HardDrives seem to be nothing but paper weights now??????????

Posted on 2006-06-05
Last Modified: 2010-04-20
I have a Snap Server with two 250 gig drives....mirrored. I came back from vacation to find the server was not accessable. After contacting Snap Tech Help and squeezing out what little knowledge I have personally I am at a wall.....  Due to these being 250 gig drives I had them Mirrored to provide emergency retrival....I have never seen two drives die at once with no apparent reason or warning .......but I guess there's always the first time....with my luck. Anyway I am trying to access these things in various ways ......since I believe Adaptec uses a Linux OS .......I have tried access using Knoppix (Linux). Then in case I tried with Bart(Windows) neither one sees ANYTHING! The drives feel like they are spinning and no power surges or external damage occured. When I fire up I don't see the small green LED light-up on the printed Circuit Board in either harddrive. These are Maxtor's....Maxline Plus II 250 GB ATA/133 Drives. Maybe there isn't one on these....can't tell with this surface mount stuff............ I am wondering if there is a fuse in line on the board........many devices have a regular fuse or a 1 ohm resistor in the + line to protect the rest of the board........that's probably not the case.

Any suggestions......I don't want to have to use a recovery Service for $1000 but I have a ton of the offices data on these and must retrieve if at all possible.


Question by:rspalding
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    Are the drives detected when the server boots up?  You could try using the Maxtor diagnostic tool to see if everything is OK with them.
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Another thing to try is to plug those drives onto a different PC to see if they are recognised. You might have blown away the on-board IDE/ATA controller.
    LVL 87

    Accepted Solution

    I have had plenty of maxtors dying, and it is quite normal for them to die at the same time (and usually within less than 1 year of having bought them). Sometimes changing the pcb's on the drives (If you get the exact same model and revision number), can help. As for reading snap drives on something else, I haven't yet heard of much success there. On the other hand you probably don't have to pay as much as $1000.-- for a recovery agency. Check out gillware, they are good and priceworthy, and you only get charged if the recovery is successfull:
    LVL 22

    Assisted Solution

    Maxtor have been gradually reducing their warranty period on drives. Personally I no longer use them, because I don't trust them any more!

    Highest reliability for sata drives I believe is now with Western Digital, with performances (MTBF) in the region of 1.2Million hours. Before people start questioning this make sure that they understand how theMTBF is calculated!:

    Best SCSI performance I think is now held by Seagate. (SCSI drives tend to be up to 1.5million hours)

    As a side line, I change controller boards on drives in order to recover data fairly regularly. If you have to 'open up' the sealed part of the drive, then recovery chances are virtually nil without controlled environments. The fact that both have failed 'together' implies to me that the failure is related to the boards, or the motherboard, rather than the mechanical elements of the drives. Therefore your best bet is to try and see if they are recognised by another computer, and ideally, try and get hold of an identical motherboard...or are there additional SATA connections available?

    If the problem is power related, it is sometimes possible to connect a sata drive to a standard power connector rather than the SATA power connector if both are avaialble.


    Author Comment

    Thanks.......have not changed PCB's on these things before....never thought of that...DUH....after multiple drives repair from the command line found after repeating after the failure meaage made it it slowly repaire more and more and after about 5 attempts reached 100%.  Looks like it just could not repaire the index all at gonna try changing the PCB just to learn ...!!  I'll remember this one!!!!!!  Thanks again............... your suggestions taught me something for the future. Am definitly getting some Seagates.

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