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Hard Disk warranty

One of my hard drives head-crashed last week. An IBM Deskstar 40Gb.

It's less than 2 and a half years old.

IBM tell me, that for IBM hard drives not bought with a machine, that the warranty is only 12 months.

Do any other manufacturers supply decent warranties with their products????? It's not exactly comforting that whilst you would expect that a hard drive should last virtually forever that the manufacturers will only guarantee it for 12 months.

Monday, March 8, 2004

The IBM DeskStar has quite a history of failures - there are even some class action suits about it since there are allegations that IBM knew there were problems and kept on shipping the drive anyway.

Monday, March 8, 2004

Hard drives do _NOT_...


_NOT_ last forever!

Ever heard of MTBF?  Mean Time Between Failures?  This is an estimated AVERAGE of time before a certain hard drive fails.

A year is 8,760 hours.  3 years is about enough to start on the low end of HD's MTBF ratings (25,000 hours).

Back up your data FREQUENTLY!

Monday, March 8, 2004

Yes I know that they don't really last forever, but they are supposed to have a reasonably high MTBF.

Also, disks in a desktop will spend a lot of their time idle; even if the desktop isn't powered down the hard disk will be.  I reckon this would account for 50% of the time at least. So now your 3 years is more like 6. Which seems more reasonable.

Anyway IBM support passed me onto IBM technical who passed me to Hitachi Tech Support. Who couldn't tell me didly squat about the warranty except that the drive I have was supplied by Dell.

Except it wasn't. I bought it from Simply so unless Dell offloaded a load of Deskstars when they decided not to use them anymore then there is something strange about this!

Any, so Hitachi said to email their 2nd line support with the info. So I did and got a message back from their mail server saying that the Lotus Notes mailbox I was sending to was corrupt and could not receive mails!

I really can't be bothered for the sake of a 40Gb drive, but it's a matter of principle, so I'm going to send the failed drive to the home of one of the IBM UK directors with a little note about it and I'll his department do the legwork.

Monday, March 8, 2004

Stay away from IBM when it comes to storage, dude. You'll thank me.

Now go fill the action suit #97384636

TJ Haeser
Monday, March 8, 2004

So what about Maxtor? I have a couple of their drives and they seem fine. But are they REALLY any good?

I was going to buy an external maxtor with the "one touch backup" button.... but I'm not sure if I should be looking elsewhere.

Monday, March 8, 2004

> Stay away from IBM when it comes to storage, dude. You'll thank me.

Coming from many years of Systems Programming against MVS running on IBM mainframes I came to understand that IBM equipment was good quality... we certainly had very few problems with 3380/3390 failures. Now presuming that the same storage technology that we have in our PCs is that which is now being used to fill RAID racks that simulate good old 3380/3390 disk packs (and still working in a mainframe environment from time to time I don't hear of massive amounts of failure) I am surprised at this statement.... although I'm becoming happy to believe it!

Monday, March 8, 2004

Seagate and Maxtor are probably your best bets for PC hard drives these days.  They both have long track records without the kind of fiascos that IBM (not Hitachi) and Western Digital have had.

As far as comparing PC drives to those in big iron, consider that most big iron uses SCSI or other advanced interface drives, where capacities are generally conservative, RPM and seek time paramount, and prices are significantly higher.  A 7200RMP 120GB Seagate ATA or Serial ATA drive is pretty much mainstream and you can get one for $100.  A 10,000RPM SCSI U320 drive of 36GB capacity is in the $160 to $175 range.  Some of the difference probably pays for quality.

Monday, March 8, 2004

I've used Maxtor drives for probably 10 years and have had only 1 drive fail.  Most of their HD lines carry at least a 3 year warranty.  Mine was in the latter part of year 3 when it died.  I called Maxtor, gave them the serial number and they shipped out a new drive immediately.  The new drive they sent me was larger than my dead one since they didn't make drives that size anymore.   

doesn't work for Maxtor
Monday, March 8, 2004

It really is quite rare for a desktop HD t fail.

Somebody who was sysadmin at a Canadian university with neraly 4,000 IBM desktops said that he had less than half-a-dozen failures in the four or five years he was there.

Our college has about eight hundred to a thousand computers. Hard drive failures are rare after the first few days. Dead soon after arrival is quite common. i've just sent back two Compaq's out of a delivery of two hundred. In general if an HD gets past its first couple of months it's highly unlikely it will fail. And it is those early failures that bring down the MTBF.

None of this applies to laptop dirves of course.

And, yes, SCSI drives are more expensive because of attention to quality. An ATA drive is always better value than the equivalent SCSI drive, but at the top end there are no equivalent ATA drives.

Stephen Jones
Monday, March 8, 2004

The Western Digital special edition drives (part numbers WDxxxJB I think) have three-year warranties as well as 7200rpm and I think 8mb cache. I have personally used about 10 of these drives in various computers and can't fault them.

James U-S
Monday, March 8, 2004

Generally speaking these days - 2mb cache drives have 1 year  warranty, 8mb cache drives/SATA have 3 years.

And yes, the Deathstars were always useless drives, there was a firmware patch released for people with dying drives to be able to keep the drive going a bit longer so they could salvage their data

Dan G
Monday, March 8, 2004

most drive manufacturers' websites eg:
will tell you when your warranty expires. (Unfortunately not when the disk will). Be aware the disk must be back at the factory (generally in Singapore) before the warranty expiry date. Your drive spec and serial # will lead you to its dropdead date.

HARD DISKS *DO* FAIL so back them up, like the man said.

I have had two die - different outcomes:
1) Quantum (may they expire in a bucket of green goo)
insisted "we don't deal with enduser - go see your dealer" then nixed the deal when the drive wound up in Singapore 1 week late.
2) Seagate took a month to return, to my doorstep, a replacement 20Gb HD for a flake drive in the last month of its 3 year warranty.

PS My Thinkpad just died. Boots then freezes.

ozzie oldfart
Saturday, March 13, 2004

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