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Force 3 60 GB corrupted when unplugged (with power off)


truprecht

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I've had a Force 3 60GB running as a Win7 OS drive since Sept 2011. This weekend I replaced my PSU, and found the DVD player, which is on the same SATA power cable as the SSD, didn't work due to a loose pin on the SATA power connector (thanks Seasonic!)

 

1) I replaced the SATA power cable (with the power off) which corrected the DVD problem, but then the SSD would no longer read. When the boot process got to "Loading Operating System..." it would return a message "Disk read error press Ctrl-Alt-Del to restart".

 

2) The drive was visible in the BIOS, but wouldn't read. With the power off, I re-seated both the power and SATA connectors - no change. I put the SSD on a different SATA power cable - no change. So I restored the SSD from the Win7 backup image and then it booted correctly.

 

3) Not wanting extraneous power cables in my case (hence the new modular PSU), I turned off the computer, and put the SSD back on the first power cable. When I rebooted, the SSD returned the disk read error message again. Leaving on the first power cable, I restored it again from the same backup image and it has booted correctly every since.

 

So, by doing nothing but unplugging and replugging the power cable and the SATA cable - always with the power off - I've twice rendered the drive unreadable. It's working OK now, but I really don't like the insecurity/instability of a drive that breaks when unplugged while powered off.

 

Has anyone experienced anything like this before? Any thoughts on why it happened and how to prevent it... other than the obvious answer of never unplugging it again?

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Turns out the problem was not the drive being corrupted, it was either the SATA3 port or the Marvell SATA3 controller malfunctioning.

 

Even without touching the power/SATA connection, sometimes the drive would boot, sometimes it would return a "disk read error" when loading the OS. When it did boot, I tried to upgrade the firmware from 1.3.2 to 1.3.3 and it wouldn't upgrade. ATTO couldn't even finish a benchmark - it locked up the computer.

 

I switched the drive to an Intel-controlled SATA2 port, it booted fine, the firmware updated correctly, and ATTO ran as usual - albeit with slower read speeds.

 

I've read a lot of bad things here about the Marvell controllers - is this consistent with their general suckage? Or does is sound like a bad SATA port?

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