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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My four week old upgrade 5xxx upgrade with the WD 200GB 7200/8MB cache just went awry last night. The video from the RTV suddenly froze, and the audio went into an infinite repeating stutter. Tried a soft reboot, and got stuck at the "Please Wait..." screen (no green flashes, just the plain screen). Tried cold rebooting, including removing the ethernet line, but no luck. Have the drive at work today to look at it on a PC (have a Mac at home). I assume I'll just have to re-image, but will lose about 30 hours of shows. Plan to try extract_rtv to save these, so wish me luck.


BTW, this drive is still on sale at BestBuy for $180 after rebate and the box includes an ATA100 interface card that (obviously) supports >137 GB drives.


Scott
 

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I've had 5 Western Digital 100GB+ SE drives die on me in the past year. They seem to be more sensitive to a hotter environment than other makes/models, so I'd be very wary of using one in a PVR. Just my personal experience, of course...


EDIT: I have heard on some hardware discussion boards that the WD drives do not have temperature self-monitoring (a.k.a. SMART) capabilities, unlike the Maxtors.
 

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To add some more personal experience... I bought a WD 200GB drive through the outpost.com special. First drive was bad (was locking up the computer randomly, and also failed WD's extended diagnostic tests), so I got an RMA. Replacement drive came a week later and was bad (failed WD's quick diagnostic test which I ran immediately after pulling it out of the packaging), so I got another RMA.


Third drive came a week later, and that one is working fine so far. I did the extended test and write zeros followed by another extended test on the 3rd drive to make sure it was ok.
 

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Interesting timing.. I upgraded my 4504 with one of the Special Editition 200G Western Digital 8M cache drives (WD2000JB, I believe) around 1/1/03. I started getting flakey behavior this past Thursday (4/17/03). I'd periodically find it in the "Please Wait" screen with a blinking red status light. I could sometimes get it back by unplugging and replugging but there didn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it (couldn't relate it to DHCP, specific cabling combinations, etc) so I'm assuming it was heat as the drive was pretty warm to the touch. Fortunately, I was able to pull my shows off via DVarchive before doing anything drastic..


Anyway, I ended up throwing it back in my computer and running the Western Digital Diagnostics on it. The extended test came up clean and I went ahead and wrote will all zeros for good measure and reimaged with rtvpatch. The drive is back in and working like a champ again with a new "bay cooler" design HD cooler (three small fans) sitting between the drive and the case. It's pretty noisy, but it keeps the drive cool to the touch. I'll probably look into something a little less extreme for the long term.


Moral of story, 200G is nice and I couldn't ever go back, but you might want to slap some kind of active cooling on that thing. Just remember that you have to force upgrade of the Promise driver to read >137G in your PC and be sure to run the full WD diags on it before you reuse it.


Daniel


PS - Another huge thanks to all the programmers out there that pioneered all this drive imaging and show extracting. Saved my butt big time this weekend.
 

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I's not the cooling. Drives have become a commodity item now. They crank them out at the lowest price they can. The defect rate is very large. If you notice, most mfg are doing away with 3 and 5yr warranties. For years I used WD in computer builds even though they cost more. For the last year or 2, I've been using Maxtors because the DOA and "go bad" rate on the WDs started to climb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I finally managed to get the drive re-imaged, though after a few failed attempts at low level formatting. The WD low level utilities would get through about a third of the LLF, and then pop right back to the main menu. If I tried to start the LLF again, it would say that there were no WD drives connected! The even the BIOS would only see the drive about half the time. Am I just asking for trouble by continuing to use this drive? Should I RMA it? (I still have the original 40 GB as a backup.)


Cheers,

Scott
 

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If the drive won't work 100% you will be back at this again shortly. IMHO it would be in your best interest to RMA the drive and do exactly as Flip Flop did with the replacement ... Test the drive extensively before you put it in the RTV.
 

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Sounds like the controller board on the drive is on the way out, assuming the pc you're using is not flaky.
 

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This was with the included Promise controller? Was it the only device on the bus? Jumpered as master (no jumpers, I believe)? Maybe try swapping out IDE cables... checking for potential resource conflicts with the Promise board (remove non critical cards from the system, etc). Actually, if you can get it reimaged, trying the drive in the Replay might be the ideal test to check whether the instability was specific to your computer/configuration or the drive itself. Maybe give it a shot in there for ~24-48 hours and backup anything you really want with DVArchive (expecting the worst). Worst case, as you mentioned you always have the 40gig to fall back on.


Again, you might make note of drive temparature when it's misbehaving. In my recent difficulties, mine seemed to be better after being powered off for a while which led me to suspect heat. If nothing else, I feel better with the fans I have on it now. I just need to read up in the HTPC forum to find some more quiet options......


Daniel
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by dbonds
This was with the included Promise controller? Was it the only device on the bus? Jumpered as master (no jumpers, I believe)? Maybe try swapping out IDE cables...
Yes, it was with the included Promise ATA100 TX2 IDE controller card. I strongly suspect the drive (more specifically, the controller card, like adone36 said), because I used the same PC in the exact same configuration to do the LLF and imaging of this drive when I first got it. Everything went without a hitch the first time. (I've also used this system to re-image the original 40 GB Maxtor, as I reformatted it for another application in the mean time.)


Scott
 
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