[rescue] limited shelf life of hard drives ?

Ryan Thoryk ryan at tliquest.net
Tue May 2 23:02:21 CDT 2006

The only drives I've had issues with are Maxtor IDE's - had a 30 gig a 
while back that completely died (it was part of a backed-up 2-drive RAID-0 
array, so I could recover the data), and mailed it back as defective - 
then after the replacement came, that one eventually died too in a fairly 
short amount of time (it was probably less than a month).  I gave up on 
those drives and got a Seagate which has been running fine since then.  It 
seems like that drive might have been too sensitive to temperature, since 
sometimes the room that the server was in would get fairly warm (~85-90F).

Another drive that died was simply an old 4gig SCSI drive that suddenly 
and quickly started getting an increasing amount of bad blocks, so I tried 
getting any data off of it, then stuck it in a freezer for about 6 hours. 
After I took it out, it worked perfectly fine, and I was easily able to 
get all the data off of it (it might even still work fine, but I haven't 
used it in a while - wouldn't really want to anyway).  Temperature was 
probably what got that drive also.

On Tue, 2 May 2006, Curtis H. Wilbar Jr. wrote:

> OK... now this is just plain weird...
> Today marks the second system in 3ish months I've powered up after
> sitting fo 6-12 months... and the hard drives in both are dead !
> The 9G 10K WD enterprise SCSI drive in the PC has media errors and
> has hosed the FAT32 filesystem... I can probably at least recover
> what little data I need off that one.
> The 8.4G Seagate ATA drive in my Ultra 10 (which has less than a
> few hundred hours of use on it), won't even initialize... it spins
> up... want's to read whatever it has to read to 'position' the heads/etc
> to go 'ready'... and makes a horrible noise as it tries.... after
> trying several times it goes 'nope... I'm toast, have a nice day'.
> (and when I put it in the U10, it was a new (I think remanufactured)
> drive from Seagate).
> WTF ?
> How many of the upteen drives I've had not spinning on a shelf for
> 2 yrs are going to be dead now ?  are the voice coil magnets slowly
> deteriorating the recording on the platters if they are left not
> moving for a long time ?  or what ?  This makes no sense.
> Anyone experience this sort of problem before ?
> I bet if I pull my old Micropolis 600Meg 5.25" full height drives out
> of Storage, or my 1.3G Seagate Elites... that they'll spin up after
> the 6-8 or more years they have been idle and access every last bit
> stored on them....  yet the crap they make today dies if not used !?
> Confused, pissed, and in possession of one more car chock...
> -- Curt
> _______________________________________________
> rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue

Ryan Thoryk
Unix and Network Specialist
ryan at tliquest.net

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