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'[EE]:: Hard Drive failure rates'
2008\02\24@022738 by Apptech

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Some first year hard disk failure rates from a desktop PC
seller

   http://storagemojo.com/2007/04/05/finally-some-drive-model-failure-numbers/

Numbers after drive type are quantity in sample and dead
drives

A "safe" conclusion is failure rates in the 2% to 4% range
can be expected overall and that your single drive may have
a 100% failure in the first year.
(You could guesstimate that it has about a 1:30 chance of
100% failure in the first year but that's pushing the data a
little.

Whatever, it certainly shows that backup is needed if you
value your data.

I have here two x Seagate 320 GB Barracuda 7200.10 drives.
Both failed in about a year. One is mine and one is a
friend's. Mine MAY possibly have some photos with no copy
elsewhere, and may not. My friends has (or had) valuable
business data on it. Both drives seek forlornly every few
seconds forever. In both instances, swapping the on board
controller card for a known good one does not alter the
behaviour. Anyone had any experience of this type of fault
in this model of drive.

____________

Hard Drive Model# of UnitsFailure %
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 250GB SATAII    280    3.21%

Seagate SATA Barracuda 80GB    271    2.58%
Western Digital SATA Raptor 74GB    592    2.03%
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATAII    202    1.98%
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 160GB SATAII    265    1.89%
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 80GB SATAII    403    1.74%
Western Digital ATA100 80.0GB WD800JB    290    1.72%
Western Digital SATA Raptor 150GB    278    1.44%
Total # of drives    2581    2.05%


       Russell


2008\02\24@054611 by Dario Greggio

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Apptech wrote:
> behaviour. Anyone had any experience of this type of fault
> in this model of drive.

I can confirm something like this: I had my biggest troubles with
Seagate drives (despite their "name" and "brand reputation") , followed
by Western Digital.

Maxtor IMO are the best/most endurable - maybe not as performant...


--
Ciao, Dario

2008\02\24@071631 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Sun, Feb 24, 2008 at 6:45 PM, Dario Greggio <spam_OUTadpm.toTakeThisOuTspaminwind.it> wrote:
> I can confirm something like this: I had my biggest troubles with
> Seagate drives (despite their "name" and "brand reputation") , followed
> by Western Digital.
>
> Maxtor IMO are the best/most endurable - maybe not as performant...
>

Maxtor is now part of Seagate. Right I think they are killing Maxtor.
Anyway, Seagate bought Maxtor to kill a competitor.

As for the failing rate, not so sure if Seagate is particularly bad or
not. But Seagate is the only one who offers 5 year warranty here in
Singapore. Seagate still has a big presense in Singapore even though
a large part of Seagate has moved out of Singapore (to Malaysia and
other countries). Western Digital moved out of Singapore long ago.

Xiaofan

2008\02\24@073558 by Dario Greggio

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Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> Maxtor is now part of Seagate. Right I think they are killing Maxtor.
> Anyway, Seagate bought Maxtor to kill a competitor.

I see, a pity then :-(

I don't know when it happened, you can probably tell me.
I've seen that difference in uears from 1993 to, say 2001 or so.
Maxtor have been better throughout all this time, up to now. (I almost
stopped buying Seagate at then end of the 90s, except if a *very* good
price was out at the time)

--
Ciao, Dario

2008\02\24@085014 by sergio masci

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On Sun, 24 Feb 2008, Dario Greggio wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Seagate has a bad reputation amoung the public but a good one in the
storage industry. The biggest problem with home users is that the majority
are not aware how a highly engineered delicate piece of hardware should be
treated. ESD what's that! Running HOT, must be designed to do that! Came
shipped in a jiffy bad, must be ok or they wouldn't ship it that way!

How many people take anti static precautions when installing a HD? Heck
I've even heard storries of people connecting / disconnecting HDs with the
power still on. And I've seen tech support guys walk across a 20m
carpetted room with an unprotected HD, then place it on the floor, open up
a machine and install it.

What about letting the HD come up to room temperature before breaking the
seal on the antistatic bag - what condensation problems.

I know a specialist who swears by seagate but he insists they need to be
treated with respect.

I used to swear by IBM hard discs. They used to come shipped in special
containers. Ran for several years without ANY problems. Then I started to
receive them packed loose in bigger boxes with other items, then jiffy
bags. I make it clear to my suppliers now that I will not accept discs
shipped like this.

I don't know what else we should expect though, from box shifters who's
goal is to cut costs to the bone because we demand cheap hardware.

Regards
Sergio Masci

2008\02\24@091048 by Steven Howes

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On 24 Feb 2008, at 15:55, sergio masci wrote:

> Seagate has a bad reputation amoung the public but a good one in the
> storage industry. The biggest problem with home users is that the  
> majority
> are not aware how a highly engineered delicate piece of hardware  
> should be
> treated. ESD what's that! Running HOT, must be designed to do that!  
> Came
> shipped in a jiffy bad, must be ok or they wouldn't ship it that way!

I had some maxtor disks i was fairly abusive to (hot swapping etc)...  
had to remove ketchup on one occasion. Worked fine for years!

2008\02\24@100548 by Dr Skip

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IME, Maxtor drives are very sensitive to temperature. I've seen 3+ drives of
theirs go bad when case fans went bad over the last 10 yrs, but the Seagate and
WD drives were fine, as was everything else in all cases.

Dario Greggio wrote:
> Apptech wrote:
>
> I can confirm something like this: I had my biggest troubles with
> Seagate drives (despite their "name" and "brand reputation") , followed
> by Western Digital.
>
> Maxtor IMO are the best/most endurable - maybe not as performant...
>
>

2008\02\24@104801 by Kenneth Lumia

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All hard drives are sensitive to temperature.  In fact, that is
the leading cause of failure.  Actually, the cause is more
accurately poor choice of drive/housing/cooling/ventilation.
Very few people think about matching a HDD to the environment
(case) when designing a system; they just grab a HDD and bolt it
into the rails.   Since it fits, it must be ok.

Here's an incomplete checklist:

1. Is the drive rated to 65C or 70C?  The extra 5C spindle
temperature makes a huge difference.
2. Is the drive mounted in the best heat sinking position?
(sorry, can't elaborate)
3. Is the drive mounted to take advantage of best convective
cooling? (sorry, can't elaborate)
4. Is the drive used in a typical PC, or is it under heavy use
for long periods (for example running multiple streaming videos)
that cause huge amounts of seeking (head motor heating)?
5. Did you make sure you didn't exceed the temperature gradient
for the HDD?  This is both temperature from one end of the device
to the other and the time from cold "off" to final temperature.

The HDD failure rates mentioned earlier are way too high for a
properly designed system. (again, sorry can't elaborate).

-Ken

{Original Message removed}

2008\02\24@111127 by David VanHorn

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People wonder why I'm willing to spend $400 on a PC case, and buy a
premium power supply..

:)  Lian-Li / Koolance cases are really good.

Thick aluminum plates that the drives heatsink to, the drives and the
power supply are each in their own airflow path, separate from the
motherboard.

Happy system.

2008\02\24@111202 by sergio masci

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On Sun, 24 Feb 2008, Steven Howes wrote:

{Quote hidden}

But all this tells us is that maxtor drives worked for you. If you'd had a
mix of drives, got them all from the same supplier and treated them all
the same THEN you would be in a position to tell us which ones had more
endurance.

Regards
Sergio masci

2008\02\24@114925 by Steven Howes

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On 24 Feb 2008, at 18:18, sergio masci wrote:

>> I had some maxtor disks i was fairly abusive to (hot swapping etc)...
>> had to remove ketchup on one occasion. Worked fine for years!
>
> But all this tells us is that maxtor drives worked for you. If you'd  
> had a
> mix of drives, got them all from the same supplier and treated them  
> all
> the same THEN you would be in a position to tell us which ones had  
> more
> endurance.

I don't usually buy 10 different drives at the same time. No one does.  
All we can do is give our personal experience right? So get back in  
your box. :)

2008\02\24@122538 by sergio masci

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On Sun, 24 Feb 2008, Steven Howes wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Don't be silly.

The point is you cannot say your treatment of your maxtor drives is as
harsh as someone elses treatment of their seagate drives.

The only real information you gave us is that you're happy with your
maxtor drives. But even then we don't know how you measure happyness. Are
you happy if you find a buck on the sidewalk or are you unhappy if you
only win 10,000 bucks on the lottery.

Regards
Sergio Masci - standing on top of the box :)


2008\02\24@123852 by Martin Klingensmith

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Dario Greggio wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>
>> Maxtor is now part of Seagate. Right I think they are killing Maxtor.
>> Anyway, Seagate bought Maxtor to kill a competitor.
>
> I see, a pity then :-(
>
> I don't know when it happened, you can probably tell me.
> I've seen that difference in uears from 1993 to, say 2001 or so.
> Maxtor have been better throughout all this time, up to now. (I almost
> stopped buying Seagate at then end of the 90s, except if a *very* good
> price was out at the time)
>

I had several friends who had nothing but trouble with Maxtor in the
years around 2000. I've never had a Western Digital drive fail, and I've
personally used over 20 over the years. Maybe it's all luck.
-
Martin

2008\02\24@130612 by Harold Hallikainen

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> I had several friends who had nothing but trouble with Maxtor in the
> years around 2000. I've never had a Western Digital drive fail, and I've
> personally used over 20 over the years. Maybe it's all luck.

I've never had ANY hard drive fail in the 20 years or so I've been using
them. I think it's because I do frequent backups.

Harold


--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2008\02\24@131300 by Steven Howes

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>> So get back in your box. :)
>
> Regards
> Sergio Masci - standing on top of the box :)

That was smooth, i'll give ya that one.

2008\02\24@133206 by Herbert Graf

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On Sun, 2008-02-24 at 10:05 -0800, Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> > I had several friends who had nothing but trouble with Maxtor in the
> > years around 2000. I've never had a Western Digital drive fail, and I've
> > personally used over 20 over the years. Maybe it's all luck.
>
> I've never had ANY hard drive fail in the 20 years or so I've been using
> them. I think it's because I do frequent backups.

I'm not sure how backing up your data affects hard drive longevity...

FWIW, in my personal computing I've seen three hard drives fail in my
years. The first was a 340MB conner (remember them?). One was an IBM
13.6GB Deskstar, they were nicknamed "Deathstars" by the industry...

The last was my brother's IBM laptop drive.

As a result, I've never purchased another IBM/Hitachi hard drive.

In my professional work we had a large number of Fujitsu drives fail
(don't remember the size, not huge, I think 10GB?). Around 50% of the
drives failed after only a few years. Granted they weren't treated the
best, but the Seagates purchased at the same time and in the same
room/machines all still work to this day.

As for which ones I do purchase, I personally consider consumer hard
drive a commodity type of purchase, there isn't much on the quality side
to differentiate them anymore. I mostly buy based on noise figures these
days. Drive with liquid bearings are VERY quiet, and that's what my
first criteria is (what percentage of drives use liquid bearings
anyways?).

My last 4 purchases were all Maxtors.

TTYL

2008\02\24@134415 by Martin Klingensmith

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Herbert Graf wrote:
> On Sun, 2008-02-24 at 10:05 -0800, Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>>> I had several friends who had nothing but trouble with Maxtor in the
>>> years around 2000. I've never had a Western Digital drive fail, and I've
>>> personally used over 20 over the years. Maybe it's all luck.
>> I've never had ANY hard drive fail in the 20 years or so I've been using
>> them. I think it's because I do frequent backups.
>
> I'm not sure how backing up your data affects hard drive longevity...
>

One could argue that if he did not backup his data, the drive would fail
to spite him.

-
Martin

2008\02\24@135813 by Cedric Chang

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>
> On Feb 24, 2008, at 11:31 AM, Herbert Graf wrote:
>
>
> On Sun, 2008-02-24 at 10:05 -0800, Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>>> I had several friends who had nothing but trouble with Maxtor in the
>>> years around 2000. I've never had a Western Digital drive fail,  
>>> and I've
>>> personally used over 20 over the years. Maybe it's all luck.
>>
>> I've never had ANY hard drive fail in the 20 years or so I've been  
>> using
>> them. I think it's because I do frequent backups.
>
> I'm not sure how backing up your data affects hard drive longevity...

It is the "watched pot doesn't boil" principle
CC

2008\02\24@141407 by John Gardner

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> I've never had ANY hard drive fail in the 20 years or so I've been using
> them. I think it's because I do frequent backups.
> Harold

My experience as well. Just lucky, perhaps ...

Jack


On 2/24/08, Cedric Chang <.....ccKILLspamspam@spam@nope9.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\02\24@160026 by Harold Hallikainen

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>>> I've never had ANY hard drive fail in the 20 years or so I've been
>>> using
>>> them. I think it's because I do frequent backups.
>>
>> I'm not sure how backing up your data affects hard drive longevity...
>
> It is the "watched pot doesn't boil" principle

Similarly, the one time I did not buy insurance on a rental car, I got hit
by a city bus.

Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2008\02\24@170210 by Apptech

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> I used to swear by IBM hard discs. They used to come
> shipped in special
> containers. Ran for several years without ANY problems.
> Then I started to
> receive them packed loose in bigger boxes with other
> items, then jiffy
> bags. I make it clear to my suppliers now that I will not
> accept discs
> shipped like this.

One of our largest IT wholesalers was surprised when I
returned a hard disk that had been delivered in a box
surrounded by copious foam "peanuts". Or, it had started the
journey "surrounded" but had of course worked its way to the
bottom of the box in short order. They really really didn't
understand my point.


       Russell

2008\02\24@170210 by Apptech

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> I'm not sure how backing up your data affects hard drive
> longevity...

I assumed that he meant that Murphy had noted it would be a
waste of effort to crash his disks if they were well backed
up.

       Russell

2008\02\24@174547 by sergio masci

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On Mon, 25 Feb 2008, Apptech wrote:

{Quote hidden}

And don't you just hate it when you NEED to explain to people that items
inside a box NEED to be protected from each other as well as the outside
world.

Regards
Sergio

2008\02\24@175519 by Gacrowell

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Couple of disk drive war stories from the short time I worked at Intel:

They were shipping a server system with a 4-drive raid.  Before
shipping, that system had to pass a 24 (or 48?) hour burn-in test.
Because of the 2-3% disk drive failure rate, up to 10% of the systems
were failing, and then having to go thru the test process with new
drives - production was backing up in test.  They had hired a disk drive
guru who had HALT tested hundreds of drives to select the best one.  He
assured management that all the drives considered had approximately the
same 'industry standard' failure rate and that changing disk drive
suppliers probably wouldn't change anything.

Against his advice, management finally blew up and ordered a disk drive
change anyway.  The new drive was smaller capacity, slower access, cost
more,... And wound up having the same failure rate.  The disk drive guy
quit.


On another occasion they were having an inordinately high disk drive
failure rate; well above the regular 2-3%.  Drives were delivered to an
Intel warehouse, and then shipped to the production floor as needed.
They tried an experiment of having the manufacturer delivering directly
to the production site.  The failure rate went back to 'normal'.

Gary







> {Original Message removed}

2008\02\24@180528 by Rich

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I have also had Maxtor failures.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Harold Hallikainen" <haroldspamKILLspamhallikainen.org>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <.....piclistKILLspamspam.....mit.edu>
Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2008 1:05 PM
Subject: Re: [EE]:: Hard Drive failure rates


{Quote hidden}

> --

2008\02\24@181910 by Gacrowell

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Shipping horror story - we routinely order microprobes from the company
warehouse.  These are the really tiny probes used to probe wafers on a
probe station.  They come individually in a small protective plastic
box.  For some unknown reason the warehouse workers were taking them out
of the boxes, shoving them in a plastic bag, and sending them to us.
$600 a pop, utterly destroyed.  (multiple times)

Gary

> {Original Message removed}

2008\02\24@182032 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Feb 24, 2008, at 2:54 PM, EraseMEgacrowellspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTmicron.com wrote:

> 2-3% disk drive failure rate [during burn-in]

What I want to know is how bad is disk failure rate once you're past  
the initial "this was shipped badly, installed using ESD-ignoring  
procedures, in a hot case with poor airflow" errors.  I mean, I just  
had a drive (Seagate, actually) fail (SMART errors, even!) during its  
initial formatting.  While that's annoying, I don't mind nearly so  
much as if it had failed after I had moved all sorts of important  
files to it...

BillW


2008\02\24@183949 by Gacrowell

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Sorry, can't help there.  I should have put that story in the context of
being over 10 years ago.  I do know that when I worked for a
manufacturer in the '80's, the drive DOA rate was around 5%, so I guess
you can say that things are 'better'.

Gary

> {Original Message removed}

2008\02\24@200848 by Cedric Chang

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AWESOME   maybe they had a use for the boxes    :-]
cc

>
> On Feb 24, 2008, at 4:18 PM, <gacrowellspamspam_OUTmicron.com>  
> <@spam@gacrowellKILLspamspammicron.com> wrote:
>
> Shipping horror story - we routinely order microprobes from the  
> company
> warehouse.  These are the really tiny probes used to probe wafers on a
> probe station.  They come individually in a small protective plastic
> box.  For some unknown reason the warehouse workers were taking  
> them out
> of the boxes, shoving them in a plastic bag, and sending them to us.
> $600 a pop, utterly destroyed.  (multiple times)
>
> Gary
>
>> {Original Message removed}

2008\02\25@104040 by alan smith

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I just had my samsung drive fail on me last Friday.  Its in a HP machine...I call it my render box because I do all my movies and photography work on it.  I store my finished work on my network drive.   It would start to boot...then reset itself.  Took it to my local guy...said clone this....huge amounts of bad sectors all over the place.  I am getting a Seagate 500G SATA so I hope that it will behave itself.  HP cooling is better than the generic cases at least that I have noticed.  The 5 year warranty...great....new drive BUT doesnt do you any good if your data isnt  backed up right?
 

     
---------------------------------
Looking for last minute shopping deals?  Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.

2008\02\25@110445 by David VanHorn

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On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 10:40 AM, alan smith <KILLspammicro_eng2KILLspamspamyahoo.com> wrote:
> I just had my samsung drive fail on me last Friday.  Its in a HP machine...I call it my render box because I do all my movies and photography work on it.  I store my finished work on my network drive.   It would start to boot...then reset itself.  Took it to my local guy...said clone this....huge amounts of bad sectors all over the place.  I am getting a Seagate 500G SATA so I hope that it will behave itself.  HP cooling is better than the generic cases at least that I have noticed.  The 5 year warranty...great....new drive BUT doesnt do you any good if your data isnt  backed up right?


That's true..

We used to chew through SCSI drives used for a news server.
Basically, we had one in the machine, one as a spare, and one getting
replaced at all times.  That was even with a 5" fan mounted directly
below the drive blowing cool air on it.

If you want to stress-test a drive, download Dnews and let people use
your server.

2008\02\25@120702 by Dr Skip

picon face
Perhaps I should rephrase - Maxtor drives appear to be much more temperature
sensitive than other brands.... ;)

Over 15-20 years, ~6 Maxtors in drive cases or systems, and 1 of other brands
in the same cases and system boxes have failed. Enough for me not to use them
anymore. They weren't treated differently than 2 dozen other drives + over the
same time frame, and I never put all the same type or mfgr of drive in a system
(in case there IS a design flaw or 'sensitivity').

A fan can fail or slow down at any time, most likely while one is away, so
while some components might be fine if coddled, I prefer more robust ones.



Kenneth Lumia wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\02\25@120802 by Rafael Vidal Aroca

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   One interesting thing i'd like to add:

   Google researchers did a great job evaluating thousands of hard disk
drives, and published a paper about it that is available in this link:

   http://labs.google.com/papers/disk_failures.pdf

http://www.engadget.com/2007/02/18/massive-google-hard-drive-survey-turns-up-very-interesting-thing/

   Some surprising news is that drives that are cooled hard disks fail
more than the ones that are operating "a little hot"! And that SMART
techonology does not always works very well.

   Anyway, its a great article to be read about hard drive failure

[]s Rafael.
 


alan smith wrote:
> I just had my samsung drive fail on me last Friday.  Its in a HP machine...I call it my render box because I do all my movies and photography work on it.  I store my finished work on my network drive.   It would start to boot...then reset itself.  Took it to my local guy...said clone this....huge amounts of bad sectors all over the place.  I am getting a Seagate 500G SATA so I hope that it will behave itself.  HP cooling is better than the generic cases at least that I have noticed.  The 5 year warranty...great....new drive BUT doesnt do you any good if your data isnt  backed up right?
>    
>
>        
> ---------------------------------
> Looking for last minute shopping deals?  Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.
>  

2008\02\26@062448 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Seagate has a bad reputation amoung the public but a good
>one in the storage industry.

Hmm, ones I dealt with didn't have a good reputation. Each time a drive
failed it jammed up a scsi channel and brought the mainframe to its knees.
Luckily the drives were in a cabinet set up to be hot swappable, so you
could just pull the drive, the channel cleared of its congestion, the
mainframe buffers emptied and performance was restored without needing to
take the system down.

Didn't help that it was the IRD backup/development machine either ...

2008\02\26@065657 by sergio masci

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On Tue, 26 Feb 2008, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> >Seagate has a bad reputation amoung the public but a good
> >one in the storage industry.
>
> Hmm, ones I dealt with didn't have a good reputation. Each time a drive
> failed it jammed up a scsi channel and brought the mainframe to its knees.
> Luckily the drives were in a cabinet set up to be hot swappable, so you
> could just pull the drive, the channel cleared of its congestion, the
> mainframe buffers emptied and performance was restored without needing to
> take the system down.

Did this happen with any other make of drive or model of seagate drive?

Regards
Sergio

2008\02\26@075717 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Did this happen with any other make of drive or model of seagate drive?

We couldn't fit any other make or model. These were differential SCSI drives
with special software and formatted to 180 byte sectors to work on a
Burroughs mainframe. There was some failure mode in the controller that hung
up the SCSI channel, which in turn caused the mainframe to slowly eat all
its memory with disc buffers, making the mainframe grind to a slow halt.

Pulling the drive so the SCSI channel became operational allowed the buffers
to clear and everything then ran sweet. We just got exchange drives for the
faulty ones.

I suspect they had a batch of faulty differential interface chips that would
die in a non-failsafe (interface wise that is) manner. We never spent any
time attempting to work out what went wrong.

2008\02\26@092707 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Mon, Feb 25, 2008 at 2:31 AM, Herbert Graf <RemoveMEmailinglist4TakeThisOuTspamfarcite.net> wrote:

> One was an IBM
> 13.6GB Deskstar, they were nicknamed "Deathstars" by the industry...

That was quite infamous and I knew quite a few incidents related to
this particular drive.

> The last was my brother's IBM laptop drive.
> As a result, I've never purchased another IBM/Hitachi hard drive.

My last drive failure was a Dell Laptop Drive back in 2003 (SAMRT failure)
and Dell's US customer service was top notch (I was in US then) and
the replacement driver reached me in two days. The drive is
a Hitachi type.

> As for which ones I do purchase, I personally consider consumer hard
> drive a commodity type of purchase, there isn't much on the quality side
> to differentiate them anymore.

I believe this is the case.

> My last 4 purchases were all Maxtors.

There are no more Maxtor HDDs after they were purchased by Seagate.
The brand is still there but I believe they are made in the same factories.
And I think the brand is now mainly for the external drives. Even that
may change soon. I believe the Maxtor brand will disappear sooner or later.

Relevant news:
1. 5500 job cut in Maxtor Singapore.
query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9400EFDA113DF936A35750C0A9639C8B63
2. Seagate to close down Maxtor plants and 3500 job cuts
http://www.crn.com/it-channel/192202016

Singapore used to produce 90% of the HDD drive but now the industry
has shrunk by quite a bit resulting 10s of thousands of job loss. In 1999,
Western Digital closed its Singapore plant and cut about 2000 jobs.
Over the years, Seagate also trimmed its workforce in Singapore by
quite a lot. It still has a big presence in Singapore but has shifted
quite a big part to countries like Malaysia and China.


Xiaofan

2008\02\26@144400 by Philip Pemberton

face
flavicon
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gacrowell@micron.com wrote:
> Shipping horror story - we routinely order microprobes from the company
> warehouse.  These are the really tiny probes used to probe wafers on a
> probe station.  They come individually in a small protective plastic
> box.  For some unknown reason the warehouse workers were taking them out
> of the boxes, shoving them in a plastic bag, and sending them to us.
> $600 a pop, utterly destroyed.  (multiple times)

Probably not quite as bad, but annoying all the same...
Last week I bought four Altera FPGAs - 144-pin TQFP. Small, and a pig to
solder at the best of times. There were none left at the UK warehouse, so a
set were duly ordered in from a warehouse in Belgium and drop-shipped to me.

Catch: whoever packaged them decided to take them out of the factory hard
plastic tape/reel package, and shoved them into waffle-cut ESD foam.

Catch 2: The square holes in the ESD foam were obviously designed for
something about the size of a SOIC-28 chip. Far too small for the QFPs. So
they shoved the chips into said holes.

All but one arrived with the pins utterly mashed. I complained and another
batch of four were ordered from Belgium, along with a note on the order to the
effect of "leave them in factory packaging". So what happened next?

You guessed it. Same thing again.

Though thankfully the second batch of four arrived mostly intact... Three out
of four usable from the second batch, plus the one usable from the first batch.

But seriously. WTF?

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2008\02\27@041815 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>You guessed it. Same thing again.
>
>Though thankfully the second batch of four arrived mostly intact... Three
>out of four usable from the second batch, plus the one usable from the
>first batch.
>
>But seriously. WTF?

<VBG> did you take a photo of the first batch, to send as part of the
complaint?

Reminds me of buying a heap of 2102 1k x 1 RAM chips, when first getting
into microprocessors, just as they were becoming widespread. I think I
bought 64 of them, and they arrived through the post loose packed in a jiffy
bag - yes all that plastic bubble lining straight onto the chips.

I complained about the lack of static protection, marked each one with a
cross on the underside, right by pin 1 so I could identify them again, sent
them back, and received another batch, more suitably packed. Later on I
related the story to someone and he had bought the chips and used them.
Apparently they worked OK, but he had noticed the cross I scratched on them
and wondered what it was for.


'[EE]:: Hard Drive failure rates'
2008\03\17@085128 by Howard Winter
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Herbert,

(Late reply, I know - I haven't caught up from the New Year yet...)

On Sun, 24 Feb 2008 13:31:44 -0500, Herbert Graf wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Ah!  That's because of Howard's Law of Backups:

"The disk drive failure always occurs *just before* the next backup has completed"

If you do backups often enough, then the drive doesn't have time to realise, and fail, before you do the next one.  :-)

Of course if you don't do backups it doesn't invalidate the law, just brings into force Howard's Law of Failures:

"Any system will fail at the worst possible moment"

so in the case of a disk, that's when you've just spent many hours creating some edifice and saved it to the disk, just ahead of the deadline.

The Law is not to be confused with Howard's Rule of Backups:

"Never have just one copy of anything that you don't want to lose"

This includes having just a single backup copy, which is reused, because the above Laws say that the drive will fail when you've just started the backup, and have
thus destroyed the previous one by starting to write over it.  I've seen this happen countless times.  (It's not that they couldn't be counted, just that I didn't! :-)

It shouldn't need saying, but I'm going to anyway:  Make sure your backups are good!  I was involved in the recovery from a disaster some time ago where some
brain-donor reformatted the drive in a Netware server, without checking that there was a good backup (without even asking if there was!).  There wasn't, and the
resultant fallout involved hundreds of man-hours of re-keying, a serious detetioration in the client-IT relationship, and a six-figure compensation claim.

> FWIW, in my personal computing I've seen three hard drives fail in my
> years. The first was a 340MB conner (remember them?). One was an IBM
> 13.6GB Deskstar, they were nicknamed "Deathstars" by the industry...
>
> The last was my brother's IBM laptop drive.
>
> As a result, I've never purchased another IBM/Hitachi hard drive.

This is definitely a YMMV situation - I've had experience of disk failures of every make, and although the DeathStar range did have a bad patch (when they went
from 60 to 75GB, for some reason) all the others have had too.

> In my professional work we had a large number of Fujitsu drives fail
> (don't remember the size, not huge, I think 10GB?). Around 50% of the
> drives failed after only a few years. Granted they weren't treated the
> best, but the Seagates purchased at the same time and in the same
> room/machines all still work to this day.

My own preference for manufacturer, based purely on personal experience, is:

Seagate
Western Digital
Hitachi (yes, really!)

and the ones I avoid:

Maxtor
Fujitsu
Samsung

In fact it's probably a lottery, but you have to have some hope that you're doing some good to cling to!  :-)

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


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