Question about data corruption on mechanical hard drive

Discussion in 'SSD and HDD storage' started by KissSh0t, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    Can having an external mechanical hard drive too close to a PC power supply cause the hard drive to have data corruption?

    I have an old mechanical hard drive inside a hard drive enclosure, it is basically never turned on.. I have had it sitting under my pc's desk for a few weeks which would line it up very close to the underside of the power supply of my pc.

    I went to copy off a file and found it to be corrupted, I then tried a few more things stored on it and they are also corrupted.. I'm really stumped by this because the hard drive is functioning normal with no errors.

    The only thing I can think of is the proximity of the hard drive to the power supply for the past few weeks.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
  2. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Is it s 2'5" HDD USB powered or is it a 3'5" external power HDD?
     
  3. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    Big old brick, not a small laptop hard drive.. 3'5 hard drive that I purchased an enclosure for, usb cable is for data and power comes from wall.
     
  4. bobblunderton

    bobblunderton Master Guru

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    It's very possible it got too close to something magnetic / electro-magnetic, but it's more rare than you think for it to get close enough to corrupt something but not lose the formatting of the drive. Maybe it's just that 'perfect' spot for it. Speakers are driven magnetically, keep this in mind if you have any type of speaker or microphone like audio device around.

    MAGNETIC SCREW DRIVERS are honestly quite often the culprit, or even the magnetic bits that go into screw drivers.
    But yes, do keep those drives away from 115v / 230v lines IF possible, less to chance then. I don't know that I've had an issue directly related to power lines, though I do know electro-magnetic shielding is a thing for a reason, especially common with old bookshelf speakers + CRT's, you'd end up with a rainbow Windows 95/98 desktop if you weren't careful to have enough space.

    I have a drawer with roughly a half dozen to one-dozen bare 3.5" drives that regularly cycle for backups.
    Basically, pop the PC side panel off, side drives in, hook up, possibly put panel back on (or not...), and do my backups.
    When done, unhook drives "as services are no longer needed" and put them back in cold storage in the drawer.
    Maybe some folks can come in and brag about their always-connected NAS, or their super-duper fancy network - which is all well and good - but the cold storage drives in the drawer + sata hot plug features can just be a nice easy-enough-to-do ritual if you've got the case space and you're PC station is set up right.

    So entirely, do search for things magnetic, keep in mind that the closing mechanisms on some desk drawers/doors can work magnetically.
     
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  5. RealNC

    RealNC Ancient Guru

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    Highly unlikely it has anything to do with the PC's power suply, since internal HDDs inside the case are basically running for years right next to the PSU.
     
  6. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    Next to the power supply sure, but directly underneath? like a little bit more than thumb's thickness in distance underneath... I can't think of anything else that could have caused it, the hard drive is never turned on, last time I think was end of last year.

    Ive since copied off everything from the drive that I'm able to using teracopy and now performing a low level format on the drive.
     
  7. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    After performing a low level format and copying things back to the drive it looks like the drive is just corrupting data consistently.... that sucks :<
     
  8. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Low level formatting was done using the enclosure and it's power supply, right?
    Get the HDD out and connect it via SATA cable to a motherboard.
    There is a high chance that it will function normally. Most enclosure use a cheap PSU who degrades in time and the usb to SATA bridge fails, the firmware corrupts the data.

    I had this type of repair on my bench many, many times. Knowing that the HDD enclosure wasn't damaged, fallen down or took a hit, 90% out of the case the HDD worked normally via SATA cable.
    Doesn't hurt to try that and doesn't cost you a dime. Tell us how it went.
    Cheers!
     
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  9. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    i had a hdd that did this, the corruption would recur only when the drive was powered down.

    When spinning the drive is generating a magnetic field that is constantly healing degraded blocks, but once the drive spins down those blocks can quickly corrupt the contents

    Also an excellent point.
     
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  10. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    It is unfortunately an old'er hard drive, pata ribbon cable, I thought the drive was in good health but it looks like it's not anymore, something changed in the last few months...

    I ended up just removing the drive from the enclosure and replace it with another..... smaller drive..... one of the good parts of keeping old pc hardware I guess, although it's always sad to see things fail like this, especially hard drives.

    Currently copying stuff to it and then testing the files for corruption, everything perfect so far.

    Moral of the story is... I need to buy new hard drives... and keep hard drive enclosure away from underneath of pc power supply.
     

  11. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Oh, now I see.
    Yes, sad day when hardware parts are failing or start to be obsolete.
    @KissSh0t how about getting yourself a NAS. It could be so much more than an external hard drive, and could have mirrored hard drives to prevent drive failure.
     
  12. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    Never really considered one for myself, they are cool though..

    I put together an external hard drive bay for my father last year to back up all his business stuff that does raid 1 i think?.... so it just looks like 1 disk but it's obviously duplicated across 2 disks... not quite a nas but similar I guess.

    For me the dream upgrade would be something like 3 ironwolf or wd black series drives... but goodness they are quite expensive.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
  13. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Search for hard disk shucking. Treating yourself to a 6-10 TB without paying that price.
    Basically, buying an external HDD for extracting the HDD and using it in a NAS.
     
  14. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    I've never heard of this term until now, seems like one way to do it 0___0
     
  15. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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  16. mbk1969

    mbk1969 Ancient Guru

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    If you PC case made of steel then I doubt it can pass any fields from PSU.
     
  17. I_Eat_You_Alive

    I_Eat_You_Alive Active Member

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    Sounds like a classic case of component degradation in either the enclosure or the drive; or both. PATA drives and enclosures at this point should not be trusted to anything important due to the fact they are aging out. I still have some old PATA stuff laying around in case I need to spin up a old K6-2 or older system for some reason but I would not trust the drive(s) for any kind of reliability. If you are using the enclosure/drive for backups you can get a new external drive in the 8TB-10TB range for less than a hundred dollars these days. You can also go with a NAS but they are not for everyone due to cost and upkeep.
     
  18. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    In what country is such a large capacity drive under $100? and are those drives good quality or cheap consumer?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2021
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  19. RealNC

    RealNC Ancient Guru

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    IIRC, with old PATA drives, a low level format can actually damage it because it also erases the head tracking data from the drive. When that happens, the drive either becomes unusable, or will write and read data from the wrong position, resulting in garbled data. Which kinda sounds like the issue you're having here.

    Why are you low level formatting to begin with? You don't need that. Ever. If you simply want to wipe the data from the disk, do a normal format, or use a program that zeroes out all data in the filesystem.
     
  20. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    The low level format being discussed doesn't involve reinitializing the device cylinders and heads, its just a zero fill of the volume region, you need to go back to Pre ATA for that sort of concern.
     

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