HD Sentinel does it again.

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by ~misfit~, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Yeah yeah, S.M.A.R.T. data is only any good for pass/fail. Any programme
    that reads S.M.A.R.T. data and gives you anything *but* isn't worth the time
    of day....

    The flatmate's PC was giving her (me) problems. HD Sentinel kept reporting
    more bad sectors every few days with the odd 'hang at checking IDE devices'
    problem. HHD was cool, cable checked, replaced anyweay, molex swapped and
    re-seated, dust removed around the IDE controller and sprayed with CO
    cleaner, tried running the HDD off a PCI IDE/SATA card... Decided to RMA the
    HDD.

    The HDD I cloned onto and installed started reporting the same problems! The
    PC is stable as a rock, an XP2500 Barton overclocked to XP3200 specs from
    new. As the PC is so stable (re-checked with Prime95 last week) and the PSU
    was a credible 520 watt mid-price unit ($130 in '04) I'd ruled it out as
    being the probable cause. The PC wouldn't draw 250 watts on a bad day.

    Ultimately I had to find out what was causing HD Sentinel to keep raising
    the flag, telling me that the HDD was deteriorating almost daily. I am up to
    139 reallocated sectors on this drive in two weeks. Yesterday I opened the
    PSU and saw that the two 4700uf 10V big filtering caps were blown and
    leaking. Have swapped the PSU (until I can get new caps, it's otherwise well
    built) and have stop/started the machine several times with HD Sentinel
    reporting no new problems. If it hadn't been raising warnings I wouldn't
    have known to keep looking for problems. (The S.M.A.R.T. checking is on in
    BIOS, reports all fine.)

    I assume that the problem is on the 5V rail of the PSU or I would think that
    the CPU and the GPU (7600) would have shown problems. The PSU has a single
    28A 12V rail. The CPU and the GPU both have direct 12V cables supplying
    their VRMs. As the HDD usues both 5V and 12V it had to be the 5V right? MBM5
    gave the all-clear to all voltages once in Windows, I'm thinking the 5V was
    spiking or sagging at startup.

    Just thought I'd mention it. I think you can't have too much info and like
    to monitor everything I can with my hardware.

    Cheers,
    --
    Shaun.

    DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
    offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
    If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
    me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate... ;-)
    ~misfit~, Jun 14, 2008
    #1
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  2. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarweb "Nighthawk" typed:
    > On Sun, 15 Jun 2008 00:45:18 +1200, "~misfit~"
    > <> wrote:
    >
    >> Yeah yeah, S.M.A.R.T. data is only any good for pass/fail. Any
    >> programme that reads S.M.A.R.T. data and gives you anything *but*
    >> isn't worth the time of day....
    >>
    >> The flatmate's PC was giving her (me) problems. HD Sentinel kept
    >> reporting more bad sectors every few days with the odd 'hang at
    >> checking IDE devices' problem. HHD was cool, cable checked, replaced
    >> anyweay, molex swapped and re-seated, dust removed around the IDE
    >> controller and sprayed with CO cleaner, tried running the HDD off a
    >> PCI IDE/SATA card... Decided to RMA the HDD.
    >>
    >> The HDD I cloned onto and installed started reporting the same
    >> problems! The PC is stable as a rock, an XP2500 Barton overclocked
    >> to XP3200 specs from new. As the PC is so stable (re-checked with
    >> Prime95 last week) and the PSU was a credible 520 watt mid-price
    >> unit ($130 in '04) I'd ruled it out as being the probable cause. The
    >> PC wouldn't draw 250 watts on a bad day.
    >>
    >> Ultimately I had to find out what was causing HD Sentinel to keep
    >> raising the flag, telling me that the HDD was deteriorating almost
    >> daily. I am up to 139 reallocated sectors on this drive in two
    >> weeks. Yesterday I opened the PSU and saw that the two 4700uf 10V
    >> big filtering caps were blown and leaking. Have swapped the PSU
    >> (until I can get new caps, it's otherwise well built) and have
    >> stop/started the machine several times with HD Sentinel reporting no
    >> new problems. If it hadn't been raising warnings I wouldn't have
    >> known to keep looking for problems. (The S.M.A.R.T. checking is on
    >> in BIOS, reports all fine.)
    >>
    >> I assume that the problem is on the 5V rail of the PSU or I would
    >> think that the CPU and the GPU (7600) would have shown problems. The
    >> PSU has a single 28A 12V rail. The CPU and the GPU both have direct
    >> 12V cables supplying their VRMs. As the HDD usues both 5V and 12V it
    >> had to be the 5V right? MBM5 gave the all-clear to all voltages once
    >> in Windows, I'm thinking the 5V was spiking or sagging at startup.
    >>
    >> Just thought I'd mention it. I think you can't have too much info
    >> and like to monitor everything I can with my hardware.
    >>

    > Out of interest, what make was the PSU with the faulty caps?


    It's a Task TK520TX.

    http://www.task.com.tw/product-power.htm

    When I bought it I couldn't find it on Task's site, the closest I came was
    this page:

    http://www.task.com.tw/ps-atx-dual.htm

    Mine is metallic blue but rated at 520W continuous, 590W peak. (+5V 34A,
    +3.3V 28A and +12V 28A)

    Not a common make I know but, before I found AcBel I was looking for a
    quality mid-priced PSU. Overclockers NZ sell them and I found this user
    report on NZ PC World forums just before I bought it (from b1naryb0y):

    "I have that PSU and it is one of the best I have ever owned. I bought this
    to replace my old $230 thermaltake that could no longer handle the load.

    The 520W rating on the task PSU is the true watt output, they are capable of
    upto 590W at peak load.

    The killer feature for me was the 26Amps on the +12v rail, which is very
    high considering most generic 400W PSU only have 10Amps and my Thermaltake
    had 18Amps.

    Running off the PSU I have:

    1x AthlonXp 3200+
    1x Radeon 9800pro
    3x HDDs
    1x Floppy
    1x DVD Writer
    1x CD writer
    1x TV Tuner
    1x Network Card

    This should give you some idea of the load that the Task PSU can take.

    Lastly, the Task PSU is very quiet and keeps my system nice and cool

    :)"

    (from: http://forums.pcworld.co.nz/archive/index.php/t-50372.html )

    It weighs nearly twice what slightly cheaper similarly rated PSUs of the
    time weighed and the components inside look very high quality. Two full
    length extruded heatsinks, huge toroidial inductors. good cabling... Now
    that I've opened it I cxan see even more and have come to the conclusion
    that they were unwittingly caught up in the 'bad caps' saga that swept Asia
    from about '99 to '05. (Some say it's still going on.)

    It seems that Task power supplies aren't sold in the US or UK, it was hard
    to find anything out about them. However Steven Fan at OEM computers in
    Manukau (where I bought it in late '04) assured me that they were good.
    Steven likes me (he's the boss at OEM, whenever I go in to buy something he
    sits in front of his PC, looks worried, then tells me his lowest price, even
    though I'd already decided to purchase at their 'retail') so I don't think
    he'd lie. In fact he's steered me away from the odd component that I'd
    decided to buy saying "I won't say it's no good, just that you can do better
    for your money" even when it means I go elsewhere to buy instead.

    Gimme a sec...

    Here ya go: http://community.webshots.com/album/563794226dBArNS some pics of
    the Task PSU now.

    > The PSU in my own machine is an 350W Enermax with 28A on the single
    > 12V rail. The Enermax I got for the other demon PC is a 400W with two
    > 20A 12V rails and two PCIe 6-pin connectors.


    Yup. It's only really in the last 3 years that dual 12V rails have become
    the norm. I've seen triple 12V rails on some PSUs. Two big ones for CPU and
    CPU respectively and a third, lesser amperage rail for drives and what-not.

    > The original Tt 430W
    > unit was only 16A (tested, 18A claimed) on the single 12V rail but 28A
    > on 3.3V and 30A on 5V.


    Yeah, the low-end Tt PSUs really are crap. I'd never buy one (but have two
    here that I was given).

    > Modern mobos need plenty on the 12V rail(s).


    Sure do, since the Pentium 4/Athlon XP mobos started running the CPU from
    the 12V four pin (originally, my mobo has an 8 pin CPU power connector)
    connector near the CPU socket, then GPUs started requiring their own 12V
    connectors too. Older design PSUs are more biased towards 3.3V and 5V as
    that's where the mobos got the power they fed the xPUs. 12V was really only
    needed for drives back then.

    Cheers,
    --
    Shaun.

    DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
    offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
    If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
    me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate... ;-)
    ~misfit~, Jun 15, 2008
    #2
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  3. ~misfit~

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarweb "Richard" typed:
    > ~misfit~ wrote:
    >> Yeah yeah, S.M.A.R.T. data is only any good for pass/fail. Any
    >> programme that reads S.M.A.R.T. data and gives you anything *but*
    >> isn't worth the time of day....
    >>
    >> The flatmate's PC was giving her (me) problems. HD Sentinel kept
    >> reporting more bad sectors every few days with the odd 'hang at
    >> checking IDE devices' problem. HHD was cool, cable checked, replaced
    >> anyweay, molex swapped and re-seated, dust removed around the IDE
    >> controller and sprayed with CO cleaner, tried running the HDD off a
    >> PCI IDE/SATA card... Decided to RMA the HDD.
    >>
    >> The HDD I cloned onto and installed started reporting the same
    >> problems! The PC is stable as a rock, an XP2500 Barton overclocked
    >> to XP3200 specs from new. As the PC is so stable (re-checked with
    >> Prime95 last week) and the PSU was a credible 520 watt mid-price
    >> unit ($130 in '04) I'd ruled it out as being the probable cause. The
    >> PC wouldn't draw 250 watts on a bad day. Ultimately I had to find out
    >> what was causing HD Sentinel to keep
    >> raising the flag, telling me that the HDD was deteriorating almost
    >> daily. I am up to 139 reallocated sectors on this drive in two
    >> weeks. Yesterday I opened the PSU and saw that the two 4700uf 10V
    >> big filtering caps were blown and leaking. Have swapped the PSU
    >> (until I can get new caps, it's otherwise well built) and have
    >> stop/started the machine several times with HD Sentinel reporting no
    >> new problems. If it hadn't been raising warnings I wouldn't have
    >> known to keep looking for problems. (The S.M.A.R.T. checking is on
    >> in BIOS, reports all fine.) I assume that the problem is on the 5V rail
    >> of the PSU or I would
    >> think that the CPU and the GPU (7600) would have shown problems. The
    >> PSU has a single 28A 12V rail. The CPU and the GPU both have direct
    >> 12V cables supplying their VRMs. As the HDD usues both 5V and 12V it
    >> had to be the 5V right? MBM5 gave the all-clear to all voltages once
    >> in Windows, I'm thinking the 5V was spiking or sagging at startup.
    >>
    >> Just thought I'd mention it. I think you can't have too much info
    >> and like to monitor everything I can with my hardware.

    >
    > I have had the 12v drop to about 9-10 on a PSU and the CPU and VGA
    > kept on working.. The only clue was that I was getting coasters from
    > the burner all the time, it took ages to recognise discs and was in
    > general an unreliable piece of crap. Was only when I looked in the
    > bios I saw that it was low. Swapped PSU over and the burner came
    > right.


    Yeah, I suspected the PSU early on but the BIOS, MBM5 and even my $15
    multimeter all said that the 12V was within cooee of being spot on. I
    suspect that, if the 12V was the rail that had the problems, the CPU would
    have been unstable as, when I overclocked it a couple years ago, I found the
    minimum vcore I could that would run stably. As the vcore is derived from
    the 12V rail, I would have expected random crashes if it was sagging.

    As those electros are for 'smoothing' I'm thinking that perhaps there were
    maybe spikes on the 12V and perhaps sags/spikes on the 5V. Without a PSU
    tester or an oscilloscope and dummy load I guess I won't know for sure. All
    I do know is that something was rotten in the state of Denmark, as evidenced
    by the blown and crusty electros.

    http://community.webshots.com/album/563794226dBArNS

    Cheers,
    --
    Shaun.

    DISCLAIMER: If you find a posting or message from me
    offensive, inappropriate, or disruptive, please ignore it.
    If you don't know how to ignore a posting, complain to
    me and I will be only too happy to demonstrate... ;-)
    ~misfit~, Jun 15, 2008
    #3
  4. ~misfit~

    impossible Guest

    "~misfit~" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Yeah yeah, S.M.A.R.T. data is only any good for pass/fail. Any programme
    > that reads S.M.A.R.T. data and gives you anything *but* isn't worth the
    > time of day....
    >
    > The flatmate's PC was giving her (me) problems. HD Sentinel kept reporting
    > more bad sectors every few days with the odd 'hang at checking IDE
    > devices' problem. HHD was cool, cable checked, replaced anyweay, molex
    > swapped and re-seated, dust removed around the IDE controller and sprayed
    > with CO cleaner, tried running the HDD off a PCI IDE/SATA card... Decided
    > to RMA the HDD.
    >
    > The HDD I cloned onto and installed started reporting the same problems!
    > The PC is stable as a rock, an XP2500 Barton overclocked to XP3200 specs
    > from new. As the PC is so stable (re-checked with Prime95 last week) and
    > the PSU was a credible 520 watt mid-price unit ($130 in '04) I'd ruled it
    > out as being the probable cause. The PC wouldn't draw 250 watts on a bad
    > day.
    >
    > Ultimately I had to find out what was causing HD Sentinel to keep raising
    > the flag, telling me that the HDD was deteriorating almost daily. I am up
    > to 139 reallocated sectors on this drive in two weeks. Yesterday I opened
    > the PSU and saw that the two 4700uf 10V big filtering caps were blown and
    > leaking. Have swapped the PSU (until I can get new caps, it's otherwise
    > well built) and have stop/started the machine several times with HD
    > Sentinel reporting no new problems. If it hadn't been raising warnings I
    > wouldn't have known to keep looking for problems. (The S.M.A.R.T. checking
    > is on in BIOS, reports all fine.)
    >
    > I assume that the problem is on the 5V rail of the PSU or I would think
    > that the CPU and the GPU (7600) would have shown problems. The PSU has a
    > single 28A 12V rail. The CPU and the GPU both have direct 12V cables
    > supplying their VRMs. As the HDD usues both 5V and 12V it had to be the 5V
    > right? MBM5 gave the all-clear to all voltages once in Windows, I'm
    > thinking the 5V was spiking or sagging at startup.
    >
    > Just thought I'd mention it. I think you can't have too much info and like
    > to monitor everything I can with my hardware.
    >


    Let me get this straight...You had a faulty power supply, but HDS led you to
    believe that the hard drive was bad, so you replaced that instead. And so
    you're back here hustling this product because...?!?
    impossible, Jun 15, 2008
    #4
  5. ~misfit~

    Gordon Guest

    On 2008-06-14, ~misfit~ <> wrote:
    > Yeah yeah, S.M.A.R.T. data is only any good for pass/fail. Any programme
    > that reads S.M.A.R.T. data and gives you anything *but* isn't worth the time
    > of day....

    [snip]
    >
    > Just thought I'd mention it. I think you can't have too much info and like
    > to monitor everything I can with my hardware.


    I have always taken the policy, that my backups will rule. HD flaking, or
    not, then it is a case my data being worth more than that question.

    HD are so common, like cars and SUVs, that one does not pay any attention to
    the idea that they may fail.

    Still, it is the same with the electricity power supply of this country.

    Backup people, for for you have either needed them or you will. Insurance
    companies were built on this. For material stuff, ships and the like.

    Your data, who cares a flying pig, apart from you? How important is *your*
    data to *you*.

    Make it so. To quote a certain Captain.

    (Hint. Star Trek The next generation.
    Gordon, Jun 15, 2008
    #5
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