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Need Help, Data Corruption issue

by Tokimemofan / January 24, 2009 9:28 AM PST

To start with I have already cleaned up the 3GB worth of damage caused by this.
I have 2 computers that I share files between.
Computer 1: Compaq Presario SR1950NX, Default Hardware/OS
Computer 2: HP Pavillion 9795c, Network/Modem removed, Graphics upgraded, Sil3512 based SATA card, 2 permanent HDDs, Quantum Bigfoot 3.2GB (NTLDR, NT4, MSDOS 7.10, Pagefile), Quantum Fireball 20GB (Windows 2000) 2 Semi-Permanent HDD, Western Digital 80GB, Western Digital 500GB SATA, DVD-RW Dual Layer drive.

I use 18 HDDs, so far I've found several things.
All 3 SCSI Drives have been corruption free.
All 4 of 5 SATA Drives have been corruption free, 1 Western Digital 320GB SATA had several corrupt files, It is probable that these became corrupt durring transfer from another drive.
All 6 of 7 PATA Drives 40GB or smaller and have been corruption free, 1 20GB drive was cleared off before I caught this issue.
A 80GB PATA Western Digital Drive has been corruption free

The corruption seems to originate from following 2 drives:
A 160GB PATA Western Digital in a Ximeta Netdisk had 2GB worth of Crosslinked files and 100MB of Minor damage.
A 60GB PATA Drive had minor damage.

These 2 Drives are used through USB on Computer 1 and PATA or USB Computer 2 (USB 1.1=Slow). These drives are still going strong with no signs of failure. When connected through PATA these drives work fine, USB however often corrupts the data. I moved a .zip file on the 60GB PATA and it became corrupt, specifically a single file in the .zip could not be extracted due to corruption. I verified this by using a data recovery tool on the 60GB to undelete the file, the recovered .zip extracted properly. I use these drives to move data from Computer 1 to Computer 2 and corruption is happening on both sets of hardware. So it seems the problems are USB related. Any ideas where to start troubleshooting?

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The moment I hit the word Ximeta
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 24, 2009 11:00 AM PST

I knew it was trouble. Is there any chance you can eject Ximeta from your systems?

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More Information
by Tokimemofan / January 26, 2009 12:02 AM PST

It's currently disconnected and disassembled. It contains a Western Digital PATA 160GB drive.
I forgot to mention the USB<->ATA Cable I used on the 60GB. You can find everything about the cable here:
Except my power cable sucks more so I use a different one.
Unfortunately it seems I have 1 problem with at least 2 different causes.

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And that was not an answer my question.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 26, 2009 12:10 AM PST
In reply to: More Information

Let me share that my encounters with Ximeta left nothing good to be said. Maybe it was the hardware they used, maybe a software issue. Just like you added there could be two sources.

At least I was able to eject the software. Since the hardware didn't function without Ximeta we also gifted that hardware out. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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About the Netdisk
by Tokimemofan / January 27, 2009 12:00 PM PST

I always used my Netdisk via usb so I never had to use the proprietary software. However it seems that my problem is either multi sourced or resource conflict related.

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When faced with a pile of drives.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 27, 2009 12:45 PM PST
In reply to: About the Netdisk

And you see corruption, be sure all the formats are error resistant.

Its odd you noted XIMETA and yet don't use the driver from them. What XIMETA gear I encountered was poorly designed and the hard drive temperatures was killing drives in just a few years.

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Like I said
by Tokimemofan / January 28, 2009 6:53 AM PST

The Ximeta isn't the only corrupt drive, any drive connected to the USB-P/SATA cable also had some corruption. The only common link seems to be USB, however I have yet to see corruption on any Flash drives. I do agree however that the Ximeta drives run too hot.

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"any drive connected to the USB-P/SATA cable also had some
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 28, 2009 9:16 AM PST
In reply to: Like I said

"any drive connected to the USB-P/SATA cable also had some corruption"

That's a fine clue. Gift, trash or remove that from your collection. Corruption can be caused by the chip in the cable or the power supplied by that cable's bundled power supply.

Worth repeating. No FAT.

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Updated info...
by Tokimemofan / January 29, 2009 8:20 AM PST

All but one of my partitions are NTFS except for 1, and that 1 is clean. I'm now looking at the USB controller on Computer 2 as well as a suspected resource conflict involving the same system's SATA card. In case it helps the SATA problem has the following symptoms:

When copying data TO a SATA drive there is no failure.
When copying data FROM a SATA drive the computer randomly freezes.
When copying data FROM a SATA drive TO a SATA drive the computer freezes immediately.
Copying Data through USB increases the chances of a SATA freeze at least 3X
Pulling the SATA cable unfreezes the computer.
The computer unfreezes after several minutes with an error, "Device is not Ready".
After recovering via the 2nd method attempting to recopy usualy refreezes the computer.
In some cases the computer will freeze at a certain point in a file on repeated attempts to copy the file, these files are large (300MB-7GB) indicating a bad sector however these drives are working fine, showing that it may be a data pattern that is cause these (Less 5% of freezes show this behavior but it is noteworthy.)
Removing all other cards except for Graphics and Sound reduced the frequency of the freezes to less than 1% of the previous numbers.
The SATA Card is a PNY brand PCI card with a Sil3512 Revision A chipset. I have checked and there is no file corruption resulting from this SATA error.

There is another minor issue where the Graphics output abruptly color shifts to a strong bluish tint, this problem seems consistant with intermittant Red and Green signal line issues. This can be triggered by tapping the graphics card. The Graphics card is a Nvidia GeForce4 MX 4000 64MB.

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"the computer freezes immediately."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2009 9:20 AM PST
In reply to: Updated info...

Every time that happens there is a chance of corruption. While NTFS is what it is (no need to document that here), FAT usually shows up as damaged and progressively gets worse.

-> Focus on that lockup issue. Talk to your machine's builder and the person who designed the OS install plan. Consider that SATA showed up after XP and drivers may be buggy for that.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 29, 2009 9:22 AM PST

Don't mix SATA on old operating systems. You find even XP to be somewhat troublesome at times. Try to stick to XP SP2 and better. (Linux is...)

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Ok I talked to myself for a while, now what?
by Tokimemofan / January 30, 2009 4:46 AM PST
In reply to: Tip:

To make a long story short I bought a HP Pavillion 9795c that was missing some parts, I replaced the parts I needed, tested it, and installed Windows 2000. The SATA bug is worse on Windows XP and worse on a Dell Optiplex GX110 when I used the card there.

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Look at the number of drives at play.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2009 5:16 AM PST
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Only one problem
by Tokimemofan / January 30, 2009 7:22 AM PST

The corruption patterns are don't support the theory as the oldest corrupt drive is barely 5 years old and the 4 sata drives were made in 2008. There is a range of model numbers that I'll list.

Again, All 18 drives work fine except for a few bad sectors on some of the older ones that I have retired. I know that bad sectors are not the issue here because the this hardware has a nasty way of crashing when it hits one, even CHKDSK takes down the whole system.
The SATA issue seems to be a common problem with the Sil3x12 chipset (Google Sil3512 crash).

The following is the list of non retired drives
20.5AT Quantum Fireball Plus AS PATA (OS)
3240AT Quantum Bigfoot CY PATA (Boot)
MHV2060AT PL Fujitsu PATA (Known corruption)
ST3500320AS Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 SATA
WD800JB Western Digital Caviar PATA
WD1600 Western Digital Caviar PATA (Ximeta)(Known corruption)
WD3200AAJS Western Digital Caviar SE SATA
WD3200AAKS Western Digital Caviar SE16 SATA
WD5000AAKS Western Digital Caviar SE16 SATA

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Then what's common to all the failures?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2009 10:13 AM PST
In reply to: Only one problem

Let's flip that around and look at what's common. Change that and what happens?

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I have checked a few more things...
by Tokimemofan / January 31, 2009 5:56 AM PST

First of all The SATA card is a known problem in the system, it has ben more or less buggy in each 2 different systems with 4 different drives, and the symptoms are identical. The only reason I mention the SATA issue is that I suspect a resource conflict as the cause, in which case is it possible that the USB HDD corruption issue is a reciprocal effect of the same conflict? Note that only USB HDDs show corruption, in addition several usb HDDs that were corrupt, reformatted and corruption is not happening anymore. The only change in usage patterns is that they are NOT being connected to the USB ports on Computer 2, the same computer as the SATA issue. At this point Computer 1 seems to be ruled out as a factor in the corruption along with all 18 HDDs and the USB to P/SATA cable. The Ximeta enclosure is still suspect.

I keep forgeting to menton an issue in involving Computer 2 and the Ximeta, Occasionally when transfering large amounts of data the Computer 2 would freeze. The trigger seems to be 1 or more Winrar compression jobs and transfering several gigabytes of data through USB, after about an hour pagefile usage goes out of control (I only know because I can hear the drive seeking.) at which point I have to power off the hardware.

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Resource conflicts are not possible with P4 or newer machine
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 31, 2009 6:02 AM PST

PCI in P4 and newer machines create an impossible to create the old IRQ, DMA issues prior to this day. That issue was soundly cured by a slight rejiggering of how PCI ran those lines from and to the controller chips.

How do I know this? I had the luck to design some PCI cards and had to eat live and breath PCI data for years.

So what's stopping you from removing parts that give trouble?

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P4 or newer machine
by Tokimemofan / January 31, 2009 9:36 AM PST

"P4 or newer machine" this thing is a very early Pentium 4 Socket 423 RDRAM system, so is that a rough guide line, or does mine suck like a PIII? I do know the bios sucks on this thing, the motherboard is a oem Asus P4T, Search for "HP Alcatraz".

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The change I'm talking about occured
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 31, 2009 9:53 AM PST
In reply to: P4 or newer machine

Somewhere in the Pentium 2 days. It had to be done because it had to be done. It is no longer possible to have a resource conflict in new hardware. Yes we can run out of resources but that's not the topic.

Back to the top.

You have some iffy parts. It's sad they didn't die outright.

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