jdub

Hard drive controller errors abound - atapi Event 11

25 posts in this topic

Hello all! I'd like to start out by asking if theres a way to get windows 7 to complain more loudly when there are HD errors?

I know thats probably not whats happening here but the inciting incident that brought these errors to my attention was a double hard drive failure in close proximity - yes the second one was the backup >_<.

I load up smart programs periodically and look at health indicators but that wasnt enough to save me from my 1.3TB~ loss. These programs include Smartfan, Crystal Disk Info and Speccy.

So like the title says my System event log is littered with errors saying "The driver detected a controller error on \Device\Ide\IdePort3" - port 5 comes up a lot too.

Ive experienced some wonkyness with drives occasionally not showing up that has prompted me to replace some Sata cables but that hasnt made everything right as rain. Some other weirdness is occasionally a large batch file transfer will simply stop without error partway through. It happens very rarely and usually when im doing something weird like copying a windows installation from one drive to another and things like file permissions might be to blame.

NOTEI have freshly run WD WinDlg 1.24 quick tests on the hd's mentioned in the event log and they both passed.

Anyways a little info on my system: http://www.overclock.net/lists/display/view/id/4990759

Windows 7 ultimate x64 SP1 updated and patched

ASRock Extreme 6 - Note for better or worse I usually install the intel chipset/storage drivers and then update from within the device manager for things like the SATA AHCI Controller and the system devices Chipset Family PCI Express Root - one more example. Am I the only one who finds it odd that you install these drivers but then they dont get used?

5 Western Digital HD's as follows: (note I have 120 mm fans blowing over them at all times so they dont heat up)

466GB Western Digital WDC WD5000AAKS-00V1A0 ATA Device (SATA) 32 °C

1863GB Western Digital WDC WD20EZRX-00DC0B0 ATA Device (SATA) 29 °C

1863GB Western Digital WDC WD20EARS-00MVWB0 ATA Device (SATA) 32 °C

1863GB Western Digital WDC WD20EARS-00MVWB0 ATA Device (SATA) 33 °C

2795GB Western Digital WDC WD30EZRX-00MMMB0 ATA Device (SATA) 32 °C

Ive uploaded a filtered System Log here since attachments to the forum dont seem to be working. Note you can ignore the cdrom errors that was me copying 300~ old discs I had over to hd.

I only recently started trying to cause the errors and its tricky to do. I think it happens most often when im def ragging the drive (and nothing else) or I have several small bt downloads going while bulk transferring from the drive. Though they do seem to crop up randomly as well.

Anyways I followed the link microsoft added to the error but that just brought here to here: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/3189.event-id-11-atapi.aspx which focuses on SCSI controllers and isnt very helpful.

I googled the error and found some people talking about dying chipsets/ sata controllers which seems weird since ive never heard of a component like that failing. Ive heard about the intel sata 3gbps chipset bug that caused the controllers to fail over time and cause errors out the wazoo but i dont think my Z77 chipset is affected?

So I ask you MSFN - what would you do in my shoes? Im thinking of breaking out some of those fresh SATA cables I have sitting around in MB boxes and checking back on it but I feel like that wont solve things you know? Should I just blindly RMA my motherboard? help! (please).

Edited by jdub
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Update: My machine just did something very strange that it hasnt done before. During video playback things slowed WAAAAY down and the audio got robot-ey. I check task manager and one core is pegged at 100% but no process listed was at 22-25% like you'd expect. Overall CPU usage was at 30% or so. Memory usage was fine it wasnt a memory leak. Things were so slow and aggravating I forced a shut down and after windows closed everything down and *almost* shut off my computer blue screened. Driver IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL had to force it on/off with the power button. Now on bootup everything is fine but one of my DVD drives is missing even from disk management.

bluescreent.jpg

After googling it the EtronXHCI.sys file appears to be a USB 3.0 thing... so this crash was caused by the USB 3.0 controller? I have a USB 3.0 dock but it was powered off. The other USB 3 port in use was my Dell monitors USB 2.0 hub but nothing was plugged into it.

Edited by jdub
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What does Speccy report for your motherboard temps, on average? With so many hard drives, how large is your chassis and how well is it cooled? The heat from those drives may be washing over the motherboard and causing a heat issue.

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The motherboard temp averages about 1 degree over the hd temps. Check my second link for my computers components. Cooling is not an issue with my case as 4 of the drives are in a separate lower chamber with the PSU, only one is in the upper section and it has its own 120 mm fan blowing over it towards the GPU.

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That kind of log entry is normally connected (pardon me the pun) with drive connections, i.e. cables or connectors.

Since you have several Hard disks I wouldn't completely rule out some form of interference between the cables.

The cost of some five good quality SATA cables should be worth the attempt of replacing them all (and cleaning carefully the connectors on MB and disks).

The BSOD may be something completely UNrelated and possibly a one time only issue.

jaclaz

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I agree that the BSOD was likely an unrelated thing, just weird and making me suspicious. Probably warrants following up on too.

I've switched over one of my hard drives to a brand new Sata 3 certified one with locking clips that came with my Motherboard. I've also switched the sata port it was connected to on the motherboard. I'll see if I can generate more errors.

For any curious what my temps usually look like: http://img707.imageshack.us/img707/975/speccytemps.jpg - Only the GPU and CPU ever climb more than a degree or two above that.

Edit: so far I have been unable to generate any more atapi errors on the drive i replaced the cable and moved the sata port for. I'll be posting back though though as this doesn't prove anything yet. I'll keep trying throughout the week to cause them.

Edited by jdub
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What is wrong wit this f***ing forum. 80% of the time I try to load this thread of the PM box I get database errors. Cmon guys.

Anyways still going strong with only one atapi errors since changing that cable. I've even switched back to the original Sata port I was using before. Here's to hoping. Does anyone know of a method of testing sata cables through software? do they sell hardware testers?

Theres a sick pleasure to having 8 Sata ports and filling them all =)

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What is wrong wit this f***ing forum. 80% of the time I try to load this thread of the PM box I get database errors. Cmon guys.

There have been technical issues, now everything should be back to OK.

Anyways still going strong with only one atapi errors since changing that cable. I've even switched back to the original Sata port I was using before. Here's to hoping.

Once upon a time, when the fast storage was SCSI, one of the historical Authors on Byte, Jerry Pournelle:

http://www.jerrypournelle.com/

used to say something to the effect of "whenever something is wrong with SCSI disks, it could be anything but it is always the cables":

http://www.jerrypournelle.com/chaosreports/Recommended.html#Storage

What has been will be again,

what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing (much) new under the sun.

:lol:

Does anyone know of a method of testing sata cables through software? do they sell hardware testers?

No, the issue is likely to happen only at the very fast frequencies the actual data transfer requires, I don't think that a suitable tool would be affordable :unsure: .

Theres a sick pleasure to having 8 Sata ports and filling them all =)

Yeah, sure :thumbup , at a geekitude level of 93.7% ;).

jaclaz

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Sorry about the rage, I'm not used to forums going haywire for a week straight like that. I know I've seen sata cable testers and for not too much money either ahh heres one: http://www.amazon.com/Tenma-SAT-20CT-ESATA-Tester-Battery/dp/B008DJSOZI - im sure there are cheaper options too. Not that its worth my while to own one since I don't really repair pc's professionally anymore and I'm sure that situation would be extremely rare anyways in a dell that's never been opened.

Anyways kids always remember to brush your teeth, check your system logs and BACK UP YOUR DATA.

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Sorry about the rage, I'm not used to forums going haywire for a week straight like that.

Naah, it's just Murphy's Law, it is - if I remember correctly - the second or third major malfunctioning in the last several years, not at all bad when put into perspective.

I know I've seen sata cable testers and for not too much money either ahh heres one: http://www.amazon.com/Tenma-SAT-20CT-ESATA-Tester-Battery/dp/B008DJSOZI - im sure there are cheaper options too. Not that its worth my while to own one since I don't really repair pc's professionally anymore and I'm sure that situation would be extremely rare anyways in a dell that's never been opened.

No. :(

That is a continuity tester, nothing but a "special" Ohmeter (or even less that that, a bunch of leds on one side and some battery power on the other).

That can diagnose an interrupted cable or bad contact, but it is of no use for detecting high frequency "data leak" or "intermittent issues", if you prefer with a cable that does not pass the tester you won't get bus/controller errors, you would simply not see the disk, or have read/write errors.

Anyways kids always remember to brush your teeth, check your system logs and BACK UP YOUR DATA.

Sure :), that's all good advice.

jaclaz

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Ummm... you might want to also check the proximity of the SATA cabling to any power/IDE cables. It has bitten me with read errors and rendered one of the SMART values outside tolerance even though absolutely NOTHING else is wrong with the HDD.

Just an FYI...

(edit - ref. the "interference" reference above)

Edited by submix8c
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No. :(

That is a continuity tester, nothing but a "special" Ohmeter (or even less that that, a bunch of leds on one side and some battery power on the other).

That can diagnose an interrupted cable or bad contact, but it is of no use for detecting high frequency "data leak" or "intermittent issues", if you prefer with a cable that does not pass the tester you won't get bus/controller errors, you would simply not see the disk, or have read/write errors.

You'd think with the robustness of error correction in sata (8/2 IIRC) if you had continuity you'd be fine. I'd be interested in putting one of my bad cables in one of those to see if anything came up because they look fine to me.

Gee, you really like those WD drives... like the EARS.

I wonder if you're aware of the Head Parking issues e.g. mentioned this webpage;

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2085685

Actually I really like Samsung Spinpoint drives. They ran the coolest, had performance within 5% of other drives and as far as I could tell the best reliability. I still have a bunch of 500GB boot drives and a few 1tb, 1.5tb and a 2tb spinpoints. Sadly the ones I used to use back in 2007 have started making that hard drive seeking noise that doesn't always mean the drive is dying but is still unsettling to hear. I convinced my friend to build his servers RAID with them back in... 2004?... its still going strong. =) (though he did rebuild it with higher capacity samsungs in 2008 or so).

To paraphrase "growing old is tough but beats the alternative", what do you suggest, a nice set of 7200.11's and 7200.12's? :w00t::ph34r:

I wonder if you are aware :unsure: of the related issues:

http://www.msfn.org/board/forum/169-hard-drive-and-removable-media-issues/

Yeah Seagate drives have scared me for a long time. I used to follow the usual pc geek route of "get burned by brand A - spit on the company and switch to brand B" etc, Then I realized it happens to all manufacturers and being a fanboy doesn't help. Best you can do is read that paper google put out on their own experiences (IIRC best to worst was something like Samsung, WD, Seagate, Toshiba) and try to pay attention to bad batches of HD's such as the infamous death star drives. Then just avoid that brand for oh 6-9 months or so. Best thing you can do is fill your new hard drives with junk data several times over and wait a week or two before entering it into service. If the drive survives the first few weeks without problems its likely to go the distance and last you 5~ years.

Fortunately I use a blue as my primary and the others as bulk storage. So when I am accessing them its for an hour or two and then I dont use them for days. I don't understand enthusiasts who buy a single 1tb or 2tb drive as their only hard drive... thats just bad form.

Edited by jdub
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Yep, it sure can happen to any and all manufacturers, it's just a matter - as I see it - to not buy the latest model and check what has happened to others that got the model you want to buy. :thumbup

Particularly in this case, I have BAD news :w00t: Seagate is NOW Samsung, any drive you buy next can be either Samsung or Seagate (or both or viceversa or *whatever*) :ph34r: , example:

http://forum.hddguru.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=25629

About cables, you have to think about the frequencies involved, if you think about it almost every component in a modern PC is dealing with frequencies that are in the radio (or TV) ranges and above them, I suspect that even a very slightly defect in shielding or insulation of a cable (like the SATA ones) can produce an issue, which BTW may also be "local", in the sense that the same cable in a different case (and possibly with a different set of bends) may work alright, or by simply straightening it before re-installing it the tiny defect "mends itself". You'll never know. :(

Think at the good ol' times when you had snow on your TV set if a connector or shielding was even slightly defective... (progress is that when the same happens on DTV you either have "random" pixelization or downright completely loose the image ;)).

jaclaz

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