problems with vaio hard drive turning off

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Hi, wondering if I can get some help here...

I bought a used Vaio almost a year ago, PCG-GR390, and it has been
working *perfectly* for all this time.  I have been very very happy with
it.  I use it with Windows as well as Debian Linux.  Anyways, in the
last couple of days it started doing something _very_ strange... after
using it for a while, I hear a little noise and it is the HARD DRIVE
TURNING OFF.  Weirdest thing.  The computer still functions, but as soon
as it tries to access the harddrive I get a bunch of I/O errors and I
have to reboot.  Needless to say I'm afraid I'm going to lose some work
if I continue to use it this way.  It happens about twice a day now.
(Not to mention that fsck has to run every time I boot the computer now,
which kills the filesystem..)

Anyways, my problem is I can't figure out how to determine the source of
the problem.  Usually when hard drives die, you notice data getting
corrupted, but I've never heard of it just shutting off.  I'm afraid
that it's NOT the hard drive, but some sort of power issue on the
motherboard.  (If that's the case, I guess it's time for a new computer..)

But I don't want to go and spend $150 on a new hard drive only to find
out that it's not the right thing to fix.  How can I determine what the
problem is?

(Ps. it happens in both operating systems, with and without the battery,
I can't find a reliable pattern yet...)


Re: problems with vaio hard drive turning off

Stephen Sinclair" <"radarsat1[at] wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

The first thing to do is obtain the drive fitness or diagnostic utility
from the vendor, run it.  Since this occurs in both OSs, it is a
hardware problem at some level.  You can try running a temperature
monitoring utility like HMonitor.exe if the drive reports its
temperature.  Remove and reseat the drive.  Check for boot sector
viruses, a problem with the boot manager you use, etc., but most likely
it is the drive itself that is failing and the vendor's utility should
diagnose it.


Re: problems with vaio hard drive turning off

Thanks for your reply.
I thought of temperature, but when i remove it after a failure it's not
really all that hot.  (Just a little warm.)
I may try a monitor program as you suggested, I hadn't thought of that.
  However, I'm glad to hear you think it is the drive rather than the
motherboard.  If it is the drive, I don't mind buying a new one.  (I
have a personal policy to not trust any drive that starts acting
weird... back up everything and replace it a.s.a.p!)  What I was afraid
of is that it's possibly something more serious.  Since this is a
laptop, if the motherboard has a problem it means buying a new computer,
which is sort of out of the question.  Thanks for your input.


Quaoar wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: problems with vaio hard drive turning off

Go to BIOS, turn off ALL power management and see what happens.

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