Signs of a failing hard drive?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by yadmonkey, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. yadmonkey macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2002
    Western Spiral
    Hi - I am looking for some information about the sort of things hard drives do when they fail, as I am having a tough time figuring out the problem with this one Quicksilver G4...

    There are two hard drives in this computer which occasionally don't mount at startup. However, they always pass diagnostics in Tech Tool Pro 4 and Disk Warrior.

    1. Can this indicate that a hard drive on its way to failure?
    2. Can an over-taxed power supply cause this (there are 5 internal hard drives)?
    3. Can a quirky startup disk cause other devices not to mount - in other words, can a software problem cause this?

    The drives usually mount, but don't on occasion. I have swapped the cables, so that isn't the issue. I have reset the PRAM, NVRAM, power manager, etc. Any advice would be welcome!

  2. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    I would say that it is a taxed power supply. When the computer boots, all the disk drives are probably spinning, but a drive just doesn't get enough power to get detected.
  3. ezkirk macrumors newbie

    Nov 11, 2004
    Hong Kong
    5 internal drives?

    I have 2 and I've lost two in the past. My experience is when a HD fails it makes noises that send shivers up your spine as you hear all your data being scraped away (IBM drives tend to do that).

    I would agree with the power notion, why don't you consolidate some of your drives into a larger single one or use an external firewire one?
  4. yadmonkey thread starter macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2002
    Western Spiral
    Thanks for the feedback, ezkirk and varmit! I took some time to do some wattage calculations, based on the info from a PC site. I came up with this:

    Processors – Dual 1ghz g4... I don’t know exactly, but my guess would be about 100-140 watts.
    5 Hard drives @ 25 watts each.
    RAM – 36 watts (+/-5).
    Superdrive – 25 watts.
    Motherboard – an educated guess would be 25 (+/-5) watts.
    Controller card/video card – around 55 watts (+/-5).
    Extras – fans at 7 watts and keyboard/mouse at 4 watts.

    The processors and motherboard were educated guesses based on their PC counterparts. That comes to about 377 watts on a PSU rated for 360 watts. I'm surprised its been reliable for this long!

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