Server destroying and burning my Hard Drives [closed]

Before I start, let me inform you that I have been working as an IT Manager for large international companies for my whole life, and I have received masters degree from IT technology. I therefore believe, I am fully competent to do what am doing now. However, now I face an uneasy challenge which I have never seen before. My troubleshooting is very limited because every single failure in solving it costs me significant amount of money.

I am working on my startup project, part of which is having a storage server with 72 TB of storage space. I have built the storage server myself, as I have built hundreds of PCs and servers before. My problem now is, that the server keeps destroying the hard drives.

After turning on the Server, all the hard drives either burn with a cloud of smoke and a burn mark on the HDD board or are not recognized on any other PC where I connect them to afterwards.

As my resources are limited, I have built my server from value parts where possible:

As you probably understand, I can not troubleshoot and test my progress on additional hard drives. Every failure would mean another HDD destroyed. I have destroyed already 12 of brand new WD Red 4TB HDDs.

I came here for an advice, how to troubleshoot and identify the broken component. Would purchasing a multimeter and measuring power output on key connectors help with my problem? How should I progress? Do you have any other idea?

What you believe can be causing the problem? Of course, all the connectors are correctly connected. This was the first thing I have checked. Moreover, they would not fit with any other connectors, so they are surely correctly connected. My motherboard behaves correctly, it does not randomly reboot.

In this situation any advice will be worth of considering. But please, remember, I do not have any spare PSU or chassis with 20 bays to replace and test again.

The 20-bay storage chassis has backplanes which connect the HDDs together. Do you think that there might be something wrong with the backplanes that would result in such problems?

Thank you in advance.


I’m a bit iffy on the competence bit. I’m a IT management grad and they don’t teach you squat about hardware. There’s a few simple truths here

  • At some point of time dead hardware is dead hardware.

Time/effort costs money. You may not be able to fix this

  • Hard drives arn’t free

    well unless you have a service contract that covers everything. We do. Our supplier will send us new drives via DHL in 4 hours for our drive enclosures. There’s a reason real server stuff costs money

  • STUFF IS BURNING OUT is never a good sign.

The magic smoke must not escape

  • Damn it jim, you’re an IT manager, not a hardware engineer

You actually don’t really have a good enough understanding of hardware to fix it. Hell, our supplier just swapped out our entire enclosure when we had some small part break.

If its new? Its under warranty. Use it.

I’d also consider a few incorrect notions you would have. Old servers arn’t workstations in most places (We run our servers to the ground, and our workstations get rotated down. We don’t use our servers as workstations). A server would have shiny things like redundant power (which a workstation would not) and a workstation would be an e-atx box, rather than a rackmount.

School dosen’t count for much sometimes, common sense does, and common sense is your hardware is broken and you need to get it replaced under warranty if its new and the damn thing is eating hard drives

FWIW, its the enclosure.

Source : Link , Question Author : Bunkai.Satori , Answer Author : Community

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