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Re: Hard drive cable question -

On Thursday 23 February 2006 20:18, Tim wrote:
>On Thu, 2006-02-23 at 17:41 -0500, bobgoodwin wrote:
>> The problem arose from the fact that I suspected an intermittent
>> drive problem.  Apparently the failure was on the Windows drive
>> while I was only using FC4 and MySql!  I ran smartctl and it
>> indicated that both drives had a lot of use on them. One looked like
>> more than four years power on time!  I assumed it was the bad drive
>> and replaced it with another low time drive I had and then I began
>> to have trouble.  The computer would not boot no matter what I
>> tried.
>Don't worry, too much, about drive having a lot of run time.  Some
> have very long lives.  And having said that, some very new drives can
> fail very quickly.  It's not without reason some manufacturers
> reduced their warranty periods (they *expect* those ones to fail
> sooner, and don't want to replace drives).
>There are other things which assess the quality of the drive
> operation, and I'd pay more attention to them.  I'd be considering
> the run-life of a drive depending on how much more time I hoped to
> get out of the drive, rather than presuming it's not going to be very
> good.

Bear in mind also that its often not the total power on hours a drive 
has logged that is the important item.

Operating temps over 40C, and the number of times its been spun down and 
back up are often many times more important than power on hours.  

Elevated operating temps will evaporate the lubricants in the motor, 40C 
and lower prefered (but not too cold, I lost a linux install earlier 
this winter due to low temps in my unheated workshop) and the number of 
times the head has actually touched the disk as the bournalli(sp) 
effect goes away on powerdown, or builds to the point the head is 
floating on a film of air as the drive starts up again.  This is the 
primary reason that when a disk senses a powerdown, it will often short 
circuit the motor using a bit of the energy the coasting motor 
generates in order to apply the brakes and get the disk stopped as 
quickly as it can.

I've even heard on old 7130s Maxtor actually slam on the brakes 
mechanically and stop in about 1/2 a second, about 2 seconds after the 
power was switched off.  That drive lasted well over 10 years, and 
several thousand power off cycles before it finally succumbed to 
stiction, but its as good as ever if I give it a twisting on the axis 
of the disk bump at the same time as its powered up.  It was used on my 
trs-80 Color Computer 3 from about 1988 till last year when I replaced 
it with an equally hockey puckish Seagate Hawk of 1GB, a truely monster 
drive for that machine.

So power on hours isn't the best way to estimate what condition the 
drive is in, its much more related to how its been treated over its 
history.  Throw in the mechanical beating a portables drive can be 
subjected to just to toss in yet another random variable and it becomes 
a prediction not even your favorite medium will make...

Cheers, Gene
People having trouble with vz bouncing email to me should add the word
'online' between the 'verizon', and the dot which bypasses vz's
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message by Gene Heskett are:
Copyright 2006 by Maurice Eugene Heskett, all rights reserved.

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