Question Strange: HDDs failing one by one

May 30, 2021
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Hi everyone, I hope someone may be able to help me with this situation.

I have a PC that was built mainly for professional audio 6 years ago, i7 4790K, no dedicated graphic card, 16GB RAM, Gigabyte H97 D3H CF motherboard.
Drive configuration has been changed through the years, but since last year it was Samsung SSD EVO for system, 3 Hard drives in the case and 2 external drives, mostly for backup.
PSU is Zalman ZM850 HP 850W

In case there was a Toshiba 2TB DT 01 AC200 and two WD Blacks, one 2TB and 3TB,
External drives were one really old 1TB Samsung F1 and 3TB toshiba DT01 AC300

Generally in almost 6 years I had no issues. One old drive I used for backup died few years ago and that's it.

Then a week ago, external 3TB Toshiba started to act out. I checked in HD Tune pro, and I got a yellow Warning for reallocated sector count. Surface scan showed bad sectors.
Ok, no big deal, got a WD Red to replace it, it was a backup external disk anyway.

Than yesterday, suddenly second (this one is internal) Toshiba drive that was OK week ago started showing identical warning too. Same thing, I was able to save most of the data, but there are bad sectors.

Toshiba drives were bought within one year, one in 2016, the other in 2017. So these are not from the same batch.
I was saving the rest of the data today and moving them to the new WD Red and then noticed that suddenly second external drive, old Samsung F1 shows "Attention" about interface error CRC count. Ath this moment it is still working OK.

I had no power surges in recent weeks that I know of, and apart those drives, all other PC components seem to work smoothly. I would suspect that PSU may be the culprit, but external Toshiba has it's own power source, it was is in the external case I am now using for the new WD Red I got.
I don't have UPS, but power should be stable enough and everything is connected through APC with surge protection, not sure if this is important to mention.
Now I am not sure what to do. I am becoming nervous to just keep replacing drives and possibliy find out that another one has died without apparent reason in a few days. I can technically build a new PC but this one is still completely fine for all my needs so I would prefer to avoid spending money if I don't have to, I am not gaming and rarely work on projects that really tax my CPU much, so there is no real need for better PC.

Any ideas what may be happening to hard drives? I tried to search through forums but didn't find similar problem.
 

punkncat

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It could just be a really strange coincidence. It seems like the drives you are talking about, aside from the one, were at around 5 years old. If you are utilizing these a lot they could have just worn out.
HDD are very susceptible to damage from motion or shock. Did you happen to have an earthquake (semi joking) run into the desk, hard stomp on the floor?
 
May 30, 2021
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Thanks for the reply punkncat. Not sure if the cats are the reason for your nickname - I have two cats, :) so they could be kind of an earthquake or natural catastrophy when they are running and playing :)

So I actually thought that one of them could be the reason when first drive has died, I thought maybe one of the cats has moved usb cable of this drive while it was writing data. But then, the other drive is in the case and it is an old massive beige Chiftec tank of a case.
I would accept that this is a coincidence, but it is a triple coincidence: first is that two drives have died in a week, second is that of all drives only Toshibas have died, and third one is that that they had same problem. It is not like one drive just completely died or started clicking, they both just started having warnings but kept working in an almost identical way.
 
May 30, 2021
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Sort of a derivative...but yes, I like cats and have owned many over the years. No telling what they are up to during midnight madness.
Assuming that no one else will chime in about this situation, am I getting you right that only probable reason for hard disks problems in my case is something mechanical, vibration, case being hit etc without me being aware? Sorry if it is a newbie question, but, for instance, I assume motherboard can't be the culprit, and probably it isn't PSU? I was kind of getting paranoid and thinking about investing in a new PC if I can't be sure what exactly has caused all this. I was lucky that everything of importance was backed up, but don't like the idea of buying replacement drives and them also dying on me.
 

punkncat

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I could see a motherboard issue causing corruption of a drive. Similar thing with RAM which I have experienced. As far as causing bad sectors and such, I cannot conceive of a way this could happen. Perhaps someone else smarter and more experienced than myself might?
 
Reactions: DushanS
May 30, 2021
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So from your experience, if it was a motherboard issue or PSU, drive would just die and be inaccessible, but if drive works well apart from having bad sectors, than it is probably mechanical reasons, did I get that right? Thanks!
 

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