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Windows 7: Secondary Hard Drive being lost when primary is busy.

20 Oct 2012   #1
23Man

Win 7 x64 Professional
 
 
Secondary Hard Drive being lost when primary is busy.

Folks,

I have a strange problem which has gradually been getting worse over the past couple of months. I have a system which I built with a primary SSD containing the OS and a secondary 1Tb WD caviar green drive which contains mostly media files. The second drive is partitioned into 650mb, 250mb and 100mb partitions. The problem started to show up a couple of months ago when the partitions on the secondary drive would randomly disappear. Over time the frequency of the drop out of the secondary drive is increasing.

I have spent some time investigating the problem, as it is getting really frustrating, and have tried the following; replaced the sata cables on both drives, changed the sata ports which the drives are plugged into, changed the secondary drive, run chkdsk on both drives, run WD data lifeguard (took over 4 hours) on the 1TB secondary drive. None of this has made any difference.

What I have discovered is that the problem can be replicated fairly easily. If I use iTunes to play some music from the secondary drive and then launch a disk intensive executable on the primary then the drop out happens if the load on the primary disk lasts long enough. For example loading Opera or Chrome will cause the problem to appear. If I go into the device manager and scan for hardware changes then the missing drive will reappear. It seems to be therefore that there is some kind of bottleneck in the system when the primary drive is busy causing the OS to lose track of the secondary drive. I have checked the BIOS and it is up to date as are the relevant disk drivers.

I'd be grateful if anyone has any suggestions on how to proceed next. The details of the system are contained in my Specs.

Thanks
M.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
21 Oct 2012   #2
ashleyg

Windows 7 Professional x64, SP1
 
 

Hi 23Man.

Could you post a screenshot of your disk layout for us to look at.
(double click the 'Computer' icon on you desktop or select 'Computer' from the Start menu)

Thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #3
23Man

Win 7 x64 Professional
 
 
Disk Setup

Hi,

attached is an image of the disk layout. Note that only 2 of the three partitions on the secondary disk are mounted as I don't use the third for anything yet.

Regards
M


Attached Thumbnails
-new-bitmap-image.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

21 Oct 2012   #4
ashleyg

Windows 7 Professional x64, SP1
 
 

Go into Disk Management and assign each drive (partition) a Volume Label along with the drive letter.
The volume label can be any name you want to call it - eg. C: System, D: Data etc.

These changes can be done on the fly and do not format your drive or lose your data.

This should make things more stable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Oct 2012   #5
23Man

Win 7 x64 Professional
 
 

Many thanks for your suggestion, which I have implemented. However despite giving labels to all of the partitions the problem still persists.

M.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2012   #6
23Man

Win 7 x64 Professional
 
 

Hi,

I am beginning to suspect that it is the lack of AHCI support on the MB which is causing the problem. I plan to change the board and see if this resolves the problem and I'll update with the results. If there are any other suggestions then I'd much appreciate them.

M.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2012   #7
ashleyg

Windows 7 Professional x64, SP1
 
 

Good luck with that option 23Man. Unforunately it is turning into a pretty complex issue.
Hopefully that will resolve it.

Will be keen to hear the outcome.

All the best.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2012   #8
23Man

Win 7 x64 Professional
 
 
Possible Solution....

Just a quick update, after reading around I decided to run a registry cleaner on my system. It picked up a lot of things which needed to be sorted and after the cleanup the system has remained stable.

I'm going to hold off on the rebuild to see how long the system goes without losing the secondary disk.

M.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2012   #9
ashleyg

Windows 7 Professional x64, SP1
 
 

Thanks for the update.

Hopefully things have been resolved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2012   #10
23Man

Win 7 x64 Professional
 
 
Still Stable

Hi,

after running without problems for five days it looks as if the cleanup of the registry has solved the problem. I'm not 100% sure why this is but I'll take it. Marking the thread as solved.

Thanks to those who helped,

M.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Secondary Hard Drive being lost when primary is busy.




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