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My question: Can a disk controller corrupt hard disks?

I ask this because I Have had 3 hard disks "go bad" and then become inaccessible over as many weeks. Is it possible that the (SATA) disk controller or something else is destroying the hard disks?

I don't believe that it's software (e.g. virus) that's doing this because I can audibly hear the disk "struggling" before it finally dies.

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How much old they are? Did you find any virus on them? – avirk Jun 18 '12 at 13:40
Well, cheap controllers are the primary reason RAIDs go out of sync or corrupt. – slhck Jun 18 '12 at 13:40
I would doublecheck the actual fault of each disk in a different PC, were they all new hard drives? In actual answer to your question: Yes. I have seen a disk controller damage hard drives (through voltage) although it was long before SATA... – HaydnWVN Jun 18 '12 at 13:42

I am sure that it is possible for a controller to corrupt a hard drive's file system, but I would expect that if the drive were put into another system, you would be able to format the drive and use without permanent harm. I won't say that it's impossible that a controller could permanently damage a drive somehow, it just seems unlikely to me.

As far as "something else" destroying the hard drive goes, I think that a more likely culprit for causing permanent inaccessibility is the power supply in the computer or perhaps even the electricity coming out of the wall itself, if you live in a place that suffers from lightning storms, brownouts or power cuts of whatever sort, bad grounding or anything else that might cause 'dirty' power.

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Yeah, definitely possible for a bad controller to muck up the file system, but it's much less likely for there to be physical damage to the drive. However, with some drive types (mostly older) the controller can sufficiently muck up the drive that a "physical" format is required to clean it up, and some system/drive configs can't do physical formatting. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 18 '12 at 15:13

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