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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started off with a 40gig Maxtor HD that I got pretty cheap....well that lasted about two months. Sent it back. They sent me a 60gig, nice free upgrade......this one lasted about three months. What the hell is going on here? Couple of things to notice. While the maxtor was out I got a 40 gig WD that has been my OS drive since the first crash and that is running fine. The two maxtors have died making clicking noises and spinning up and down. The second maxtor was placed below the WD in the case, they weren't very hot when I checked them out today. What could be killing these drives? The only difference between the two drives is the Maxtor is closer to the onboard speaker, about 6 inches. Could that be a problem? Never had a prob like that before, or am I just having bad luck with Maxtor? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

-Svence
 

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I've had a couple of Maxtor drives die on me in past few years - their quality has really gone to hell, while Seagate's has gotten much better. Go figure.


- Rick
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by csvencer
I started off with a 40gig Maxtor HD that I got pretty cheap....well that lasted about two months. Sent it back. They sent me a 60gig, nice free upgrade......this one lasted about three months. What the hell is going on here? Couple of things to notice. While the maxtor was out I got a 40 gig WD that has been my OS drive since the first crash and that is running fine. The two maxtors have died making clicking noises and spinning up and down. The second maxtor was placed below the WD in the case, they weren't very hot when I checked them out today. What could be killing these drives? The only difference between the two drives is the Maxtor is closer to the onboard speaker, about 6 inches. Could that be a problem? Never had a prob like that before, or am I just having bad luck with Maxtor? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

-Svence
Drives are pretty reliable these days, so much so, individual drives are not QA'd very much, but samples are taken off the manufacturing line, with the number determined by what statistical accuracy they are seeking. For example, they want a 50% probabity of finding a bad run of drives, and that calls for testing 10 drives pulled out at different times out of a run of 1000.


These numbers are made up, but you get the point. I think you got a bad drive, and then were returned a drive that was returned to them, but tested "good" and reassigned as an RMA return drive. I would send the current bad Maxtor back too. Just in case, you can do a Google search on the exact Maxtor model number and add adjective like "dead" "dying" "clicking" and you may discover a model with issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My setup is:

Asus A7N8X Deluxe (first drive was on a Aopen AK77-8XN)

MSI GeForce 4 ti4200

AMD XP 2000

256 megs ram

Zalmann Cooling for CPU

Enermax Case

Win XP

Asus 52x CD

Toshiba DVD


-svence
 

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I just had a 47 gig maxtor, and a 80 gig maxtor die...


Also had a 13 gig WD drive die which breaks my heart honestly because It had pictures that cant be replaced on it. I though I had them backed up and was mistaken

so now my first real vacation with my wife to london and paris, christmas 2002, my sons 5th birthday, my daughters first time playing in snow and many more memories are now all lost forever :(
 

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Always print your digital photos. I don't trust hard drives one bit and I trust CDRs even less. That reminds me, I better do some backing up. I would probably cry if my HTPC HD died.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So what HD's can we trust? Obviously not maxtor. I know seagates are really quite, but are they gonna last the long run or what? I just want something that will not crap out on me, I really don't care about noise or speed for that matter just reliability. Who should I look to?

-Svence
 

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Quote:
So what HD's can we trust?
None. The best you can do is decrease your exposure to the risk of failure by backing up (preferably to off-site storage like tape in a safe deposit box) and redundancy (RAID mirroring / parity).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ron,

Any suggestions for what to use to backup? I would like to just backup my media drive to my other HD, the Western Digital. I tried messing with windows task scheduler but that was pointless. Is there a program I could get that will just back up one HD to another once a week or something? I guess it would be like a poor mans raid setup. Thanks.

-Svence
 

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Any half decent backup software should offer scheduling and the ability to back up to a "location" (I.E. your other HDD) rather than tape. Depending on what version of Windows you are using, the backup software that comes with Windows may work. The backup tool in Windows XP is fairly complete and offers scheduling.
 

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A lot of times these problems can be caused by a bad HD controller (or it's respective drivers in the case of data corruption) or sometimes even a bad cable or connector on a cable can cause this problem.


Also you should try to avoid using cheap extentions or fan power connectors with your hard drives as more often than not they can be cheap and the connector won't sit properly in the plug somtimes (not often though) causing power related issues on the HD.


Another often forgotten problem is with heat, try to keep some seperation between drives, that can be a killer.
 

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I had a hard disk crash last week and tried everything different cables and power leads even different computer. It was a Seagate Barra and only 6months old. After days of trying I got a new hard drive. A day or two after I installed it I read a response to a hard disk failure question on one of the newsgroups. So I grabbed my old hard disk and gave the stiction method a go and bingo it fired up, I had tried wobbling the drive but not what this guy suggested. So now I have my old drive back in and returned the new one. Maybe this will help somebody.

Phill


Coil Method

-------------

Near the power connector is a series of surface mounted compnents. If you

can identify the COIL you might be able to put a meter across it. If it is

blown then it acts the same as a fuse.


By jumping across it you can restore power to the drive and get your data

and throw it out.


Only works in about 60% of cases.


It does not work if the drive has stiction or head damage.


Stiction method.

----------------


Computer switched off


Hold the drive in your palm, outside the computer bracket, and move the

drive as far from any object in mid air.


Slacken the drive power cord, attach IDE cable. Switch on PC


Quickly give the drive a hard twist movement (yaw) so that it stays

horizontal and the spindle of the platter axle remains in one place.


The idea is to jolt the platters into motion by starting the momentum and

then coming to an abrupt stop.


With most new drives, since they are light and small, its quite safe. So

long as you dont hit anything. It works on the same idea that starting a

biplane motor works. You give the rotation a kick start.


Can also be done with the drive inverted or in the vertical plane.


The idea is to rotate with the motor and give it a hand spinning up.


Head damage method.

------------------------

This is a lethal problem. It is diagnosed by having a loud clunk on the

drive when the heads move across the platter.


It requires an identical drive and transplanting the plattes of your drive

into another one.


Unlike what is often believed, it is quite safe to open a terminally ill

hard drive and look inside. Losing a few sectors to dust is a lot better

than losing all of the data.


The inside of a hard drive is tricky to view at first but there are only two

problems.


1/ Head lock stopper. This need to be unscrewed so that the heads can be

swung away from the platters


2/ head spacer. On the good drive you need to chock the heads so that they

dont touch. This needs to be done as they are being swung out away from the

platters. Can take hours but can be done.


Swap the platters over by releasing the bearing mount (or heads) and

carefully realign the heads and screw the head stopper back into place.

Connect to pc and try to read data.


All that stuff about clean rooms related to long term salvage and higher

accuracy. It can be done in almost any room if you operate efficiently.


The funiest thing in the world is when a spec of dust causes a read error

..... sometimes the heads will blow it away or sometimes it will get jammed

under the heads and scratch the platter (very hard to scratch)
 

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Quote:
Always print your digital photos. I don't trust hard drives one bit and I trust CDRs even less.
CD-Rs are a pretty good means of backing up, as long as you don't use the free after rebate variety. Spend $25-30 on a 100 disc cake box of Taiyo Yuden discs and you won't have to worry about them. If you must use the free CD-Rs for important data, make more than one copy of each disc (it only takes a few minutes, and they're free, right?)
Quote:
Also had a 13 gig WD drive die which breaks my heart honestly because It had pictures that cant be replaced on it. I though I had them backed up and was mistaken

so now my first real vacation with my wife to london and paris, christmas 2002, my sons 5th birthday, my daughters first time playing in snow and many more memories are now all lost forever
You could always try a data recovery service. Even if the HDD is 'broken', they can usually recover some or all of your data. Most or all of those places won't charge you to check out the HDD and see if the data is recoverable (it'll cost $1000+ to actually recover your data, though).


Anyway, I think HDD quality is pretty much hit or miss. I've had about ten IBM drives fail (pretty bad considering I only bought three and the rest were replacement drives), I have some Maxtor and WD drives that have lasted a long time with no problems, and I had a $350 Seagate Cheetah X15 fail. I think COOLING is important (yeah, bad news for having a quiet HTPC), but I've had well cooled drives fail (the Cheetah and most of the IBM's).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MentholMoose
...Anyway, I think HDD quality is pretty much hit or miss. I've had about ten IBM drives fail (pretty bad considering I only bought three and the rest were replacement drives...
Ahhhh, fond memories coming back of the IBM "Deathstar" 75GXP... NOT! Made my life a living 'ell too. This assumes you had them too, but I don't need to be a good guesser here I think.
 

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This is like asking people what brand lightbulbs last longer.


I've had every brand of hard drives I've every bought fail on me at some point. I use lots of drives, I push them hard, and eventually some die. As for answering the question of what brands are better, the answer doesn't exist. You would need to kill thousands of drives in a controlled test to get any sort of meaningful result.


All you can judge by is a brand's current "reputation", which is generally the recent experiences of a vocal few. Nobody is doing unbiased tests with anywhere close to sufficient sample size.


Find a backup regimen that lets you sleep at night and get a warranty appropriate to your upgrade schedule. Treat your drives like lightbulbs...you expect them to last for a while, but don't be surprised if they die.
 

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I have 8 Maxtor drives 80 and 120 GB and never had a problem with them.


The only frustrating thing is that Maxtor announced a 320GB back in December which I still can't buy. Now I read that they will launch a 400 GB disk later this year. Don't know what to make of that. Unfortunately there is little competition in the >200GB range.:mad:
 

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SCSI


Made for servers, expensive (but getting cheaper), and you can put a bunch of them in your PC and put paging files elsewhere, Photoshop scratch files elsewhere, etc.


I'm sure people will come back with horror stories about their experience with them, and my first died within 4 months (got a replacement), and I hammered one to death trying to do in Linux install using a CD I had scratched, but I have probably had ten others with no problems, with all of them running until they become impossibly small, systems going 24/7.


Someone actually shipped one to me in an eBay transaction in a 9X12 yellow manilla folder with the embedded thin, little-bubble bubblewrap as the only padding! You could have heard my sphincter contracting across the room when I saw it in the mailbox. Spun up and is still working.
 
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