Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a Samsung 1.5TB hard drive hooked up to an ECS H55H-I mini-ITX motherboard. I have XBMC 10 (modified Ubuntu 10.04) installed for use as an HTPC. The hard drive encounters occasional errors during normal use which cause it to be remounted read-only. I have updated the BIOS on the motherboard, changed the SATA cable and moved it to different ports on the motherboard, installed and re-installed the OS (including different versions of XBMC and generic ubuntu), all to no avail. I recently ran tests both with badblocks -sv and smartctl -t long. Both reported no errors.

This makes me think the motherboard or SATA controller is probably the issue. Does anyone know of any further tests I can do to help narrow this down?

The processor is a Core i3. I forget the model number but it's one of the 32nm ones with on-package graphics. There's no discrete video card or optical drive. The power supply is a 150W Rosewill (pretty sure) that came with the case.

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The power supply is a 150w Rosewill

I really pretty much doubt it is a 150w PSU, if it is, then it most likely will not be powerful enough to power your system, also given the fact it is a value PSU which makes it not a very stable product. One thing that I know is that the PSU must be the most powerful item in your system or it could result in all your other components going.

There aren't really any other tests you can do about your Hard Drive, perhaps connect the hard drive to a different SATA port, not in the same area, I believe that Motherboards come with two sets of SATA ports.

also have a look at your SATA cable to make sure it isn't damaged.

share|improve this answer
150W might be juuuust enough to power a properly-designed HTPC. I'm willing to bet it's causing the problems here though. – Shinrai Apr 5 '11 at 16:45
It's a mini-ITX motherboard so it only has 4 SATA ports and all are in the same area. I believe they're all on the same controller, but I'm not sure. 150W should be enough for this system, though. The combined TDP of the processor/graphics chip is 73W and the hard drive and motherboard together definitely don't draw more than 50W. – Drooling_Sheep Apr 5 '11 at 16:48
@Drooling_Sheep - Right, there's nothing wrong with the draw. The problem is that Rosewill makes crappy power supplies. :/ – Shinrai Apr 5 '11 at 17:27
@Shinrai I hooked it up to my voltmeter and the 12V rail never got below 11.93V no matter what kind of stress I put on it. The 5V rail was rather high at 5.19V but still within spec. I suppose I'll replace it anyway and hope that was the issue. – Drooling_Sheep Apr 6 '11 at 7:39

Here's a link to Seagate's Hard Drive Utility. A nice feature is that it is usable not only on their drives. I've seen some other utilities from hard drive manufacturers which only work if the firmware of the drive reports that it's one of theirs.

I saw a Windows executable and a DOS based test. I haven't tried the DOS based, it would probably be best for you since you're running Linux (you'll probably be able to download a CD and run it from bootup). Otherwise, it will at least let you run it from a Windows machine through an external enclosure (and hopefully rule out the hard drive or find an error)

Good luck with your drive!

share|improve this answer
I have an old windows computer sitting right next to it that I should be able to hook it up to. Do you know if this just looks at the SMART data or does other stuff? – Drooling_Sheep Apr 5 '11 at 16:57

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.