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Slow Spin Up Times

10 posts in this topic

Hi people,

Recently both hard drives (made by Maxtor) in my system are suffering by slow spin up times (i.e. the BIOS doesn't detect them in the time they're given). This only happens on some startups; when they don't start up you can hear a high pitched whine. At first I thought it was the hard drives so I replaced the hard drives; the drives seem to work fine on other computers, and other drives givet he same problem on my comp.

This means its either my PSU or motherboard or something right?

I'm using an Antec TruePower 430W, and an Asus P4T533-C motherboard. I've tried taking off a few devices but it still gives the problem. The spin up time in SMART has gone down to 173 for one drive and 169 for another. Any ideas?

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Here's what you can try:

1. Unplug your ATA cables from the drives and just keep the molex power plugged in. Does the problem persist when you turn on the system?

If the drives spin up fine without the data cable, then you know its either the ATA cable or the motherboard

2. Try a different power cable from your PSU (although that's a long shot, but anyway, just to check)

If the drives work fine, then you know its the PSU (Antec has a two year warranty, so get it replaced ASAP, since your whole system is at risk this way)

hope this helps,

RedShadow

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Hey redshadow; thanks for the prompt reply..

I've tried 1. and yes they still sometimes do not spin up.

2. I really am guessing its the PSU because the PSU before gave the same problem (at first I thought it was the HDD).. The Antec is the TruePower 430W and from the use of a power calculator online (can't remember the link) my estimated power summed up to quite close to 430 so maybe a larger wattage PSU might fix the problem (darnit Antecs are expensive! and mine is just about a month old).. I notice how ever since I added a HardCano 12 (ThermalTake) in the hard drives don't always spin up. Also, my 700VA APC SmartUPS reports an increased usage from 33% to 37% (maybe that's triggered it)...

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Perhaps if you post a list of the hardware you have in your system, we could have a more detailed solution...I don't really see how you could be maxing out a 430PSU...I had a 330W Antec TruPower, 2200+ Athlon XP, 512ram, Radeon 9800Pro 128, 5 PCI slots full (SCSI, FireWire, ATA RAID. Ethernet, Audigy 1 Platinum), 3 hard drives and a DVD burner running fine...no crashes, nothing weird going on...

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Neither. I didn't think I maxed out my PSU, but since it doesn't always happen at startup I'm guessing I hit the peak voltage when the system turns on. Here's my system:

Asus P4T533-C Motherboard

Intel P4 2.53Ghz (not overclocked) w/ Zalman CNPS-7000Cu Cooler

1GB (256 x 4 sticks) PC1066 RDRAM

Radeon 9700 Pro (Hercules)

2x PCI NICs

1x Creative Soundblaster Live Platinum with Front Panel

1x IEEE 1394a PCI Card

(Removed: 1x IEEE 1394b PCI Card)

2x ATA133 hard drives (200GB + 250GB)

1x DVD-ROM

1x DVD-RW

1x Floppy Drive

1x CoolerMaster HardCano 12 Fan Controller W/ 4 8CM Delta Fans

1x Antec TruePower 430W

1x USB 2.0 Scanner

1x USB Printer

2x External USB Hard drives (Internal hdds still cant spin up if these are turned off)

1x PS/2 Keyboard

1x PS/2 Mouse

1x USB Webcam

1x Microphone

I think that's it

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If you go into the BIOS and turn off the "Quick Power On Self Test" you can give the drives more time to spin up. Early 9700 pros are famous for having a huge current draw at startup, that required SFF enthusiasts to either plug in the 9700 molex after powerup, or rig up a delay circuit.

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The thing is, I'm worried about the integrity of the drives. Sometimes even when the drives are detected successfully because of the power problem it doesnt boot (can't find the boot sector).

I noticed one thing; You guys know how the Radeon 9700 (and almost all new ATI cards) ship with a molex splitter that provides additional power to the 9700? I found out that the - (yellow) wire was loose and every time i touched it it sparked and the whole system froze/restarted. Once I removed that everything seems a lot smoother; the drives can spin up properly almost every time except sometimes they can't find the boot sector.

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Ouch...I hope you didn't fry your hardware by doing that...in fact, I'm pretty sure you did if you saw sparks while running your machine...

But...I don't see enough internal hardware to max out even a 350W PSU...I'm not comfortable at all with your system crashing/freezing many times when you touched that yellow wire...I don't know which components you may have fried...

The only thing left to try is plugging in your two hard drives into another system to check if they find the bootsector every time. If not, then the drives are fried. If the drivres are fine in the other machine, then try another PSU to see if that solves the problem. Apart from that there's not much else...

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Thanks for everything redshadow.

Every piece of hardware seems intact.. Everything is running A.O.K. without that piece of wire so I'm guessing it was really that.

The hard drives all work fine on different systems and previously before the culprit was identified, drives that are fine on other computers give the same problem if they're placed here.

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