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Time For A New Motherboard?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 29th 19, 09:49 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
tb
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 60
Default Time For A New Motherboard?

I use Clonezilla Live to back up a PC drive to a portable external HD
with a USB-A cable.

Recently Clonezilla Live has not been able to complete the job...
It basically seems to hang anywhere during the backup process. The
time left to complete the backup shown on the screen increases
continuously and the % of backup already done does not change.

I know that there is nothing wrong with the Clonezilla Live DVD or the
portable external hard drive because I can back up another PC's drive
without a hitch using the same USB-A cable.

My guess is that I have a USB port problem with PC#1 and it might be
time to purchase another motherboard. (The PC is nine years old...)

PS: I have tried using all the USB ports that are present on the PC
with the same results.

What do the experts think of this issue?

--
tb
  #2  
Old January 29th 19, 10:29 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
VanguardLH[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,317
Default Time For A New Motherboard?

tb wrote:

I use Clonezilla Live to back up a PC drive to a portable external HD
with a USB-A cable.

Recently Clonezilla Live has not been able to complete the job...
It basically seems to hang anywhere during the backup process. The
time left to complete the backup shown on the screen increases
continuously and the % of backup already done does not change.

I know that there is nothing wrong with the Clonezilla Live DVD or the
portable external hard drive because I can back up another PC's drive
without a hitch using the same USB-A cable.

My guess is that I have a USB port problem with PC#1 and it might be
time to purchase another motherboard. (The PC is nine years old...)

PS: I have tried using all the USB ports that are present on the PC
with the same results.

What do the experts think of this issue?


Is it a "green" drive inside the USB enclosure? Those will spin down
after being idle for awhile and require any application accessing them
to allow time to spin back up.

I've seen where a green USB-attached drive starts to fail on large
backups. The backup programs buffers up a bunch of data but might take
awhile to read the source drive before the buffer fills to then have the
software flush it to the USB-attached drive. A file that is highly
fragmented or lots of tiny files will take many seeks to nab all their
clusters to pile into a buffer to then write to the USB-attached drive.
If the drive has spun down, the software might have a problem getting
the drive to spin back up. The software has to accomodate a stutter in
response from a green drive. That's why in my own USB builds that I
never use a green drive. I don't which backup software I was using back
then but remember finding a different backup program didn't have the
problem having to wait for a green drive to spin back up.

I remember reading something about where you could alter the firmware of
a green drive to lengthen when it went to sleep but I never bothered
delving into that. If the backup program (or any program) waits a long
time before issuing its next read or write to the device, it could go to
sleep. The idle interval was hardcoded into the drive, not what you
configure using the OS power options.

My problems with WDC's green drives was many years ago, and they may
have resolved the problem where their green drives become unresponsive
after going to sleep. Seagate also had "green" drives (but they
discontinued them under the premise their green drive wasn't saving any
power costs [only 40 cents] per year over their non-green drives). See:

https://www.gamersnexus.net/guides/1...ive-for-gaming

When you tested the USB drive on a different computer, did you backup
the same amount of data? Did you defrag the old computer's drive before
the backup and then run chkdsk on it? Be sure to add the /r switch to
chkdsk to have it check the surface of the platters instead of merely
check the integrity of the file system.

The problem could be with the software. For example, if you use
robocopy to copy/move files, it can stuck on an attempt for millions of
retries with each at 30-second intervals which means an eternity of
waiting to read a bad cluster for a file. Its /r switch defaults to 1
million retries and its /w switch defaults to a retry wait of 30
seconds. If you want robocopy to abort a lot earlier then 23 years on
copying on a failed read for a file then you have to specify much
smaller values for these switches, like /r:5 /w:5, rather than use the
defaults. I don't know of Clonezilla lets you configure a retry count
and a retry interval. That's why I mentioned running chkdsk.

Note that chkdsk will attempt 3 retries to read a cluster while the
firmware in the drive might allow up to 5 retries to get a successful
read on a sector, so the total number of retries could be 15, or more.
There are better tools to test the surface of the drive's platters but I
don't recall any free ones, only the good ones but those cost money
(e.g., Hard Disk Sentinel non-free version, HDD Regenerator, SpinRite)
and do more exhaustive testing.

Since the problem is now cropping up, it's possible the drive is going
bad. Sometimes they just started getting flaky. I had one just now go
bad. When it was spinning, its interface worked fine and I could access
everything on the disk. With power options set to spin down the drive
when it was idle for an hour, it just started to have spin up problems.
HD Sentinel alerted me a spin retry count error in the disk's SMART
data, plus I would notice the drive became unresponsive (I could see it
but couldn't read from it). The drive usually spun up okay on a power
up of the PC and I could get the files copied off it until later when it
went unresponsive again and got spin retry errors. If I hadn't managed
to get it spun up long enough to copy the files off it to another disk,
I had plenty of backup sources to recover the files. The drive seems
just fine until, wham, it goes unresponsive. Alas, the drive only has a
2-year warranty and it looks like this one was bought almost 5 years
ago, so I ordered a new disk to replace it. HDDs are mechanical devices
and they do go bad.

So check if the source disk (from which you are copying) is okay. If
you have another drive (a partition but on a different disk), see what
happens when you copy the same set of files from the source to
destination drive as you are copying using Clonezilla.
  #3  
Old January 29th 19, 11:46 PM posted to alt.comp.hardware
Paul[_26_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 939
Default Time For A New Motherboard?

tb wrote:
I use Clonezilla Live to back up a PC drive to a portable external HD
with a USB-A cable.

Recently Clonezilla Live has not been able to complete the job...
It basically seems to hang anywhere during the backup process. The
time left to complete the backup shown on the screen increases
continuously and the % of backup already done does not change.

I know that there is nothing wrong with the Clonezilla Live DVD or the
portable external hard drive because I can back up another PC's drive
without a hitch using the same USB-A cable.

My guess is that I have a USB port problem with PC#1 and it might be
time to purchase another motherboard. (The PC is nine years old...)

PS: I have tried using all the USB ports that are present on the PC
with the same results.

What do the experts think of this issue?


The Polyfuse (motherboard side) is opening and the drive is losing power.

That's a possibility with bus-powered 2.5" external hard drives.

Some of the portable drives have a 5V barrel power input, which
seeks to solve the "spinup power drain" problem.

*******

You can use a "Hydra" cable to increase the max current flow.
The "loop" wire has to be long enough to span the USB2 connectors
being used as power sources. On a desktop, this distance is short,
while on a laptop, the distance is long (20 inches or more).

https://www.amazon.ca/StarTech-com-U.../dp/B0047AALS0

On one of those, the "black" goes to the "top" of one stack,
the "red" goes to the top of a second stack. One connector
has +5V, D+, D-, GND, while the second connector only has +5V and GND.

black --- USB2 USB2 --- red The reason is because 1.1A Fuse
| USB2 USB2 | each stack shares a |
| | (loop) fuse. Using one USB2
+----------------------------+ from each stack, puts USB2
| "Hydra" cable the fuses in parallel.
to drive

On a laptop, you use a jack on either side of the laptop,
and chances are you won't get quite as much current as on
a desktop, before one or both fuses open.

*******

A new motherboard would be relatively expensive, and the
expansion capabilities on the low end stuff are pretty limited.
In some ways, your new board could be worse than the old one.

It takes about a month of study, to figure out what to buy,
and not pay too much for it. If you rush the purchase process
too quickly, you'll only end up replacing it a year or two
from now.

*******

Paul
  #4  
Old January 30th 19, 12:13 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware
John McGaw
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 677
Default Time For A New Motherboard?

On 1/29/2019 3:49 PM, tb wrote:
I use Clonezilla Live to back up a PC drive to a portable external HD
with a USB-A cable.

Recently Clonezilla Live has not been able to complete the job...
It basically seems to hang anywhere during the backup process. The
time left to complete the backup shown on the screen increases
continuously and the % of backup already done does not change.

I know that there is nothing wrong with the Clonezilla Live DVD or the
portable external hard drive because I can back up another PC's drive
without a hitch using the same USB-A cable.

My guess is that I have a USB port problem with PC#1 and it might be
time to purchase another motherboard. (The PC is nine years old...)

PS: I have tried using all the USB ports that are present on the PC
with the same results.

What do the experts think of this issue?


There is one other commonality you seem to have overlooked -- those
symptoms can easily be the system's own internal (not the backup) with a
"bad spot" which the backup software just cannot get past (an obscure data
file which hasn't been otherwise accessed in years, for example, would
never be noticed in daily use). It is easy enough to test (and "fix") a
hard drive using a separate program or the old-school inbuilt chkdsk command.
  #5  
Old February 10th 19, 04:52 AM posted to alt.comp.hardware
Norm X[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 83
Default Time For A New Motherboard?

"tb" wrote

snippage

My guess is that I have a USB port problem with PC#1 and it might be
time to purchase another motherboard. (The PC is nine years old...)


I have a MOBO that is older than that, but since every other component in
the case has been replaced and/or upgraded several time I cannot say that PC
is 11 years old. My 8GB RAM is brand new. The issue for me is to wait until
the price of new parts becomes affordable. Similar in logic to maintaining
an old used car, mine 2005.



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