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Old 11th April 2016, 07:43 AM   #1
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Default Fans killed hard drive.

Hi And thanks for reading this post.

I recently had the bright idea to place fans above my hard drives in order to blow air onto them and keep them cool.

Now the drives have stopped working

I'm trying to figure out why this is.

I cracked open the fans and found magnets inside, could these magnets have had an effect on the magnetic dics within the hard drives and ruined them.

What should i do? format the hard drives and start again? or do you think the magnets may have caused permanent damage?

Difficult to tell, the hard drives are wd caviar black 3tb and 2tb, purchased them brand new, only a month old.

Many thanks. John.
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Old 11th April 2016, 09:23 AM   #2
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How big were the fans and how close? I doubt they are the cause. If you powered the fan off a splitter to the HDD power the spikes from the fan may have done the damage.
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Old 11th April 2016, 09:37 AM   #3
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goodguys View Post
Now the drives have stopped working
...
What should i do? format the hard drives and start again? or do you think the magnets may have caused permanent damage?
What does exactly "stopped working" mean?

I also very much doubt the fans' magnetic field has been the culprit. Most likely power supply noise, just like richie00boy says.

Plus - modern large-capacity HDDs are not exactly reliable, even if new. Did you check their SMART status? Any SATA errors?

If there are any errors in SMART, you should be able to claim warranty and have them replaced. Pretty common these days...
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Old 11th April 2016, 11:39 AM   #4
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New hdd units are very sturdy. >50g force to damage the platter and an incorrect voltage may damage the hardware but that is unlikely. Does it/they spin up? Take a look and check your bios can see the drives. If you can see the drives then a power supply interruption has probably left bits of files sprayed in bits all over the hdd as lost files with no names. Try running a rescue programme. Check in windows with control panel and select Administrative Tools, then select Computer Management, then select Disk Management. The drives may be there with no letter allotted to them/it. Right hand click on the disk and choose Change Drive letter and path. Add a letter. If you can't see the drive/s then a low level format may bring them back to life. If that doesn't work, purchase new drive/s. If in a Mac, use Utility manager.
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Old 11th April 2016, 12:03 PM   #5
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If this had hapened to me I would first try a free data recovery program. One I like is Minitool partion wizard. You can do a lot of things with this program including recovering a lost partition. If that didn't work I would then try the Western Digital drive fitness utility.


Best Free Partition Manager for Windows | MiniTool Partition Free
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Old 11th April 2016, 12:38 PM   #6
Feckie is offline Feckie  Australia
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Having a fan directly on top won't do a thing to the drive. I sometimes do this at work when testing a drive outside the case.

Check disk management to see if the drive exists then:

If drive does exist run a seatools check or use the diagnostic software from the manufacturer.

If it doesn't exist then check your cabling.
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Old 11th April 2016, 12:54 PM   #7
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This thread is wandering way off course!

NO WAY will adding 12V PC fans affect the drives!

They have excellent total magnetic screening and there are millions of server based drive arrays out there with fans almost touching the drives.

You say both drives have failed. How do you know? Do you have spares that you can swap? If both drives appear not to work, look for some common factor; power supply, controller etc.

If they really have failed you will not be able to reformat them, will you?
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Old 11th April 2016, 01:14 PM   #8
Feckie is offline Feckie  Australia
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It sounds like a cabling issue.... The problem happened after you were playing around inside the case... Re seat the sata and power on the hdd and double check everything..

Obviously you need to be doing this all while the system is turned off.
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Old 12th April 2016, 06:44 AM   #9
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Hi. Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

I am trying out your suggestions right now.

Richie00boy. The 4-inch fans were hovering one inch above the hard drives, the fans did come with a splitter already attached, a male 4-pin molex and a female 4-pin molex, i used these to power the fans only.
I am powering the hard drives from a seasonic power supply sata connectors. I thought since the sata and molex from the power supply are on different cables this may provide some separation, but apparently not.
Wondering, if the splitter is the problem why do they sell them like this.

Phofman. The wd scorpio blacks have a reputation for being reliable and come with 5 year warranty so I was hoping by purchasing these i could avoid the headache of lost files, data recovery etc but it has not turned out to be the case.
I'm looking into the smart errors you mentioned, i'm going to put the hard drives into external usb enclosure and run the test from my laptop.

JonSnell Electronic. Thanks for the reply, makes perfect sense.

Woody. Thanks for the recommendation of minitool, I have that installed on my laptop, i've tried a few other partition managers and this is the best one.
I couldn't find Western Digital drive fitness utility on a google search, but did find WD Data Life Guard diagnostic disk.

Feckie. Thanks, i will double check the cabling. One thing i did notice is that the sata cable works loose sometimes, it has a metal clip on it and it clips really securely into the motherboard, but the WD hard drives for some reason cannot be clipped onto, they haven't got that thing for the sata clip, is there a workaround for this.

Cliffforest. Thanks for helping. I'm going to remove the hard drives and put into external usb enclosure so try and isolate them from the pc cabling, or splitters, whatever the problem may be, the re-evaluate from there.

Many thanks. John.

Last edited by goodguys; 12th April 2016 at 06:46 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 14th April 2016, 06:58 AM   #10
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Hi. Thanks for the replies.

Have run the western digital hard drive diagnostic program, in extended mode, took 5 hours per drive and the hard drives passed, didn't give any information, just there was a green tick on screen.
I also ran crystal disc info and the hard drives passed that as well.

What do you think, is this the right thing to do running these two programs, are the drives safe to use or should i use any other program.

The sata cable comes loose sometimes from the hard drive, it has a metal clip and clips really securely to the motherboard, but for the drives it can slip a little. Is there any way to clip the hard drives better, perhaps a different kind of cable.

I've tried recovery programs to get the lost data back, minitool power data recovery gives me the files back but in the same damaged form, stellar phoenix windows data recovery manages to pick up all the pieces and the files are okay but it keeps crashing after recovering a file.

Many thanks
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