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IBM DeskStar 75GXP Hard Drive Failures? 695

Posted by Cliff
from the you-might-want-to-skip-this-product dept.
Sean Kelly asks: "Like a lot of other people, I went out and bought myself a nice 60GB IBM DeskStar 75GXP (ATA100, 7200rpm) hard drive to put in my sparkling new computer. Boy was that a mistake! A few months after I got the drive, it failed with horrific grinding and clicking noises, plus random data loss. So I RMA'd the first one and got a 'SERVICEABLE USED PART' replacement from IBM, which died of the same death after another few months. Not getting the hint, I RMA'd that one. Last week, I got the refab. drive back from IBM and it has already died, in less than a week! This time I did some site searching and found many people are having problems with this drive. Sites such as The Inquirer, Hexus, Tech Report, Hardware One, Sysopt, and even this PCWorld have dedicated articles, forums and user reviews to these failing and defective drives. From what I can understand, IBM is not publicly acknowledging that they screwed up here. How many other people out there have had their 75GXP (or 60GXP) drives fail? What size were they? What part number? What did IBM do about it? It is my opinion that IBM should do something about this, since I've seen an unnaturally high number of complaints about this drive now that I started looking for customer feedback. Also, here is a letter I sent to IBM explaining my frustration with them. It has more information in it."
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IBM DeskStar 75GXP Hard Drive Failures?

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  • No problems here (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lethal_Geek (156349)
    Mine's been working fine for a full year now. I've never heard a peep about them failing more than they should or anything...*shrug*
    • I bought a 20 GB 75GXP back in october of 2000, and later a pair of 45GB's for RAID1. They are all still working fine. I have a feeling that part of the problem is environment related- maybe the 75GXP doesn't handle heat or weak power supplies, or vibrations, or something. Otherwise, there isn't much explanation for some people having 3+ failures while folks like me have run multiple drives for months without issues.
      • Re:No problems here (Score:5, Informative)

        by ncc74656 (45571) <scott@alfter.us> on Thursday October 04, 2001 @04:05PM (#2389839) Homepage Journal
        I have a feeling that part of the problem is environment related- maybe the 75GXP doesn't handle heat or weak power supplies, or vibrations, or something.
        That's one theory that's been put forth in comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage [news], especially given how some people like to cheap out on power supplies and such in order to get a faster processor, faster/bigger hard drive, or whatever. If you're trying to run a 75GXP in one of those el-cheapo PC Chips barebones systems, you're asking for trouble. (Hell, if you're running anything that involves components from PC Chips, you're asking for trouble.) Some of the people reporting problems have mentioned having various cheap-ass components in their systems, especially power supplies that don't regulate worth a damn. (What good is a 450W power supply if +5V can sag by half-a-volt or more under full load?)

        FWIW, I upgraded my main system earlier this year...replaced a 5.1GB Western Digital with a 45GB 75GXP. Since the processor also got upgraded from a 450-MHz K6-III to a 1.0-GHz Athlon (and an appropriate motherboard and memory), the power supply got beefed up from a 250W Deer to a 330W Enermax (with dual fans and the 4-pin P4 power connector, though that sits unused). I've not had even a hint of trouble from the drive (other than run out of space :-)...added a 100GB Western Digital alongside it to fix that).

    • by TWX_the_Linux_Zealot (227666) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:37PM (#2389313) Journal
      I had purchased one from a wholesaler that sells to small-time vendors, and it was an OEM model. It died within a week. I took it back, got another, and this one's been happily running for about ten months.

      I've got to wonder if the problem isn't the drives necessarily, but bad handling... Mine were both OEM, only a static bag, no padding otherwise when I received them, so I'm wondering if shipping is doing something nasty to the drives, or if some other problem NOT related to the manufacturing is the cause. Granted, I could be dead wrong, but the second drive, (45GB models) has been absolutely perfect.

      I just hope now that my drive-karma holds :)

      • "I've got to wonder if the problem isn't the drives necessarily, but bad handling..."

        Bad handling is DEFINITELY an issue. Many people buy OEM bare drives that come from the manufacturer in bulk packaging. The people who package them and send them to you obviously have no computer knowledge, or thay wouldn't be working in a shipping department. (Computer knowledge means never having to say "Paper or plastic?")

        Studies have been done of the acceleration (deceleration) caused by hitting a drive on a hard counter. A small bump of a metal drive on a hard counter can be 70 Gs. When you think about it, it makes sense. The drive is traveling at perhaps 1 foot per second, and then it comes to a complete stop in less than a thousandth of an inch.

        The solution is to buy retail-boxed drives. Wait for a sale if the price is a problem.

        The damage done by a bump is usually not evident for months until the drive fails. Apparently a drive will get a small mechanical irregularity, and then slowly chew on itself until failure.

        By far the most common cause of drive failure is vibration or movement of the case while the drive is running. If you put a tower case on the floor, and the floor moves a little every time someone walks near, expect problems. If you put a case on a concrete floor, but it is often knocked during the day, expect failure. If a computer is on a table that moves a little while you are working, it may not last long. This failure mode is dependent on how much movement about the axis actually happens, of course.

        Drives are built to handle a lot of Gs when they are not powered, but when they are running they are very vulnerable.

        Inadequate power is also a reason for drive failure. Put a drive on its own power supply connector.

        I've had good luck with considerable quantities of Western Digital drives. Good support, also. I've had bad luck with Quantum, Seagate, and Maxtor.

        Whew! I didn't realize I knew much about this until I started typing.


        Secrecy destroys democracy: What should be the Response to Violence? [hevanet.com]
        • It's interesting to me that you have good luck with Western Digital drives, and bad luck with Maxtor drives, when Maxtor is the one who makes the drives Western Digital distributes (read: slap a new label on them, and you're done with WD's involvement). Atleast that's what I read sometime back (and naturally I can't find the place I read that, so take this information with a BIG helping of salt).

          Also, about Maxtor, I've had nothing but good luck with their drives (as well as WD's, as you noted too), and bad luck with Seagate drives (never tried Quantum, so I can't say one way or the other). The one thing I like about Maxtor is their RMA/return/replacement policy-- you give them a valid credit card number, they put a hold on your account for the price of the drive you're supposedly returning, and they immediatly ship out a replacement drive the next day (before you've even shipped back your defective unit). You have 30 days (I believe) to return the drive before they ding your credit card for the price of the drive.

          About the concerns regarding proper handling, you're right about OEM drives, but this guy returned his drive 2 or 3 times, and you'd think the guys running tech support/RMA would have some training on how to handle the drive (if indeed that's the reason the drives are failing). Of course, it could have been any of the other (correct) causes of failure you listed (PC on floor, lots of walking; PC on concrete, tips over or is jarred alot; etc).

          If someone can shed some light on the manufacturing processes of Maxtor and WD HDD's, I'd be thankful for the enlightenment though-- I'd hate to be seen as talking out of my ass.
    • Re:No problems here (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jonfromspace (179394)
      We have 5 of the 75GB drives here at my office... so-far, 3 have died loud and terrible deaths. Not a great average... However, when they are working (knock on wood) they are sweet.

      Oddly enough, we keep getting the same 80GB Maxtor drive as a temp replacement from our dealer, and last time it came here it was full of Porn, DiVX, and MP3's.
    • My company has (had) about 100 75GXPs. About 30% have died. A third party hardware developer told us that they gave up on making the 75GXP work with their product and it wasn't supported. We found out the hard way. Pressing them, they said drives built in Hungary from April 2000 to Novemeber 2000 (not sure these are the right dates) were a liability.

      Here are some quotes from what I found at storagereview.com:
      "I bought 2 of these drives and have had 2 disc failures, hey at least they're consistent!"
      "7 defective 75 gxp's out of 6 in 9 months , draw your own conclusion..."
      • "7 defective 75 gxp's out of 6 in 9 months , draw your own conclusion..."

        7 out of a total of 6 dead?? And the conclusion I am supposed to draw is that one of them failed so badly in a giant ball of flame that it is like it died twice??? &nbsp &nbsp ;)

        On the other hand, my 75GXP 75GB seems to be fine.
        I can't get at it right now to see if it was made in Hungary or it is the suspect part number dtla307075.

  • Mine are pretty good (Score:4, Informative)

    by keesh (202812) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:10PM (#2389126) Homepage
    I've been running a pair as RAID-0 (yeah, I know...) for a couple of months, haven't had any major problems. The drives seem to seek to the inner track and back more often than my Seagate drive, but it's rarely a problem.

    I've had problems with other drives before because of a power supply which was slightly too low voltage -- it seems a few drives are overly sensitive to minor voltage drops.
    • I have had no problem with these hard drives. I have 2 30 GB ones in a RAID-0 and 2 60 GB ones standalone partioned to 6 20 GB partitions. I also have a smaller one which I cant remember off the top of my head and I have never had any trouble with any of them. They are very quiet, and nice and fast. My friend also has a 60 GB one partitioned to 4 15GBs and he has had no trouble either. I have only seen people complain twice though dont know any people who had problems in person. Perhaps a particular batch of drives is buggy?
  • Oh the humanity (Score:2, Informative)

    by Phredward (254393)
    Most of my data is, last time I checked, still on my 60gig drive. It clicks horribly, and I'm sure my data will be gone soon. The 75 gig drive that IBM sent me (took 2-3 weeks to arrive, tho this was across september 11) to RMA my first drive showed up DOA. My only thought is to buy another brand of drive, copy my data off, keep RMAing until I get one that works, and sell it to some pour sob. I'd feel bad about doing it too.
    • My first 75GB drive was DOA. I seem to remember it being manufactured in Hungary like some other posters. The one they sent me works like a charm though. I hope to get years of use out of it. I have only filled 15GB so far! I would have filled half of it by now if they had not shut down Napster. :ob
  • by sphealey (2855) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:12PM (#2389145)
    Unfortunately, because of your manufacturing faults and inability to admit fault, I have lost a large amount of unique and important data, ranging from schoolwork to business-related documents.

    May I humbly suggest that if these data are indeed of such importance, that 4 mm DAT, CD-RW, Zip disks, or even the lowly 1.44 MB floppy are suitable backup media?

    Fulminating about lost data due to the failure of a mechanical storage system, and vague threats of class-action lawsuits, are in my experience goods ways to get large manufacturing organizations to put your letter in the deep freeze for about 10 years.

    sPh

    • by keesh (202812) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:18PM (#2389159) Homepage
      Yes, *click* I can *click* strongly *click* *click* recommend using *click* a Zip *click* drive to *click* back up your *click* work...
    • I back up plenty. The only problem is I didn't back up 10 minutes before the drive died.

      You are bound to lose *some* data, unless you are running raid of some sort.
    • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:27PM (#2389238) Homepage Journal
      I can't wait until someone tries to back up their 75GB drive on 1.44MB floppies. By my estimation that's only 53,333 floppies. Given how slow floppy drive transfers are (150kB/sec), your floppies would degrade before you finished your inital backup.

      I also can't wait to pay more for the DAT drive than I'd pay just to buy another harddrive and mirror it.
      Zip drives are only a minor step up from floppies, and you'd end up spending $7500 on the zip disks alone! BTW, the Click-of-death is widly overblown IMHO. Unless you happened to get one of those defective drives or you play rugby with your zip drive the media isn't going to fail any faster than a floppy (although that's not exactly a ringing endorsement)
      At least CD-R (or even CR-RW) is fairly viable, if a little harder to automate (you can't just tar the files to a device).
      • At least CD-R (or even CR-RW) is fairly viable, if a little harder to automate (you can't just tar the files to a device).

        Actually, you can. <shameless_plug> Check out cdbackup [cableone.net]. </shameless_plug> I wrote it specifically to allow for this.

      • Backing up to floppy is one thing, but how about the following true story.

        A long time ago, at a company I worked for, a guy used to back up his HD by zipping it into a ZIP file and than emailing the ZIPed file to himself. Once he received his self-addressed-email, he would delete last weeks email-backup.

        As you would imagine, not only the entire email system got very slow during this process, but the size of the ZIPed file keeps on growing.
      • How about you only back up important data?
        I would wager that his unrelaceable data is less then 10Mb. Unless he is using it for movie editing, but that would raise the question of SCSI instead if IDE.BTW I have never experienced a SCSI failyr, and I have a 200Mg SCSI drive I still use.
      • incidentally, I don't think the "click of death" thing really is too overblown, but should be avoidable in at least one case:

        the computer labs bought about 100 machines all with Zip drives installed, and one by one they all gave the "click" and died. all further disks inserted into the drive would be munged. eventually, someone figured out that something mechanical would break inside the drive if you inserted a standard 3 inch floppy into the drive. Thus why, one by one, they all almost died, because the students would come in and screw em up....

        you have never seen pathetic until you have seen a grad student on his knees screaming at the loss of his masters thesis, due to the fact that the "backup media" died.... O. the humanity.

        (I always backed up things on the university network. way more reliable, and they pay someone plenty of money to keep it working. o, and they back up twice a day...)

        • by shyster (245228) <brackett@@@ufl...edu> on Thursday October 04, 2001 @06:30PM (#2390302) Homepage
          the computer labs bought about 100 machines all with Zip drives installed, and one by one they all gave the "click" and died. all further disks inserted into the drive would be munged. eventually, someone figured out that something mechanical would break inside the drive if you inserted a standard 3 inch floppy into the drive. Thus why, one by one, they all almost died, because the students would come in and screw em up....

          Can you fit a 3 1/2" into a ZIP drive?

          Another cause, and perhaps as likely in this particular case (it's pretty obvious pretty quick if you're using the wrong drive) is that some ZIP drives, when they fail, will chew the edges of the ZIP disk. If you try to use that disk in another ZIP drive, it will destroy the head. Add in a desperate user aiming to get data back, rinse and repeat. See some details over at Steve Gibson's grc.com.

  • Maxtor (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheSHAD0W (258774) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:15PM (#2389152) Homepage
    I've had a lot of luck with Maxtor's newer model drives. I have several of their 80-gig HDs, and none has crapped out on me yet. And the price is right; Maxtor 80 giggers can be had at CompUSA for $200.
  • by Gandalf_007 (116109) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:17PM (#2389156) Homepage
    Count me among those hit by it. I bought a 30GB Deskstar 75GXP (model DTLA-307030) a little over a year ago. It worked perfectly fine until about a month ago, when accessing a certain location on the disk would result in grinding noises, and then the computer locking up completely. The drive failed IBM's drive fitness test, so I RMA'd it. I got a 30GB Deskstar 60GXP (model IC35L030AVER07, which btw is an OEM-only model, since the 60GXP line is 20GB/platter).

    I guess they decided there were enough problems with the 75GXP line that they sent me a 60GXP. I haven't heard of any problems with the 60GXP line, and to boot it's much quieter than my old 75GXP -- I can't even hear it seek unless I listen very closely.

    • Yeah, I received a 60GXP drive to replace my dead 75GXP. Problem is, the 75GXP was a 45Gig drive, and the 60GXP they gave me as a replacement is only a 40Gig drive. And they don't seem to care that I get 5Gig less either.

      On the up-side, the 60GXP is a bit faster and a lot quiter than the 75GXP. Maybe it will last more than 10 months too...

    • FWIW, I read the Linux Kernel Mailing list and there have been a LOT of posts there over the last year about this drive.

      Many people have trouble with it.

      I have had two go bad myself.

      I bought Maxtors for my spiffy new RAID-5.
  • by ArcticChicken (172915) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:18PM (#2389162)
    Take a look at the discussion forums over at StorageReview.com [storagereview.com]. There have been several discussions about the 75GXP (and 60GXP) over there.

    Case in point, some of their readers are currently running an unofficial survey [storagereview.com].
    • by slaker (53818) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @03:16PM (#2389577)
      I have mod points. I'd rather post...

      I'm a fixture over on storagereview.com (you can type it in, I'm not a goatse.cx person). User complaints about the GXP-series have been a literally unceasing topic of discussion since very early this year. The 75gxp is now an assumed unreliable drive - to the point that a single thread about ongoing good experiences with them only garnered a half-dozen replies (one of them mine. I have two 75GB 75gxps that continue to function in a RAID0 array).

      I believe SR is now being /.-ed. I can't seem to access it with my crappy modem connection, but few weeks ago, someone typed "75gxp" and "fail" in the search page and got 1500 results. There have also been polls conducted about the GXP's behavior, and there is some evidence suggesting that the more recent 60GXP is just as bad, both in the tech support and General forums. This is a direct contradiction to several posts here stating that the 60GXP has no problem. Other interesting topics, for those willing to visit SR's forums and poke around, include the possibility of class-action litigation (including posts by a soon-to-be-lawyer), statisical analysis of similarities in failed drives - location of manufacture, size, that sort of thing, and many, many tales of RMA woe similar to those of the topic originator.

      The 75GXP has been discontinued. If you send in your failed 75GXP today, in all likelihood, you'll get a 60GXP back. 75GB 75GXPs don't have an equivalent size in the newer 60GXP product line. I have no idea what IBM does for those - they were significantly more expensive.

      Finally, IBM's DFT utility [ibm.com] for Windows and Linux, if you'd like to test out your own 60- or 75GXP. From time to time it is able to correct misbehaving drives' problems, but just as often, if you're to the point of needing to use it, you might as well call in your RMA.
  • Heat (Score:4, Interesting)

    by maiden_taiwan (516943) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:19PM (#2389166)
    How's the ventilation in your computer case? Is it possible your drives are overheating?
    • Re:Heat (Score:2, Informative)

      by humanasset (206242)
      That's an excellent point. Those drives kick out a lot of heat. That along with an Athlon processor can make your chassis very warm.

      Something like this:

      WIN-7509 hard drive cooler [winotek.com]

      or this:

      DCD 4002 Cool Drive [coolermaster.com]

      may help.
    • Excellent point. I have a full tower case with two extra fans I put in, but there's only a small slot under the front of it for air intake. Not even any holes facing out. So I removed the extra 3.5 inch slot cover for airflow. I did this for my Athlon 1.2GHz, and GeForce2 Pro, but as it happens now the top of my 45GB Deskstar gets considerable airflow directly over the top of it. I hope that's staving off a breakdown.

    • I've had 2 earlier models of IBM drives die (click of death). I have 2 other earlier models still alive, and my 2 45G versions of 75GXP (the 3 platter ones) are still working (just over a year now). The interesting part is that I have a 100% correlation between heat problems and failures in IBM drives. The drives that failed ran for a couple months in machines with essentially no cooling besides the CPU. The drives that are alive are either cooled by the 3-fan InClose Baycooler-2 or the 5 high speed (Rotron?) internal fans in the Intel ISP-1100 1U case. I also have Maxtor drives, some well cooled and some not, in the range from 5G to 80G, but I haven't had a Maxtor fail since the 5G one, and that one actually didn't die, but just occaisionally sticks and occaisionally clicks. My practice right now is to buy Maxtor, but staying 1 step behind the largest model, and using the 5400 RPM ones (which at 80G density is going to keep ATA/100 pretty busy anyway, compared to say 30G at 7200 which I do have a couple of to compare).

  • by hpa (7948) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:20PM (#2389170) Homepage
    The rumour going around the people who work on the disk subsystem in Linux is that certain lots/fabrication plats have lots of problems, and others are A-OK.

    I recently got to experience the latter, when I got a machine with six of these disks as a RAID. To date, FIVE of the disks have had to be replaced, thanks God that did not include the system disk...
  • by denzo (113290) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:21PM (#2389177)
    General concensus in messages boards seems to be that IBM hard drives manufactured in Hungary seem to fail at a greater rate than from other factories.

    I myself have had a failed IBM hard drive. It was defective upon shipping, and had it replaced immediately with an advance RMA. The replacement failed on me about a month later, and I didn't qualify for an advance RMA because I already RMA'ed it once (even though the first one didn't techically fail on me, it was DOA). This was a 10GB Deskstar 14GXP (I think).

    So during the excruciating one-month replacement, I bought a Maxtor drive, and now use it as my primary drive (I'm not trusting my third IBM replacement). The Maxtor's a faster drive anyway, so I'm not complaining. I'll just stay clear of IBMs for a while.
  • by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:21PM (#2389179) Homepage Journal
    There was some rumbling on Storage Review [storagereview.com] that these drives may just be too fast for their electronics, and once you start filling up the outer sectors on the disk you will start getting errors. My friend has a pair of the 45GB 75XPs, and at least one of them has "issues". Every so often (now that the drive is full) the kernel will spit out:
    ad4s1g: hard error reading fsbn 76293856 of 26874736-26874751 (ad4s1 bn 76293856; cn 8073 tn 63 sn 37)
    followed by:
    ad4: DMA problem fallback to PIO mode

    So far the 60GXPs that I use have had no problems (knock on wood). I've seen at least once source that suggests that the 45GB versions of this drive are the most suseptable to having this problem. I suspect there was some poor quality control on these drives and some very marginal hardware was released onto the world (bad IBM, bad!), but that's more of a feeling since I don't have much evidence to support the claim.
  • I bet IBM decided to hire Steven Ball [phpwebhosting.com] to design the DeskStar 75GXP :-)
  • by hoggoth (414195) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:23PM (#2389191) Journal
    I strapped mine to the back of my favorite E-Z-Chair. I run a program that alternately seeks the innermost then outermost cylinders. Now the chair hums like a power-sander; It puts me right to sleep!

    I still have some unique and important data on it (the drive, not the chair), so I am concerned that this unorthodox use of the drive may lead to problems. I may even start doing backups.

  • Why file a class action lawsuit where your lawyer will get rich and you will get $1.24 for your efforts...


    You are much better off sueing either in Small Claims court,where the limits tend to be around 1-1.5K dollars, don't require a lawyer on your part, and tend to be settled pretty quickly.


    Threats of filling a class action lawsuit are a waste of time, you are much better off going to your county courthouse, filling the paper work, doing a quick web search on where to send the papers, and hire a courier to deliver them to IBMs local legal representative. When the day is done they will pay you your 1500 because it is much easier/cheaper to do that then to send two lawyers at $200/hr to your location to fight it (and still loose quite a bit of money)

  • It's a good thing I sold my 60GB Deskstar to my ex-boyfriend for $200... ;)
  • by Billly Gates (198444) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:27PM (#2389232) Journal
    I love the IBM hard drives. IBM may make expensive hardware but they are always fine quality. I can't even tell that its on because its so quiet and its been working for over a year without a problem. I guess the newer ones are the ones that are defective. Also be aware that Maxtor uses %100 IBM desktar drives. They just slap a Maxtor label on them.
  • by sparcv9 (253182) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:27PM (#2389236)
    At the place I work, we had a few 18GB IBM drives fail on us. They were standard inclusions with the Sun gear we use here (Sun ships a lot of machines with IBM and Seagate drives.) We found out from IBM that there was a recall on 9, 18 and 36 GB, 10,000 RPM drives manufactured between certain dates. These drives are pretty much guaranteed to fail, period. One of our other departments had over 90% of their suspect drives fail already. Our Sun reps came out to count how many we had, so that they could replace them. My department has well over 100 of the recalled drives. Fortunately, most of them are in gear that hasn't been put into production yet.
  • Our company ordered 8 of these for our department. 7 seem to be good so far, but one was bad. It had the clicking sound and such. Although we keep most of our work on these machines in a CVS server that is backed up daily. Most of us are developers, and do most of our work on our own machines, and when we get something working, we check it in. So if we lose a HD, then we will probably lose a day or two. Not that bad but still bad enough. We may need to invest in some tape machines for these machines, but it will be hard to get procurement to agree. We each have about a gig of work so we would need a tape to do the backups.
  • by hexx (108181) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:34PM (#2389288)
    When the drived first came out, I purchased a 15G GXP and it did fail a few months later (my first drive failure ever). IBM quickly responded and shipped me a new drive which has had no problems since (more than 1 year).

    I use 5 75G drives (purchased in July) in a RAID5 array, and they are all running beautifully.

    I use 2 60G drives in a RAID1 array (purchased in August), and both of those are fine as well.

    My Windows Box (shutup!) box uses a 45G GXP (purchased in January) and it's running beautifully.

    My Linux Box (ok, cheer now) uses a 45G GXP (purchased in March) also, and has no problems ('cept it gets hot, and the 1.33G Athlon fries my bacon).

    So in short, when the drives first came out, it appears there were problems (and in fact PCWorld mentioned a plant in Hungary that produced faulty parts). In recent months, however, there do not appear (in my limited experience) to be of poor quality.

    In fact, I would say they are exceptionally fast and quiet. I recommend them to friends (I recommend Quantum to my enemies!). And I don't have anything to do with BigBlue.

    But more importantly, DRIVES FAIL! If you don't have a backup then you're none too bright. If you do have a backup, don't worry about it. IBM has a 3 year warranty on these suckers!
    • So you recommend a drive known to have high failure rates to your friends? Some friend you are! I too have a 75GXP (45gb) without problems but come to some sense! No reason to tempt fate.

      I recommend Quantum to my enemies!

      Well I'd rather be your friend than your enemy. Quantum drives are pretty damn good these days (least the IDE ones are, no experience with the SCSI). Do you have some proof otherwise besides the failing tiny drives of yore?
  • How unfortunate. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by megaduck (250895) <dvarvel@@@hotmail...com> on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:34PM (#2389293) Journal

    It's irritating that IBM produced a lemon, but it's even more disappointing that they've been unresponsive to their customers. Customer service makes a world of difference, especially with commodity items like hard drives. They say that a happy customer tells five people about their experience while an unhappy customer tells twenty-five. Well, thanks to Slashdot, an unhappy customer has told thousands of potential customers to stay away from this drive. A little more responsiveness to this customer's problem would have prevented that.

    In contrast, a good experience can make a loyal customer. I recently purchased a Seagate Barracuda ATA IV because of its' speed and silence. When I finally installed the drive, it started making a really irritating squealing sound. I contacted Seagate, and they quickly wrote back a helpful e-mail along with some software to fix the problem. Not only did they make me a happy customer, but they prevented me from becoming an unhappy customer and bitching to all of my friends about it. IBM would do well to take note.

    • by IronChef (164482) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @07:50PM (#2390555) Homepage
      Companies are like giant stellar masses. When they get too big, they collapse into a superdense structure from which no customer service can escape.

      The exact threshold for this can probably be determined mathematically. IBM has clearly exceeded it. ATT certainly has... even their broadband sales people are clueless about the services they are offering.

      These days, I expect aggravation, not satisfaction, from any big company. More and more of them are proving unable to answer even the simplest questions. Companies that surprise me with good service (most recently, Speakeasy) quickly earn my loyalty.

      As a side rant, the bigger a company is the worse their web sites get. The biggest, most expensive sites seem to be utterly useless for anything but driving you mad, with irrelevant search results and incomplete specifications. (ATT@Home comes to mind again.)

      I look forward to the day when my small company has grown up, and we can just exist without needing to really care about the quality of what we are doing. It must be a wonderful position to be in. ;)
  • and have had them for over a year. I have nothing but praise for them, acting as a popular movie server on a technical campus, thrashing 24x7 to saturate 10 megs upstream for weeks on end without a single complaint from them. I'm not even interested in other brands of hard drives.
  • I recall a very similar problem with Western Digital drives. Their 3-platter 1.6GB IDE drives would fail (this was circa 1995) at a very high rate. I RMA'd the first failed drive. Within weeks, the replacement died. That drive too was replaced, but the next drive was dead on arrival. Western Digital refused to admit there was a problem and replace the drive with another model (2-platter 1.6GB drive or 2-platter 2.0GB drives were available with similar performance at similar prices). The DOA drive made infuriated me, so I demanded a working replacement of a different model or a full price refund under state Lemon Laws. Because so much time had elapsed by this point, I had plenty of time to find others with similar problems with this exact drive model. The replaced the drive with a 2.0GB 2-platter drive which continues to work in a secondary machine I own. About 8 months later, Western Digital finally recalled the drives, admitting there were faulty parts in their 3-platter drives. I have not purchased a Western Digital drive since.
    • I did support for a major computer maker at that time. It was well known that Western Digital had a problem. Specifically, the lubracant used inside the housing would heat up real fast. Creating a gas. This would crystalize on the platter when the drive was off and would cool.

      In other cases the drive wouldn't start at all. Our offical solution was to lift the computer about 4 inches off the desk and drop it.
  • by BadDoggie (145310) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:38PM (#2389330) Homepage Journal
    Nice letter. Who'd you send it to? Was it to the VP of Consumer Affairs? No? Didn't think so. That's generally where you go with escalation letters.

    If I was working at IBM, I wouldn't be too concerned about your letter. You talk, but not very well. As long as you have your Swingline stapler, you're not dangerous.

    You make slight, inoffensive, and -- most importantly -- ineffective threats. The world doesn't work like that. Your state has lemon laws? Exercise them! Contact your State Attorney General's office and get information or even get them working for you. Attach a copy of your correspondence with the AG.

    "It seems to me that this is a scenario where a class action lawsuit..." -- I'm hearing an Andrew Dice Clay bit starting here. Put up or shut up. You think you have a legitimate case? Get your Lawyer to write to IBM. Can't afford a lawyer? You're a student. Your college has a legal aid department. Your school may even have a law department, and new lawyer grads are always looking for a way to make a name and would jump all over the chance to have this as their first big case.

    No. You're an apologist, non-confrontational, don't-want-to-make-anyone-mad-here, whining loser who'll get walked all over. Don't sit there threatening to run off to Maxtor, SEND A FUCKING COPY OF YOUR MAXTOR DRIVE RECEIPT!

    "Somehow right the wrongs?" Your mother still lays out your clothes each night, huh?

    Some people are going to be mad at my tone. Fuck 'em. Either do things right or don't bother.

    There's enough info on how to deal with big companies out there and here you are whining with an Ask Slashdot, when the story shoulda simply been "BadAss writes: The entire line of IBM 75GXP drives are defective. Avoid at all costs. I had a couple and here's how I dealt with IBM. If you have one, back up your data now and get your drive replaced."

    woof.

    If a mirrored drive dies in a Compaq DL360, the good drive continues the mirroring and dies as well. I know this now.

    • If a mirrored drive dies in a Compaq DL360, the good drive continues the mirroring and dies as well. I know this now.

      You know, that's always been my experience with RAID 1 as well. Yet I hear all the time that RAID 1 is the superior choice for mission-critical databases. Oh well.

      sPh

    • by Kinetix303 (471831) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @05:31PM (#2390071) Homepage
      I used to work in support.

      Every support tech, customer service rep, and manager in any company you deal with will delay your service if you try to be Mr. Tough Guy.

      The motto always was: "We'll help you if you help us."

      Trying to act like you are king shit does absolutely nothing to further your cause. It just makes you look like an asshole...

      Just talk to a support tech and say "Look, I've had this drive replaced three times. I'd like something done about it." And usually they'll do something to help you, because some of them do give a shit...
      • I know somewhere in there I wrote that I go right past the guys who earn minimum wage and can't do much to help me anyway. I've worked first-line support myself; I know how much life can suck. This guy is at the letter-writing stage. The letter ain't going to Tech Support, and if it is, it's wasted.

        If he's still talking to Tech Support, he's not only wasting his time, he's showing what a mark he is. The guys in TechSupp may feel bad for him and may even go out of their way to try and help him, but that's not how things normally happen, because the TechSupp guys are too busy with the excessive workload from all the other first- and second-time callers who need help.

        He's far beyond the "let's work together" stage. I'll be rational, calm and acquiescent at first, too. But he's on drive three. His data would be more secure walking through a Palestinian alley at 2am wearing a yarmulke, waving an Israeli flag and yelling that Muhammed had a thing for farm animals with cloven hooves.

        It's slowly dawning on me (those Flamebait mods may have helped) that perhaps not everyone read what I wrote as intended. I thought it was pretty clear.

        woof.

  • When working on a major (2000 PC) rollout for a customer, we had a large number of Maxtor drives fail within the first week (on the order of every other drive). We ultimately found that all of the drives shared a similar make/model and serial range.

    Eventually tracking it back through the vendor (Compaq) we found other customers reporting the same thing. Compaq was of the opinion that someone in the warehouse probably dropped the pallet and didn't tell anyone. The drives were run through the assembly process and ended up being sprinkled around many different orders. It was only when we ran the 2000-unit rollout at enough attention was given to notice the common factors.

    What you are talking about sounds very similar. Pallet drops happen a lot when warehouses cheap out on forelift operators, or worse try to train some minor tech how to operate one. It could be that IBM isn't really paying attention to the "big picture" in this situation. They are probably replacing the drives on a case-by-case basis. Unless a major customer orders a huge quantity that then turns out to have a high percentage of failure, I doubt IBM would notice.

    For my experience, I've only owned on IBM drive (not at the computer that has it now, but it is an old 3.2GB model). For three years now it has been reporting "immenent failure" to my SMARTII BIOS and I have yet to have it actually go bad. I just tend not to use them because they generally cost more and I don't have any problem doing a shop-n-swap when cheap "on sale" drive blows chunks.

    - JoeShmoe
  • We have about 50 of the drives (mixture of 75GXP 60GXP) running in RAID systems here with no problems. We've been buying them for all our video systems for around a year due to the speed and capacity...
  • Man, I don't know what you do to your drives, but my IBM's have never failed. I own four Deskstars that are all put to use in my server. I've never really had a problem with them, except for maybe losing some partition information once.

    When I bought my first Deskstar, they were the best performers out there. And even though they come at a slight premium with respect to other drives, I won't buy anything but a Deskstar any more because they have never failed on me, whereas I've had a Maxtor that totally crapped out on me once.

    Anyway, I just think you ran into some bad luck with these drives. They are really top quality in my opinion.
    • I had a Maxtor crap out once too. Apparently they have a problem with my fist slamming down on the top of the case while the HD is running. They never asked me if I hit it, they just confirmed it failed, and sent me a drive that was 3gig bigger. Not wanting to push my luck, I quickly learned self control after that.
  • Anybody know more details about this firmware upgrade? [ibm.com] It looks like it's a SMART upgrade covering the 75GXP line -- maybe they want a little more pre-failure diagnostic data, or maybe [conspiracy theory] they know/think somethings wrong and they want to save users' data before it completely dies. [/conspiracy theory]

    Damn. And my systen has a 75Gig 75GXP and two IBM 10k 18 Gig drives in RAID0 - the 75GXP was supposed to be my safe haven from any RAID failure. Luckily, I've got a 14Gig IBM laptop drive (in my laptop- it's loud!) that also has my important data, and i've got some off-site ftp storage, too, so *HOPEFULLY* I'll be ok.
  • by ReidMaynard (161608) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:41PM (#2389353) Homepage
    Michael and Demi did a movie [amazon.com] about this.
    Basically Demi is a cost-cutting slut in a suit.
    Let's hope [this time] someone got some good sex out of all these bad hard drives...

  • by jestapher (181119) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:42PM (#2389363) Homepage

    We got two IBM 75GXPs almost a year ago and they've consistantly given us trouble. At least once a week now we get something like:

    hdg: dma_intr: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error }
    hdg: dma_intr: error=0x40 { UncorrectableError }, LBAsect=38535423, sector=38535360
    end_request: I/O error, dev 22:01 (hdg), sector 38535360

    Over and over again.

    It used to be more frequent and would cause the system to completely die after a while, requiring some console-based fscking. But many months back we changed some kernel option -- forgive me as I can't recall which, though I think it was the "burst bit" or something related -- and it hasn't been completely crashing, though we still get those errors about once a week.

    I've heard stories of drive completely dying, but thankfully -- knock on wood -- that hasn't happened here. Here's what our setup looks like (from dmesg):

    Uniform Multi-Platform E-IDE driver Revision: 6.31
    ide: Assuming 33MHz system bus speed for PIO modes; override with idebus=xx
    VP_IDE: IDE controller on PCI bus 00 dev 21
    VP_IDE: chipset revision 16
    VP_IDE: not 100% native mode: will probe irqs later
    ide0: BM-DMA at 0xd800-0xd807, BIOS settings: hda:pio, hdb:pio
    ide1: BM-DMA at 0xd808-0xd80f, BIOS settings: hdc:pio, hdd:pio
    PDC20265: IDE controller on PCI bus 00 dev 88
    PCI: Found IRQ 10 for device 00:11.0
    PDC20265: chipset revision 2
    PDC20265: not 100% native mode: will probe irqs later
    PDC20265: (U)DMA Burst Bit ENABLED Primary PCI Mode Secondary PCI Mode.
    ide2: BM-DMA at 0x8400-0x8407, BIOS settings: hde:pio, hdf:pio
    ide3: BM-DMA at 0x8408-0x840f, BIOS settings: hdg:pio, hdh:pio
    hde: IBM-DTLA-307030, ATA DISK drive
    hdg: IBM-DTLA-307030, ATA DISK drive
    ide2 at 0x9800-0x9807,0x9402 on irq 10
    ide3 at 0x9000-0x9007,0x8802 on irq 10
    hde: 60036480 sectors (30739 MB) w/1916KiB Cache, CHS=59560/16/63, UDMA(100)
    hdg: 60036480 sectors (30739 MB) w/1916KiB Cache, CHS=59560/16/63, UDMA(100)

    • We got two IBM 75GXPs almost a year ago and they've consistantly given us trouble. At least once a week now we get something like:

      hdg: dma_intr: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error }
      hdg: dma_intr: error=0x40 { UncorrectableError }, LBAsect=38535423, sector=38535360
      end_request: I/O error, dev 22:01 (hdg), sector 38535360

      Over and over again.

      The IBM 7200RPM drives take longer to wake up after being spun down. I seem to recall seeing similar problems under FreeBSD that turned out to be read/write operations timing out.

      Is it possible that your BIOS or drive parms were set to power down the drive after some amount of inactivity? Anyone know more?

    • Exactly what I've seen - 2 mirrors, 2 different systems (one v2.2 one v2.4), one root mirror, one not. Same thing - SeekComplete Unrecov error and my mirror drops. Freaking nightmare. DFT - doesn't show bad sectors that I can find. Grrr. RMA time!
  • As seen on anandtech (Score:5, Informative)

    by rosewood (99925) <rosewood.chat@ru> on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:43PM (#2389368) Homepage Journal
    http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.html?i=71 [anandtech.com] This from Anandtech faqs from earlier in the month pretty much covers it all - and covered it a long time ago.
  • by RainbowSix (105550) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:46PM (#2389381) Homepage
    ..but I've heard that if you put your hard drive in the freezer for awhile it will be revived long enough to back stuff up until it thaws. Your mileage will vary though, of course.
    • Who the hell trolled this post?

      I guess no one has ever heard of a temperature sensitive failure? Anyone? Bueller?

      Have you ever had a computer crash due to some hardware failure, only to reboot and run for a short time after cooling off? I've had a couple of hard drives over the course of the last 14 years that cracked up like that, only to be revived for a short time if you cooled them down.

      I haven't had any problems with my 60 or 75GXP IBM drives, and this may not be helpful in this particular failure method, but this has more validity than it sounds.

      TiFox
  • I bought a Western Digital 80gig 7200rpm drive, and it started having problems the week I brought it home.
    This was a major hassle for me, since I was building a new computer, and couldn't pinpoint the random problems on one part for some time. Add in to that some bad RAM(how much bad RAM does everyone end up with?), a video card getting fried in a storm, and an Asus Geforce2 Deluxe that SAYS it works under Windows2000, but the primary feature of the card(the digital VCR) doesn't, and the store refused to give me a refund.

    Nothing funner than building a new computer, eh boys?

    A nice family-run place nearby figured out the RAM and video card were bad for me. I returned the video card for a replacement and bought new RAM. Then the hard drive got RMA'd back to Western Digital with a replacement coming in a timely manner, with their nifty ability to get the new hard drive BEFORE sending back the old one(so I could copy my data over).

    To get my comp working I also had to upgrade drivers, flash bioses, install AGP patches for the motherboard, and install several hundred megs of patches to Windows 2000, all of which caused various problems while I was trying to trouble-shoot which and whether my hardware was broken.
    It should be easy to see if hardware is broken--everything else works, so the thing that doesn't is broken. right? Nowadays nothing works right, even when its working at its best. It's near impossible to tell if your hardware is bum, or if you just have some unlucky combination of hardware and software and need to wait patiently for a patch to come out and make things work correctly.

    Computer parts are becoming incredibly unreliable. Putting together this latest 1ghz machine was more hell than every other machine i've built put together. What can we as consumers do to stop this? Why is there no pressure on companies to put out reliable products that work out of the box?
  • My experiences... (and my opinions and speculation and take it with a grain of salt)

    Seagate was the worst in the pre-1gb days; it was rare to have a drive last more than 18 months. Since then, they've steadily become better. I'd trust my life with a Seagate before anything else.

    Quantum was absolutely great up until their LC10/LC15 line, which was the last before that division was folded into Maxtor. Something went terribly wrong with the LC series, and I'd expect any of these you have in use to die if they're not power cycled very often.

    Maxtor is an odd bird. Half their drive models seem to be made of wet cardboard, half seem to be steel. Any time they jump to a new size, the drives are great. Then subsequent revisions at the same size start to fail; perhaps they're cutting too many corners as they try to reduce cost.

    IBMs have been solid all along for me. I don't think I've ever had an IBM drive go bad, though several have been DOA. I use several 75GXPs (60 and 75g) in portable caddies. These have been dropped from 3-4 feet a number of times without incident.

    Western Digital, I won't touch. I've yet to see a Western Digital last two years:

    The Western Digital Caviar series was the worst, especially around the 540mb mark, where half my drives would die in the first 4 months. WD is also the only manufacturer who's never admitted to me, in relative confidence or otherwise, that there's been a bad run of drives. Even after my 9th return of a bad Caviar drive, they maintained that my situation was absolutely unique, only to issue a recall several months later, as I remember it. Every hardware manufacturer makes periodic mistakes; the ones who won't admit even the possibility of a problem don't deserve my returned trust.

  • Shoot - I just got finished putting this exact drive (75GXP) into my brother's TiVo for him. He called me last night saying that he noticed a lot of clicking sounds once in a while (almost like the normal headseek sounds, but a lot more frequent and louder).

    I've had an added drive in my TiVo for a while now, and I can't remember hearing any kind of drive noise other than the normal whirring.

    This would especially suk if I had to replace this drive. The Tivo's A drive (IIRC) must be restored from backup in order to work once a second drive is added and then removed (or replaced?)

    Anyone else have any experience with this?
  • I have undergone a similar ordeal, only with KDS monitors. The original monitor I purchased failed within a few months, and each of the three replacement monitors I was provided with died within a day of receipt. After repeated verbal requests for a refund followed by several demand letters, I have now initiated a lawsuit against KDS and its business associates for failure to provide warranty service.

    I am doing this through my jurisdiction's small claims court; the procedure, while lengthy, is not so complicated that I require a lawyer. If you decide to opt for the same route, I would be pleased to provide you with a copy of my claim. You might want to examine it and adapt it for your own purposes and jurisdictional requirements.

  • I've got one of these in my iMac at home... it's a little bit clicky, but not too bad. Any other Mac owners with Deskstars? Any problems?

    (I gotta admit, the fact that all the tools and such on their web site seem to be unavailable for MacOS certainly doesn't inspire confidence.)

    --saint
  • My experience with IBM has generally been favorable (bulky and slightly expensive products, but as solid as a rock).

    My own personal machine, a Dell laptop, has a Dell MagStar mini hard drive that is always making weird noises. I actually RMA'd the first drive I had because I thought it was broken, but the new drive acted in the same way.

    Diagnostically it runs fine, and I've never had any file transfer problems (outside the fact that it, like most laptop drives, are just slow). But it has always been a little noisy.

  • I just installed a new 40GB 60GXP one week ago, today. Fingers crossed.

    My 3.2GB Deskstar has been flawless. For just over two years it's been spinning away nearly 24x7 on my 'old box'. I back up /etc on the desktop system, but maybe that's not such a good idea, any more.
  • I'm in the process right now of attempting to restore my IBM 40GB 5400RPM drive using a 75GXp 40GB drive to mirror. The nice thing about these IBM drives is that, apparently, once the drive shuts down the heads are lifted from the surface of the drive, rendering it "impossible" (according to the info page) to damage the surface of the disk while in transit.

    Well, I have been using the drive for 4 months and taking it back/forth every day in a caddy (yeah yeah) and it finally died with many grinding noises and the occasional screetchy one. Well it finally barfed and toasted about 0.2% of the surface of the disk (in random places), but just enough to prevent 2K/XP from mounting the disk. I made a recording of the noises that the drive made, I'd be interested to hear yours to see if they're the same.

    In any case, this problem isn't limited to IBM. I've had about 4 HD failures in the past 3 years personally of IBM/WD/Maxtor and since I also run a small computer shop I've seen about a dozen more in the same time period. I remember 5 years ago when HDs lasted forever.

    OTOH, My server at home is running 2x40GB WD + 2x30GB Maxtor and has been up and running without a reboot for 183 days now (running Windows 2000 I might add). So I guess "yah payz yah money, yah takz ya chancez."
  • by tmark (230091) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @03:38PM (#2389707)
    We also need to ask how many people have had *good* experiences. Now, it is clear from reading some of these posts that many users have had good experiences with them. But posting this sort of question here, where a large selection bias probably exists and where people who have had good luck are much *less* likely to post their success stories, is going to result in a very skewed picture of IBM - or other - problems. So even if a dozen Slashdot users wrote in with their own horror stories, I wouldn't know what to make of the results, especially since horror stories of other manufacturers are not solicited at the same time. No basis is therefore provided here for us to evaluate any results.

    Don't ask a question if the results you get back won't mean much !
  • Use Seagate (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Simba (15214)
    I've used pretty much every form of hard drive out there, and in my experience the Fujitsu (whom makes IBM's drives for them) and Western Digital drives are the worst to be had.

    For IDE applications, I recommend the Seagate 7200rpm Baracuda line.

    For SCSI, the Cheetah line. I have one of the age-old original 4.5GB Cheetahs. I've low level formatted it a few dozen times, high level formatted it a few hundred times, run a dozen operating systems on it, dropped it numerous times, whacked it, smacked it, and just generally abused the hell out of it in my torture (Q&A) server for many years. Once, when all the little brushless fans in my drive coolers decided to die within a hour of each other, it got so hot I couldn't even touch it for a few hours.

    And.. it's still working. :) I've never, ever had a bad experience with Seagate, and will recommend them to anyone who listens. The few extra bucks you'll pay over a Maxtor or similar mass market drive are worth it a hundred times over when you've got critical data floating around in a non-raid situation. That's the situation for most college kids whom are cash-starved, yet need to have their thesis survive to the end of the term. :)
  • Funny Goofs (Score:2, Interesting)

    This topic reminded me of an earlier IBM drive that had a problem. Way back in the 80's, when 80 meg was a good sized drive, IBM had a new SCSI drive with the unheard of capacity of 1 gig. I worked for a company that developed firmware for caching disk controllers, and we had one of the earliest of those drives for testing.


    When I hooked it up and powered up the system, the drive fried. We got a replacement, and that worked for a while, but when it got moved to another system, it got fried.


    We eventually figured out that what was happening was that in the systems these drives were going in, you could not easily see the power connector when the drive was in its bay. That's not normally a problem, because power connectors are keyed. However, the plastic on these connectors was not very rigid. If you tried to put a power connector in wrong, the plastic would simply bend and allow the connection. There was no noticable difference in the force required to put the connector in right and that required to put it in wrong. So, anyone using the "the right way is the one that actually goes in" method of hooking up power had a 50/50 chance of getting it backwards.


    Now here's the funny part. We found out from a contact in IBM that IBM was having something like a 20% failure rate on these drives during testing at their plant, because of their own QA people plugging the power in backwards!

  • by softwiz (526518) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @05:21PM (#2390021)
    Stupid me bought a Gateway with this drivein it and it wasn't until my 5th install of Windows 2000 I decided to download the IBM utilities for this drive. It analyzed the drive and told me there was some serious problems that could only be fixed by running their low level format. I did so, repartitioned and formatted, laid down Windows 2000 and haven't had one click sound since. You can get said utility from IBM's website.
  • my 75gxp 45gb (Score:3, Interesting)

    by flerchin (179012) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @11:33PM (#2390927)
    i ordered my drive from some retailer on pricewatch. After about 3 months or so it started making noises that i can only liken to a clutch slipping out on a manual transmission car. Concurrent with these noises would be long seek times, even though i had disabled powersaving spin-down. I think the individual platters spin down or something. Anyways, i d/l'd the ibm diagnostics, it said i had a bad drive. So i called ibm tech support, they said too fucking bad, bec apparently my vendor had bought the drive from dell, thus making it 2nd hand and without warranty. I, being the trusting fool that i am, had thrown out all documentation, and felt screwed. Then i put the drive back in and decided to keep using it until it completely died. Only, and here's the catch, i didn't screw it back in, just left it on the slides in my case. The plm was solved! I was overjoyed and figured i could screw it in, since it would be there for a while. Immed after putting the screws in, the plm is back. I've left the screws out and haven't had a plm since. Yeah!!!

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