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Really Weird Problem with Hitachi XL2000 : "Spindown of Death"

By Who Am I Really ·
I just got one of these on Thursday:

http://www.hitachigst.com/external-drives/desktop/hitachi-xl-desk

it's become a problem now,

the first time I plugged it in (using only the power brick / wall wart)
it started up
and never stopped until I pulled the plug
I ran it for over 7 hours straight

first, I had to redo the partition as it was shipped pre-formatted NTFS (Not Good)
I use FAT32 on most of my Data Disks
- Accessibility is important
- File system security locking / ownership etc. is not important it's actually a severe pain when moving disks between systems,

after changing the partition to FAT32
I began my usual disk test routine
which involves transferring 14GB of files in one pass
and then repeatedly copying that file set in sequence
reading the resultant copies to make the next copies
the first session of the test finished and
the disk was still spinning but not actively reading / writing anything for over an hour

however,
now when I plug it in it does nothing until I plug in the USB cable also

the second problem is
it doesn't stay running, it shuts off,
Not Funny ! ! !

I don't want Spindown of Death on any of my disks

it's not windows ACPI PM settings as I have that disabled
my internal drives never stop until I turn off the system
and my e-SATA drives don't stop either

how do I disable this problem?

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All Answers

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How do you format a 500GB-3TB drive as FAT32?

by seanferd In reply to Really Weird Problem with ...

You made multiple partitions, I assume?

Regardless, I imagine that it is a feature that it does nothing until all connections are made. No point in it running when it can do nothing. As to it not staying running, it could be another power management feature that turns it off when it is idle for a period. (External drives really shouldn't run all the time, nor should they always be attached. They tend to die quickly in that state.) If the thing doesn't spin up if you try to use it, or if it is powering off completely, contact Hitachi or check the documentation.

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We has ways of making you FAT . . .

by Who Am I Really In reply to Really Weird Problem with ...

but only up to the 2TB MBR limitation

previous versions of these disks shipped pre-formatted to FAT32
I know someone who has two of them in the 2TB size

here's the current partition Properties dialog: (only one partition)
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz249/WhatNameShoudIUse/2TBDeathStar.png?t=1296376414

I have a couple of tools in the kit to do this:
a> Backup Exec System Recovery
- Copy Drive tool (select a small FAT32 drive to clone)
- check Resize drive to fill unallocated space *(up to 1TB in size)
or
- Recover from an image of a FAT32 drive of any size
- check Resize drive to fill unallocated space *(up to 1TB in size)
*(it's a programmed limitation that it won't expand beyond 1TB when cloning a smaller drive and expanding it to fill unallocated space)

b> by far the quickest method is to use FAT32Format.exe command line formatter
or the GUIFormat.exe Dialog box version *(up to the Max. 2TB Limit)

the link to the site where the command line formatter is located,
is on the HitachiGST site under the FAQ for,
External Drive Troubleshooting Steps

here: http://www.hitachigst.com/support/index-files/general-faqs-index

and on the site for the command line format tool is also a link to the GUIFormat tool

currently the disk is spinning and operating under I/O load
with the repeated copying files on the disk to the same with new file names
and it is stone cold,
not even the slightest bit of detectable heat coming off of it
because I have a 38v 90mm fan blowing at full blast across the vent holes
the only way it could be cooler is if I stuffed it in the fridge or freezer

I do this with all my disks, internal and external
ie.
all my e-SATA disks are installed into Thermaltake Max4 enclosures
which have an 80mm x 15mm fan pushing air directly onto the drive from the PCB side

all my internals have some sort of fan pushing air across the disks

I know that heat kills
but so does unnecessary stop / start cycles

I go out of my way to cool things

so I'd rather this disk spin the whole time it's powered up

because the unnecessary spin down spin up counts
will kill it long before anything else will

ie.
do the same with a car
shut it off and start it up again at every stop sign, red light, etc.
also shut it off at the top of hills and coast down restarting at the bottom
- and see how long the starter lasts
not to mention all the other things that will eventually **** up doing this

it only spins when it's plugged in and accessed for I/O

as soon as the I/O stops, less than 5 minutes goes and it shuts off

the strange thing here is that it didn't do this on the first day I used it
it powered up fully just upon plugging in the power

and it stayed spinning for over an hour after the copy script was done
(at which point I shut the whole system down and went to bed)

now it won't do anything until the USB cable is plugged

I tested the wall wart and it's giving a full 12 v

I may test my old P-4 workstation USB port to see if the Hitachi Feature tool can see the drive
everything else can
it has a weird BIOS,
when you plug a disk in before powering up the system it adds the first USB Mass storage device it finds to the list in the BIOS and allows it to be seen by things like Seatools or SpinRite,
but I haven't tested the Hitachi tools yet

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Request for Clarification

by OH Smeg In reply to We has ways of making you ...

So just how to you plan to keep this external drive Cool?

It doesn't have a Fan in it and it's a small light enclosure so Vibrational Damage will come into play here as well.

While I agree Unnecessary Stop Starts will kill a drive in a case like this they wouldn't be Unnecessary but Absolutely Mandatory. I remember a person complaining about Unreliable external drives once and when I looked he had a cheap case plugged in all of the time sitting on top of the server. It got so hot that i needed to be treated for severe burns when I touched the enclosure.

His drives lasted up to 3 months which I though under those circumstances was brilliant. I would expect them to last longer than a few days personally.

Col

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it's stone cold while in operation . . .

by Who Am I Really In reply to Really Weird Problem with ...

quote from my previous post;

currently the disk is spinning and operating under I/O load
with the repeated copying files on the disk to the same with new file names
and it is stone cold,
not even the slightest bit of detectable heat coming off of it
because I have a 38v 90mm fan blowing at full blast across the vent holes
the only way it could be cooler is if I stuffed it in the fridge or freezer


also it's standing on a 1/16" foam mat to soften the rotational vibration

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