View Full Version : My luck with hard drives

May 22nd, 2006, 07:29 PM
I'm sick of this. Second hard drive in two years to crash. I saved all my data, but geeze! First was a Maxtor 40GB, now its a WD 120GB. I'm starting to wonder if I should bother buying replacement parts for this machine at all.

May 22nd, 2006, 07:47 PM
Any chance the HD's are overheating in your computer case?

May 22nd, 2006, 08:00 PM
I always have the case open

CP/M User
May 23rd, 2006, 01:03 AM
Yeah, I heard bad things about those WD hard disks being
unreliable. First I heard about this was around 1997/8. Their
smaller drives are supposed to be Excellent - though by that
period they had the tendancy of Crashing.

CP/M User.

May 23rd, 2006, 02:35 AM
I always have the case open
I'm not entirely sure that is the best option, since air flow will not work as expected. Did both hard disks go bad with the same motherboard/IDE controller? Maybe it stresses the hard disk in some way to shorten its lifespan?

May 26th, 2006, 08:54 PM
Way back when, I lost a huge contract for what was to have been hundreds of thousands of dollars-- all due to bad Maxtor drives.

We had built up six systems for our customer's evaluation for this project. The first three didn't work. Drive problems. The next three didn't work. Drive problems. We had sent some of the drives back to Maxtor for testing, to try to track down what had happened. One of the drives actually had an extra screw rattling around inside the drive!

We tried to convince the customer that the problem was not ours, and would be fixed by using a different brand of drive, but they didn't believe us.

I never bought another Maxtor drive again!

A few years later, I was at a trade show and, at the Maxtor booth, they had an operating drive in a see-through acrylic case, for demo purposes. I stopped to look at it, just to see the "technology" that had caused me to lose that contract.

The rep came over and asked if I liked the drive. I said, "Yes. I'm glad that you folks have figured out that you need to build your drives with a clear drive case so the customer can spot all the loose parts before installing it."

I always said that the only way I'd ever buy another Maxtor drive is if they'd ship an RMA form in the box, already filled out and with a pre-paid return shipping label...

I've had no significant problems with either Seagate or Western Digital drives, ever. I always preferred Fujitsu drives when putting together "heavy duty" systems with large SCSI drives. In the last few years, I've used lots of Samsung drives, and only had two go bad.

I'd be willing to bet that you have AC power problems, or even a bad power supply. Static electricity can also zap a drive quicker than you can think about it.

Running the computer without a case cover can significantly increase the temperature of the drives, because the airflow is not as it was designed to be. I'd never run a system without a cover for any extended length of time, for this reason.

I wonder, though, if there's something else going on? 40GB and 120GB drives are not too common these days, what with higher capacities being widely available. I wonder if you got "new, old stock" when you bought them? What are the manufacture dates of these drives?

May 27th, 2006, 02:23 AM
It's worth putting a fan in front of the drives anyway - even with the case open one of my Maxtor drives kept locking up until I had installed the fan.

I would personally never buy another Maxtor drive, Seagate are much better and I've never had a fault with them...

May 28th, 2006, 04:00 PM
I've been more impressed than dissappointed by hard drives...I've had some real surprises.....

Maxtor 7120AT - These suckers are invincible. This was the first hard drive I ever owned, it was 12 years old when I had it, and I used it hard for 5 years, often running 24/7 in an old 486/33. Once I got an "error initializing Track 0", so I did a brave/stupid thing, I popped the top off the drive, carefully slid the heads back about a quarter of an inch, then got a fingerprint on the top platter, then I wiped it off with a cotton cloth till it was totally clean of any dust or lint (at least visible dust and lint), put the drive back in the computer, turned it back on, and found the only thing wrong with the whole drve, after running scandisk and chkdsk and defrag, was that my Windows 3.0 icons were re-arranged, go figure. That drive, over the course of it's life, has been dropped, kicked, jolted, survived many a car trip to different homes, and through it all still worked ending with only 3 bad sectors.

I've been running a Western Digital WDEA0 40GB for the last 4-5 years in my main computer (that hot rod GEM thing), not a single problem with it except the occasional issue that Windows scandisk finds once in a blue moon (usually after the machine has been relocated).

I usually look that different brands had different high points......

1981-1987 - Seagate MFM/RLL drives, the ST-225, ST-238R, and ST-251
1987-1993 - Maxtor 7000 series drives - 7120A, 7245A
1993-current - Western Digital, especially the Caviars and 40+ GB drives

Of course, this is from my own experience

I've even found a Samsung drive reputed to be slow and crappy in a dumpster, with nothing but corrupted data and such on it, served me well for 4 years.

May 29th, 2006, 08:54 AM
Most of the HD's I get in my older systems (Macs) tend to be reliable even when they are very old, I just asume that if the machine came with a bad drive it would have been replaced with a good one before I got it.

The last drive I had go bad was a 60GB maxtor that freaked out and ran Hot in my powermac 8500, a replacement arrived and it has worked fine since then (happened 2 years ago).

I had other drives fail on me but that was after many years of continual use. I still wonder why the first loose HD I purchased, 500MB connor IDE still runs today after 10+ years of use while my Quantum 3.8GB fireball died after 4 years. I also had a couple 1-2 GB WD drives die on me.

May 30th, 2006, 05:52 AM
I just bought a Seagate 250GB Drive for $60 on sale. New proplem is, my old restore disks are fubar. scratched it seems. Anyone have a copy of Windows 2000 I can borrow or buy? I don't have the money after paying for the drive for an OEM OS

May 30th, 2006, 06:56 AM
I'd keep the case closed. Though it may seem like it'd make the components cooler, it in fact does the opposite. The fan inside the case is supposed to fill the case up with cold air & blow out of the vent in the back, but it can't do that with the side cover off.

May 30th, 2006, 09:09 PM
One word. Seagate.
I've installed hundreds of these, and not one has had an issue. WDs are "ok" but not reliable. Maxtors make good door stops, they always go bad after the warrante is up. Hitachis are good if you can get a deal on them, my main comp uses a 80GB SATA Hitachi HDD and a 200GB Seagate IDE.

May 31st, 2006, 05:34 AM
One word: Seagate. Those awful SCSI and IDE disks from the early 90'ties died like flies, and made noises and all kinds of stuff. Perhaps the main reason for so many failures was they sold in bigger numbers than many other manufacturers, so in percentage it was more in line with others. Western Digitals and Maxtors were good brands back then, IIRC. It seems the world has turned upside down in the last few years then.

May 31st, 2006, 02:55 PM
I agree. I do remember when Maxtor made bullet proof HDDs. Maxtor went down hill after purchasing Quantum. WD started going down hill in 2000. Seagate took advantage of their poor hard drives and started producing excellent drives.