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sunama

so many people's hard disks fail, yet none of mine have. why

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have u guys ever felt the surface of your hard disks, while in operation? cuz my wd1200jb was so hot (when no cooling was used and i was intalling win2k) that i couldnt keep my finger on the pcb side of the hard disk for longer than 5-10 secs. now i cant believe that without cooling, this hard disk would still be functioning today. Now alot of people dont use any cooling and surely its because of this that alot of hard disks (that get as hot as my WD1200jb) may actually be failing.

Did you actually touch the PCB with your fingers? That's a very bad idea in general, especially while the system is running. The excess capacitance from your body can couple into the circuit and potentially damage components, over and above the normal ESD precaution/handling issues.

I would only touch drives on the side, the part that is sticking out beyond the mounting bracket.

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also, just another point to consider about heat and hard drives. here is story involving my 2 seagate drives (i only have one now).

i used to watercool the non pcb side of the seagate drives, however, DTEMP gave an internal temp reading of never more than about 36C. so the drive casing itself was quite cool (cooler than when i was air cooling the hard drives). however, i got lots of errors. i would get messages saying that the drives had been removed and partitions couldnt be recognized. when i would reboot, the drives would sometimes not get recognized. in the end i was getting ready to RMA the drives (one at a time, cuz i couldnt be without both hard disks at the same time). then when as a last resort i tried something: i flipped both drives around, such that the PCB sides of the hard disks were now being cooled.

the internal temps of the hard disks stayed around the same however, not a single error. no problems at all.

since then ive replaced one seagate with a wd1200jb, but the other, which was giving problems, has now been running problem free for about 6 months (the drive itself is about 15 months old).

so from this i gathered that it is more important to cool the PCB side of the hard disk (which contains all the chips and controllers). if these things get hot, then your hard disks can behave unpredictably.

so as far as im concernced, heat is most definetly a factor when discussing hard disk reliability.

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Did you actually touch the PCB with your fingers? That's a very bad idea in general, especially while the system is running. The excess capacitance from your body can couple into the circuit and potentially damage components, over and above the normal ESD precaution/handling issues.

I would only touch drives on the side, the part that is sticking out beyond the mounting bracket.

the drive, at the time, wasnt mounted in my case; it was sitting outside the case, while i installed win2k. after win2k installation, i would mount the waterblocks to the hard disk and pack the hard disks into my case. while the hard disk was outside the case (and installing win2k) i felt the metal part of the hard disk and this was hot. i also felt the "black chips" on the pcb side of the hard disk. these too were hot.

this may have been dangerous, but to this day, ive had no problems with that drive and i had saw no ill effects while i was groping the hard disk in the above way.

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I haven't personally had any hard disk failures either in the four years that I've had PCs. I would say handling has the most to do with it. I only buy retail boxed drives which are surrounded by something like 2" of foam. I never buy mail order where the drives are repackaged by the shipper since this is asking for trouble All this pretty much ensures that the drives weren't subject to excessive shock unless somebody dropped the box from two stories up. Second, I mount my drives very carefully, and never tap or bang them in any way. I tend to think it is poor handling on the part of the installers that causes most drive failures. Third, I generally power my machines on and off no more than once per day, and usually only every few days. I also disable any power-saving features that shut down my drives Some people power their machines on and off several times per day as if it were a light. My sister does this despite my warnings. It should be interesting to see if her machine's drive fails.

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Did you actually touch the PCB with your fingers? That's a very bad idea in general, especially while the system is running. The excess capacitance from your body can couple into the circuit and potentially damage components, over and above the normal ESD precaution/handling issues.

I would only touch drives on the side, the part that is sticking out beyond the mounting bracket.

the drive, at the time, wasnt mounted in my case; it was sitting outside the case, while i installed win2k. after win2k installation, i would mount the waterblocks to the hard disk and pack the hard disks into my case. while the hard disk was outside the case (and installing win2k) i felt the metal part of the hard disk and this was hot. i also felt the "black chips" on the pcb side of the hard disk. these too were hot.

this may have been dangerous, but to this day, ive had no problems with that drive and i had saw no ill effects while i was groping the hard disk in the above way.

Dont your cudda's have the seashield? preventing physical access to the PCB (unless you remove the shield i guess)....

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anybody think that resting your feet ontop of your computer is going to kill a HDD?

I rest my feet ontop of my tower out of habit... although I'm sure it's possible that the vibration could casue a head to scratch the disk.... maybe I should stop...

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Dont your cudda's have the seashield? preventing physical access to the PCB (unless you remove the shield i guess)....

yep, the pcb side is covered with the sea shield, but nevertheless, cooling that side of the drive (even with the thick seashield) has led to no problems. while cooling the other side of the drive (and not the pcb side), led to alot of problems/headaches.

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I never buy mail order where the drives are repackaged by the shipper

1) Are the drives always repackaged by the shipper, when using mail order? Howcome?

2) Are the drives never repackaged by the shipper, when not using mail order?

3) So repackaging does not depend on whether the drive is OEM/retail, but rather whether you use mail order or not?

4) Is there a way to tell if a drive has been repackaged or not?

Thanks

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I personally have found no correlation between active cooling of a drive and its longevity.

I've seen drives running hot inside an unventilated HP Vectra or Kayak for years with no failure, and at home I've had a Maxtor DiamondMax80 80 GB drive fail in a ventilated firewire enclosure (with own power supply) after a few months.

I'm leaning more toward handling of the drives before and after installation to be an indicator of how long a drive will last.

A steady (high) operating temperature I feel would be less stressful to the drive than knocking it around during operation (i.e. moving PC while turned on, etc).

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is it something perhaps that these people are doing (or not doing)?

People only create threads to when their drives fail. How often do you see a new thread: "6 months and my hard drive is still working"? If you watch the news there sure are a lot of car accidents. Why have I not been in one? Because for every accident on TV there are thousands of trips that don't end in an accident. The percentage of drives that fail are small, but reading message boards gives the wrong idea that hard drives fail at very high percentages.

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Funny thing watercooling hard disk drives - or water cooling anything in a PC. I air-cool 3 of my disks with a Papst 80mm/2500 rpm, soon to be 1500 rpm. No excessive noise, disks are cool as if they weren't running at all.

As my disks which have failed, I can put them in three categories:

-IBM 75 GXP

-hard disks of whose origins I'm not sure (liberated from second hand machines)

-hard disks I mishandled (like the SCSI Barracuda that happened to fall from the stairs)

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You all are just talking how hot is safe. Let me ask a question: How cold is safe? Some WC enthusiasts claim that if the drive runs at below 20 degrees Celsius, the drive will start to whine more (the idle noise increases, that is). Any knowledge?

Jan

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Funny thing watercooling hard disk drives - or water cooling anything in a PC.  I air-cool 3 of my disks with a Papst 80mm/2500 rpm, soon to be 1500 rpm.  No excessive noise, disks are cool as if they weren't running at all.

As my disks which have failed, I can put them in three categories:

-IBM 75 GXP

-hard disks of whose origins I'm not sure (liberated from second hand machines)

-hard disks I mishandled (like the SCSI Barracuda that happened to fall from the stairs)

i experimented for one year, spending alot of money on different fans and rheostats, attempting to make my computer quiet. i overclock my pc also. once i switched to watercooling, the noise level dropped substantially and allowed me to overclock further. it was a more expensive setup though.

once you hear a watercooling setup built with its first objective to reduce noise, you will realise that even your pabst fans running at a low rpm simply cannot compete against a watercooling setup.

perhaps if you have a friend who has a watercooled setup, within 60 seconds you will be shocked how much quiter the watercooled system is in comparison to any air cooled system.

i watercooled my hard disks as they were making too much noise. the only way to make them silent, was to wrap them up in denim material. however, this would lead to excessive heat build-up. attaching waterblocks to the hard disks, sorted this out. using my current setup, i think i can even run a scsi 15k rpm hard disk in complete silence.

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You all are just talking how hot is safe. Let me ask a question: How cold is safe? Some WC enthusiasts claim that if the drive runs at below 20 degrees Celsius, the drive will start to whine more (the idle noise increases, that is). Any knowledge?

Jan

i tried watercooling my harddisks on their own loop. this enabled me to dedicate my entire watercooling system resources to just cooling the hard disks. the water temperature was much lower and allowed me to run the hard disks at around 20C. i didnt have any denim wrapped around the hard disks at this point and i noticed no difference in the noise, compared to when the hard disks are running at around 35C (which is the temps my hard disks normally run at).

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Had one drive to fail in 1988 it was a 40 megabyte WD I Think.

It was a manual park model and the computer was sent without the park.exe utility. The drive failed as soon as I moved it the first time. I got a warranty replacement in a week, and used the computer till I finished college (5yrs) bringing it home every break and summer, and used it for a couple years after that .... I was sure to run Park everytime though. The power supply died about 1991 and I put in a new supply. I last fired it up three years ago, and the thing still worked and didn't have any new bad sectors...

My sister has a computer that has a 120 Megabyte drive in it bought sometime around 1990-91 I guess that still works.

I put a 450mb? drive in a cousins computer around 1993-1994 and it still works.

I have two older computers that I handed down that had 800 and 1.2 gig drives (I think, can't be sure) that are still running.

My dad has my old 4.2 gig (quantum I am fairly certain) in a machine with a 20 gb maxtor that are still kicking (the maxtor is about 12 months).

I have my old 10 gig quantum in my work box with a 20 gb maxtor that are still running (maxtor 12 months.)

My home system has 3 maxtor d740x 40GB running 12 months now, and one 200 GB maxtor running one month.

My uncle has a maxtor 20 gig running about 10 months now.

The only box out of these that has active cooling is my home box which has one 80 mm antec fan blowing across the four drives. The computers have been cycled on/off and moved with no special attention, just been careful not to drop them.

I know my sample is probably not statistically significant, but I have not had a problem with HDD reliability.

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jcass, out of all the hard disks you wrote about, the ones i was most interested in were the maxtor d740x and the wd2000jb. this was because these are 7200rpm models, which is where i feel the active cooling factor comes into play. the older, slower rpm drives dont really need active cooling. my old maxtor 6.4gb 5400rpm hard disk would barely get warm to the touch. however, the 7200rpm ide models is what im most interested in. i noticed that for these drives you are using active cooling.

i was thinking about adding 2 new hard disks to my system. i currently have 80gb seagate + 1200jbWD. i can get 2 120gb ibm 180gxp 8mb disks cheaply, however, im put off by their RMA service. however, from this thread it seems that maybe i may never need to call upon the RMA service of ibm (given that i will probably sell the hard disks on after about 18 months) - most people in this thread seem to be reporting good/reasonable reliability from their ide hard disks. ive just checked the reliability survey and it seems that the 180gxp series have worse reliability than the 75gxps :o

the alternative is for me to replace my seagate 80gb with a wd1800jb.

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I may be showing some chutzpah by saying this, but I totally disagree.

Perhaps 60C is OK for SCSI disks, but no freaking way for IDE. I would say 45C average, maybe 50C max, should be allowed. Anything higher... prepare the "drive coffin".

I'm just going by what the specs list as the max operating temperature, since that's the temperature drives are tested for reliability. Well, hot/wet, hot/dry, cold/wet, cold/dry, and ambient are the environments tested. "Hot" is the max operating temp and "cold" is the min operating temp. Some drives are rated for 50 C, others 55 C, and some 60 C max, depending on the HDD maker.

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I never buy mail order where the drives are repackaged by the shipper

1) Are the drives always repackaged by the shipper, when using mail order? Howcome?

You don't know one way or the other until they arrive, so why take the chance?

2) Are the drives never repackaged by the shipper, when not using mail order?

The ones I buy are still in the retail Maxtor box, which I assume is how they were shipped from the factory. Furthermore, the large chains usually rely on truck delivery, which means the items remain on a pallet until delivery, and are handled much less than by UPS. UPS has been called the biggest destroyer of hard drives by some here.

3) So repackaging does not depend on whether the drive is OEM/retail, but rather whether you use mail order or not?

Yes. A reseller can easily remove an OEM/retail drive from it's original box, and repackage it. You just don't know in advance what's going to happen. Furthermore, even if it remains in the OEM box, since it is being shipped separately rather than as part of a pallet, there is more potential for damage.

4) Is there a way to tell if a drive has been repackaged or not?

If it arrives with a dent in it, it has been repackaged. ;) Seriously, there is really no way to tell since the shipper may use boxes that "look" OEM. As I said, I would rather just buy from a retail chain like CompUSA. The prices on some of their specials are just about impossible to beat. Of course, they don't have much in the way of SCSI, but I never really saw that SCSI gives any great advantage for the typical home user, other than when you're defragmenting.

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Ouch! 8O Poor drive.

Every drive I've gotten in the last few years has been direct from the manufacturer's store. I just don't trust how they're packaged otherwise, unless it's a retail box from CompUSA or Fry's.

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manufacturer's store? how do i get one of those drives?

Online stores. WD, Maxtor, and Seagate all have their own online stores, linked to their websites. If they don't know how to handle drives for shipping, then no one does. ;)

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I personally have found no correlation between active cooling of a drive and its longevity.
You are probably absolutely correct except in extreme cases, but as a counterexample:

When the IBM Deskstar 75GXP was "in" and was geting great reviews, before it was known that the drive was crap and that IBM's pristine hard drive reputation had been thrown out, I built four systems with the drive, using a total of five drives, plus one with a 4-drive RAID0 array (yes, a RAID0 array of four IBM 75GXPs. Hey, he wanted it. It was for video).

All were actively cooled and to this day all are working perfectly. Actually, one of them was replaced with a RAID1 array at my recommendation (when the 75GXP news started pooring in) and that drive was given to me.

That is the drive in my system now, in use after my WD1000BB died about a week ago. It's somewhat flaky (occasionally prevents system from POSTing, refuses to share its IDE channel with ANYTHING), but otherwise it works fine.

Not that cooling is the reason for the massive 75GXP failures...

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manufacturer's store? how do i get one of those drives?

Online stores. WD, Maxtor, and Seagate all have their own online stores, linked to their websites. If they don't know how to handle drives for shipping, then no one does. ;)

Many manufacturers outsource their online stores.

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When the IBM Deskstar 75GXP was "in" and was geting great reviews, before it was known that the drive was crap and that IBM's pristine hard drive reputation had been thrown out, I built four systems with the drive, using a total of five drives, plus one with a 4-drive RAID0 array (yes, a RAID0 array of four IBM 75GXPs. Hey, he wanted it. It was for video).

All were actively cooled and to this day all are working perfectly. Actually, one of them was replaced with a RAID1 array at my recommendation (when the 75GXP news started pooring in) and that drive was given to me.

That is the drive in my system now, in use after my WD1000BB died about a week ago. It's somewhat flaky (occasionally prevents system from POSTing, refuses to share its IDE channel with ANYTHING), but otherwise it works fine.

was your wd1000bb actively cooled?

after you took his 75gxp, were u actively cooling the drive?

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