Is my external hard drive failing? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 01:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a hitachi 1tb external hard drive that has always been a pain in the as# to use. I have had it about 2 yrs or so, and for most of that time it has been very sensitive, always disconnecting from my computer at even the slightest nudge of its usb wire. Unplugging it and plugging it back in has generally seemed to solve the issue. This drive also seems to always hold up my windows 7 computer from booting after a shutdown/restart, to the point where I generally unplug it and wait until its past the bios/welcome screen before plugging it in. The drive itself makes no grinding sounds or other sounds out of the ordinary. The connection issue seems to be getting a bit worse as of late, so I am wondering what I should do. My inclination is to find a decent yet inexpensive enclosure, crack open the old one and switch it over because it seems that the issue lies in the usb connection/enclosure and not with the drive itself. However, I dont want to throw money at it if my issues are a sign of a failing hard drive in general? So I ask, what does it sound like to you? Also, if it is just the enclosure, have you guys found it difficult to transfer hard drives from one enclosure to the other or is it pretty straightforward for someone who has never done it?
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post #2 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 07:00 AM
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Truly the only real way to tell if your drive is failing is getting a smart report, and it may not communicate with the smart request over USB. give it a shot and see if you can get a smart report.

If you can't get a smart report, and your drives seems to function normally during operations and when you don't bump the cable I would get another enclosure. You can get one for around $30. Just try and verify the smart report first.
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post #3 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't have the original software that came with the drive. Is there any freeware out there for external hitachi drives to check the smart health?, the one on their website says it is not compatible with external drives.
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadsdsmith View Post

I don't have the original software that came with the drive. Is there any freeware out there for external hitachi drives to check the smart health?, the one on their website says it is not compatible with external drives.

They should have the software on there for that drive. If not, do a google search, any hard drive SMART reading software will work.
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post #5 of 22 Old 06-03-2012, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
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The one listed #2 here http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolso.../tophddiag.htm
states it won't work with an external drive. So will most of these work with an external drive?
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post #6 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 12:16 AM
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post #7 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 01:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StinDaWg View Post

Try CrystalDiskInfo.

http://crystalmark.info/software/Cry...o/index-e.html

Thanks. This one seems to work well. After downloading it, i did get a caution on the hard drive in question. There is a yellow dot next to reallocated sectors count. I am not really sure what it means? Anyone? Also, what temp should a hard drive be at? The one in question is at 49 degrees. My recently purchased seagate external 3tb hd is actually higher at 54 degrees, so I hope that is acceptable. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thanks
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 10:40 AM
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I'm not exactly sure what that means, but you definitely should backup your data just in case. And once you do that, try re-formatting the drive, it may just need a re-format to clear up any read issues.
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post #9 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 12:52 PM
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At the very least it sounds like you have a bad usb cable or connector on the external case. If it was mine, before investing in another case, I would remove the drive and install it in the computer to test it. That way you will know the state of the drive and not get a faulty reading because of a poor connection.
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post #10 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 05:46 PM
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You can check the event viewer for disk errors. On more than one occasion I've found Windows knew I had (or would soon have) a bad disk and just kept logging errors vs alerting me.
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post #11 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yraen View Post

At the very least it sounds like you have a bad usb cable or connector on the external case. If it was mine, before investing in another case, I would remove the drive and install it in the computer to test it. That way you will know the state of the drive and not get a faulty reading because of a poor connection.

That's a good idea. I think I may actually leave it in the case as I have an extra spot in there. How difficult is it to install a hard drive in the case? Sorry if this is a newbie question but I have never done this. I have installed graphics cards etc... Just never this.
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post #12 of 22 Old 06-04-2012, 06:11 PM
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Can you copy and paste your smart report? Temp is fine anywhere from mid 30's - high 40's is preferred. That is C.

Here is a copy of one of the drives in my unRAID server:

smartctl -a -d ata /dev/sda (parity)
smartctl 5.40 2010-10-16 r3189 [i486-slackware-linux-gnu] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-10 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family: Western Digital Caviar Green (Adv. Format) family
Device Model: WDC WD20EARS-00S8B1
Serial Number: WD-WCAVY2333185
Firmware Version: 80.00A80
User Capacity: 2,000,398,934,016 bytes
Device is: In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is: 8
ATA Standard is: Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is: Mon Jun 4 18:02:16 2012 PDT
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status: (0x84) Offline data collection activity
was suspended by an interrupting command from host.
Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.
Self-test execution status: ( 0) The previous self-test routine completed
without error or no self-test has ever
been run.
Total time to complete Offline
data collection: (40800) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities: (0x7b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
Suspend Offline collection upon new
command.
Offline surface scan supported.
Self-test supported.
Conveyance Self-test supported.
Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities: (0x0003) Saves SMART data before entering
power-saving mode.
Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability: (0x01) Error logging supported.
General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine
recommended polling time: ( 2) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time: ( 255) minutes.
Conveyance self-test routine
recommended polling time: ( 5) minutes.
SCT capabilities: (0x3031) SCT Status supported.
SCT Feature Control supported.
SCT Data Table supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME FLAG VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE UPDATED WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate 0x002f 200 200 051 Pre-fail Always - 0
3 Spin_Up_Time 0x0027 155 139 021 Pre-fail Always - 9250
4 Start_Stop_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 960
5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct 0x0033 200 200 140 Pre-fail Always - 0
7 Seek_Error_Rate 0x002e 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0
9 Power_On_Hours 0x0032 086 086 000 Old_age Always - 10293
10 Spin_Retry_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 131
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 68
193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0032 196 196 000 Old_age Always - 13766
194 Temperature_Celsius 0x0022 125 105 000 Old_age Always - 27
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0
197 Current_Pending_Sector 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable 0x0030 200 200 000 Old_age Offline - 0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count 0x0032 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate 0x0008 200 200 000 Old_age Offline - 0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
No Errors Logged

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num Test_Description Status Remaining LifeTime(hours) LBA_of_first_error
# 1 Short offline Completed without error 00% 10292 -
# 2 Short offline Completed without error 00% 7143 -
# 3 Short offline Completed without error 00% 7143 -
# 4 Short offline Completed: read failure 60% 3883 3907029167
# 5 Short offline Completed: read failure 60% 3883 3907029167

SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
SPAN MIN_LBA MAX_LBA CURRENT_TEST_STATUS
1 0 0 Not_testing
2 0 0 Not_testing
3 0 0 Not_testing
4 0 0 Not_testing
5 0 0 Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.

Allocated sectors are a normal occurrence as long as they are being reallocated, but you need to keep an eye to make sure that that number doesn't keep going up. Your drive is more than likely starting to fail and you should remove the data that is important to you off of it.
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post #13 of 22 Old 06-06-2012, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is the pasted info from the check on the drive. It has been running fine of late, and I have all my important data backed up, but I would still like to know what this data tells me. I sure can't make heads or tials from it : )

CrystalDiskInfo 4.6.2 (C) 2008-2012 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : http://crystalmark.info/

OS : Windows 7 Home Premium Edition SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)
Date : 2012/06/06 10:18:09

-- Controller Map
+ ATA Channel 0 (0) [ATA]
- WDC WD5000AAKS-65V0A0 ATA Device
- HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH40N ATA Device
- ATA Channel 1 (1) [ATA]
+ Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller [ATA]
- ATA Channel 0 (0)
- ATA Channel 1 (1)
+ Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller [ATA]
- ATA Channel 0 (0)
+ ATA Channel 1 (1)
- HL-DT-ST BD-RE BH12LS38 ATA Device
+ Virtual CloneDrive [SCSI]
- ELBY CLONEDRIVE SCSI CdRom Device
- ELBY CLONEDRIVE SCSI CdRom Device

-- Disk List
(1) WDC WD5000AAKS-65V0A0 : 500.1 GB [0/0/0, pd1]
(2) ST3000DM001-9YN166 : 3000.5 GB [1/X/X, sa1] (V=0BC2, P=50A5)
(3) SAMSUNG HD103SI : 1000.2 GB [2/X/X, sa1]
(4) WDC WD30EZRX-00MMMB0 : 3000.5 GB [7/X/X, sa2] (V=1058, P=1140)
(5) WDC WD30EZRS-14J99B0 : 3000.5 GB [8/X/X, sa2] (V=1058, P=1021)
(6) Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 : 1000.2 GB [9/X/X, sa1] (V=4971, P=CE17)


(6) Hitachi HDS721010CLA332
Enclosure : Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 USB Device (V=4971, P=CE17, sa1)
Model : Hitachi HDS721010CLA332
Firmware : JP4OA39C
Serial Number : JP2921HQ1PBPAA
Disk Size : 1000.2 GB (8.4/137.4/1000.2)
Buffer Size : 29999 KB
Queue Depth : 32
# of Sectors : 1953525168
Rotation Rate : 7200 RPM
Interface : USB (Serial ATA)
Major Version : ATA8-ACS
Minor Version : ATA8-ACS version 4
Transfer Mode : SATA/300
Power On Hours : 18866 hours
Power On Count : 581 count
Temparature : 49 C (120 F)
Health Status : Caution
Features : S.M.A.R.T., APM, AAM, 48bit LBA, NCQ
APM Level : 0000h [OFF]
AAM Level : 80FEh [OFF]

-- S.M.A.R.T.
ID Cur Wor Thr RawValues(6) Attribute Name
01 _99 _99 _16 000000000002 Read Error Rate
02 134 134 _54 000000000067 Throughput Performance
03 138 138 _24 0005012700FF Spin-Up Time
04 100 100 __0 00000000027B Start/Stop Count
05 _98 _98 __5 0000000000AD Reallocated Sectors Count
07 100 100 _67 000000000000 Seek Error Rate
08 128 128 _20 000000000024 Seek Time Performance
09 _98 _98 __0 0000000049B2 Power-On Hours
0A 100 100 _60 000000000000 Spin Retry Count
0C 100 100 __0 000000000245 Power Cycle Count
C0 100 100 __0 000000000285 Power-off Retract Count
C1 100 100 __0 000000000285 Load/Unload Cycle Count
C2 122 122 __0 003C00140031 Temperature
C4 100 100 __0 0000000000AD Reallocation Event Count
C5 100 100 __0 00000000001E Current Pending Sector Count
C6 100 100 __0 000000000000 Uncorrectable Sector Count
C7 200 200 __0 00000000000A UltraDMA CRC Error Count

-- SMART_READ_DATA
+0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +A +B +C +D +E +F
000: 10 00 01 0B 00 63 63 02 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 05
010: 00 86 86 67 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 07 00 8A 8A FF
020: 00 27 01 05 00 00 04 12 00 64 64 7B 02 00 00 00
030: 00 00 05 33 00 62 62 AD 00 00 00 00 00 00 07 0B
040: 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 08 05 00 80 80 24
050: 00 00 00 00 00 00 09 12 00 62 62 B2 49 00 00 00
060: 00 00 0A 13 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0C 32
070: 00 64 64 45 02 00 00 00 00 00 C0 32 00 64 64 85
080: 02 00 00 00 00 00 C1 12 00 64 64 85 02 00 00 00
090: 00 00 C2 02 00 7A 7A 31 00 14 00 3C 00 00 C4 32
0A0: 00 64 64 AD 00 00 00 00 00 00 C5 22 00 64 64 1E
0B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 C6 08 00 64 64 00 00 00 00 00
0C0: 00 00 C7 0A 00 C8 C8 0A 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
100: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
110: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
120: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
130: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
140: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
150: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
160: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 84 00 65 28 01 5B
170: 03 00 01 00 01 AC 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
180: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
190: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1A0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1C0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 4A

-- SMART_READ_THRESHOLD
+0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +A +B +C +D +E +F
000: 10 00 01 10 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 36
010: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 03 18 00 00 00 00
020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 04 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
030: 00 00 05 05 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 07 43
040: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 08 14 00 00 00 00
050: 00 00 00 00 00 00 09 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
060: 00 00 0A 3C 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 0C 00
070: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 C0 00 00 00 00 00
080: 00 00 00 00 00 00 C1 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
090: 00 00 C2 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 C4 00
0A0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 C5 00 00 00 00 00
0B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 C6 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0C0: 00 00 C7 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
0F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
100: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
110: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
120: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
130: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
140: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
150: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
160: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
170: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
180: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
190: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1A0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1B0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1C0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1D0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1E0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
1F0: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 64
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post #14 of 22 Old 06-06-2012, 05:45 PM
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This is the main data I typically look at

ID Cur Wor Thr RawValues(6) Attribute Name
01 _99 _99 _16 000000000002 Read Error Rate
02 134 134 _54 000000000067 Throughput Performance
03 138 138 _24 0005012700FF Spin-Up Time
04 100 100 __0 00000000027B Start/Stop Count
05 _98 _98 __5 0000000000AD Reallocated Sectors Count
07 100 100 _67 000000000000 Seek Error Rate
08 128 128 _20 000000000024 Seek Time Performance
09 _98 _98 __0 0000000049B2 Power-On Hours
0A 100 100 _60 000000000000 Spin Retry Count
0C 100 100 __0 000000000245 Power Cycle Count
C0 100 100 __0 000000000285 Power-off Retract Count
C1 100 100 __0 000000000285 Load/Unload Cycle Count
C2 122 122 __0 003C00140031 Temperature
C4 100 100 __0 0000000000AD Reallocation Event Count
C5 100 100 __0 00000000001E Current Pending Sector Count
C6 100 100 __0 000000000000 Uncorrectable Sector Count
C7 200 200 __0 00000000000A UltraDMA CRC Error Count

To make it simple the threshold is the minimum tolerance. If your current is equal to or greater than the threshold the disk is considered usable. It might be to be replaced very soon, but you should be able to get the data off of it.
Depending on the manufacture the numbers can mean different things. For this drive it looks as if many perimeters are not monitored via smart. The ones that are monitored will have a threshold associated with them.

Now for this drive as far as I can tell the drive looks good based on the data. It almost as the drives smart data was reset somehow. I look at the following:

ID 05, C5, and C6 this gives me an idea of drive health. I also keep tabs on C2 as this is the temp it typically gives you lowest, highest, and average. Your drive does not appear to support this. More than likely because it is a USB drive.

If I am missing anything someone else will chime in to ensure the information I gave is complete.
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post #15 of 22 Old 06-07-2012, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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thank you for the information. Looks like I can keep using the drive, but I won't put anything on it I can't live without. It hasn't acted up lately so maybe the cord is positioned just right. Thanks again.
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post #16 of 22 Old 06-07-2012, 06:13 PM
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I would change out the coord, or in case its the connection on the case find a way to keep it solidly connected. It may be worth the $20-$30 to buy a new case that has a better USB connector.
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post #17 of 22 Old 06-15-2012, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I figured I would give an update to the situation. I cracked open the enclosure and took out the hard drive and put it in my empty expansion slot in the case. I only had to buy a $7 sata cable and I was good to go. It seems to run fine in this configuration, and I have more space on my desk now. When I run the smart check I still get the same warning on the drive that I had before, but it seems to be performing perfectly well, so I will use it for temporary file storage and unimportant things until I know it is fairly stable and won't act up. Thanks for the help.
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post #18 of 22 Old 06-15-2012, 04:34 AM
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post #19 of 22 Old 06-15-2012, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Ya, I know. I use monoprice all the time. The funny thing is they are about an hour and a half away, so if I order something one day, it comes the next, but I wanted to finish the project so I could close up my case and be done with it... so I paid the frys markup. Thanks for reminding me ;lol
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post #20 of 22 Old 06-15-2012, 01:37 PM
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Order the Aleratec SATA Data Cable, 18in - 12 Pack for $9.99 from Amazon and never worry about it again.

Hmmmmmm, let's see, 12 @ $7 each would be $84, vs $10.
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post #21 of 22 Old 06-15-2012, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thats a pretty good deal, though I really don't know if I will ever need one of these again, don't they usually come with internal hard drives/bd drives etc.....? One thing is for sure...I took it in the pooper for the one I bought mad.gif
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post #22 of 22 Old 06-15-2012, 09:20 PM
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I had a power supply slowly fail on a WD Mybook. I finally figured it out when I plugged in a second one to that power supply and had the same problem - then tried a different poser supply and they both worked fine.
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