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Failure of 5 x SATA drives at the same time

 
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peterbx



Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:50 pm    Post subject: Failure of 5 x SATA drives at the same time Reply with quote

In December 2007 I built a 'high end' PC for home use. I set up two RAID arrays comprising 4 x 500Gb Samsung Spinpoint drives in a striped and mirrored configuration, for my data, and 2 x 250Gb drives mirrored for my XP operating system and applications. The PSU supporting them was an Enermax Infiniti 720W.
This configuration ran fine for 6 months until the end of June 2008 when I found the PC shut down one morning. The PSU had gone into 'protect mode'. Enermax replaced the PSU under warranty but I found that all four of my 500Gb drives were blown up and also one of the 250Gb drives. I sent them back to Enermax UK, for replacement at their suggestion, and they confirmed that both the PSU and hard drives were 'fried'. Their Taiwan office then asked to see them and stated that the PSU was in perfect working order so it couldn't have damaged my hard drives. They have returned my hard drives and the issue is now closed as far as they are concerned.
My question is, if the PSU didn't blow up my hard drives what else could have done so? I will have to re-build my RAID arrays at my own expense and don't want it to happen again.
My wife's PC was in the same room at the time and has continued to function normally.
Thank you in advance of any help or suggestions you can provide.
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SoftStag



Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

5 drives don't just fail simultaneously by themselves. I am however, surprised that you don't mention any other component failures within the PC. If something happened that fried 5 hard drives, I'd expect further damage as well.

The only way those drives could have been fried like that would have been due to a huge power surge. If this was external to the PC, then you would have had other problems within the building - even if it was just a tripped circuit breaker on the mains. Most likely other PCs in the house would have been affected, along with other electrical equipment. As this did not happen, the only place such a power surge could occur is through a faulty power supply. Given that the PSU was replaced under warranty suggests that they believed it to be faulty as well.

It sounds to me like Enermax simply do not want to pay out for expensive hard drives. If there stance is that there is no fault with the original PSU and it did not cause the damage, then I suggest you take legal advice and pursue them that way.
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peterbx



Joined: 28 Oct 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your response. Nothing else within the PC was affected, motherboard, memory and CPU are all fine. Luckily one of the 'system' disks also survived so I was able to buy a second 250Gb disk and quickly re-create a mirrored pair in case the original disk was damaged and died prematurely. It seems to be fine so far, fingers crossed.
I'm still 'considering my position' with regard to Enermax. I wanted to get some independant views as to other possible causes of the hard drive failures before I take it any further. I suspect you are correct in your assumption with regard to Enermax's position. They even sent me a 'test sheet' from Taiwan showing the correct operation of the PSU. It must have repaired itself on the plane trip out there!
SAMSUNG, of course, have advised that their warranty on the hard drives is invalid as the cause of the failures was obviously external to the hard drives themselves.
Thanks again
peterbx
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