Windows Disk Diagnostic detected a S.M.A.R.T. fault on disk

Hello folks, I am hoping someone can point me in the right direction to a solution to a potentially disastrous problem.

Windows Vista (64bit) just popped up a very ominous message, "Windows Disk Diagnostic detected a S.M.A.R.T. fault on disk ST310003 40AS SCSI Disk Device (volumes Unknown).  This disk might fail...."

Event viewer also adds, "The driver has detected that device \Device\Harddisk7\DR7 has predicted that it will fail. Immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive. A failure may be imminent."

Anyhow, the problem is that I have 3 drives with this model # (yes, unfortunate BECAUSE these Seagate drives are well known for problems!)! And Vista doesn't tell me directly what drive is actually failing. Fortunately, after a bit of forensic investigation, I found which one is ...7\DR7 by looking into each drives properties! What a pain! Why couldn't Vista just tell me which volume name??

Now my question: I am looking for a way to actively monitor all my SATA drives for their health (SMART and other wise). I have downloaded tools such as "Crystal disk info" (BTW great free tool) and ActiveSMART, however, none of these tools see my four external eSATA connected SATA drives. They only see my one internal SATA drive.

My four eSATA drives are connected by a Lacie (Silicone Image SiI 3132 controller) using eSATA port multiplexing. All four external eSATA drives are seen by Vista as if they were internal (or normal) volumes.

Is there a SMART monitoring tool that is capable of seeing these drives? Obviously Windows Vista has no trouble (considering that it just warned me about the imminent failure of one of them).

Thanks! :-)
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S ConnellyTechnical WriterAsked:
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nobusCommented:
did you try siw yet ? http://www.lemonfiles.com/details.php?progid=9016
btw, if it does not see the disks, i suppose your drives are connected thru a card or hub ?
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epochassetCommented:
Most controllers come with monitoring software.  Try checking out the management utility for that controller here, http://www.siliconimage.com/support/searchresults.aspx?pid=32&cat=3.
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cn_choCommented:
Try a program called Speedfan (xxx) its a great little utility and should be able to load the SMART information from the disks. As far as I know SMART issues are ***USUALLY**** no big deal - just minor IO problems with the disk (which is storing tons and tons and tons of date nowadays). So I would say it's probably not a big deal - just that drive will probably crap out in the next 2, 6, maybe 10 years. :)
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cn_choCommented:
oops forgot linkage : http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php  (Speedfan 4.37)
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nobusCommented:
smart problems should be looked into, as to what they come from.
if you don't, you risk loosing all your data a certain day.
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zvitamConsultantCommented:
when it comes to check disk for SMART problem I usually use ActiveSmart, a simple monitoring utility free to try.

http://www.ariolic.com/activesmart/index.html

Enjoy!

I join nobus advice and suggest you replace the problematic drive ASAP.
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nobusCommented:
well - replacing the drive may not be necessary directly, depending on what is the cause.
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S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
I downloaded the latest version of Speedfan. Unfortunately, like every version I have used in the past, it doesn't see any of my hard drives (not even the internal boot drive). I have a relatively common Acer Quad core computer.

As I mentioned earlier, I have tried ActiveSmart but it only sees the internal boot drive.

>I join nobus advice and suggest you replace the problematic drive ASAP.

I still have about 40 GB of data to recover. But it's worse now, the drive only appears in File Explorer for a few seconds now so it seems I can no longer extract data from it. :-(  It is not the 'end of the world' for me but it is terribly annoying!

I think this will be the last Seagate I buy for a very long time.
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S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
epochasset: Thanks for the Silicone Image link, however, there are no monitoring tools available (at least not for Windows Vista 64).
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S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
FYI, the only tool I could find [the reads ALL my SATA drives] is this one:
GSmartControl
http://gsmartcontrol.berlios.de/home/index.php/en/Downloads

Although it does work, it is quite primitive and only shows simplified SMART information.
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m_mattCommented:
Hmm, sounds like the drive is dead/dying - you'll want to recover your data as quickly as possible (and I'm sure you know that). In the past, I've had success with putting the hdd in a ziplock back and popping it in the freezer for awhile, keeping the drive extra cold seemed to keep it kicking for longer, long enough the transfer data off before it would die (ie make weird clicking noises and become unresponsive)

Good luck!
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S ConnellyTechnical WriterAuthor Commented:
m_matt: My Seagate drives suffer from a well know firmware problem. Actually, the one drive is no longer even recognized by the BIOS. I just became worse, each time I started it up until it no longer started up.

There are two methods of recovery (the last 40 GB), that I am going to attempt now:

- Your suggestion (freezer)... being a former forensic recovery expert, I can tell you that freezing was never one of my options. I've always thought of this as a myth. But with nothing to lose.... lets see what happens

- Boot into Linux or BartPE (the actual firmware issue is apparently only a problem in Windows).

I'll report back later.

BTW, The Seagate drives have all been patched to firmware SD1A. Unfortunately, it appears that this upgrade only lasted four weeks. Baffling that these drives worked perfectly for the first year, baffling that they began to work again after upgrading the firmware, baffling that they began a re-newed slow 'death' four weeks later. Can anyone explain this?
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nobusCommented:
looks like a hardware virus..
if you need your data, i can recommend HDD regenerator, it has saved me on 2 occasions :
http://www.dposoft.net/
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