stephen_agent at jsw
Oct 5, 2011, 2:20 AM
Post #10 of 11
On Wed, 05 Oct 2011 13:45:56 +1300, you wrote:
>On 05/10/11 02:56, Stephen Worthington wrote:
>> If you have not built a PC for a while, be aware that hard drives are
>> rather less reliable these days. Do not buy any Seagate 7200.11
>> drives, even if you get them for $1 on TradeMe, as they collapse
>> without warning. I have had all but one of mine die, and then the
>> replacements also die! The older 7200.10 ones are very reliable, and
>> the 7200.12 ones are OK - comparable with the other manufacturers. But
>> it seems that all the home use (cheaper) drives are made now on the
>> basis that they will have a high failure rate and they will just be
>> replaced as necessary. I have had problems with Seagate and Western
>> Digital drives. So far I have not had any problems with the Hitachi 3
>> Tbyte ones, but they are pretty new still. I have only one Samsung
>> drive, and that has been good too. Make sure you install SMART
>> monitoring software to alert you before a drive finally crashes. The
>> failure modes I have met recently all showed up on SMART at least a
>> few days before final death, and I have been able to copy off my data.
>I guess I got lucky with my 500 MB 7200.11? Maybe something to do with
>temperature? Mine's running at around 33 deg C according to smartctl.
>This drive is about two years old.
>What kind of early failure warnings did you get from SMART?
All my failed 7200.11 drives were 1 Tbyte units. It is possible the
500 Mbyte ones are OK, but I would personally not trust any 7200.11
Google's test data pretty much proved that it is a myth that the
operating temperature of a drive affects its reliability or lifetime.
They found that as long as a drive was operated within specification
(< 60 C for most drives now), temperature did not matter. I still try
to keep my drives below 50 C anyway, but I am not much bothered by
high temperatures much any more after I read that report. The drives
in my MythTV box are currently reporting 43, 41 and 45 C. The new
green 3 Tbyte drive which is external to the box is at 32 C.
The SMART warnings I usually got from the 7200.11 drives were more and
more bad sectors being remapped, or pending unable to be remapped yet.
There were around 1500 spare sectors available for remapping on my
7200.11 1 Tbyte drives, and a couple of them reached that limit!
Usually, one or two bad sectors remapped is not a problem. But if you
start to get one a day or more on average, then replace the drive
quickly as you are likely to have less than 10 days before it is dead.
And it there is a continuing pattern of more sectors being remapped,
even if it is not up to averaging one a day, then I would get the
drive replaced too.
My two failed WDC WD2001FASS 2 Tbyte drives both suffered from
multiple bad sectors that would not remap. IIRC, these appeared all
at once on one drive, and in two goes on the other. The two
WD2002FAEX drives that they sent to replace them are fine. Of the two
other two WD2001FASS drives I have, one is fine so far and the other
has just had one sector fail and it will not remap, so it looks like I
will need to get it replaced too. Fortunately I have already replaced
it on my MythTV box with a 3 Tbyte green drive, but I was going to use
it to replace the Seagate 7200.12 ST31000528AS that is my Vista boot
drive and is now failing (averaging over 1 new remapped sector a day).
As soon as you get one pending remapping show up on SMART, you can run
a SMART long self test on the drive using the manufacturer's test
software, and it will fail the test. If it is still under warranty,
you can then get them to replace it. If the problem is sectors that
are able to be remapped, then they may argue that it has not actually
failed a self test. But I normally buy my drives from Ascent, and
they have never given me any hassles about replacing bad drives,
whichever way they are failing.
Oh, and one other problem with 7200.11 drives - you need to update
their firmware if they were delivered with the original firmware.
Without the update, they can brick themselves on power on, just at
random. If that happens to you, fear not! All the data is still on
the drive, and you can just do the firmware update and it will work
again. I had one drive do that to me, before they knew about the
problem, and Ascent replaced it. Fortunately, it was just my Vista
boot drive and I had only just finished installing Vista, so I could
just install it again on the replacement drive. After Seagate worked
out the problem, I updated the firmware on all the other 7200.11
drives, but then they went and failed anyway, but not by bricking
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