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HDD questions

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by MrNice, Jan 15, 2007.

  1. MrNice

    MrNice Kilobyte Poster

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    Aloha,

    I have been experiencing problems with several PC's of varying specs and ages that all have similar errors. I built all of the PC's in question!

    ALL the PC's have SATA HDD, some are SATA 150, some SATA II 300, Combination of Samsung and western digital drives. All machines Mobo are either designed for SATA 150 or 300.
    Each PC has one single HDD, and a single partition.
    Either XP PRO or XP Home is on each machine.

    All machines are freezing regularly and hanging at start up. XP loading screen just sits loading, HDD neon light blinks rapidly on case, hit reset and either the system then loads normally or you get prompted with the "windows did not start correctly" startup screen.

    Event viewer logs the following EventID:51 DISK, an error was detected on device\harddisk0\D during a paging operation

    One of the machines eventually refused to load and the BIOS was unable to detect the HDD, I was about to order a new one when i tried another Mobo and it all worked again, and had done for about 2 months until now?

    I am obviously now looking at my original thought that the HDD is faulty but i am unconvinced due to having several, all with drives between 6month-2yrs old.

    I am either the unluckiest HDD buyer in Britain or I am doing something wrong at install/setup. I have set up just as many systems to the faulty ones that are working fine and reporting no errors, all similar or identical to faulty ones.

    Any input most gratefully recieved.
     
  2. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    are you mixing memory speeds?
     
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  3. MrNice

    MrNice Kilobyte Poster

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    the machines have different RAM due to age when built but it all matches, some DDR2 PC 533 some DDR etc but in all systems if there are two or more physical sticks they are both identical.
     
  4. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    a quick google search

    Click here

    has come up with a few solutions... looks like its got to do with the way certain makes of HDD are setup
     
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  5. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    After checking out the top forum in Zimbo's links, I would say your best bet would be to disable Native Command Queuing in the SATA controller.
     
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  6. MrNice

    MrNice Kilobyte Poster

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    Hey thanks Zimbo and Bluerinse, that was my first impression also, I have disabled command queing and will see how it goes.
     
  7. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Um - if I had to do that on drives then the system would be consigned to the bin.

    Native command queueing is what *should* finaly make IDE acceptable to the database fraternity.

    I have actualy commented on this on TU - but to recap - my view is that the driver/drive/controller combo isn't right - which is unfortunately common. It doesn't help that XP doesn't have decent support for SATA.

    Harry.
     
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  8. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    That is a tad harsh Harry. According to my wiki link, it's not always a good thing..

     
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  9. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Perhaps I should expand on that then.

    NCQ is borrowed from SCSI - where it has been a fundamental part of the system for many years.

    It is this that has meant that SCSI has been the system of choice for big databases, as the drives in effect 'truly multitask' rather than pretend to do it.

    The introduction of NCQ into the SATA world in SATA2 has been anticipated by DBAs for some time.

    If the use of NCQs causes problems then, sorry, it is bad drivers/controllers. SCSI works perfectly happily in gaming environments!

    Harry. (in argumentative mode :biggrin )
     
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  10. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Looking further....

    I always find it useful to read the comments on a Wiki entry. It gives a feel as to whether an article is 'accepted' or not. :biggrin

    In this case there seems to be quite a lot of comments both for and against.

    There are many situations where effectively using a machine as 'single-user' runs counter to the way clever optimizations work, but I'm not convinced this is one of them. But then I haven't run any benchmarks.

    Harry.
     
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  11. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Argh you twisted my arm and I just had to read the commentary, and it is very interesting. From a link one of the guys posted there, I found this..

    The source It's a good read!

    Pete
     
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  12. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Yup - good stuff.

    One of the most important things that needs to be stressed is that there are no simple answers. There are a *lot* of parameters that determine performance. This article makes that point nicely.

    Harry.
     
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  13. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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    have you checked all the SATA cables, sounds simple but the cables are rubbish, they are not sheilded, you can't bend them without getting errors, theres no form of locking mech which make the cable easy to come loose.

    http://www.ata-atapi.com/sata.htm
     
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  14. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    The cables sounds possible also...apart from NCQ
     
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  15. MrNice

    MrNice Kilobyte Poster

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    Aloha,

    I tried the cables in 3 of the machines, replaced in each to no avail...

    Thanks for all the input, after disabling NCQ I have had no further problems...but it's early days

    My drive supports NCQ and it was enabled but the weird thing is the first time i opened my controller propeties box from device manager I couldnt find my drive listed?

    I thought I was looking at wrong thing but after I closed and reopened it my drive appeared under primary channel and I was able to deselect NCQ (greyed out first time)
    I have also noticed appearing in event viewer now "NVATA device found" ID2, never noticed this before?
     
  16. ThomasMc

    ThomasMc Gigabyte Poster

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  17. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    I'm using an nVidia SATA-II controller with a Seagate 400GB SATA-300 NCQ hard drive under Linux and it works great. NCQ has a dramatic performance boost for desktop computers, where most files are small and scattered across the disk. It's true that for large multimedia files there's no benefit, however. Best way I've heard it described is as an elevator: doesn't matter who presses what buttons in which order, the elevator will stop at the floors in sequence. ;)

    I suspect problems are either with the hard disk (try SATA-150 jumper), SATA cables or the Windows drivers. Because quite frankly it's just simply phenominal under Linux, yielding 70mb/s on standard benchmarks even. :biggrin
    http://4crito.com/screenshots/fc6_64bit.jpg
     
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  18. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Was that description deliberate or just synchronicity? :biggrin

    See this article on Wikipedia.

    Harry.
     
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