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   Undertoad  Sunday Sep 2 07:17 PM

9/2: Dead hard drive

Oh, this isn't fair at all: this is the drive that died today, which is why some of the images on the system won't show up right now, and there might be a few remaining gotchas that might prevent the system from operating normally. I don't think so, but with partial restores you can wind up breaking things without even knowing.

It isn't fair because this image isn't going to be compelling to Image of the Day visitors. I'll try to make up for it with another backlog clearing tomorrow or some day soon.

The sharp-eyed amongst you might see that this is a Quantum. It's a 9 Gig SCSI, U2W.

Over time I will probably take this thing apart to see the guts. It was manufactured 9/16/99, so I guess in theory it's still under warranty, but like I'm gonna do anything about that now. I forget which vendor of the week I bought this one from.

You just know this thing has a rated MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) of 200,000 hours or so, maybe even 300,000 hours. No question but that it should have lived longer. It's a server-class drive, used in a server, but not even used as hard as some server drives are used.

The drive began to report errors a few days ago, which gave me some time to scout out and get a replacement (an IBM 10,000 rpm deal). Today I decided to do the work of getting the new drive in, which was just in time; in the process of recovering all the data, it began failing a lot harder. As a result, I did lose some data. I have backups going back a way, so I was able to restore an awful lot, but there were a few files missing from the last week. That's why some of the images are missing.

jaguar  Monday Sep 3 02:08 AM

Buggar...Quantum too, i've seen a quantum dropped off a 2m block of lockers with no ill effects....Always had faith in them..
If you have/had hte doc you could probably just send it back to quantum directly, never mind the resaler.

Count Zero  Monday Sep 3 01:43 PM

I also lost a quantum SCSI hard drive once... 6 gigs. 3 years ago, I think. Simply died on me.

I left something compiling on my machine, and went to get some coffee. When I came back, the compiler had frozen. The mouse still worked, but when I tried to open another shell, everything just stopped. Since I was using gnu/linux, it could only have been a hardware defect. The message from the SCSI controller during boot only confirmed that.

When I opened the drive later on, I found one of the heads dangling from its support... Pretty lame.

mbpark  Monday Sep 3 02:11 PM

At least you're using SCSI

Thank god you're not running IDE like most of the PenguinOS devotees running servers these days.

However, Quantum drives are now Maxtor drives, since Maxtor bought their tech, and is reselling them. Actually, they're pretty much blowing them out. Pricewatch will help you find very cheap replacements.

Then again, I'm a Seagate person myself here, since I've had good experiences with them here (and have gone through many many many Barracuda and Cheetah drives with 2 failures in 4 years).

I guess time to start thinking RAID .


dave  Tuesday Sep 4 11:21 AM

Tony -

Definitely don't take it apart. I've got 13 computers of my own in my house right now, plus 3 of my dad's, my girlfriend's and my dad's girlfriend's - occasionally hard drives fail. Go to Quantum's website and see if they have an on-line return procedure. Basically, this will give you an RMA, you ship it back to them and they ship you a new (or repaired, but highly unlikely, since it generally isn't cost-effective) drive. You don't need to have anything except the drive to do this - no receipt, no manual, anything. If you call them, you can generally have them send you a replacement first, and then you pack up the old drive in the box they sent the new one in and ship it back to them (most of the time, postage paid!).

Most of the time, the manufacturer sends back a bigger drive than you sent in - it's to keep you buying their products ("hey, they're a good company, they sent me a bigger drive back") and because they generally don't have the older drives laying around. So they pull the next biggest size that they have available. In the summer of '99 I sent back a 4.3 gig drive to Maxtor and got a 17.2 back.

If you're intent on pulling a drive apart, send me that one and I'll hook you up with a drive you can destroy No sense in trashing a perfectly good (once you send it in and get it replaced) hard drive.

Undertoad  Tuesday Sep 4 12:13 PM

Thanks, but I'm taking the goddamn thing apart. Quantum has been bought by Maxtor, and Maxtor's "No-Quibble" policy insists that you run a utility of theirs on the drive to ensure that it is actually defective, if all you are reporting is bad sectors. The utility is Windows only and all my SCSI chains are on Linux systems. And the only system I have the right to really mess with has a two-device cable with two devices on it.

Not that I would reinstall a bad drive just to run a utility on it. I have better things to do with my time than to have to quibble with a no-quibble support policy. Like buying drives from other companies.

And I'm not sending the drive to anyone, sorry, because there is still sensitive data on it. Including all the Cellar information...

Now then, 16 systems? How can we convince you to run Genome@Home for the Cellar team?

dave  Tuesday Sep 4 12:37 PM

heh. i can do it. here are the computers i can use to do that -

-new ibook running macos x exclusively, so if there's a macosx client, i can do it (or a unix one)

-jenni's imac, which she runs os9 on, so if there's an os9 client, i can do it

-retro gaming box running win2k, so if there's a win2k client, i can do it

-debian box under my bed that isn't doing much at the moment, so if there's a linux client, i can do it

-powermacg4 dual 800 (i don't have this yet, but when i do in 2 weeks or so, mark me up to 19 computers in the house and watch this thing crunch numbers)... it'll run osx exclusively (i got into mac hardware for osx, can you tell?), so if there's a macosx client that can take advantage of dual processors, mmmmm boy...

-i might do it on my main machine if it doesn't eat up too much cpu, since i use this machine for *everything* and i need it to be nice and responsive. it's running linux

-i might be able to run it on my dad's linux box

-the rest of my machines don't talk to the outside world, so it'd be kinda useless. can't run it on my dad's 2 windows boxes, nor my dad's girlfriend's computer, so... i can put at least 5 machines on it, maybe 7... when i get my sun box (probably end of november) and my gaming box (probably in a month or two, dual processor athlons, mmmm), i'll put those on it too.

as for maxtor's no-quibble shit, i'm in the same boat as you - i didn't have a windows box until about 2 weeks ago (when i threw together spare parts so i could play worms2) - i just told 'em i couldn't get the computer to recognize the drive, and that i was very disappointed with them for treating me like i was lying. hop on the high horse with them and act like you're going to take your business else where - they jump through hoops. 'course, i only buy seagate, wd & ibm drives now, but ya know... 17.2 > 4.3...

'course if you're hellbent on destr^H^H^H^H^Htaking apart the drive - try slamming a screw driver through the drive platters! they don't call it a "hard drive" for nothin'!

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