New HDDs keep failing - what's to blame?
Posted on 2006-04-17
I'm at a loss. I have an OLD P3-500 system with the following setup:
- 350 W PSU
- 512 MB DDR
- 3 Case fans, 2 HDD cooler
- 3 HDDs (2 ATA, 1 SATA)
- 2 DVD-RW drives
The problem I have is that most of my HDDs only last about 12 months before they start having sector errors. I keep exchanging them under warranty or occasionally buy new ones. Recently, I bought a new Western Digital 250 MB SATA and a Promise PCI-SATA controller to connect it to the motherboard. It worked until yesterday, then Windows started freezing up and the Event Log is full of "CRC read errors, LBA block blablabla".
Average temperature inside the box is 70 at the bottom and about 85-95 at the top, according to the temperature sensors built into the Antec HDD-coolers. The HDDs are installed at the top of the case in 5.25 drive bays (old type ATX big tower).
The HDDs that fail are always Western Digital, I've had a IBM 5GB IDE-HDD in the system for probably 8 years that I use for my most important data only and it has never given me problems. But it also doesn't get near the traffic the Western Digital HDDs get (moving around lots of video material for DVDs (wedding filming)) and sometimes the PC stays on all day while processing/burning but the temperature stays within the 90s max.
The other day, our A/C failed and the tower temperature spiked to 101 before I noticed it and shut the system off. Next reboot, I had problems. But previous failures never had anything like that happen and always occurred in December, when it's cool.
I've had problems once before when I installed a Silicon Image RAID-PCI adapter to run another HDD off. Said HDD (WD 100GB) failed within a week (spin up, spin down, spin up, spin down) because IDE-cable was damaged. But now I wonder if maybe lack of PSU power was the problem?!
So here's the QUESTION: is my box too hot or my PSU failing? PSU is about 5-6 years old probably.
I don't want to put money on a PSU if the whole system is simply running too hot as it is. Can't add anymore fans...