Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


How do I work out which disc (of 7) has failed?

  1. #1


    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts : 69
    7 Pro & 8.1 Pro & 8.1 Pro

    How do I work out which disc (of 7) has failed?


    I have 13 internal hard disc drives in my desktop. Six 4Tb ones and seven 3Tb. I also have 2 external HDDs but I know it isn't one of THEM

    One of the 3Tb HDDs has failed. It showed up as "Healthy (At Risk)" in Disk Management after, strangely, I couldn't copy a file off the disc. I could play the file (it was a movie) but couldn't copy it.

    It would copy to 69% and stop and then come up that it couldn't be read. I tried MANY times

    Googled this and tried a few things like "Re-Activating", reformating (Quick), putting it "offline" and "online". I also tried to change it's letter. To no effect.

    Finally it has now come up as "failed" in DM. I will try a "full" reformat tomorrow (Saturday) as that will take 7(?) or 8(?) hours.

    Anything else I can try in the meantime?

    Should the eventual solution be to replace/remove it, how do I determine which physical drive it is? I have LOTS of SATA ports on my motherboard and an 8 port SATA PCIe card.

    My MB has 6 Intel SATA ports and 4 Asmedia SATA ports plus the 8 port SATA card. How do I work out which (of the 7 drives 3Tb) drives has failed and it's physical position in the scheme of things

    There must be a better way than switching off, disconnecting one drive at a time and switching on until the correct drive is found?

    TIA

    PS I tried to Delete the Volume and now the status has changed to "Invalid"

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Covington, La
    Posts : 1,184
    Windows 7 HP 64bit, Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64BIT


    Download the free version of Speccy and run it. Then select "storage" and it will list each drive with all its information including the Serial Number.
    Then you would need to pull each drive and read the label and match them up. The bad drive will probably show up as bad on the list.
    You may want to make a record of where each drive is located so next time it would be quicker.



    https://www.piriform.com/speccy/download

    Jim
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts : 69
    7 Pro & 8.1 Pro & 8.1 Pro


    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Most of the drives are Seagates. If they had been Western Digitals I wouldn't have had to pull them out to see the serial numbers as they are on the back edge of the drives.

    I am away from home on my iPad so can't do anything at the moment but thanks....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by louwin View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Most of the drives are Seagates. If they had been Western Digitals I wouldn't have had to pull them out to see the serial numbers as they are on the back edge of the drives.

    I am away from home on my iPad so can't do anything at the moment but thanks....
    When there are many disks or partitions, best way is to give each one a name, that way there's no confusion what is where. Seen too many wrong disks or partitions formatted or otherwise rendered usless.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts : 69
    7 Pro & 8.1 Pro & 8.1 Pro


    I'm home and have discovered that the Seagates too have their serial numbers on the back/front(?) (depending how you look at things

    The WDs have it on the top left of the back and the Seagates on the bottom right so I don't have to move the drives to identify them

    Thanks CountMike I already have a method in my naming of my drives. BTW they are ALL single partition drives except for C: which has the 2 hidden partitions (created by/for the UEFI BIOS and the Recovery) and the main partition.

    The first character is the drive letter (current) then the make (Sea or WD) then the Tb size (3Tb or 4Tb) then the previous drive letter. 5 of the drives came form "cracked open" external HDDs and are Seagates. 2 are WDs.

    I use the first character as the drive letter because sometimes (if I leave a USB plugged in at switch on, it sometimes shuffles the drive letters so I need to restore them when I remove the USB). Plus Disk Manager also displays in drive sequence.

    For instance, I have a drive with the name ASea3TbK. This means it is now drive A:, it is a Seagate 3Tb and used to be external drive K:

    My 6 X 4Tb drives form 2 hardware RAID mirrors and 1 software RAID mirror.

    My system disc C: is a 250Gb SSD.... JFYI
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts : 69
    7 Pro & 8.1 Pro & 8.1 Pro


    Thanks for the responses but, when I switched on this morning, I went to Disk Management and there was my errant disc. The size view of Disk 9 was blank with just the word "Invalid" in the left hand side.

    I right clicked on it and it gave me the option of converting to a basic disk. I did this and the display changed to 3Tb Unallocated.

    So I gave it a name and quick formatted it. It has now come up normal like any other drive so my problem appears to have solved itself

    Hopefully it won't go bad in the near future as, since I cracked open the external enclosure, it would have invalidated any warranty

    Thanks to Phone Man and CountMike
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    All's well that ends well, or so they say. You surely have a lot of drives connected all he time. I found that it slows down whole file system so I keep 3 relatively small (under TB) drives connected all the time and rest used only in docking station.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts : 69
    7 Pro & 8.1 Pro & 8.1 Pro


    I had 9 internals, 2 USB2 externals and 5 USB3 externals connected for years on my previous W7 computer and never noticed any delays etc

    In fact I never powered the drives off at all as they seemed to not come up (promptly) occasionally which caused my RAID mirrors to rebuild. So I switched off powering down. For 2 years plus I had all the above drives plugged in (and running all the time) with no discernible delays etc. A couple of the drives died but being RAID mirrors I just replaced them and the mirrors rebuilt.

    On my current system I allow the drives to sleep after 15 minutes idle and, touch wood, haven't had any other problems. If I leave my current W8.1 system and watch TV or whatever most of the drives power down so there IS a delay when I come back to my system but I'm happy to live with that

    Hopefully, powering down the idle drives should increase their working lives

    I have at least 2 copies of ALL my data using hardware and software RAID mirrors AND synchronizing pairs of drives, using SyncBackFree

    Thanks
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Ah, OK, mirrored RAID is less taxing, it doesn't slow down more than one HDD at the time. I don't let any internal drives go to shutdown, I'm from school that prefers drives running all the time instead of switching them on and off as my main computer is on 24/7 and only during the night is not accessed continuously. I'm of the opinion that HDDs work hardest when they turn on. Motors need to be spun up and during that time they use 3-4 times more power then when running. Heads have to realign every time and all goes thru diagnostic process and that takes ten or more head movements from one side to another until they settle down. There are also temperature variations that put strain on electronics. One example: I got a WD 750 GB "green" HDD from a security camera recorder that worked about two years without stopping. When I connected it to my computer it had less than 10 startups during that time. It was still in perfect condition, absolutely as new. As it is first drive after SSD it get's most workout of all as everything downloaded and all data goes to it first for filtering later on. After a year or more it's still in same as new condition but with more startups.
    Another, smaller, 320 GB is used to install programs I don't want to clutter SSD and also runs all the time. 100% health on it and was also used one. There's another HDD too but It's used for Win7 Boot and 2 Linux and one XP instance in VM.
    All other stuff is thru docking station that gets used rarely except for backup HDD at about once a week or as needed.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts : 69
    7 Pro & 8.1 Pro & 8.1 Pro


    The software mirror and one hardware mirror has basically static data so it okay for them to sleep. One disc is the target of my torrent client and spends all its time receiving data.

    The data is disseminated across the various discs a couple of times a day. And the 2nd hardware mirror is basically streaming media to my TV. I am considering buying another 250Gb SSD to take over this function so then all discs except 2 SSDs and one RAID mirror can sleep most of the time.

    I'm still at half minds to allow or disallow sleeping but will stay with sleeping for the moment as, like I said, most discs sleep most of the time

    I hesitate getting the second SSD as I suspect (and have been told) that SSDs don't like being work discs???? Limited write cycles????

    Thanks for your opinion CountMike
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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How do I work out which disc (of 7) has failed?
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