vanishing hard drive


  1. TRB
    Posts : 5
    Win 10 Pro x64
       #1

    vanishing hard drive


    G’day,

    I placed this in the network area but I can't see it being a network issue in the normal sense of networks.

    I have a most weird problem that recently occurred. Never had this issue before. Relevant PCs are Win10.

    I have 5 hard drives on computer A each with multiple partitions. I have a home networked laptop I’ll call computer B.

    When I am using B and send a 3 gig file via the network to A it begins OK and gets about halfway through and then fails. So I am sending from A to B.

    The transfer fails because the destination hard drive on A vanishes when actually viewed from A. The only way I can get it back is to reboot A.

    Next I tried the reverse direction and when working from A I accessed B via the network and began retrieving a file from B. So I am now pulling a file across from B to A. Once again part way through my coping process it fails and again I have lost the same hard drive on A and must reboot to get it back.

    I immediately thought hard drive fault. It is a WD black/caviar 2TB and 1 year old. I ran the WD diagnostics without issue. Ditto Win10 diags.

    The next obvious thing to do was copy locally on A. So I chose a bunch of PST files (about 20 gigs total) on another hard drive on A and copied them to the failing hard drive on A. That worked perfectly.

    I figure I do not have a hard drive issue. The issue is only when transferring files over my network. Smaller files work OK. Once above about 1 gig the transfers fail.

    Sure, network issues are common. Anyone can have network headaches. What I cannot fathom though is how a home network file transfer can disable a hard drive on the destination PC.

    It is not relevant but the destination hard drive contains 4 partitions G: H: I: J: and I am writing to H: All 4 vanish as if that hard drive was unplugged.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 11,387
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1706
       #2

    If either computer has ever had Norton then check that its removal tool was used to uninstall it or run that tool now.

    I might be way off the mark. I haven't seen such symptoms for a decade.


    Denis
    Last edited by Try3; 20 Jun 2020 at 05:22.
      My Computer


  3. TRB
    Posts : 5
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Thanks Denis,

    I am an old Norton fan from DOS days... however I did both PCs as Win10 clean installs so there is no Norton history.

    Equally this issue has not existed since those OS installs until quite recently. I can't be sure when it arose as I don't regularly run the batch file to copy the PST files from laptop to desktop that is now failing.

    The only thing that I know that has changed have been Win10 updates... and it is easy to blame them as they have hiccup history.

    Trev
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 168
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1
       #4

    Windows 10 has settings to limit data transfers over a metered connection.

    I'm guessing here but perhaps Windows 10 also has some obscure settings to limit data transfers among networked computers as well.

    JackHughs
      My Computer


  5. TRB
    Posts : 5
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Interesting thought Jack, but if so one may expect that to occur in a more controlled manner.

    For the transfer instigating PC to lose its own hard drive seems a bit drastic. By lose I mean is no longer accessible or visible in Explorer and cannot be recovered without a reboot.

    Trev
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 168
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1
       #6

    Have you tried transferring the 3 gig file to another physical hard drive on A?

    Jackughs
      My Computer


  7. TRB
    Posts : 5
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Yes Jack, I had tried a 3 gig file from B to A to another physical drive early this morning and it worked OK. So then I tried again with a full compliment of PST files or about 20 gigs and that worked OK too. Let's call the A known good physical drive #3 and the A suss drive physical #2.

    The above test again points the finger at #2. Remember though I had previously run WD diags on #2 and also copied a few gigs from #3 to #2 seemingly calling it OK.

    Next I did 2 things. I repeated the 20 gig copying from #3 to #2 and sat watching. It was of course much faster than between PCs over the network. The whole transfer took about 7 minutes but quite oddly it stalled 2 or 3 times. Watching the transfer rate on Explorer it was belting along at a steady speed and then slowed, like a car braking over a few seconds, to a complete stop. There were zero transfers for as long as 30 seconds before it sped up again.

    After that weird experience I decided to run the WD diags extended testing on #2. That ran for 3 hours 25 minutes.... and with zero errors. So the WD diags can't fault the drive. Copying between drives has weird lengthy pauses and copying via the network causes drive #2 to vanish.

    Trev
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 168
    Windows 10 Pro 21H1
       #8

    Goodmorning,

    If this were my machine, I would simply replace Drive 2. Regardless of the WD test results, Drive 2 is actually failing in real time for some reason. At this point, I would be worried about experiencing a catastrophic, unrecoverable failure.

    JackHughs
      My Computer


  9. TRB
    Posts : 5
    Win 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Jack,

    If I had a spare drive I would have whacked that in on day one. However late yesterday I did this...

    I have 3 quite old and well used WD drives that I thought were all IDE connector but upon checking one was SATA. It is dated Sept 2013 and I had labelled it as a ‘suss drive but maybe OK for testing'.

    So I removed #2 from the drive bay and inserted my 7 year old suss drive in the same bay. I then connected #2 that is only 9 months old to spare cables always hanging loose in the case and left it beside the case.

    Next I tested both drives for network transfers of the same 20 gigs of PST files. Murphy’s Law, both worked perfectly. I repeated those network transfer tests several times. No faults.

    By the way, I had about 3 days ago swapped drive #2 SATA cable with drive #3 to remove cabling from the issue.

    So now I can only conclude 2 things. Moving drive #2 affected it physically or it is temperature related fault as it is cooler no longer in the Tower drive bay with 4 other drives.

    I have now just returned #2 to its original drive bay and cabling to see if I can recreate the issue.

    Oooh and yesterday I did back up #2 important files to an external drive

    Trev

    - - - Updated - - -

    At last I reckon I have it sorted

    Despite returning drive #2 to its original bay (for temperature checks) I initially used my flying SATA data and power cables. Transfer tests all worked perfectly.

    Next I restored only the SATA data to the original cable... but still no errors.

    Lastly I restored the original SATA power cable... and errors returned.

    At no time did I suspect the power connection as I had removed/applied that as well as often checking that it was firmly in place by wriggling it. The other reason for no suspicion was that drive #2 is powered by a Molex to SATA dual splitter cable that also powers drive #3. So if there is a cable issue it is limited to the non-shared components.

    Next I replaced the power splitter cable with a spare I had. Since then I have run many network transfers without a single error.

    So intermittent power seems to have been the issue. What I still don't understand is why the drive would fail so quickly, readily and repeatedly with a 3 gig file transfer over my network yet would not fail when I locally transferred 20 gigs between drives. I think that weird thing lead me up the wrong diagnosis path
    Last edited by TRB; 22 Jun 2020 at 17:58. Reason: typo
      My Computer


 

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