Disappearing hard drive?

Rebuilt my system a few days ago and one of my hard drives (2TB Hitachi, about 1.25 years old) is “disappearing” overnight. Rebooting brings it back to life.

Drive cage is cool; I have a fan pulling air right through it, and drive temps are typically in the 30s, about 42 under heavy access.

Can anyone think of anything this might be other than a failing drive? Some kind of controller (Intel) issue or something?

I’m currently copying the data to my spare Samsung 2TB, which I’ll swap in. Just trying to figure out if I need to RMA this drive.

I had the same issue with my DVD drive (and posted a thread about it). I swapped to using a different SATA port on my motherboard and that fixed it, so it looks like in my case it may have been a flaky SATA port (I used the same SATA cable when trying the new port).

The symptoms were roughly the same as yours – the drive would disappear and sometimes come back after a reboot or two. When it showed up it worked normally.

Thanks, Ned. Weird. I’ll swap SATA ports and see if I can make a different drive disappear. :)

I’d take a backup first, if I were you. Actually, I’d take a backup immediately.

Yeah, the backup is in progress as we speak. (Takes a while on a 2TB drive that’s 75% full. :)

last hd that I had doing that was dying.

I can see that. I don’t bother with HD porn, personally.

Har har. Kid + HD camera + never getting around to editing/compressing raw footage = hundreds of gigs of data.


I have a 1.5TB HDD that disappears ,it also is a Hitachi. Its fine when I do HDD checks, and bad sector scans.

Just goes away every once in awhile.

Managed to get everything copied over to a Samsung 2TB, swapped it in, and I’m going to RMA the Hitachi.

My drive failure toll since 2005:
1 Hitachi
1 Western Digital
7 Seagates
1 whatever-I-upgraded-my-Tivo-with-back-in-2001

Most of my drives are Western Digital and Samsung. Of four Seagates I purchased, all have failed. Three of their refurb replacements have failed, one of them DOA. Only one remains in service daily, a refurb on our bedroom DVR where data loss is no big deal. I’ve relegated the others to rotating backup status.

That seems like an alarmingly high HD failure rate. Ten drives in five years? Is there something in your setup that is making drives prone to failure because that rate seems a little outside the usual curve, to say the least. Are all of the drives (save the Tivo one) going into the same system or have the systems changed as well?

All hard drives eventually leave you.

All hard drives eventually leave you. All those country western songs were written about hard drives.

Ned, if you eliminate the craptacular Seagates, the numbers don’t seem that skewed for for a six-year period in a household with about a dozen hard drives in use in various devices. It’s just the Barracuda 1.5/2TB models that bring the failure rate into the stratosphere. (And if you search on those models, it’s not atypical. At one point Seagate offered free data recovery – an $1,800 values – on these drives, and I saw an article estimating a 30% failure rate.)

These drives were in multiple systems, and even my main system has seen numerous part changes – I think the only parts in that rig from a year ago are the optical drive, SD card reader, and case.

Yeah, that makes sense.

I think there was a thread here about that particular Seagate fiasco.