the PC boots up a lot quicker when these drives are connected to the PCI rAID controller aopposed to the onboard.

    One more thing. I recently went to the most recent BIOS (not a beat version) which I believe is version 10 where my last one wsas version 8

    Maybe its worth going back to the original BIOS or the one in between ie version 9??

    Hope some of this info helps
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    Author Comment

    by:maderic
    More info. I upgraded the BIOS just before the installation of the SATA drives??????
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    Expert Comment

    by:nobus
    yes, a rollback is worth a try.
    Did you try yet by connecting the ide drive and checking for the freeze?
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    Author Comment

    by:maderic
    Nah I will do as soon as I get home from work and will let you know
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    Expert Comment

    by:nobus
    ok, waiting...
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    Author Comment

    by:maderic
    Bloody hell. After all this hassle it seems like it was the BIOS revision 8 that was causing all the problems. Not 100% certain but the system has been running for hours and transfers have taken place between hard drives with no problems at all after reverting to version 6. Not sure whether I should accept an answer because it wasn't really offered by anyone-i'd have done the BIOS rollback anyway. I guess this shows its not always the best thing to do to upgrade. If it aint broke then dont fix it?

    Thanks for all your time and effort Nobus
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    Expert Comment

    by:nobus
    Yep !
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