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Views: 2,316  ·  Replies: 9 
> Odd Hard Disk issue in Windows?
Nomake Wan
  Posted: Jul 29 2012, 06:40 PM


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Okay, this isn't actually affecting day-to-day functionality at all, or at least it doesn't appear to be. I can write to and access all drives without issue. However I must assume that something is awry because there's an oddity with the way the drives show up. A curiosity of a sort.

If you use the Device Manager (or the 'Hardware' list in the properties of any drive), you will find every drive present except one. The one that is missing is a Western Digital 1.5TB internal, model WD15EARS-00MVWB0. Yet it's right there in My Computer. I can read/write just fine, it simply doesn't show up in the Device Manager.

Now here comes the fun part. If you use the tool GSmartControl in order to scan the system for connected hard drives and interface with their SMART capabilities, you find the 1.5TB with ease. In fact it's listed first and reports all SMART capabilities properly. The strange thing is that attempting to get any SMART data from any other drive fails with the tool reporting that the other drives do not support SMART. That's false--they all do save for three old USB external drives. In fact, I previously used this tool to monitor drive temperatures successfully.

So... what the heck is going on, here? Does anyone have any insight, or has seen an issue like this?

EDIT: Here's an image. Going over it again, it appears that GSmartControl does not detect the 1.5TB external USB drive whereas it does appear in the Device Manager. Odd, but not unexpected--GSmartControl has never played nice with USB drives for me before so that I'm not as worried about.

user posted image
Image size reduced, original size: 806 x 428. Click here to view the image in its original dimension.


This post has been edited by Nomake Wan on Jul 29 2012, 06:46 PM
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Perry
Posted: Jul 29 2012, 08:02 PM


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Give HD Tune a try and see if that drive has a problem. biggrin.gif
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Nomake Wan
  Posted: Jul 29 2012, 10:33 PM


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QUOTE (Perry @ 2 hours, 31 minutes ago)
Give HD Tune a try and see if that drive has a problem. biggrin.gif

HD Tune has both issues combined. Not only can it not see the 1.5TB internal but it cannot report any data beyond the capacity and firmware revision of any present drive. Heck, while it detects my 2TB drive it fails to report what drive letter it is.
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Lebon14
Posted: Jul 29 2012, 11:05 PM


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1. It's impossible to monitor SMART for an external drive, only when it's internal. Learned from experience.
2. You might direct this weird scenario on this forum : http://www.sevenforums.com It has way more knowledgeable people about those things.
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Nomake Wan
  Posted: Jul 29 2012, 11:24 PM


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QUOTE (Lebon14 @ 18 minutes, 39 seconds ago)
1. It's impossible to monitor SMART for an external drive, only when it's internal. Learned from experience.
2. You might direct this weird scenario on this forum : http://www.sevenforums.com It has way more knowledgeable people about those things.

Correct, but usually GSmartControl will still report the drive's existence even though it cannot interface with the SMART system. Incorrect. See edit below.

I had wondered about posting on a Windows-specific board. Hmm. I'll give it some thought.

EDIT: Okay, I unplugged my WD external and restarted to see if that would jolt things back into place. Doing so made me remember what my actual hardware environment was and had some interesting effects. So here's the sitch.

In the image I uploaded before, you'll notice that there are nine drives displayed in GSmartControl and nine drives displayed in Device Manager. This is correct--it is reporting all nine drives in both instances, correctly. What I had gotten wrong--by assuming Lebon's point of view--was that the single drive correctly reporting SMART data in GSmartControl was a 1.5TB internal. It wasn't. The one drive that was reporting data correctly was the WD 1.5TB external. That's right, plugged in via USB, it was correctly reporting SMART information to GSmartControl. It appears as "1021 Ext" in Device Manager but GSmartControl correctly reports the model of the hard drive inside the enclosure. Thus the confusion.

The 1.5TB internal I have is a Seagate, not a WD. Silly me.

Now, back to the main problem, which is still that none of my internal drives are reporting SMART information. Not a single one. They all report as being incapable of this functionality but that is false. What gives?

EDIT 2: Updated the motherboard BIOS and manually enabled SMART in the new BIOS (it was set to 'auto' before which should be Enabled, but did it anyway). No change. Note that the one drive which works--the 1.5TB external--is the only one that says it isn't SCSI. All other drives report as SCSI and I'm wondering if that has something to do with whatever's going on.

EDIT 3: Searching around for the SCSI thing led me to the correct answer. Here's what's up.

So the thing is, I upgraded to an AMD board a while back. Apparently, AMD and AHCI don't get along very well. You have three options available to you and none of them are particularly good.

1.) AHCI w/ Windows Drivers: Everything works! Native Command Queueing, SMART, everything! Hell, it's even faster to access disks! Sounds amazing right!? Except it can result in up to 30% CPU usage just to access hard drives. That's 30% of your CPU...to talk to a hard drive. Holy freaking shit.

2.) AHCI w/ AMD Drivers: No CPU usage, woo hoo! Too bad it breaks everything. I mean, you get Native Command Queueing... but you lost SMART and you take a read/write performance hit. But hey, it's not using your CPU so that's good, right?

3.) IDE Mode: No CPU usage, fast disk access and SMART! Too bad you lose Native Command Queueing and hot-plugging.

Reference: TechReport

There's really no good option. I'm gonna stick to the AMD drivers for now and just ignore the lack of SMART reading. Thanks all!

This post has been edited by Nomake Wan on Jul 30 2012, 01:20 AM
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geekingod
Posted: Dec 8 2012, 10:33 PM


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If you can still do read and write why bother worrying about it??
Nomake Wan
  Posted: Dec 9 2012, 06:04 AM


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QUOTE (geekingod @ 7 hours, 31 minutes ago)
If you can still do read and write why bother worrying about it??

Seriously? You don't want to know how your computer works? You don't want to make sure all the features that you should have available are actually working as expected? What sort of computer user are you? blink.gif

God, you're as bad as Comcast. "If I can ping your modem then it's all good right!" No, just because I have an internet connection doesn't mean it's working properly!
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khat17
Posted: Dec 31 2012, 03:08 PM


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Been away for a while - sorry all. Now a proud father so been spending lots of time at the hospital till the wife and son came home.

On to the topic.

N1 - I so did not read all the info (will do so later on), but I'd like to find out if your board has some SATA ports that are different colored or could be listed in your manual as eSATA or SATA-RAID ports. Sometimes these may have some issues with the OS or the drivers though they are recognized fine in the BIOS.

One thing to try is booting with a Linux live disc (UBUNTU) and checking if they all show up fine there. If another OS reads the drive information with no problem then you know it's an issue with Windows.

I'd actually tell you to test Win8 and see how that runs with your rig - may surprise you as much as it did me. Gonna buy that before Jan 31 after testing it out a bit more.

*EDIT*

Just read it all through and I see your issues - and you're right that there's no way to have your cake and eat it in this case. Still think you should try UBUNTU and the SMART features there and also test out Win8.

As far as tools go the one I'm familiar with is ActiveSMART which worked nicely for me in the past when all others failed. You can check out some application comparisons on Wikipedia when you have the time. Waiting on your results.

This post has been edited by khat17 on Dec 31 2012, 03:24 PM
Nomake Wan
  Posted: Dec 31 2012, 03:19 PM


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Once you read all the information I think it'll become clear what's going on, Khat. I'm sure a Linux live disc would probably read SMART correctly since the BIOS-level tools do. It's absolutely a problem with Windows.

Unless AMD changed their SATA controller driver for Windows 8 the issue will be the same. On top of that, I have absolutely no interest in leaving Windows 7 on this machine. Even when I eventually slap a Sandy Bridge and 660 into this I'll stick to 7. 8 has done nothing to inspire me.

Enjoy the read once you get a chance, and congratulations on being a father!! w00t2.gif
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khat17
Posted: Dec 31 2012, 03:31 PM


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Thanks for that!

I didn't like Win8 at first but after some usage I've realized that the problem was really the Metro interface. At current I have it disabled and I'm using a program called Start W8 which isn't perfect but does a very decent job. If they could combine the features of that and Vistart8 then I'd be happy. Start W8 runs quickly at startup and has options available when you right click on the start menu but is slow to open after loading. Vistart8 is slow to load but opens the menu very quickly once loaded - has similar options to Start W8 but only from the tray icon and not the start menu. Vistart8 is skinnable while Start W8 is not.

Resource management is better with Win8 than Win7. Stability seems improved with Win8 over Win7. Boot time is noticeably faster. Just really dislike Metro - great for tablets and touchscreens but dislike it for my desktop.

After working around the Metro it's not bad. I'd say test it out and see how it runs. Install the Customer Preview version with no serial and run it for a little while - in a sandboxed virtual environment if you like - and see how it goes.