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Help me troubleshoot my HDD


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Hello.

 

I have a PC server with a SSD hosting OS and JRiver, and a HDD holding the music files. Further details on the machine can be found on my signature.

 

I usually run WS2012 in core mode, headlessly, controlling thru JRemote. It runs well, but I was noticing a gradual slowdown in startup and shutdown times. At times I also had unusually long times to copy a file into the HDD.

 

Yesterday I turned WS2012 into GUI mode, brought a TV to the server to act as screen, and confirmed it was waaaay too slow. Like minutes to turn on, and more minutes to turn off. With Task Manager open I saw it was showing JRiver "not responding". Even when it did respond, it took ridiculously long from hitting play to hearing music, and when it did, it started, stopped, started again. A pain in the rear!!

 

I tried disconnecting the SATA cable to the HDD and the PC was back into reacting in "normal" times. I connected an external HDD I use for library backup, imported the library in JRiver, and it's working perfectly well.

 

So it seems I have isolated the cause to the internal HDD. But how do I fix it now??? Heeelp!! :)

Roon Server: general purpose Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Win 10 Pro, convolving in Roon digital xo + DRC + upsampling. Output through ethernet.

Roon Client AudioPC: Uptone etherRegen (with LPS 1.2) into Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU, Windows Server 2019, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital xo, room correction)

Rest of Chain: Lynx Hilo as 8-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into DIY dipoles 18" midbass/2x8" mids/AMT tweeter, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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If you suspect that there is something wrong with the disk, definitely do not defrag the drive.

I would suggest getting a copy of HD Sentinel and using it to both check the current status of the disk, and monitor all your drives in future.

 

It basically acts as an early warning system for drive failures, and has saved me from data loss a number of times now.

 

If drive health drops below 100% (I use the server mode which is stricter) there is usually enough time to copy the data off the drive onto a new disk.

 

And it allows you to perform a full disk check on any new drives to ensure that they are not going to fail within the first month or so.

 

As a general rule, I find that disabling drive sleep in Windows can really help prolong drive life.

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could it be that JRiver is busy doing something with the disk (rather than the disk having a problem) ?

I'm thinking of some activity like archiving or some form of music file reorganization ?

 

just a thought, in case you jump to "bad disk" conclusions too quickly.....

Grimm Mu-1 > Mola Mola Makua/DAC > Luxman m900u > Vivid Audio Kaya 90

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Thanks guys!

I did have my drive defraged not too long ago. In fact properties showed it was 0% fragmented.

 

Will try Sentinel and come back.

 

I appreciate your willingness to help!

Roon Server: general purpose Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Win 10 Pro, convolving in Roon digital xo + DRC + upsampling. Output through ethernet.

Roon Client AudioPC: Uptone etherRegen (with LPS 1.2) into Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU, Windows Server 2019, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital xo, room correction)

Rest of Chain: Lynx Hilo as 8-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into DIY dipoles 18" midbass/2x8" mids/AMT tweeter, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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I installed HD Sentinel, and the drives are displayed as "perfect". The HDD giving me trouble shows as 100% performance and 100% health. Someone asked about the smart number or something...the smart tab shows many things but no particular figure. FWIW, everything on that tab showed as "OK". Seems the drive is fine...

 

Yet when I connected the HDD back again, the computer again took forever to start up.

 

What do you guys suggest now?

 

Thanks for helping!

Roon Server: general purpose Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Win 10 Pro, convolving in Roon digital xo + DRC + upsampling. Output through ethernet.

Roon Client AudioPC: Uptone etherRegen (with LPS 1.2) into Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU, Windows Server 2019, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital xo, room correction)

Rest of Chain: Lynx Hilo as 8-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into DIY dipoles 18" midbass/2x8" mids/AMT tweeter, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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From your description it looks like your drive is about to fail (which does not mean it will as it can continue like this for another few months or even a year as I have seen situations like this before).

 

I would download HDTune Pro (trial version) and run speed tests, there is few of them there. They will quickly tell you in what condition HDD is. If you will see major drop outs in speed and access times in random spots or all together low performance then you will have confirmation of hardware problems.

 

Slowing down like this might also mean plenty of bad sectors but your previous tests should flag them already. Anyway plenty of bad sectors means drive is about to fail ;)

 

Cheers

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From your description it looks like your drive is about to fail (which does not mean it will as it can continue like this for another few months or even a year as I have seen situations like this before).

 

I would download HDTune Pro (trial version) and run speed tests, there is few of them there. They will quickly tell you in what condition HDD is. If you will see major drop outs in speed and access times in random spots or all together low performance then you will have confirmation of hardware problems.

 

Slowing down like this might also mean plenty of bad sectors but your previous tests should flag them already. Anyway plenty of bad sectors means drive is about to fail ;)

 

Cheers

 

I thought the hypothesis of a bad disk had been discarded after running HD Sentinel.

 

How is HDTunePro different from HD Sentinel?

Roon Server: general purpose Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Win 10 Pro, convolving in Roon digital xo + DRC + upsampling. Output through ethernet.

Roon Client AudioPC: Uptone etherRegen (with LPS 1.2) into Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU, Windows Server 2019, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital xo, room correction)

Rest of Chain: Lynx Hilo as 8-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into DIY dipoles 18" midbass/2x8" mids/AMT tweeter, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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Try scanning your system for adware, spyware or any other malware that may have infected it. I like Hitman Pro, Superantispyware, and Malwarebytes. They all seem to find malware that the usual virus protection software misses.

 

Hope it helps.

 

I'll try this next. I'm not familiar with the ones you mentioned. Do you think they are better than the Spybot Search & Destroy?

 

Somehow related to this, I've been wondering if I could have a virus in there as my computer runs without it. As a computer that is not used to browse over internet, and a headless machine running WS2012 in core mode I don't find it important. Plus, having that process in the background is said to degrade sound. But maybe some music file I loaded on the HDD came with a virus...

 

Unfortunately the usual anti-viruses don't run in WS2012. I might need to bring the HDD to someone to plug it into a computer and run an anti-virus scan.

Roon Server: general purpose Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Win 10 Pro, convolving in Roon digital xo + DRC + upsampling. Output through ethernet.

Roon Client AudioPC: Uptone etherRegen (with LPS 1.2) into Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU, Windows Server 2019, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital xo, room correction)

Rest of Chain: Lynx Hilo as 8-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into DIY dipoles 18" midbass/2x8" mids/AMT tweeter, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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I thought the hypothesis of a bad disk had been discarded after running HD Sentinel.

 

 

The last time (one month ago) I believed I had excluded hard drive malfunction as a cause of problems after using multiple pieces of specialised software, my drive failed on me. My advice would be: back up your drive and order a replacement. When the replacement comes, clone your drive to the replacement drive (in my experience Acronis does this reliably), and move on.

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I'll try this next. I'm not familiar with the ones you mentioned. Do you think they are better than the Spybot Search & Destroy?

 

Somehow related to this, I've been wondering if I could have a virus in there as my computer runs without it. As a computer that is not used to browse over internet, and a headless machine running WS2012 in core mode I don't find it important. Plus, having that process in the background is said to degrade sound. But maybe some music file I loaded on the HDD came with a virus...

 

Unfortunately the usual anti-viruses don't run in WS2012. I might need to bring the HDD to someone to plug it into a computer and run an anti-virus scan.

 

If your computer isn't used to browse the internet then malware likely isn't the problem and it may be best to follow the advice of others and replace the drive. Cloning the existing drive to the new drive may not be a good idea though as it may just replicate the problem to the new drive. Copy the files from your backup to the new drive.

 

With that being said, if your drive is healthy, there is something that is causing it to get hung up. Have you tried cleaning your system with something like CCleaner? Scan the registry and see if it finds any issues. If it does, the app will ask you if you want to backup the registry before you clean it. IME, this app improves performance on my system.

 

IME, with my daily use PC, that is used to browse the internet, when it was slow to start up or shutdown, removing tracking cookies, adware, spyware, PUP's, etc. fixed the problem for me, YMMV. The apps I mentioned run on demand and not in the background so there are no additional processes. You can install them, scan your system, see if any malware is detected, remove the malware and then uninstall the app. Each app detected different infections. Most were just tracking cookies but in one case did find a trojan.

 

It can't hurt to rule malware out. Just make sure that your music collection is safely backed up in case your drive is failing and happens to bite it sooner rather than later.

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I tried the following tools, in the following order:

Spybot Search & Destroy: found some stuff to destroy, but nothing of much significance, I think.

CCleaner: same as above.

HD Sentinel Short Self-Test:successfully completed. The extended test is not available as I'm using the free trial version. Performance and health continue to be shown as 100% and the drive is reported as perfect.

Chkdsk from the command prompt: first ran it on the SSD. Was all good. Took under a minute to run. Then ran it on the HDD...took 6 minutes, but found no problems.

 

Other than changing the drive, which in my book equates to giving up, any further ideas?

Roon Server: general purpose Gigabyte GA-Z170X UD5, i5 6600, Crucial MX200 SSD, HyperX 1x16GB RAM, Win 10 Pro, convolving in Roon digital xo + DRC + upsampling. Output through ethernet.

Roon Client AudioPC: Uptone etherRegen (with LPS 1.2) into Intel S1200KPR, Xeon E3 1265lv2, Crucial V4 SSD for OS, 8GB ECC RAM, Streacom FC8 Evo case, lab linear PSU, Windows Server 2019, AudioPhil's Optimizer, Acourate (digital xo, room correction)

Rest of Chain: Lynx Hilo as 8-channel DAC, McIntosh MC275 MkIV for mids & treble, Hypex UcD400HG for midbass into DIY dipoles 18" midbass/2x8" mids/AMT tweeter, 2 DIY 12" Rythmik subs, Equi=Core 1800 balanced power, dedicated power lines, room treatments

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Do not get me wrong but you have not tested anything important at all.

 

If you want some answers do the following in the order below:

 

Get trail version of HDTune Pro. Do 4 speed test which are in HD Tune and make screenshots of each and paste it here.

 

Then do full surface scan (in same app). It will show you if you have any bad sectors. Also take a note of how long the test took as it will also tell you about the state of HDD.

 

Download WD diag tool (free tool for WD drives testing) and run extended test in it but it is important only after you have finished with all the tests in HD Tune Pro .

 

Once you have done this you will know more about your HDD. Still it is most likely waste of time as your drive is failing and just needs replacing (and it is doing you a favour by giving you a nice notice time as quite often they will just fail without any warning or hesitation taking your data with them).

 

SMART readings which you have done so far are only meaningfully when they state problems, otherwise they mean absolutely nothing. Drive can be gone and SMART will read 100% healthy...

 

Hope it helps.

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Hi LewinskiH01,

 

This looks as if something is wrong with the circuitry of your hard drive. I have experienced this at least 2 times and what I did was return the hard drive to the manufacturer (provided that the date of HDD manufacture is within the warranty period) either directly with the manufacturer (they will give you an RMA and explain or give instructions on how to proceed) or going through the dealer (store) where you bought it. Could be a fee to this, but since the drive is not working well...

 

The symptoms I had were as you describe them: everything was very slow, the system was taking forever to boot, copying or writing was endless... Even if some software will not reveal any defect, it could simply mean that they are not checking for all potential issues...

 

If it was a matter of spyware, malware or "else-ware" (...), it would have probably replicated on your main OS drive. The common denominator seems to be that the "slow" drive is affecting all the rest each time you connect it, I am quite confident that it is a hardware problem.

 

I doubt this would replicate on another drive if you copy your bad drive content on it, but unless you already have a backup, I would suggest your try to copy on a blank drive (or one that you use as a backup drive) what you don't wish to lose and have the bad drive changed. And if you have concerns about overwriting a backup drive with the content of the bad drive, maybe you could create a folder and copy only what you really want to keep.

 

If so (you have a backup or you copied what you want to keep), you could format the drive after and test again to see if the same behavior happens.

 

Hope this help...

 

(Edit): Thinking about it: have you tried another HDD with the same connection, or another connection for the bad drive and/or a different cable (sata) just to be on the safe side ?

Alain

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@lewinski

It's either that the drive is going down (controller issues, bad sectors, etc..)

Or it's full and/or TRIM is not working properly...normally that should not affect reading speeds, just writing...but the ssd controllers arent exactly stateoftheart and some react very funny to full drives.

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I found an old thread on the JRiver forum that may be the solution. It appears that JRiver is getting hung up trying to read the library and is getting stuck in a loop due to a corrupt file on your HDD. The corrupt file is on your HDD and that's why it works okay when reading the library from the external drive.

 

Try going to Tools\Options\Library & Folders\Auto Import\Configure Auto Import and then un-check "analyse audio for audio files" and then see if JRiver is still not responding in task manager.

 

If that doesn't work, try this - uninstall JRiver, reinstall it and then import the library to JRiver again (File\Library\Import).

 

Hopefully this will work. Here's the link to the Interact forum for further reference Link.

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Another thought, before you try removing and re-installing JRiver try clearing the existing library. Go to File\Library\Clear Library Un-check "Revert Database..." and click Clear Library (this won't remove any files from your HDD it only clears the library cataloged in JRiver). Now import your music files again. Go to File\Library\Import and follow the prompts.

 

Hopefully this will work.

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Once you have done this you will know more about your HDD. Still it is most likely waste of time as your drive is failing and just needs replacing (and it is doing you a favour by giving you a nice notice time as quite often they will just fail without any warning or hesitation taking your data with them).

 

SMART readings which you have done so far are only meaningfully when they state problems, otherwise they mean absolutely nothing. Drive can be gone and SMART will read 100% healthy...

 

+1. My own experience with multiple failing drives (of course I did not know they were about to fail at the moment I did the checks, but I knew it a few days later when they got dead) mirrors Sebna's.

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