View Full Version : Possible Hard Drive Problems?

Jul 26, 2004, 01:39 PM
I have been using a quicksilver G4 867 Mhz ever since it was the top-of-the-line machine. I have always done extensive video editing, photoshop work, dvd authoring, etc... and it has always held up just fine until recently. Over the past year, I have noticed that I need to reformat the hard drive more often, and every time I do, the system seems to get bogged down much quicker than it should. Sometimes just days after a reformat and defragmenting of the drive, I will already have apps crashing.

Is this behavior abnormal or is it just a sign that I need to upgrade to a new computer (which I can't afford)?

Today, I was noticing the same buggy performance, and when I repaired permissions, the S.M.A.R.T. status reads "failing". What does that mean?

I couldn't figure out how to add a picture to this post for some reason, so I put the screenshot from disk utility on my idisk:

Does anyone know what could be causing this, and how to fix it?

edit: nevermind, just noticed that the attached image does work

Jul 26, 2004, 01:48 PM
Replace your internal hard drive.

The S.M.A.R.T. indicator is from the hard drive. The hard drive is no longer meeting default tolerences laid out for the S.M.A.R.T., therefore the "failure" message.

IMO, you shouldn't have to be reformatting/erasing/reinitialzing your drive more often then.. well, never. Maybe once in a great while (I'm talking once a year at most).

So, replace your hard drive while you can still get data off of it.

Jul 26, 2004, 01:59 PM
well that's not the answer I wanted to hear, but thanks for the help :)
this drive is the newest of the 2 hard drives in my computer, I wouldnt think it would be the one to fail first. It must have to do with it being the system drive and the scratch disk for final cut pro.

is there anything I can do to salvage the drive? would it be possible to use the slave 60gb drive as the system disk and still use the 120gb drive for storage? or is it best to take it out and buy a brand new hard drive?

also... seeing as how this drive has only been in my computer for a little over a year (I think), is there something I'm doing wrong to make the drive fail earlier than normal? is there anything I could do with a new hard drive to make sure this doesn't happen again?

I'm having no luck with hard drives recently... a month or two ago, my external Maxtor firewire drive quit working. Still receives power, and the firewire ports work, but it won't mount the drive :rolleyes:

anyway, thanks again for the help

Jul 26, 2004, 02:20 PM
Well, I wouldn't suggest using that drive as storage, as chances are pertty high that it will die and you (and your stored data) will be S.O.L. If the disk is still young, you should pull your warranty information on it. It may still be covered for replacement.

Jul 26, 2004, 02:28 PM
I will look into the warranty info, but I'm almost certain the warranty has expired, and I need more storage space anyway.

Do you know of any good deals on 200-250 gb internal drives?

Jul 26, 2004, 02:32 PM
Some modern hard drives come with 3 year warranties from the manufacturer. Check your documentation.

Your Quicksilver will require a new PCI ATA controller to use disks that large. Basically anything over 120GB (137GB) will require a new ATA controller.

Jul 26, 2004, 02:35 PM
It must have to do with it being the system drive and the scratch disk for final cut pro.
It very well could. Video editing needs it's own drive. All that editing of large files will fragment the disk (which would lead to bogging).

It shouldn't make it fail physically, but it can certainly slow the system down.

Jul 26, 2004, 03:05 PM
I did notice that the current Western Digital drives come with a 3 year warranty. My failing drive is also WD, so maybe I can get it repaired under warranty.

If this is the case, should I install the system and apps on the 60gb instead of the 120gb drive and use the 120gb as a slave drive for video only?

Also, If I can get the drive repaired, I probably wouldn't buy a newer, bigger drive also, but I would still be interested in knowing how much a new PCI ATA controller costs, and where to get them? Does anyone know?

Jul 26, 2004, 03:07 PM
Check out Other World Computing (http://www.macsales.com) for price/info comparisons on PCI ATA controllers from OEMs.

Jul 26, 2004, 07:57 PM
If this is the case, should I install the system and apps on the 60gb instead of the 120gb drive and use the 120gb as a slave drive for video only?
That's what I would (and actually do) do.

EDIT: I'm not sure how literally you mean "slave." If you do actually intend to jumper it as a slave, make sure that's the right thing to do. Often on Macs you actually want to jumper them to cable select. RTFM.

Jul 26, 2004, 08:50 PM
I do think that the 60 gb has been used as a slave drive. I don't remember the details, but when i installed it, i changed the jumper settings for it to be recognized as a slave drive. is there a better way to set up 2 internal drives?

Anyway, I seem to be in luck. The hard drive that is dying is still under warranty, and they are sending me a new one. I finally just got finished copying all the important files off the drive and am ready to send it in.

Jul 27, 2004, 11:37 AM
this is strange... after i finally finished copying all of the data off the failing drive, and deleting all the remaining files from the drive yesterday, today I opened up Disk Utility again, and the S.M.A.R.T. status for the drive has changed from "failing" to "not supported". Before, Disk Utility refused to let me repair the disk, or erase it/reformat it. Does anyone know why this would happen?

I'm assuming there is still a problem with the drive since its status is "not supported" instead of "verified" like my other hard drive.