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Everything posted by Mickey

  1. Only one surface is read to or written from at a time. Fewer platters typically correspond with a lighter actuator, one that takes less time (and energy) to move quickly. My understanding is the data is sprinkled across all the surfaces of a multi-platter drive, but I don't know if there is a specific pattern used.
  2. Mickey

    Replacing the electrics ?

    If you plugged in both power connectors at the same time, the board probably fried. Some drives use a latching connector to go between the motor and board. That particular model wouldn't have had one.
  3. Mickey

    Replacing the electrics ?

    Physically swapping the boards is relatively straightforward. The appropriate Torx driver will let you remove the screws, usually a T7 or T8 for 3.5" and T6 for 2.5" drives. The bigger question is whether the swapped drive will work afterwards. For some models/makes, it will spin up. For others, the specific firmware on the board has to match what is on the drive or it won't spin up, let alone come ready or function properly. Matching make/model/vintage is your best bet.
  4. Mickey

    Samsung drives...

    Did you tilt them as they were running or did you stop the drives, tilt them, and then restart them? If the former, I'm not surprised it killed them. Depending on how quickly you tilt an operating drive, multiplatter 3.5" drives in particular have a significant amount of rotational inertia. You can cause a headcrash if you move the drive quickly enough. If the latter, then that is indeed odd. Drives are tested in specific orthogonal orientations, but they're not supposed to flat-out not work in others.
  5. Mickey

    4kB sector HDDs reporting 4kB sector

    If there are 2 different HDD vendors with 4KB sector products and neither offers a jumper option to toggle between 512B emulation mode, I assume it's because there really isn't an easy solution. Does make me wonder what it would entail, though. Perhaps this is a temporary thing, until more of the market has moved away from XP, a bit like the PATA-->SATA transition.
  6. Actually, some of WD's drive designs use what's called a rotating shaft motor while others use one with a fixed shaft. The RE line has a fixed shaft, for example, mainly to help compensate for gyration effects from multiple disks. Any properly designed drive will not have a significant "shift in angle" for the motor shaft by simple pressure. That paragraph from Tom's Hardware makes no sense, as it's implying that having a screw leads to problems and that not having one has problems. Every HDD design out there does one or the other.
  7. Mickey

    3TB Seagate Barracuda XT

    Companies sometimes quietly release new products/designs to see how they fare before opening the floodgates with a big announcement. A bit like public beta testing, in that there really is no substitute for releasing thousands of drives into the wild.
  8. Mickey

    where are the 3 TB internal drives?

    Color me surprised. I figured Seagate would be first since they were first with an external drive. Looks like a decent performer.
  9. Egads. Probably would have been sold in the gray market or the like. Then again, I heard a story of someone building drives with surplus parts and selling them at the local flea market. I was rather impressed at the skill level, since it would have to be done in a cleanroom and not on your kitchen table.
  10. I've actually been looking for a way to get more USB ports on some lab systems without having to use an external hub (cable clutter). Pity it's in a 5.25" form factor; the systems don't have any 5.25" bays, only 3.5" bays.
  11. I prefer a more genteel approach than hurling footwear. RAID is meant for uptime, not backup in the traditional sense. It provides no protection against fire, theft, a power short taking out your drives/system, virus, etc. And if most of your media is really from "alternative" sources, maybe you don't particularly care if you lose it. You could just collect it again. Or for stuff you ripped yourself, you could use the original media as your backup. I keep my CD collection around partly for that reason. For backup, you need to honestly ask yourself how much of that data is critical to keep vs. good-to-have. The critical data I need would fit on one DVD (personal information, family pictures, etc.). The rest of it I already have on install disks or I can easily download again (web browser, email client, various utilities). And I keep a second copy, on an external HDD, of stuff recorded off my DVR, as it'd be a hassle to record it again. Still, that drive is only 500 GB total, with space to spare. It's not a practical option for 100TB of media. Also, if you're going the RAID route, especially with that many drives, you have to carefully choose which particular flavor of RAID (and thus, what hardware) you get. I'll let others with more experience chime in on how to pick a RAID setup, as it's not my area of expertise.
  12. Also, how do you plan to back up all that data? Do you have a tape system or something else? What kind of performance do you need out of the array?
  13. A secondary SATA controller card would work, though you'd need several to get that many drives connected. That sounds like an awful lot of storage to pack into a small space, though. I'd worry about power consumption and cooling with that many drives in one case.
  14. Well, they are also less dense. The combination of physically smaller media + lower density (and occasionally short-stroking) accounts for the lower overall capacity. Historically, the densest platters are released for desktop products before they are used in enterprise drives.
  15. The max spin speed is dictated by several factors, one of which is what the market wants (customers want the drives to stay in distinct niches, so that they're interchangeable between vendors). Other factors include how quickly the drive can detect (and interpret) bits from the media, bearing design for both the motor and head, TMR, acoustics, servo, and power consumption. Obviously, drives that spin beyond 7200 exist, but AFAIK, not with 95 mm disks. 10K drives have to use smaller diameter media to counteract disk flutter. It's also why 15K drives use even smaller disks. The technical challenges to build a 10K 3.5" drive, using 95 mm media, are significant and probably wouldn't be cost-effective.
  16. Unless there was a firmware lock placed on the drive, such that it only works with that particular enclosure, you should be able to yank it out and use it in a traditional manner. I've seen some drives with the USB port directly on the drive, but that was only with 2.5" drives, so I doubt you'll have that problem.
  17. If such an adapter exists, it'd need to use a daughterboard of some sort to offset the connector locations. Form factor for SATA doesn't leave enough room on one side to allow a bracket w/o some sort of offset daughterboard. The bracket that comes with the retail version of the Velociraptor drive is an example of one. If the 2.5" SSD conforms to standard 2.5" form factor, it should work.
  18. Makes sense to release the 3TB drive first as an external unit. The requirements are less stringent in terms of performance and quality metrics than with a more traditional OEM customer, so it gives time to work out kinks in the product. Some stuff doesn't really show up until you build a large quantity of drives, but no one wants to build them all and find nowhere to put them.
  19. Just a nitpick: Intellipower does not feature variable speed spindle motors. The line, as a whole, has different (and fixed) spin speeds depending on the product. Any particular product does not vary its speed based on usage. This was a confusing point when Intellipower was first released and since has been clarified.
  20. It's probably because certain key customers have installed bases with 3.5" bays and they don't want to upgrade them. Replacement 3.5" drives are going to become harder and harder to find (kinda like PATA drives in the consumer market) and this is one way of getting around it.
  21. I imagine throughput issues would be due to additional ECC necessary to correct the bad data passing through the cable. As mentioned, I bet Vantec included a 1-m cable since that's what most folks would need and it's the cheapest type to provide. If enclosure manufacturers are like HDD manufacturers, every penny saved is worth chasing. At least longer eSATA cables are relatively easy to find. I had the misfortune recently of needing 2-m long mini-SAS to 4X SAS cables. I ended up custom ordering those.
  22. A quality 2-meter cable should exhibit no problems. I've used them in the past in our test lab. Symptoms of a bad cable would be the same whether it's eSATA or SATA: no connection, intermittent connection, or bad throughput. I suspect the real reason the enclosure came with a 1-meter cable is cost and most users would just set the external unit next to the PC, so a longer cable just gets in the way.
  23. Mickey

    WD 1TB DVR Expander

    No, the Tivo doesn't let you choose. Once you add the Expander, the Tivo will see a single pool of usable storage; it spans both volumes, so if one of the drives dies or you move the Expander to another system, you will lose all the recordings on the span. It's one big reason many people prefer to swap out the internal drive instead, as that limits things to one point of failure. Anything I want to keep long-term, I move off to my PC, so potentially losing the recordings on the Tivo itself isn't a huge deal for me. Inconvenient, but not that much of a concern.
  24. Mickey

    WD 1TB DVR Expander

    I added the 500 GB Expander to my S3 Tivo before the 2008 Olympics, as I had no hope of recording all the footage otherwise. Well, I could have replaced the internal HDD, but the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is dabble with computers. It's worked fine so far; pretty much plug and play, though it's important to first plug in the unit before powering on the Tivo. I've read reports of intermittently flaky eSATA cables causing problems, but haven't experienced that myself.
  25. If there is a supported issue from WD, where they have provided a supported FW to fix a corruption issue, then they can provide said FW for you. Any other source has a good chance of doing nothing (if you're lucky) or further messing up things (if you're unlucky). Even with the right tools, FW updates don't always go well on drives. Have you tried a different SATA cable? When you say that the BIOS sees the drive, does it report the correct capacity and model number of the drive? If not (i.e. it shows a nonsense model number or capacity), that can mean either a bad cable, bad adapter/port, or bad drive. I've seen all three cause this type of problem.