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Gary - anybody - help please?

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  #31  
Old 11-24-2006, 11:46 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: Gary - anybody - help please?

Best of luck Dawn, whichever way you decide to go.

Glad we could help a little.
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  #32  
Old 12-06-2006, 09:54 AM
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1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
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Re: Gary - anybody - help please?

Craig, Gary - anyone - I think I found the problem. I do believe that my Seagate external hard drive is going out or something. When I restarted the other day, before shutting down it said something about checking the drive. It said I could cancel the check but it was recommended I let it continue. I couldn't find a way to cancel it so it went ahead and ran. Since then I have kept it turned off unless I just HAD to access something on there. The time or two that I have had it on and PS open I did realize that everything takes alot longer now in PS. I use it as my scratch drive. So - here is the question -

If the drive is going bad is there anything at all I can do as far as getting it fixed? I have had it for 2 years this Christmas - is that a normal life span? Do you think that using it as scratch disk for PS has caused this and is a bad idea to continue this setup? What do you think I should do about this - I can replace the drive, but honestly I was needing to add another one of them to the system anyway as this one is getting full. So I would really need to buy two of them or buy one larger one. Would it be better to buy two like this and use the empty one for scratch?

Yes, I really need a whole new system. But, I have decided to go Mac, so I will have to save up for that move. What should I do in the mean time, because I can't use PS without having a scratch disk like I have been using the Seagate for (connected through firewire if you need to know).

Please, help. How can I fix this, hopefully for under $300??
I will be back later after I finish pulling my hair out. Thanks for any help on this!!

Dawn
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  #33  
Old 12-06-2006, 10:09 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: Gary - anybody - help please?

When you shut down, did you do a normal controlled shutdown, or did you crash your system (accidentally or otherwise)?

If power gets interrupted and your computer does an uncontrolled shutdown, it will always do a disk scan to ensure that there was no damage caused to the disk.

If however you did a normal controlled shutdown and it tries to do a disk check on start-up, then it may be a sign your drive is experiencing problems.

What did the disk check find?

Check connections to the disk, make sure there are no loose power couplings that may have caused a momentary power loss to it. (Make sure you are earthed when touching anything inside the casing, static charges can fry some of the more sensitive components).
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  #34  
Old 12-06-2006, 10:27 AM
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1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
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Re: Gary - anybody - help please?

Thanks, Gary. No it was a normal shutdown. And this drive is an external drive, from Seagate, 300GB. Everything it plugged in fine, nice and tight. There is just the power cord and the firewire cord to the computer. Both fine.

But, now that you mention it, there have been times that that drive has gotten unplugged (The power cord came loose from the back of the drive) and I had no idea how, so maybe it does work itself loose somehow. I do hope that is the explanation. Still, I checked them and the cords are fine and plugged in good and tight.

The results of the disk check blinked off the screen too fast for me to see what it found. And thanks to Craig I have been afraid to run another check - lol.

Is there any way for me to know for sure one way or the other if the drive is going bad? I suppose maybe the fact that it has gotten alot more full could be why it has slowed down as far as using it for scratch goes, am I right? But hte two problems together really have me freaked out. Not like I can back up 200-some GB of files to a few dvds.

Dawn
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  #35  
Old 12-06-2006, 11:13 AM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Gary - anybody - help please?

dawn,

normally, you can cancel CHKDSK by just hitting any key on the keyboard.

and rather than make you wait through my long-winded posts, here's what i'd do. since it's an external drive, i'd simply go buy a new one of the same size (actually, i'd buy an internal) and copy the contents of the existing one to the new one. leave the current one off until you're ready to do this. dont use it at all if you really suspect it's going bad. you're only going to be able to turn it on and access it a relatively short amount of time now, if it is going bad. and yes, a new external 200 gb drive shld be less than $300.

after that, you have the option of testing the old drive. you could take it to a shop and let them do it, run some diagnostics on it yourself or just toss it out if you're sure it's really going bad. you might also try defragging it. if you do, do the long, FULL defrag and let it correct any mistakes it finds. you've already got it backed up, so anything that gets lost during this isnt going to hurt you. this may or may not work. if the drive is going bad the defrag may just run interminably long and that's another sign of a drive going bad... defragging takes forever and i'm talking 12 hours or more. you could also run CHKDSK on it and see what it does now or one of the drive diagnostics mentioned before. and if you're comfortable with this, you could even try a low level format (what the factory does before you ever buy the drive) or a normal re-format. just bear in mind that a defrag or re-format or chkdsk isnt going to fix a drive that is actually going bad. all those things will do is straighten out the data alignment and storage of the data. and it isnt the data that makes a drive go bad.

2 years is a pretty short life for a drive. try a different brand than seagate if you can. normally, a drive shld last 10,000 hours or so my brother tells me. there may even be a rating showing this on the box or the drive. so, if you use the drive a lot, 2 years may be its normal life. if you only use it a few hours a day, then obviously the life span is shorter. one thing you can do to save drive life is to set windows to tell the drive not to spin continuously when not being accessed or to at least shut it off sooner. drives keep their platter spinning so that access times are shorter when you access them. but, you can turn that feature off. it just means your initial access time is going to be a few microseconds longer. not a big deal unless you're a fanatic.

using your drive as a scratch disk has nothing to do with its shelf life, other than you're using it for anything. see the above paragraph

you might also consider getting an internal drive instead of the external. your access times will be significantly better. firewire and usb are quite slow relative to ide (internal) or sata (which is generally faster than ide). i normally use external drives only for backup and leave them off most of the time.

so, if your budget is $300, you might be able to get both an internal drive for your scratch disk and an external for backups.

as for how photoshop does scratch disks and what might be better, a whole drive versus a partition on a drive, i dont really know, since i use psp and just let windows handle this all in its normal virtual memory thing. but i do know that an internal drive versus an external would be better due to the relative access times of both.

so, basically, if you have any suspicion about the drive going bad, get a new one and back up the old one, pronto! after that, the stress is off and you can try and find out more about the old one and what's going on. drives are pretty cheap these days and it's worth the bucks to be safe on these.

and one last note on this; before buying an internal, make sure you have available ports for this in your machine and of the kind that will fit the drive you want to get. ide and sata are not the same thing and use a different type port. sata and sata II use the same type, but not ide and sata. normally, most stock computers have 4 ide ports and that's it. newer ones may also have sata ports, but check first. you can also buy pci cards that will allow adding extra ide and sata drives, but that's an extra expense.
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  #36  
Old 12-06-2006, 05:40 PM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: Gary - anybody - help please?

Think Craig's pretty much covered everything.

Without running extensive tests (which are not without risk), there's no definitive way to say if your disk is on the way out. But if your data is the more valuable commodity, then an early replacement is a sensible course of action.
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  #37  
Old 12-06-2006, 08:16 PM
tived tived is offline
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Re: Gary - anybody - help please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1STLITE
I have an external Seagate drive that I use for storing photos, etc. I also use it as a scratch disk in PS.
Hold on, rule #1 you never use a external disk for scratch disk, that is like getting drinks at the party, from the liqure store in the next town (as oppose to have cold drinks in the fridge) relative time.


I haven't read the whole thread here, so my apology if this has already been solved or suggested.

random shutdowns are offen caused by bad power (eg your powersupply is slowly biting the dust, or one of your devices) 2nd it can be heat related, one of your internal fans have stopped working or not working as it should.

You could be running into problems like this because you have misconfigured your machine, the fact that you have your scratch disk on an external disk is a major flaw in your configuration, secondly your scratch disk could be full or close to full.
defrag isn't going to do much for you, but it is a nice thing to do every now and then.
Have you changed the way you work, eg have you started to work on larger files then before or have you installed any new applications or by chance installed anything from the net, that is suckin up your resources, if one win XP have a look at your task manager, and see which program is sucking up the most resources other then PS

best of luck

Henrik

PS: more RAM more RAM and new and bigger power supply and a new big external hard drive will do wonders :-)
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  #38  
Old 12-06-2006, 10:14 PM
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1STLITE 1STLITE is offline
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Re: Gary - anybody - help please?

Craig, I tried hitting a key, a couple times eve, to stop the check disk but nothing happened and it just kept going. (BTW - anyone notice the incredible decrease in typos in my posts?? LOVE that spell checker in firefox2.0!!!!)

Since I was going to be getting another of these drives anyways, it is no problem to do that. I am gonna talk to my baby brother - he is the hardware tech in the family. We have been talking about building me a new system for some time now, so I am gonna have to get on his butt to get over here and check on the internal drive stuff this weekend. I understand everything you said, but actually knowing what to do is another story. Thank you so much for your help!! At least now I have a plan of action! First and foremost is getting a new external drive to back this stuff up on, and this weekend my brother will be here - and we are gonna figure this out. I will let you know how it turns out.

This really sucks because I have work I need to finish before Christmas, a freakin ASuka album I have to build and retouches on probably 50 images (not simple retouches either, we are talking facial slimming, background replacing - the list is endless) Not to mention maybe 50 or more restorations. UGH.

Ok - deep breaths - Now I am gonna go price some drives or something, or do some housework - feel like I accomplished something here. lol

Thank you and Gary for helping so much with this issue, and thanks Henrik for trying to help.

Have a great night, ya'll!!
Dawn

BTW - these are what I was working on when I realized this was the problem. I had Santa pics last week, and spent the next two days getting them ready to send for printing. These are my kids.
Merry Christmas!!
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  #39  
Old 12-07-2006, 01:45 AM
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Littlecoo Littlecoo is offline
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Re: Gary - anybody - help please?

Hey Dawn, sorry to hear about your hardware hassels. I think ditto to most things previously mentioned. I used to have an XP Athlon 3.2gig...The thing ran as hot as Hades and was instable and crashy as all getout... (esp towards the end of it's days and besides, Australia isn't exactly a cold place to begin with) I ceased to care after a while and joyfully hastened it's departure
Anyhow, I digress... get yourself another internal HDD, they're not expensive, an extra HDD is always usefull so you can't lose....and you can backup all your files on it. Oh, and I heartily endorse the aquisition of a Mac...wish I could afford one
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  #40  
Old 12-07-2006, 03:00 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Re: Gary - anybody - help please?

Hi Dawn,

Love the pictures of the kids with Santa, do they still believe? I love it when they can still enjoy all the wonder of Christmas.
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