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IBM 120GXP Revisited 360

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the spin-up-spin-down-repeat-until-dead dept.
Andrew sent us a link to an article about the IBM 120gxp controversy. This is about the fact that the drive has been declared unfit for server use, and to back that up, IBM says you should only use it for 333 hours a month. This is a good summary of the issues and worth a read.
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IBM 120GXP Revisited

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  • Pair.net (Score:2, Interesting)

    by elucidus (245536)
    pair.net replaced all server drives that were IBM with Maxtor:
    http://www.pair.com/pair/support/notices/ driveswap s.html

    I've been buying Maxtor since, and haven't had a single problem.
    • Re:Pair.net (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ncc74656 (45571) <scott@alfter.us> on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:39PM (#3181264) Homepage Journal
      (<a> tags are your friends. Use them when you post links.)

      pair.net replaced all server drives that were IBM with Maxtor:

      Ick...it's a wonder they're still in business. While the 130MB Maxtor in my parents' ten-year-old PS/1 still works, I have yet to see a newer Maxtor last a year. An 80GB drive in one of my work machines held out for 9 months before it started making weird head noises. A 20GB drive purchased a couple of years ago and a string of three 5.1GB drives purchased four years ago all crapped out after 1-3 months.

      By comparison, I haven't had an IBM go bad on me. I've had a 45GB 75GXP at home for a little over a year and a couple of 60GB 60GXPs at work for the past few months. I just added a couple of 60GB 120GXPs to a machine at home (the same machine with the 75GXP) in RAID-0 to speed up video editing.

      I suspect that most of the problems people see with IBM drives are brought on by inadequate cooling (stacking several drives with little or no separation and no forced-air cooling), crappy power supplies, or overclocking. The drives in the home machine have an 80mm fan in front of them to force air through the stack and are powered by a 330W Enermax. The work machines have only one drive each, installed in the lowest drive bay. (The power supplies are whatever was in the case...if it helps, they're AMD-certified for the 1.4-GHz Athlon XPs that they power.)

      • Overclocking is causing the drives to fail? I'm sorry, but that seems pretty far out there. I've seen drives fail to respond when PCI timings were WAY out there but fail? Nah, I don't think that's a very likely cause. The drives have got to have their own internal clocks (okay, I know they do - I see the oscillators on the PCB) and should have checks inside to make sure that commands don't send the heads off into lala land. If tey don't have the latter then would you really want to use that drive?

        Heat and power fluctuations sound like much more likely external issues. Either that or there's simply an internal flaw that didn't show up in testing. Wouldn't be the first time that's occured now would it? I still recall the grease problem seagate had years ago where heads would get mired in the stuff. A quick "twist start" would usually free them up but if you shut them down and allowed them to cool it would stick again. I replaced DOZENS of those damned htings doing field service. when I hit up a Seagate rep at a show about it he officially denied the problem - and then proceeded to tell me off-record just how bad it was. I didn't buy a Seagate drive for awhile afterwards ;-)
  • by Cutriss (262920) on Monday March 18, 2002 @11:12AM (#3180884) Homepage
    I think part of the trouble here is that IBM is selling these drives as OEM parts, and not retail drives. OEMs generally don't sell systems to the enthusiast market (The group most likely to leave systems running all day). In your average Dell/Compaq/Cow computer, it's preset to go on standby after an hour or so, powering off the drive. Since all of us "power users" don't like those performance-detracting ACPI/APM functions, we always disable them.

    Furthermore, the DeskStar isn't intended to be a server part - IBM makes the UltraStar for that.

    So, in essence, it's buyer-beware with OEM parts. Just like with the ATI video card debacle - You're buying parts that aren't intended for *you* to use. It's your fault if you're tryin' to skimp a couple of bucks out of IBM/ATI/whoever by buying on the grey market.

    Now, that said...it's pretty fscking ridiculous to be making these drives and all but marketing them as the fastest ATA drives on the planet. That's practically hyping it up to the enthusiast market right there. And I really think it's asinine to expect these drives to *only* be run 8 hours a day. Factoring in the average lunch break when the computer will most likely get left on, that means that the drives are generally running out of spec on a regular business day in your average workstation.
    • For those of you that notice that 333 / 30 != 8, please read this link [storagereview.com].
    • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Monday March 18, 2002 @11:43AM (#3181000) Journal
      "OEMs generally don't sell systems to the enthusiast market (The group most likely to leave systems running all day)."

      Oh please, probably 80% of the drives sold online (where most enthusiasts get their drives) are OEM. The average person buys a retail Maxtor at CompUSA, whereas most people who have some idea of what it is they're buying (aka enthusiasts) get the drive without all the extra cardboard/paperwork from either a local computer shop or from the internet. The drives purchased seperately as OEM are the workhorses. All my drives (6 of them) are OEM and they spin full speed 24/7 with maybe an hour of maintenance downtime every 3 months.

      • The average person buys a retail Maxtor at CompUSA

        Actually, I still haven't found a cheaper source of drives than those red boxes at CompUSA, at least not on the Seattle eastside. The local "enthusiast" shops like Hard Drives Northwest are only too glad to sell you the exact same drive in a plain anti-static bag for $15-$30 more.

        I have seen zero failures out of maybe a dozen Maxtors from CompUSA over the past 4 years. Not a bad way to go IMHO.
    • Even in those Dell systems. Windoze likes to access the disk every few minutes, so it keeps spinning. I know this because I had a Windoze box in my bedroom for a while and the disk kept spinning up at night.

      Also, these drives do show up in retail... I saw them at Fry's last week and I think CompUSA has them too.

    • I purchased a 40GB 60GXP about this time last year. The reason I purchased it was because of two reasons. First, every review I could find at the time was talking about the great performance of the 75GXP and the 60 GXP. Second, I was working at a computer tech at Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA. Our tech shop was resposible for every computer on base, and out of the vast number of HDD's that I saw go bad, only one was an IBM (a SCSI drive on a Sparc Station). So, I thought I was buying the ultimate in IDE performance & reliability.

      Then around August, I started hearing about problems with the 75GXP & possible problems with the 60GXP. Sure enough, in November the drive developed a bad sector. IBM replaced it (finally) in early January. However, they replaced my 40GB 60GXP with a 40GB 120GXP. Now, the article stated:


      For the 120GXP, the restriction is noted in the two-page "Data Sheet and Specification" document under the "Reliability" section.

      Neither the 75GXP nor the 60GXP have the 333 hour-per-month specification mentioned in their own versions of that document, however. The 60GXP lists this setting only in its "Functional Specifications" document--a hefty 195 page engineering-level PDF. The specification in question is located 'prominently' on page 50 in a relatively small section. The 75GXP, on the other hand, does not have a "Functional Specification" link and does not mention the limitation on its data sheet either. I was unable, in fact, to even FIND mention of such a limitation for this particular model.


      So, here's my question. I sure as hell wasn't aware of the limitation when I purchased the 60GXP. I read most of the documentation, but I don't have the damn time to read a 195-page engineering manual for a limitation whose existence wouldn't have even occured to me (or most other people, for that matter). The tech who processed my RMA mentioned heat as a problem or the Win98 HDD cache shutdown bug as problems. When I told him that the machine only got powered off once a month and the drive was mounted in a 5.25" bay with dual fans on the front & nothing above or below, he was satified & didn't mention shit about any 333 hour-limitation. I didn't look into the limitations on the 120GXP, because "Hey, the new whiz-bang model should be able to do all the same stuff as well or better, right?" What I want to know is, when this drive tanks, is IBM going to say "Tough shit, you ran it for more than double the monthly limit! Forget about your warranty replacement."? What kind of recourse will be availible to me when the drive containing my OS partitions (Linux & Windows) shits itself?
  • by rjamestaylor (117847) <rjamestaylor@gmail.com> on Monday March 18, 2002 @11:13AM (#3180886) Journal
    ...when it manages a reference to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as an explanatory allegory. That's cool.

    Beware of the Leopard.

  • by AstroMage (566990) on Monday March 18, 2002 @11:13AM (#3180890)
    My take on this:

    If they aren't good for the server market, the 120GXP aren't good for anything- since what regular home user ever needs that much space?

    Oh, and BTW, the article also mentions problems with the 75X and 40X drives.

    Conclusion- Somebody at IBM QA has screwed up- vote with your $$, folks, and make IBM take notice of this problem- we should not have to replace a HD after only 1 year (or less!) of use!

    • With digital music and video (video editing on your home computer), there will never be enough space....
    • The 120GXP drives start at 40 GB. I don't think that's too much space for a home user.

      Oh, and BTW, the article mentions problems with the 75GXP (fails all the time, as reported about a year ago) and the 60GXP, not the 75X and 40X.


    • MP3

      Porn

      Digital Photos

      Those three alone make a 40GB look small

      Windows XP/Office XP take up a large fraction of disk space alone. Lets not get into games

    • >If they aren't good for the server market, the 120GXP aren't good for anything- since what regular home user ever needs that much space?

      Video editing.

      Or Office 2003.

      -asb
    • Ain't chew nevah heard o' MP3s, mah fren?
  • Take a look at this [tech-report.com].
    Scary.
  • Personal Experience (Score:2, Informative)

    by AlexDeGruven (565036)
    I bought a computer with a 75GXP in it last may, by Thanksgiving, the read/write heads had started making sounds as though it were thrashing, looking for a landing zone. By the time I was able to call the manufacturer of my computer (Christmas time), the computer had completely failed to boot.
    Hopefully, the replacement they sent will last more than 6 months. But, just in case, I have a Maxtor 60GB in place as a backup. At least this time, if it goes down, I won't have to wait for the replacement.
  • by xr6791 (244764)
    What bothers me most about IBM drives is they get more and more noisy through time. When I bought their 40GB 5400rpm model I was pleased by its quiet operation. After six months I noticed the drive is somewhat noisy and later the noise became unbearable for me. The same happened to a 20GB. Can anyone confirm these problems? What about their newer drives?
  • Why is there a fuss over these drives being unsuitable for servers? Were these drives marketed to the server market? I think I'm out of the loop on this one.. can anyone fill me in on the full story? I was a little confused after reading the article.
    • Yes and no ;>

      They're pitched at the low end workgroup level servers rather than your enterprise server but regardless of whether they're server or home or whatever its pretty poor performance if you take the worse case interpretation of the 333 hours - 333 hours on as opposed to 333 hours of actual head activity (rw)....

      My home pc is usually on 24/7 which would soon eat into that 333 per month...

      Apart from the (skip milage concerns) how would y ou like it if GM told you you could only drive for 3 hours a month or your car would melt...
  • Geeez... Firestones where good untill a few models a few years ago, now they only sell Bridgestone :)

    Wouldnt be suprised if IBM starts selling BMI drives :)
  • by rnd() (118781) on Monday March 18, 2002 @11:24AM (#3180934) Homepage
    If the editors are reading this, why not link to a /. poll to collect some additional data?

    I have a light-duty server that has been running two 60GXP drives for the past 6 months with no trouble. After I heard about the problems with the 75GXP I switched from striping to mirroring in my raid configuration just to be safe.

    When I heard about the 120GXP I figured that IBM was releasing the modified (glass plattered) version of the Deskstar drive in order to clear up any perception that the line had problems (due to the issues with the 75GXP). I decided to buy one to put in the new Athlon XP box I was building at the time. I've been using it for 2 months with no trouble (so far), but since I purchased it from a retailer I found on pricewatch, I doubt that I could follow the article's suggestion and return it. The performance benchmarks I've done suggest that the drive performs relatively well (135% of the 7200 RPM ATA100 reference drive in SiSoft Sandra's HD benchmark).

    I probably won't buy another IBM drive for a while, however, based on the unresponsiveness of IBM to the problems as reported in the article.

    • by ergo98 (9391) on Monday March 18, 2002 @11:39AM (#3180986) Homepage Journal
      Seriously, though, online polls are completely meaningless. They are swayed by rigging and mass canvasing, and that's ignoring the basic tenent that only the motivated (or bored) bother voting in the first place.

      Having said that, I find this whole debate intriguing. Firstly there is the fact that the 75GXP was a very big seller (performance and value packed into one), so the industry standard failure rates indicate that with normal failure rates there will still be more people with failed drives. Anecdotally I can say that myself, and several other people I know, have had zero problems with our 75GXP, but following standard Slashdot-esque thought processes I should extrapolate that out and say that therefore no one has every had a problem, and therefore the drive is perfect. I have heard stories about people who had to "replace it X times!", but in almost all cases you'll find that they grossly inproperly installed the drive with no venting space on both sides (and this is a case with drives from any manufacturer. I had a Maxtor die and opened the case to find that the OEM had sandwiched it between two other drives).

      I saw an interview with one of the plaintiffs against IBM, and I'd swear I saw them subtly shift gears from saying that the 75GXP had a higher failure rate (I would guess that that they can't find numbers to back that up, and no numbers determined by a Slashdot polling are not sufficient to convince anyone but the converted), to saying that instead this is a lawsuit expressing outrage about any failures, and it is really a bellwether against all hard drive makers. Uh huh. Now there's this article that is basically thrown off by standard marketing and reliability metrics: The drive IS made for desktop use, and desktop use is normally about 8 hours a day of infrequent use, versus 100% usage 24 hours a day for some server drives. Perhaps they simply realize that the latter will naturally have a higher failure rate so they built that into the server drive prices, but they don't guarantee that for desktops? The article makes the contention that it is a usage heat issue, but that seems a bit silly as the drive will reach maximum temperature minutes after going to 100% usage (i.e. It's not still creeping upwards after 8 hours).
      • I agree with the cooling comment - I have a 60GXP that's been running 24/7 for about 8 months now and it's had zero problems. However, it is in a very well ventilated Lian-Li case, and sits right in front of the front case fan all by its lonesome self, so I doubt it gets very hot at all...
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Bullshit. This is anecdotal evidence en masse.

        How about this. I'm a CS major at Carnegie Mellon. I have computers and techies (with lots of hard drives) all around me. In *three years* at this college, I've only seen three hard drives fail in computers of people on my floor. They were all this year, and all were IBM GXP drives.

        I agree that IBM Deskstars used to have an excellent reputation for quality, quiet running, and performance, but things can change -- a brand name does not reliability make. Sorry, of all the drives IBM has released recently, there are severe reliability problems.

        It kind of sucks, given that IBM as a company is a really cool place and helps out Linux quite a bit, but I'd have to say -- don't buyIBM hard drives.

        Now, there's another quick fix. For some reason, people are always anal about buying 7200 or even 10000 rpm drives. Why? You have a performance difference *only* when copying very large files from one high-speed drive to another. The hard drive is not the limiting factor when downloading/uploading over the network, not the limiting factor when installing stuff from CD-ROMs or burning, and not the limiting factor for general use. A big RAM cache will speed things up by a factor of slightly over a thousand (with modern RAM/HD speeds), if something can fit in your cache. Even a 10000 rpm drive will give less than twice the raw max transfer rate than a 5400 rpm drive.

        I can't figure out why people buy 7200/10000 drives. 5400 drives are cheaper. They're quieter. They're more reliable. And even in an *ideal* situation for a 10000 drive, where you're copying large files at full bore from HD to HD (generally NOT an operation that requires a minimum speed), the best performance increase you can get is less than double your current 5400 rpm performance.

        Spend the money you saved on 256 MB of RAM and watch the bigger cache make a *real* speed difference for almost all hard drive work. Or almost any other component of the computer.

        7200/10000 drives really, really suck.
    • by Soko (17987) on Monday March 18, 2002 @11:41AM (#3180988) Homepage
      2 reasons to not use a poll:

      -Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.

      -This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.

      Besides, the poll title would have to be "Rant about your stupid fucking DeskStar HDD that ate your term paper here". The trolls would have a field day.

      I've had no trouble with DeskStars myself, as long as they're kept cool and not put in a situation where thier duty cycle exceeds 40% or so. Anything above that means SCSI to me, anyway. Right tool for the job and all that, y'know?

      Soko
      • I've had no trouble with DeskStars myself, as long as they're kept cool and not put in a situation where thier duty cycle exceeds 40% or so. Anything above that means SCSI to me, anyway. Right tool for the job and all that, y'know?


        I know what you're trying to say, I'm just not sure if it is technically sound.

        Yes, the higher-end SCSI drives (with associated higher spindle speeds, up to 15,000 RPM) are designed for full-time use, but aren't the mechanisms functionally the same? Isn't it just the case of a faster motor, more heatsinking around the drive (such as the Compaq 15K drives that have a big aluminum sink built into the tray), and an interface board for U160 instead of ATA100?

        I have been buying Maxtor drives for four years; my current systems include a 7200RPM 40 gig in my machine, 5400 RPM 30 gig in my wife's box, and in the server, two 40 Gigs and two 80 Gigs (all 5400 RPM ATA 100). I've not yet (kock on wood) had any issues with them, but I keep in mind teh old adage:

        There are two types of hard drives, those that have failed, and those that will fail.

        The bigger argument brough up on HardOCP was duty cycle specs... the IBM drives were coming out at 333 hours a month for five years mean time between failure. That works out to 20,000 duty hours. They were spec'ing out older drives (as far back as 1989) that are listed at over a million duty hours. How can IBM justify this rating in comparison with their peers? Just assume nobody ever pays attention to that, and then when the drives fail, say "we told you so?"

        • Yes, the higher-end SCSI drives (with associated higher spindle speeds, up to 15,000 RPM) are designed for full-time use, but aren't the mechanisms functionally the same? Isn't it just the case of a faster motor, more heatsinking around the drive (such as the Compaq 15K drives that have a big aluminum sink built into the tray), and an interface board for U160 instead of ATA100?

          Almost. There's one more difference in there, and it's a big one: quality control. Same way the low-speed Athlons are just high-speed models that didn't pass QA checks, consumer drives are not manufactured to the same standards as server drives. To do so would be cost prohibitive--the cost increases exponentially as tolerances get closer. To build a drive that is capable of handling server-esque duties requires much tighter machining tolerances, better heat dissipation, better wear characteristics, etc. than a consumer drive. With that improved quality comes greater manufacturing cost. Think of it this way: would you put a cheap no-name printer on a network, send it a thousand pages a day, and expect it to stand up to the load, or would you step up to the plate and get a network-class LaserJet rated for 30K pages/month duty cycle? Yes, it's disappointing that these drives are big enough and cheap enough for us geeks to use them in servers, but at the end of the day, you have to remember that they're still consumer drives; by a strict definition ("to use wrongly" (dictionary.com) [dictionary.com]), using them as server drives constitutes abuse. If you want server drives, pay for them; if you want to pay for consumer drives, don't expect more than consumer quality. Enjoy it when you get it, but if it counts, pay for it.

  • I have seen these stories about the IDE drives and have heard people saying that IBM isn't doing well with IBM drives, but I have expereinced that QA in general with IBM is crap. The other day we received a system direct from IBM, a rackmount server. The thing shipped with no hard drive. Additionally, an upgrade we ordered pre-installed came in a separate box. When calling to get the order fixed, the order number on the box was not listed in their database. Eventually they said the order number on the box was only a 'partial' order number, and the hard drive was shipped.

    Three of the four CDs they shipped were cracked beyond usability, packing was horrible. IBM needs to get QA better before I'll considr them again for purchases.
  • I'm going to get my hands on two dead but RMA'able 75GXPs...the 45gig models, for the cost of shipping them to my house. Both are replaceable under IBM's warrenty, I don't exactly trust it though...

    I'm probably going to run them in RAID 1 (Mirroring?) I think off of my KT7-RAID. That way....well...They'll both fail, just hopefully not at the same time.
  • by crumbz (41803)
    I have used WD drives for about 5 years now and their higher-end EIDE and SCSI have been great workhorses for us.
    A shame for IBM. Their hardware used to be top-notch in quality. Period. I guess that leaves HP....
    • For a while, they were playing fast and loose with the UDMA spec and produced a line of drives that weren't safe for UDMA use- they'd work, but a lot of them would corrupt data if you operated them in UDMA mode.
  • by fallacy (302261) on Monday March 18, 2002 @11:51AM (#3181030)
    I'm finding this story rather spooky as my 75GXP failed on me (ironically in the middle of my first real backup) yesterday after 18 months of "average" use (less than 6 hours a day). I use the IBM drive as my main system drive, and keep a 5GB for data backups "now and again".

    I bought the drive way back in October 2000 with the confidence that "it's an IBM drive: these things are not only fast, but are meant to be reliable". When I started to see the horror stories of other peoples' drives failing I felt quite lucky (read: smug) that mine was still going strong. Now I realise how stupid I look: that whiz, whir, crunch, grind noise that I heard yesterday from the disk *above* the sound of my rather noisy fans scared the life out of me.

    I'm now faced with the nasty task of not only attempting to salvage what data I can before I send it to IBM (yes, as other people have mentioned, at least IBM provide a fairly decent 3 year warranty), but also shudder in anticipation at what IBM decide to do with my drive. I believe there are 3 options:
    1. Attempt to "fix" my drive and send it back (although having the "Drive Fitness Test" return "Defective Disk" should quash this option). That means I'm stuck with the same drive which is most likely to fail on me again sometime in the (not-too-distant) future.
    2. Replace my drive with the same spec, from the same product line & production factory. Again, this worries me as I'm probably ending up with a new disk which has the same defects and thus is also going to die on me.
    3. Replace my drive with a newer product with an equivalent spec. Yesterday I was hoping for this option. However, having read the ViaHardware article, this doesn't hold much hope for me either.

    And that's the crux: it's alright having the drive under warranty & returning it, but who's to say that any drive they replace it with is not as faulty?

    This whole fiasco with the GXP line has certainly put me off IBM drives, no matter how fast and "great" they may be. Shame.
    • by sconeu (64226) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:23PM (#3181173) Homepage Journal
      And that's the crux: it's alright having the drive under warranty & returning it, but who's to say that any drive they replace it with is not as faulty?
      Same thing with Maxtor.

      I had a 40GB Maxtor (D540X) die on me three months after buying my computer. They sent me an advance replacement, and two months later that one died. When I called to RMA *THAT* one, and to complain about the short lifespan, they asked if I wanted a "new build instead of a refurbished drive" this time. My response was... HELL YES!

      Given that comment from their customer service rep, it sounds like most drives under warranty are replaced with refurbs.
    • my 75GXP failed on me (ironically in the middle of my first real backup)
      Clearly you earned top marks from the Alanis Morissette School of Irony.
    • You will get a new drive.

      I can identify with the horrible noise. My own 75GXP _woke me up_ with that horrible noise.

      On a slightly hopeful note; I've seen reports that you can temporarily revive the drive by mounting it upside-down. Try it, you have nothing to lose.

    • See my post above [slashdot.org]. When my 40GB 60GXP bit the big one, they replaced it in January with a 40GB 120GXP. I suspect that that is their new practice with RMA's on the Deskstar line, so you'll probable get a 120GXP - Option 3.
  • "Unless you pay your shareware fee this harddrive will stop working after 333 hours."
  • by Corgha (60478) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:02PM (#3181071)
    from the article:
    While large numbers of readers responded to the questions I posed regarding drive reliability, their emails present very different pictures. Some of you swear by IBM drives and their reliability, while listing many of the Seagate, Maxtor, or WD drives you've seen fail in both a corporate and a consumer setting, while other readers had horror stories of seeing IBM drive after IBM drive bite the dust.

    On the general topic of hard drive reliability, I've noticed a similar trend -- every sysadmin to whom I speak seems to have a poorly-founded personal hatred for one hard drive manufacturer. Sure, I admit, having a hard drive fail on you really sucks (esp. if you've been lazy with backups and don't have RAID).

    What's weird about this is that people who are otherwise rational will take a single experience with a bad drive and use it to justify an opinion that all drives from that manufacturer are unreliable. It reminds me of D&D players who will, after rolling a d20 four or five times, decide that it "rolls high."

    Here's the deal: hard drives fail. Get over it and design your systems such that your important data isn't relying on a single hard drive. In fact, two of my hard drives (a Quantum and an IBM) are slowly failing on me right now. Before that, the last one was a Seagate.

    Now, I will admit that there must be some models from some manufacturers which are more prone to failure, just as there are probably some d20s which are prone to "roll high." Perhaps some manufacturers tend to make more reliable drives than others. However, in all the times I have heard someone bitch about a hard drive manufacturer, not once has someone referred to a study that did a statistically sound comparison of drives (I'm not sure that one even exists that compares, over time, all the various models of the manufacturers). It's always "Seagate sucks! A Seagate drive failed on me once, and I had to do a bare-metal recovery."

    Of course, in this case, lots of people have reported problems with this drive, so it's a little different. If, sometime in the near future, someone tells me not to buy a cheap-ass OEM IBM IDE drive to use in a critical server, saying "remember the 120GXP?", I'll probably listen to them. However, based on my limited anecdotal evidence, I doubt that will happen :)

    </rant>
    • In my case, "Seagate sucks! 5 Seagate drives failed on me, none lasting for more than 8 months...".

      This was years ago and these were 40mb SCSI drives, but nothing leaves a bad taste in your mouth like that does let me tell you ...
    • first off some dice do roll a particular way. How much q&a do you think goes into hobby dice manufacturing?

      It has been my experience that drive manufacturers seem to go through cycles. I remember when seagates where crap, then Fujitsu, then Maxtor.

      In all likely hood, something changed in the process. I'd put my money there using a new fab, or a fab under new managment.
      • first off some dice do roll a particular way.

        Of course they do, just like some models of drives have high failure rates. My point is that you can't tell if a d20 "rolls high" by rolling it four times, and you can't tell if a manufacturer produces bad drives by looking at isolated failure incidents.

        It's a strange bit of human nature that makes us ignore everything we know about statistics and probability and instead put faith in superstition and anecdotal evidence:

        "12, 16, 20, 15 ... wow this is a good d20 -- I'll use this one"
        "ok, make your to-hit roll"
        "2. shit. I must have used up all the good rolls."
    • What's weird about this is that people who are otherwise rational will take a single experience with a bad drive and use it to justify an opinion that all drives from that manufacturer are unreliable. It reminds me of D&D players who will, after rolling a d20 four or five times, decide that it "rolls high."

      Sending back a dead drive once in a while and extrapolating that the manufacturer produces shitty drives is one thing. Getting three bad drives in a row from one manufacturer and having them all fail after a month or two, OTOH...I think that's reasonable justification for swearing off of that supplier.

      I haven't had Western Digital, Quantum, Seagate, or IBM fail like that on me. I did go through a string of three 5.1GB Maxtors that died a month or two apart before having the store switch the drive to a WD (which still works four years later).

      If, sometime in the near future, someone tells me not to buy a cheap-ass OEM IBM IDE drive to use in a critical server, saying "remember the 120GXP?", I'll probably listen to them.

      If it's a "critical server," an IDE drive doesn't belong in it. You spend the extra $$$ for SCSI. (Hell, my home server uses a pair of Barracuda 4s (ST15150W), and while it'd suck if it crashed, it's not what most people would call "critical.")

      • If it's a "critical server," an IDE drive doesn't belong in it.

        ...which is one reason why I said I'd listen to them. I'm frankly a little confused by the idea that people are using the 120GXP in critical apps. I actually do have one of those big IDE drives -- I use it to store mp3s that I've ripped from CDs. For critical data, it's SCSI all the way.

        Sending back a dead drive once in a while and extrapolating that the manufacturer produces shitty drives is one thing. Getting three bad drives in a row from one manufacturer and having them all fail after a month or two, OTOH...I think that's reasonable justification for swearing off of that supplier.

        From your story it sounds like all three 5.1GB Maxtors were the same model (since they were replacements for each other). Part of my point is that every manufacturer is going to produce bad drives and bad models of drives. Why make the leap from the bad experience with a particular model of Maxtor drive to a conclusion about Maxtor drives in general?

        I have no doubt that, given the many reports, the 120GXP has some problems. I haven't seen anything comparing its failure rate with that of other drives in its class, but even if its failure rate is spectacularly higher, I think the idea of swearing off all IBM drives based only upon the 120GXP's failure rate is ridiculous.

        In other words, should everyone stop buying Fords solely because they made the Pinto? Maybe I should ask the Car Guys whether there exists a car manufacturer that has never produced a lemon.
        • Sending back a dead drive once in a while and extrapolating that the manufacturer produces shitty drives is one thing. Getting three bad drives in a row from one manufacturer and having them all fail after a month or two, OTOH...I think that's reasonable justification for swearing off of that supplier.

          From your story it sounds like all three 5.1GB Maxtors were the same model (since they were replacements for each other). Part of my point is that every manufacturer is going to produce bad drives and bad models of drives. Why make the leap from the bad experience with a particular model of Maxtor drive to a conclusion about Maxtor drives in general?

          Those three were all the same model...but they're not the only Maxtors that have croaked on me. A couple of years ago, a 20GB drive went tits-up after about a month...just like the 5.1s. (I would never have bought it in the first place if PC Club had had another brand in stock at the time...when I took it back, they had WD in stock.) More recently, I just RMA'd an 80GB drive that started developing a high-pitched seek noise after 9 months. When you consider that no other brand has that poor a track record in my experience (other drives are usually good for at least a couple of years), I think you can see why you couldn't pay me to take a Maxtor. (I'm not even sure I'd take a one of their relabled Quantums, as there's no telling what corners Maxtor has cut with those drives...and Quantum used to be one of the better drives you could get.)

  • by Fweeky (41046) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:03PM (#3181078) Homepage
    Bad idea: Letting your drive melt.

    I had problems with my 40GB Quantum AS (bad sectors, spinning down and refusing to speak to anything); I noticed it was getting rather hot (bare in mind this is in a well ventilated case at the bottom of the 3.5" mounting bays with plenty of space above it) and wondered if this had anything to do with it.

    So I mounted a card cooler [thecardcooler.com] I had spare, put it on top of a small speaker just outside the case (I leave the side open) and had it blow over the system.

    The result? CPU temp dropped a good 6c (43c fully loaded for a 1GHz Athlon clocked to 1.2GHz, compared with ~50 before) and now both my drives (Quantum Fireball 20GB and Quantum Fireball AS 40GB) are cool to the touch. There's been absolutely no sign of any problems with the drive since either.
  • IBM is claiming in some places its unsuited for server use because a restriction of 333 hours per month of use.

    But I haven't turned my PC off in over a year (does anyone do that anymore?). Does that make it a server, or simply just a normal use?

    Seriously, for those of you with broadband, don't you keep your PC on all the time? Why would you shut it off?
    • I don't have broadband, but I do use my main computer at all hours of the day and sometimes night as well. So I never turn it off. Except for being powered down for a couple hardware upgrades, it's been running continuously since late 1999. The main machine before that ran 24/7 for about 5 years (and it's back up 24/7 now following a major upgrade). I doubt this is unusual among people whose main work (or play :) revolves around the computer.

    • Most useres turn off there computer. For most people it makes no sense to pay to keep the thing powered if its not doing anything.
      the /. crowd is usually thre exception to how most people use there computer.
      I turn mine off. Even when I had broadband.
    • Seriously, for those of you with broadband, don't you keep your PC on all the time? Why would you shut it off?

      I always power-down my systems when I am done using them. Why? Here's why.

      Northridge Earthquake, January 17th, 1994. Two anecdotes.

      Anecdote 1: One friend lives less than a mile from the epicenter. Whole house trashed. Powered-off Packard Hell computer literally flies 6 feet across the room. Computer written off as probably dead meat. One day, friend plugs the thing in just for the hell of it. Boots like a champ, keeps working for two years more before the Curse Of Packard Hell does the beast in.

      Anecdote 2: Another friend runs a BBS. He is 5 miles from the epicenter and lives in the mountains where the house is literally sitting on bedrock. No liquifaction problem at all. Several computers on 24/7. Several hard drives lost.

      Yes folks, I live in California. Earthquake country. Want to have your computer survive an earthquake? Keep it powered down unless you plan on using the thing. Hard drives had parking mechanisms and spin-down idle mode in 1994...the main things that have changed in the state-of-the-art on HDs is density and UDMA. Mechanically most HDs are pretty similar to those available in 1994.

      If I wasn't living in California, I'd probably keep my machines on 24/7. Powercycling does take its toll. But earthquakes are a reality here and hard drives aren't at the disposable cost point yet. Ultimately you have to view hard drives as having a finite lifespan. But I want to maintain as much of a lifespan as possible.

      BTW one last point...pre GXP IBM hard drives are very good. The Maxtor Diamond Max drive is based on an old IBM design. I wouldn't touch a GXP if you paid me but the old IBM hard drives are good stuff.

  • by fmaxwell (249001) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:05PM (#3181089) Homepage Journal
    How will people use their 1,000 free hours of AOL in 45 days if their hard drive, and hence their PC, can only be on 333 hours per month?
    • ...if we could somehow... harness the electricity needed to power these drives longer... but... the only thing with enough power to generate 1.21 jiggawatts is... A BOLT OF LIGHTINING!

  • Drive Temperature (Score:5, Interesting)

    by frozenray (308282) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:08PM (#3181105)
    Tip: Check if the drive temperature is not exceeding the specified limits with something like this tool [peterlink.ru]. Many case designs do not provide sufficient ventilation for 7'200 RPM drives, especially if they're mounted closely together. Use a HD cooler if the disks get too warm, it's still less expensive than reconstructing data and/or reinstalling.

    Irony: big ad from IBM on my page of the "IBM 120GXP Revisited" article, saying "Time to update your critical systems security!". Yes, indeed 8-)
  • Great quote (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vohlish_n (261634)
    on IBM's web site:
    • http://www.storage.ibm.com/hdd/prod/deskstar.htm
    "...delivers Non-stop leadership..."
  • by lazarus (2879) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:14PM (#3181134) Journal
    Late last year when it was Quantum Fireball drives that were dropping like flies in our office I got on the phone with a drive repair center in Canada. We were going through the "How much will it cost us to actually retrieve the data from these drives?" discussion and I thought to ask him what brand of drives he sees the *least*.

    "SCSI" was his response. "Oh sure," he said "there are fewer of them out there -- but we hardly see any at all."

    One of the other interesting things he told me is that the drives included in Quantum's Snap Server appliances, despite being IDE, are *NOT* drives you can buy off the shelf. And he hasn't gotten in a single Snap Server drive in the two years they had been selling them.

    I switched from Quantum to IBM drives at the time (ugh!) but had the forsight to put them all in a RAID-1 configuration. We've sent three DeathStars back for repair so far. The good news? IBM had replacements to us in under a week.

    I recently switched from IBMs to Maxtor (making sure I wasn't buying Quantum's old stock) and have already had one of their 80Gb drives fail. For the record they are not as responsive as IBM in the RMA department.

    So what's the answer folks? You get what you pay for. If you care about your data buy an Adaptec 1200A RAID-1 controller and two drives, or spend the money on a SCSI controller and SCSI drives. So far I haven't found any IDE drive vendors that can sell you a reliable drive (I have dead fujitsu drives around here as well, but must admit that I still haven't tried Western Digital.)
    • I recently switched from IBMs to Maxtor (making sure I wasn't buying Quantum's old stock) and have already had one of their 80Gb drives fail. For the record they are not as responsive as IBM in the RMA department.

      Which drives aren't Quantums? How do you tell?

      Also, I've had no problems with Maxtor RMAs. If you give them a CC, they'll ship you a drive in advance, and then you have 30 days to get them your old drive.
  • Until I saw this, I had, for some reason, been under the impression that IBM drives were the most reliable IDE drives around...

    Which leads me to wonder... What IDE drives *are* good?
    • I've had very good experince with them. I have a 800 MB drive that still runs well. I don't use it much any more becaues of the size. My drives are exclusivly Maxtor now. (no I do not represent Maxtor or any seller dealing with Maxtor)

      I have had a Quantum Drive fail after 1 month so badly that even a data recovery company could not recover any data from it. It had anihilated the 'sync track' by scratching it to death.

    • The problem is companies will change something, Fab, fab mamagment, a new brand of soldies in there boards, and it will have consequence later. Company ABC could have the best IDE drives, ever. The they get some new management in a Fab. The managment changes some small thing(in there eyes) and suddenly, drives start failing after 3 months.
      It happens. I've seen management skip on a fab filtration system for a week to get a bigger bonus, only to pay for it later.(these where NOT HD fabs).

      All companies go throught this time to time.

      there are two things you can do to protect your self:
      1)Buy SCSI. there higher quality. Most IDE drives are drives that didn't meet SCSI specs.

      2)Don't buy the newest drive. Drives are large enough now, you can live 1 year behind the curve. This way you can evaluate drives based on some history of the specific drive, and not just company rep.

  • by sterno (16320) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:24PM (#3181177) Homepage
    IBM is giving a classic demonstration in how NOT to handle a problem. It has been demonstrated time and time again that the tactic of denying everything does not work. It doesn't work for politicians, it doesn't work for accounting firms, and it doesn't work for electronics manufacturers.

    IBM could have come right out, admitted to a defect and paid the price for that. By admitting to it, and making sure to replace all of those defects, they would have bought themselves a huge amount of credibility. We'd all buy IBM drives knowing full well that if there was ever a design problem we'd hear about it and get it fixed.

    Now, IBM is risking the reputation of their entire drive line through these shenanigans. Before IBM stood as one of the best drive manufacturers, but repeated issues with the GXP line are quickly submarining that. In the ultra-competitive hard drive market, this sort of problem could put that unit completely out of business.

    I personally owned an IBM 75GXP, and it is the only hard drive I've ever owned that had a problem. I've been using hard drives since a 20MB box attached to my Atari 1040ST, and not a single one of them ever made a fuss. My defective drive has since been replaced, but it's of course with another IBM drive and now I continue to be concerned that maybe this drive will be defective too.

    I wonder how long before people learn the lesson that covering your tracks, especially in this era of rapid distribution of information, is a bad policy.
    • IBM is giving a classic demonstration in how NOT to handle a problem. It has been demonstrated time and time again that the tactic of denying everything does not work. It doesn't work for politicians, it doesn't work for accounting firms, and it doesn't work for electronics manufacturers.
      It worked for O.J.
  • by hklingon (109185) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:25PM (#3181185) Homepage
    I have not really trusted IBM drives since my DGHS 18 U died. Not because it died, but because IBM Customer Service handled it extremely poorly. Not only was the drive purchased from an authorized IBM agent I had full documentation. They had initially said I needed documentation to replace it, but when I obtained documentation they said the warranty was only a year. The paperwork I had clearly showed otherwise, but they sternly refused. Since, I have acumulated about 14 dead IBM drives in the 10-30 gb range...

    Anyway, I think we're all misisng something here. I've seen IBM drives installed in a Raid config die within hours of eachother, just days or weeks out of warranty.

    I think the thinking at IBM drives is along this line "Lets manufacture the drive in such a way we can undercut our competition, but as a result, it will make the drive only last this many hours.." The failure rate could be related to the fatigue rate of metal of a certain purity used in the drive, stability of ceramics used, how good the air filter is inside, etc etc. From my experience seeing each class of drives die, The MTBF is amazingly similar between drives that die.

    Lets say the warranty on these is 3 year. Isn't that IBM saying that the drive has a lifetime of 11,998 hours, or just about 499.5 days? If I'm right, even if you follow IBM's reccomendation, the drive will die, but more likely to be out of warranty. Will they replace the drive if I don't follow the reccomendation? I would like my drives to last 5 or 10 years.. or until I don't need it anymore. Period. Not a year.. or three years or whatever the warranty du jour is.

    The oldest drives I have and am using are Seagate FH 5.25" 9 gb scsi drives. They're 10 years old. Their MTBF is clearly published, and about 800,000 hours, if memory serves.... this is far more acceptable.

    Wendell
  • At least IBM was kind enough to warn you of this on their spec sheets:
    60GXP Spec Sheet, Pg 50 of 209 [ibm.com]
    120GXP Spec Sheet, Pg 2 of 2 [ibm.com]
    There's probably one of these for the 75GXP line. But I think it is implied from the get go already, if the clicking doesn't kill you first.

    What ever you do, just don't put two of these babies in a TiVo! [tivocommunity.com]
  • by PhotoGuy (189467) on Monday March 18, 2002 @12:59PM (#3181384) Homepage
    Only 8 hours a day? Next thing you know the drives will be demanding 15 minute coffee breaks twice a day, full medical and dental, three weeks vacation each year, job security, and so on.

    -me
  • by dago (25724)
    As stated before, this line of HDD (Deskstar) are *CHEAP* ones.

    and for hardware (even if it may not be true for software), you get what you paid for !!!

    I've go 3 IBMs SCSI drives (UltraStar) ranging from an old 2 Gb 5400 RPMs to a (recent) 18 Gb 10000 RPM and guess what ?

    Not a single bad cluster, not a single problem with them.

    Oh, yeah they have a 3-year warranty ...

    What is the warranty for an DeskStar ?

    • This is a fallacy of poor logic: sample sets of three don't extrapolate to general conclusions. There are people out there who have three + GXP series drives that aren't having any problems. By your logic, they have nothing to worry about.

      A poster above has had many UltraStars tank; the lesson being that all brands and types of hard drives can fail. Don't think you're immune. If you haven't been bit yet, chances are good that eventually you will be.

      Deskstars also have a three year warranty. You could check before alluding a falsehood.

      Smugness is not a substitute for insightful commentary, and is even less appreciated when a lack of logic and facts are present.
  • My 7200 rpm 34GXP IBM died after only 12 months of light usage (1-2 hr a day) during a game install. I have heard 34GXPs died a lot in other people's boxes (Apple used to ship them in their G4 - we have some in our office - all have died). I have 2 other disks (RAID1/Fujitsu disks) that run 24/7 with heavy usage (busy server) and they have been OK for 2 yr now. My new 7200rpm WD that replaced the IBM has been fine as well.

    Of course this doesn't compare to horror stories of people where all 4 IBM disks in a RAID dies within a month. I think the whole GXP line smells bad.

    D.
  • Anyone building their own system should pay attention to heat problems. I'll bet that you won't see these drives failing in systems built by Dell and others, they have engineers to deal with airflow and heat removal. If you put a fast drive in a case meant for a piddly 5400rpm drive, then you're begging for trouble. All the systems I build and sell with 7200 or greater RPM drives have fans blowing air on and around the drives. Any fast drive is going to fail without direct heat sinking and airflow.

    This is a lesson learned from installing a dozen fast track raid cards into servers, with the second drive (and often both) being 7200RPM drives. We had all sorts of failures until we looked at the case airflow.

    Obviously, however, the IBM drives are failing at a higher rate than other manufacturers. The reason is probably due to slightly smaller tolerances given for heat problems. The other big problem is selling their drives to the inexperienced consumers - one of the reasons you can find certian drives only in prebuilt systems. The manufacturer knows to sell only to people who know what their doing.

    With the hard drive being the slowest component in the system (the bottle neck) people want to get the faster drive, but they fail to think of it in terms of heat production. As much time needs to be spent dealing the the hard drive's heat sinking as with the processor's heat sinking.

    -Adam
  • 45% working time. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AliCampbell (563953) on Monday March 18, 2002 @01:26PM (#3181528) Homepage Journal
    333 hours per month is only 13 days per month. 45% working time. Working 12-7 or maybe 24-3.5
  • Shopping around at the local computer show and picked up a couple of drives. Lot's to choose from including Maxtor and IBM all lined up side by side. Prices were pretty close, RPM, capacity, etc. etc. but ya' know - I could recall hearing all sorts of CRAP about IBM drives failing of late. Sorry IBM, I chose a pair of 80gig Maxtor drives this time. I don't replace drives very often and seldom have them fail on me but if IBM isn't supporting those that do fail or coming clean about a problem then I'm not supporting THEM either! There are way too many other choices out there and I made mine, hopefully IBM will get it together and come clean but until then I'm not going to trust them. Bummer too - I used to think highly of their drives...
  • by jridley (9305) on Monday March 18, 2002 @02:18PM (#3181924)
    I used to be in the clone mfg business. One thing we determined is that companies go through cycles. For instance, WD has at various times been among the best AND the worst of the manufacturers out there. Seagate has made some wonderful drives and some absolute crap.

    Here's a resource I've been watching lately. If anyone has similar things (published reports of reliability from places that deal with dead drives) please follow up to this message.

    http://www.driveservice.com/bestwrst.htm

    • Yeah, when I was in college in the early 90's I worked at a local clone manufacturer. (still kinda do I guess)

      Back then I'd say, in my mind, from best to worst were...

      1. Micropolis
      2. Quantum
      3. Seagate
      4. Fujitsu
      5. Conner
      6. Western Digital
      7. Maxtor

      Of course, the above 2 really only made SCSI drives at the time. Seagate was hit and miss, and the last 4 were crap more often than not.

      Micropolis was *THE* drive. Though, at the end of the lifespan a few years ago, the drives we'd get from distributors had about a 75% failure rate. That was insane.

      Personally, I've always used Quantums. I've got some Quantums that are over 10 years old and they still run. I've got a Fireball that is 5 years old. Been running pretty much non-stop. This drive did hiccup a year ago though -- it came back up, but I paniced and ran to best buy and bought a western digital (all they stocked) and made it the primary.

      I'm putting together my first *new* computer in 5 years as I type, and I'm using 2 Maxtors now..

      I've never personally had a bad hard disk in my 18+ years with computers. So, I'm pretty lucky. But I've seen hundereds, maybe thousands.

      Basically you just have to look at the here and now. You can't blindly stay loyal to one manufacturer.
  • Response from IBM (Score:2, Interesting)

    by stefanh_uk (238073)
    Here is an email response from IBM. German original followed by Babeled translation:

    ---
    Sehr geehrter Herr Holmes,

    Danke für Ihr Interesse in unsere Deskstar 120GXP Festplattenserie.

    Die angegebenen 333 monatlich 'empfohlenen Betriebsstunden (POH - Power On
    Hours)' in
    dem Datenblatt der Deskstar 120GXP sollte nicht als oberste Grenze
    angenommen werden.
    Es ist lediglich eine Betrachtung des typischen Einsatzes in einer Desktop
    Umgebung,
    in der die Mehrzahl dieser Festplatten vorwiegend eingesetzt werden.

    Das Deskstar 120GXP Model eignet sich für einen 24/7 Betrieb, sollte es
    Ihre Applikation erfordern.

    Mit freundlichen Gruessen
    IBM Technology Group Support Centre

    Anja Ruf

    email : drive@uk.ibm.com or drive@de.ibm.com

    Homepage : http://www.ibm.com/harddrive
    ---

    Translation:

    ---
    Dear Mr. Holmes, Thanks for your interest into our Deskstar 120GXP fixed disk series. The indicated 333 monthly ' recommended operation hours (POH - power on Hours) ' in the data sheet of the Deskstar 120GXP should not be assumed as the highest boundary. It is only a view of the typical application in a Desktop environment, in which the majority of these fixed disks are predominantly used. The Deskstar 120GXP Model is suitable for a 24/7 operation, should require it your application.

    Yours sincerely IBM Technology Group support Centre

    Anja call email: drive@uk.ibm.com or drive@de.ibm.com Homepage: http://www.ibm.com/harddrive

    Are they back-tracking on the previous back-track? (is that possible?)

    I currently have 2 x 60GXP and 2 x 120GXP in my machine (40G each) running 24/7. Max temp as reported by IBM's fitness tool was 34deg/C. Strange clicking noises do happen from the drives, we'll wait and see how long it takes...
  • As I sent over to Kyle at [H]ardOCP a week or so ago....

    Well lets see if we take your math further that;

    333hours/mo * 12months *5 years (off the graphic you posted) = 19,980 hours total. That's Horrible!
    ([H]ardOCP http://www.hardocp.com had posted a graphic from IBM's documentation that said the expected life of the drive was 5 years, hence the 5 above)

    Lets see WesternDigital rates their 120G at 500,000 hours on the bottom of ; http://www.wdc.com/products/current/drives.asp?Mod el=WD1200BB

    Lets compare a High end, high quality drive the Cheetah X15 it has a MTBF of 1,200,000 hours!

    Ok lets play fair and compare it to something a little older like it is how about a Seagate ST4766E 667meg hd circa 3/29/90 (according to the bad sector sticker on the drive). According to Seagates web site ( http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/specs/esdi/st4 766e.html ) this drive has a MTBF of 150,000 hours.

    Lets try something older. How about an old ST 225, nope that's got a MTBF of 100,000 hours. http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/specs/mfm/st22 5.html

    Hmmm do you think if we grind enough IBM drives up we can make some lemonade?
  • by ryanvm (247662) on Monday March 18, 2002 @03:37PM (#3182375)
    I guess that pixie dust [slashdot.org] IBM uses isn't so magical after all.
    • I guess that pixie dust IBM uses isn't so magical after all.

      It's still good stuff - it's just that IBM's QA and Engineering Departments were snorting it when they designed and spec'd those drives.
  • They are reliable! (Score:2, Informative)

    by zoftie (195518)
    I can't stand hype, and thats what this article does. It polarizes the two sides of potential conflict. Yes the drives from hugarian factory failed. Yes these drives get very HOT. So, get some spacing and have a cooling system in place, or at least some sort of air flow maintanace.
    I have on 60GXP from Singapore(?) and & 75GXP. I spaced them properly, and placed holes where they are located, so that powersupply fan would pull air around them. I never had any problems yet!

    IBM excellent drives, if they be more understanding to the issue, it would be great, but making people hate great product, instead of instructing them how to work around the problem, that most other drives have is to say the least is counter productive. But then thats what reading slashdot is all about anyway ...
  • It seems that the larger my drives the shorter their life. am I just using the drives more now? I doubt it. I would like some recommendations for rock solid drives in the 40-80 gig range. I just got a maxtor 40 gig not long ago. (have to keep the pr0n and mp3s someplace) it cost me like 100$ which isn't bad at all but how long will it last? I've been buying cheap so I don't feel bad when the drive dies in a year. You can't say that you get what you pay for either cause I've seen super expensive drives that were trash, case in point the 120gxp. so i call on the minions that read /. and use drives more than anyone. what do you recommend? 5400s are fine for my uses.

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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