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I have a hard-drive problem with an HP EX475 MediaSmart Server running the Win2003-derived version of Windows Home Server.

About three months ago the machine started reporting read errors and corruption on its system drive, with lots of "delayed write failed" errors in the event log. It was loaded with three 500GB maxtor drives which had been in use for about four years. I decided that they were getting a old and needed to be replaced - so I bought three new 500GB Samsung drives, fitted them, re-installed the OS and restored my data from backup.

About a month after this the WHS console indicated that one of the drives needed to be repaired. I did this and the machine appeared to go into a repeated chkdsk/reboot cycle. After about 6 hours I stopped it and did a server recovery, which re-formatted the system drive and re-installed the OS.

About a week ago the drive health indicator for the system drive started indicating "Unhealthy". Running chkdsk in read-only mode on the C drive revealed 32 unreadable file record segments, made up of four groups of contiguous segment numbers. There are no errors in the event log.

I'm looking for some help on understanding what might be causing this. Its possible that one of the new Samsungs is failing, but I'm having a hard time believing this is most likely. I suspect a problem with the server itself, but I'm not sure what could cause drive errors. Maybe the power supply to the drive?

I'm reluctant to chkdsk/repair the drive again - especially since I don't know which files (if any) the corrupt file record segments correspond to. Is there a way to discover this? I don't mind buying another new drive, but I suspect the same thing will happen.

I'd be grateful for advice on how to diagnose / tackle this.

share|improve this question
Difficult to guess, but the power supply may be faulty, as well as the controller for the drives. Worth testing both, I think. – user3463 Apr 24 '12 at 23:49
Is the system on an UPS? – Psycogeek Apr 25 '12 at 5:00
@Randolph Any tips for how to test them. I have a digital multimeter but thats all. – Andy Johnson Apr 25 '12 at 8:32
@Psycogeek Not on a UPS. I live in a city and power-cuts almost never happen. It is plugged into a domestic-quality surge suppressor though. – Andy Johnson Apr 25 '12 at 8:39
For the PSU you'll want to see that it's outputting a little over 12V, but not much. Anything under 12V could definitely kill components. I'm talking 0.1V increments here, nothing major. As for the drive controller, that's more difficult (swap out). But on balance of probabilities, your PSU is more likely the problem. – user3463 Apr 25 '12 at 16:24

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