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Replace Hard Drive After 3.5 Years?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Elle, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Vlad

    Vlad Guest

    Yes and install the second on an external USB box with the image
    (Ghost or equivalent) of the first one.

  2. Mike Coslo

    Mike Coslo Guest

    Probably the best idea, and keep transferring the dat to new drives as
    you go.

    For the original poster:

    Don't make the mistake of thinking that archiving to CD's is any kind
    of archiving! If a person does a lot of research (to be sure to buy the
    correct ones and to learn the proper handling), never marks on the CD's
    ever,(store them in a jewel case and mark on that - go figure on what to
    do if they get mixed up) stores them under ideal conditions, handles
    them only with gloves, and prays daily to the CD gods, they just *might*
    last 10 years.

    I've had a number of Archive CD's fail after a year. I now to backups
    to two separate Hard drives. One on the computer, and the other to a
    firewire drive.

    - Mike -
  3. Vlad

    Vlad Guest

    Creating an image (ghost) of your system drive is the way I have
    resigned to do and as an external drive it can be used to back up
    several computers.
  4. Until recently, I've gotten away with using a Conner Peripherals hard drive
    of ~820 MB and even a 127MB drive from a PC/AT and the current stable is 2/3
    1998 and before and includes ISA cards in some cases. I believe the high
    RPMs and increased stress brought along by improved storage technologies
    bring on an earlier demise. Few of my devices or cards are newer than 1999
    or 2000. I've never had a CD data backup fail. and I believe such problems
    are analogous to the CD rot troubles of the commercial audio industry. I am
    certainly not so cavalier as to leave them out and about like some audio CD
    consumers. I HAVE had CD failure and haven't gotten around to investigating
    it with the mfg. That disc took about 8 years to fail also. Proper
    maintenance is always a good thing but proper selection of suitable
    equipment seems more so.
  5. Keith  Jewell

    Keith Jewell Guest

    CD-R quality really does matter. I haven't had any problems with the
    gold discs I bought for a dollar a piece 8 years ago, but a few of the
    silver uncoated ones that friends have given me have become completely
    blank. Also, had my first DVD-R fail the other day, a cheap unbranded
    one that someone sent me. Those are supposed to be more durable because
    they're enclosed entirely in acrylic.

    However, as to hard disks, I'll take the faster, fails more often
    drives any day. For one, I've got 400 gigs of data online (entire CD
    collection ripped losslessly, digital photos), and that's just not
    possible with the smaller drives. But for two, the new drives are so
    fast and so cheap - most of the new motherboards will do hardware
    mirroring, so for around $100 you can have 40 gigs of totally
    redundant, very fast storage (2x40g 7200rpm drives). They don't even
    use a proprietary format, so if the motherboard dies, you can retrieve
    the data with any machine, since each hard disk is just a duplicate of
    the other. And by fast, I mean transfer rates 10x faster or more than
    those old drives, and seek times almost twice as fast. But they do fail
    more often. Still, using RAID and decent backup strategies, I haven't
    lost a significant amount of data since I was using a 2gig HP SCSI hard

  6. Vlad

    Vlad Guest

    I just got a Maxtor 120 GB 5200 for about $30.00 from Tiger. Low
    speed but probably more reliable then a 7200. Ideal for an image HD
  7. Keith  Jewell

    Keith Jewell Guest

    My Seagate 7200.7s have been working fine. I bought a quality case that
    has good cooling for all the drives and didn't stack any of them
    together. So far, the only failure was a Maxtor, which threw a SMART
    code before failing so I was able to pull the data that wasn't backed
    up off of it. Of course, in retrospect, it wasn't backed up because I
    didn't need it, but I hardly knew that at the time.

    Thanks to the new FDB tech and lighter platters, the new 7200s run as
    cool as any of my old 5400s ever did. And they're quieter, too. Anyway,
    I'm out of space at the moment (2x120, 1x160). Is that $30 after a
    rebate? I do need to build a couple of media boxes and those might be
    ideal in mirrored pairs.

  8. I don't understand why platter *weight* would have anything at all to do
    with the amount of driving power the spindle required. Once it's going,
    it's only air resistance and bearing friction (very low) that slows
    things down. Heavy platters might take a bit longer to accelerate up to
    speed, but that's a different issue.

    Faster rotation, larger diameter platters, more platters in the stack --
    all those things could take higher spindle power, but not platter weight.

    My bet is on higher areal densities allowing more storage on a smaller
    stack of platters to reduce spindle power.

    Most decent drives these days have well over a million hours MTBF; at
    under ten thousand hours in a year, that's over a century of 24x7
    operation. Wearout (bearings, almost entirely) is not considered as a
    part of the MTBF calculations; most drive manufacturers spec a "useful
    lifetime" on the order of five years or so.

    What that means is that if you change out the drive after 3 or 4 years,
    you should never expect an in-use failure. That kind of spec is
    important to mass users of drives -- disk farms, server farms, etc.

    Actually, the huge majority of drives last a *lot* longer than that. The
    problem that causes most folks to replace a drive is the disk filling up
    due to "data congestion", a phenomenon well-known to Windows users, but
    uncommon for users of other Operating Systems.

  9. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    The weight of the platters does have some effect, more weight means higher
    load and more friction in the bearings. I don't know how much real world
    effect there is from this though.

    It doesn't have much at all to do with the operating system itself, my
    drives (as with most users I would say in the current era of 120+ GB drives
    being the norm) are mostly filled with digital media files, a combination of
    audio, video and images as well as a few large games. The operating system I
    run makes no appreciable difference, without the media files I could run any
    OS I want with all the applications I have on a 20GB or so drive. Of course
    if I ran something on which very few of the games and applications I run are
    supported, naturally the size of the drive I need would be less.
  10. Vlad

    Vlad Guest

    IBM was testing platters made of glass. Light and little change with
    temperature variations.

    To accelerate a heavy truck to a certain speed takes much longer then
    a lighter vehicle, provided the power is the same.
    Most of the current required to run a group of hard drives is at the
    starting point

  11. Keith  Jewell

    Keith Jewell Guest

    I've always been a fan of buying two-platter drives. Seems like the
    best comprimise between heat and overall size. Of course, that said,
    the server has all Western Digital 250 gig drives in it, four in total.
    So far none of them has even registered a single SMART error, but
    they've only been in service around nine months.
    Same here. I used to run Windows on half of a 40 gig drive (the other
    half had the swapfile on it) until it failed, and it was never more
    than about half full. Now it's on a 120 gig drive, which last I checked
    had 108 gigs free. Bought that drive for the speed (areal density, 7200
    rpm) rather than the side.

    However, the other two media drives are full to the brim. Whole CD
    collection on one, digital photos and other data files on the other. Of
    course the important stuff is backed up to DVD also, but I really like
    to have it online. The server is half-full with the DVD collection.

    Anyway, the in-service failures I've had are as follows:

    80 meg Maxtor, started getting more bad sectors a few months before I
    stopped using it.
    2 gig HP. Stopped spinning up. Got it to spin up once, got most of the
    data off of it. Forgot a few critical files, but them's the breaks.
    Didn't do backup at the time. Every one of these that the computer
    store I worked for sold failed in exactly the same way.
    4.6 gig Fujitsu. Stopped spinning up. Switched out the controller board
    for another, copied the data off.
    1 gig Microdrive. Bad sectors like mad. Got all the photos off of it
    fine, replaced under warranty.
    40 gig Maxtor. Started obviously reallocating sectors. Bought a 120 gig
    Seagate as a replacement, pulled all the data off with only a handful
    of bad sectors. Of course, one of them happened to be in the Windows
    Registry, reinstalling hasn't fixed it, and I haven't had the time to
    install that machine from scratch since I use it every day.

    I've had other out-of-service failures, ie pulled a machine off the
    shelf where it was sitting for a year and the drive wouldn't spin up
    any more. Since there was no data lost I don't really consider those.
    In case it seems like I've had a lot of drive failures, I've actually
    used around two dozen drives over the period of time that covers.
    Currently a Samsung has started kicking back occasional SMART errors at
    20k power on hours, but since it's been doing those since around 17k
    I'm not so worried. Anyway, it's just an online backup, so if it dies I
    don't really lose anything except a layer of redundancy. For a little
    perspective, current in-service drives are: 10g IBM, 20g IBM, 40g
    Maxtor, 40g Samsung, 40g Western Digital, 2x120 gig Seagate, 1x160 gig
    Seagate, 4x250 gig WD.

    I'd like to see better options for backup and data protection, now that
    computers are becoming appliances. What I'm looking for is a little
    seperation from the actual hardware. I would love it if you could just
    buy drives as modules, and there was a 'space->reliability' slider that
    you could just tweak one way or the other. Use some form of RAID, and
    hide the complexity from the end user. For someone like me who is happy
    to set up a RAID5 array, it wouldn't matter so much, but for the
    average user it could be a boon.

  12. chuck

    chuck Guest

    I remember computers that didn't have Hard Drives.....10" flopys anyone.
    It has been my experience that all drives have the ability to fail at the
    most un apropriate time leaving behind a plethera of lost documents and
    pick any drive, but don't rely on it ! Back up, back up, back up, on cd,
    dvd, floppy disk, or ram disk but if you don't want the crash beast to bite
    you in the ass
    cheers have a good one
  13. 10"? You're exagrating, they were 8".
  14. NSM

    NSM Guest

    It's a guy thing.
  15. Vlad

    Vlad Guest

    Yes Keith you are right. heat is the principal enemy of electronics,
    I modify my case in order to accommodate a larger fan located in front
    of the 4 hard drives and they run just above the ambient temperature.

    On the previous subject. I completed the installation of 3 switches
    that turn power OFF to the drives ( the C: doesn't have a switch) and
    I am about to go out and get one more switch to install on my second
    serial drive.
    So far everything works fine.
    I even, accidentally , switched power OFF on one of the drivers that
    was running and switched ON again with no problems.

    Thanks to all of you that contribute to this small project.

  16. Vlad

    Vlad Guest

    Heat is the principal enemy of electronics,
    I modify my case in order to accommodate a larger fan located in front
    of the 4 hard drives and they run just above the ambient temperature.

    On the previous subject. I completed the installation of 3 switches
    that turn power OFF to the drives ( the C: doesn't have a switch) and
    I am about to go out and get one more switch to install on my second
    serial drive.
    So far everything works fine.
    I even, accidentally , switched power OFF on one of the drivers that
    was running and switched ON again with no problems.

    Thanks to all of you that contribute to this small project.

  17. Chuck52

    Chuck52 Guest

    check the web there were 10" floppys but 8" were far more common both the
    websites below refer to the original 10" floppys, I don't think the memory
    is failing that bad just yet....but whats a couple of inches like NSM said
    it's a guy thing......


    here's a quote from one of the sites "A drive based on flexible media. The
    original floppy disks were 10 in. diameter. Later floppy drives were 5 1/4
    in. in diameter. Both of these had flexible media and a flexible outer
    jacket. The current standard is a 3 1/2 inch floppy disk contained in a hard
    plastic case.Yet this not a hard drive. Its medium is still floppy. The
    current standard 3 1/2 floppy disk contains 1.44 MB of information. By
    default, the first floppy drive is designated A:"

    they may come in all sizes but I still maintain if its important Do A
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