Image Map Image Map
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Cheap Components Used in Expensive Products

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    4,799

    Default Cheap Components Used in Expensive Products

    Why sacrifice your product's name to save 10 cents a unit?

    My external hard drive just failed. It was a MacAlly USB/FireWire/eSATA enclosure with a Seagate Barracuda drive inside. The drive had been replaced once already when it started making funny sounds...Seagate gave me no trouble in sending back a remanufactured unit. Apparently the remanufactured units don't carry the same warranty as new-bought drives, as the replacement (less than a year old) isn't in warranty.

    So, I did the only thing one can do with a fried hard drive: I opened it. Cause of failure? Nearly totally frozen bearings. I can't turn the spindle by hand, and it's very difficult with pliers. The heads don't seem to be crashed, nothing is binding the platters to the head rack or anything. Simply frozen bearings, which I think is unacceptable for a $150 drive (at the time of original purchase) that's less than a year old.

    Fortunately, the drive was mostly used for the storage of digital media...ripped movies and music that I've got hard copies of elsewhere. It's still annoying, as now I have to regenerate 500 GB of data!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Columbia, SC USA area
    Posts
    589

    Default

    It's really unfortunate how much Seagate's quality has dropped lately, especially in light of the 7200.11 incident. If you are going for a new drive, I would stick to western digital. In my opinion their drives are the quietist and longest lasting.
    Cheers!
    Wmmullaney

    Collection: Replica I TE, 3 Apple IIe, Apple IIgs, Apple Performa 630cd 68k, 4 PowerPC Performa, 2 Timex/Sinclair 1000 and 1500, PC/AT c286 clone, Commodore 64 and 128, NCR box with a 386 mobo, TRS-80 PC-2, DreamCast, PlayStation 1 and 2, 2 iMac G4, Powermac G3 beige and aqua, Twinhead 386, Toshiba T1910, Zenith zwl-183, set of Intel MCS-8 boards (CPU, RAM, ROM, I/O)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central VA
    Posts
    4,799

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wmmullaney View Post
    If you are going for a new drive, I would stick to western digital. In my opinion their drives are the quietist and longest lasting.
    Yep, I'll be getting another low-consumption WD Caviar "Green Label"...I've got one of their 1TB disks in my desktop, had it going for over a year now, very quiet, runs cool, and I don't notice any performance problems. Probably put a second drive in RAID1, eventually with a third for RAID 5.

    I've got a Seagate Wren II that I use fairly regularly in my IBM PC/XT...it's kind of embarassing that the Wren II runs fine when the modern Barracudas have such problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Ohio/USA
    Posts
    8,027
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Drives tend to overheat in external enclosures that do not have cooling fans. I think newer drives use a liquid bearing and they can leak/boil off?

    As far as old drives go, I have a stack of 80-400MB EIDA drives from the early 90's with 0 bad sectors that still work. I bet millions of drives from the same batches have kicked the bucket over the years, only the strong survive.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    34,621
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    It's funny--the only drives that I've ever had fail were 3.5" IDE drives and a few early 5.25" HH drives. I think every FH 5.25" (MFM/SCSI/ESDI) drive I have just comes right up and some/most of them are more than 20 years old.

    Must be a lesson there somewhere.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Ohio/USA
    Posts
    8,027
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    It's funny--the only drives that I've ever had fail were 3.5" IDE drives and a few early 5.25" HH drives. I think every FH 5.25" (MFM/SCSI/ESDI) drive I have just comes right up and some/most of them are more than 20 years old.

    Must be a lesson there somewhere.
    Sure there is a lesson there, once the tools to design something get precise enough, you remove engineering slop to save money and products barely last past the warrenty. Having said that I have seen quite a few SCSI 5.25" drives give up the ghost (found in ealy mac II, IIx, IIfx machines). Also compare the prices on the earlier 5.25" drives and the later cheap (IDE was the cheapest interface) 3.5" drives. And just to disprove that 5.25" drives are more reliable, how about Quantum Bigfoots!
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    34,621
    Blog Entries
    18

    Default

    I've still got 3 Quantum Bigfoots --a CY, a TX and a TS and they all still work. I don't think there was anything particularly wrong with the HDA, but the electronics were badly designed, particularly in the way they mated to the HDA. FWIW, I also used to have a couple of CYs that died.

    That being said, I still don't understand why Quantum thought there was a market in HH 5.25" drives when the rest of the world was going 3.5" and smaller. it was a very strange marketing decision.

    I don't think I've ever had much long-term luck with half-height 5.25" drives. But you're right about prices. I remember being thrilled around 1990 to find a 330MB SCSI CDC Wren for "only" $900. It's still mounted in a 386 tower with 6 floppy drives. Recently I noticed that the CMOS wouldn't keep its settings at found that the NiCd battery on the motherboard was starting to leak. I clipped it out and stuck on a 4 AA cell battery holder removing only a single ISA card to get to the header. Back in business for a few more years.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,320

    Default

    One of the best sources for finding out which hard drives have reliability problems is the customer feedback on sites like Newegg.com. Take a look at the feedback for this Seagate drive:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148337

    28% gave it a 1 out of 5 rating. This is what I look at before buying components.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Ohio/USA
    Posts
    8,027
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    What do you think of this sites history lesson good drives?

    http://www.redhill.net.au/id.html

    I have one system currently with a Quantum Bigfoot, it is an OEM drive in a Compaq P166 of some kind (flared front with a bunch of buttons on top for a multimedia system).
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    154
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default

    I had a Vantec enclosure go bad on me after about 2-3 years. Replaced with an Antec MX-1 which has a 80mm low profile fan in it.

    The way the Vantec went bad was really terrible. In Ubuntu it would cause intermittent kernel panic and system halt. In debian I would just get USB disconnect messages. It took me 2 days to troubleshoot it since I would have to do a copy and wait for it to fail every time using the process of elimination. Would take an hour to fail sometimes and I needed to change 1 variable at a time to be absolutely sure.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •