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Windows 7: Secondary HDD turns itself off randomly

2 Weeks Ago   #1
Foxfan100

Win 7 Ultimate 64
 
 
Secondary HDD turns itself off randomly

Win 7 Ultimate on Dell XPS8300

I have an SSD as my System Disk C:, but retained the original HDD (plugged to its original slot) as a secondary internal drive for Temp folders, backups, music files etc. It is still a bootable drive, although the boot sequence puts the SSD first. The HDD is a Seagate.

This arrangement worked OK until quite recently, until the HDD started turning itself off at random, but usually within a half-hour slot in the mid-afternoon, after the machine has been on since about 7 a.m. This happens perhaps every fifth day, and has forced me to move my pagefile back to C: SSD from the HDD.

So far, I have done these:-

- checked the HDD with the Dell Hardware testing utilities, with the Crucial Storage Executive (which also reports on the HDD) and several other things. None of these report any problems with the HDD.
- run the full Chkdsk (Fix/Scan for bad..)a couple of times, and Fix only several more. A few file problems corrected.
- ensured that Power Management Never turns off the HDD
- checked the SATA cable connection, which seems OK

As far as I can see, the only remaining options for me are to:-

- replace the SATA cable
and/or
- replace the drive (which seems unwarranted as no errors are reported on it)
or
- reformat the drive completely and see where that goes

Because the disk drops offline at a particular time, I'm wondering whether heat build-up may affect a connection in the cabling; although the ambient temperature in my office the last time this happened was pretty darn cold.

I realise this topic has been aired previously, but I cannot see any answers which may pertain to my own circumstances. I'd therefore welcome any hints, suggestions or other help.

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
2 Weeks Ago   #2
Eric3742

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Have you try this method:


SeaTools for DOS and Windows - How to Use


btw / imo, why do you need to move the pagefile to another HDD, which may slow down.
Leave the pagefile in the SSD on the OS partition.
As HDD is reading no faster than SSD, so it defeated the purpose on have the OS in SSD and pagefile in HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
2 Weeks Ago   #3
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP
 
 

I have my Windows and most programs on a SSD as C: and \Users, some programs, Temp folder and page file on D:
My Power plan is balanced and the HDD is allowed to stop.
Never had any issues.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

2 Weeks Ago   #4
Foxfan100

Win 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Eric3742 View Post
Have you try this method:


SeaTools for DOS and Windows - How to Use


btw / imo, why do you need to move the pagefile to another HDD, which may slow down.
Leave the pagefile in the SSD on the OS partition.
As HDD is reading no faster than SSD, so it defeated the purpose on have the OS in SSD and pagefile in HDD.
I have tried the Windows SeaTools, which didn't produce any adverse information. However, Crystal DiskInfo is giving me a warning, but I need to check whether this is because the relevant SMART parameters are set too low.

The reason I had my pagefile on the HDD was to reduce the number of writes on the SSD but, since a Bluescreen paging error is the inevitable result when the HDD goes offline, I've moved it back to the SSD. I did take the precaution of buying a big SSD, of which only about 25% is used, and which, according to the SSD data, has consumed only 2% of its expected lifetime.

Even if there is some problem with the HDD surfaces, I would expect errors to occur, files to corrupt and so forth i.e. all the normal things for a disk on its way out. I have, over the years, experienced such problems and am familiar with most of the symptoms. However, I've never known a drive which is supposedly OK to randomly spin down, for no apparent reason. This is why I think that it may be a cable problem, or certainly something hardware but not the integrity of the disk itself.

I'll have another look with SeaTools for DOS before doing anything else. However, I have a new HDD on standby which I can swap in, if need be. It's just that this Dell box is badly designed internally as far as component ease of access is concerned, and it's a chore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #5
Ranger4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1
 
 

As you have 12gb of RAM it's very likely that the page file on your HDD hardly ever gets needed, so the HDD turns itself off after being idle for a while. When the page file on the HDD is suddenly needed the HDD has shut down & needs time to pick up to speed etc. again, which is causing your problem.

Moving the page file to your SSD would be the best solution. I only have an SSD in my computer & all my files are on it including the page file. I have 16gb of RAM & my page file is set to 1gb.

My SSD has been in use for over 3 years & I have never had any problems with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #6
Foxfan100

Win 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Ranger4 View Post
As you have 12gb of RAM it's very likely that the page file on your HDD hardly ever gets needed, so the HDD turns itself off after being idle for a while. When the page file on the HDD is suddenly needed the HDD has shut down & needs time to pick up to speed etc. again, which is causing your problem.

Moving the page file to your SSD would be the best solution. I only have an SSD in my computer & all my files are on it including the page file. I have 16gb of RAM & my page file is set to 1gb.

My SSD has been in use for over 3 years & I have never had any problems with it.
Thank you for your advice.

Because of the HDD problems, and page fault blue screens, I have reassigned the pagefile to the SSD. Other than my own folders and files, the only HDD system folders are my Temp ones. The effect is that, whilst I haven't had any more paging errors, the HDD is still spinning down.

As I understand it, the only way an HDD can systematically offline itself is through the Power Management settings, and mine are set to "Never" for disks. I also have Hibernate disabled in the system, to avoid having a hiberfil.sys on the SSD.

Still a mystery, I'm afraid.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #7
Eric3742

Windows 7 x64
 
 

Don't worry about the read and writes on the pagefile.

The System will take care of the pagefile, as it is the important for the system itself.

As what i know, the pagefile is allocated in one big sector, and no fragment at all.

Hence it is only on that sector and if should it encountered any problem, i believe the system will take care of it.

That is when using HDD and doing defrag, one big sector is stated not movable.


So far, nobody have claim that the pagefile is giving problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
1 Week Ago   #8
Eric3742

Windows 7 x64
 
 

As for the Seagate HDD, i greatly suggest you not to use it.

Meaning, not part of the system.

Remove it and use as USB connect.

The basic reason is that Seagate HDD are not very reliable, especially older HDD.

Should you leaving it as part of the system, it may affect your system performance.

As you mentioned it went to sleep.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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