OT: Damaged harddisk and/or disk controller
My question is, I suppose OT, since things go wrong long before bootup,
but with the many fine folks here, I hope you will permit me, and
perhaps even provide me with an answer! :-)
For a long time, I have had problems before boot: My primary master disk
is sometimes not detected, and thus, the machine doesn't boot. It
happens about once a month, and it is completely magic to me: I usually
pull the power cable, fiddle a bit with the IDE cable to the primary
disk, reconnects and that does the trick. If these actions have an
effect, I really do not know, and sometimes, like this morning, a lot
more fiddling was required...
I don't even know if it is the disk that's the problem or the disk
controller, and that's my primary concern that I hope you can help
What I see is that if the primary master disk isn't detected, the
primary slave isn't either. However, if I pull the IDE cable from the
primary master, the primary slave is detected. This too, could be
random, as I have not seen it often enough to tell, but it seems so,
indicating that the controller is fine. I have also bought a new IDE
cable, so it is not the cable.
Today, I pulled the power from the disk, and when I inserted it again,
it gave a sound like "I'm spinning, I'm spinning!", and that was what
did the trick, it seemed. Could it be that occasionally the disk simply
doesn't start spinning at all after a shutdown?
In the list of devices on bootup, the IDE controller always shows with a
single entry, so it is not that the IDE controller is totally absent.
lspci also shows it as:
0000:00:04.1 IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc.
VT82C586A/B/VT82C686/A/B/VT823x/A/C PIPC Bus Master IDE (rev 06)
The primary disk, a Maxtor 40 GB disk, has been a bit unreliable from
the start, so I suspect it is to blame. As some may remember, I have
been thinking about buying a RAID controller for this box, and this is
part of the equation, allthough I have pretty much suspended the idea
for now. If the IDE controller is flaky, then I would want to buy a new
SATA controller and a SATA disk, but if it just the disk, then I'd go
for just a new IDE disk, but it would of course be sad to have gotten a
IDE disk if the controller was bad... So, it is a financial question
Any ideas on how to attack this issue to bring more certainty as to the
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