General discussion


Hard Drives Dying

By stagehandler ·
Just in the several months, I have had four hard drives go bad in three desktops and one laptop. All of the computers are plugged into surge protectors and power filters with the exception of the laptop when I am away form my desk. The desktops are normally left on all the time. The area where the computers are, are well ventilated.
I have checked the voltage with a volt meter and it is showing normal voltage but unable to determine if spikes or surges are happening.
Are there any suggestions to what I should be looking into? Any suggestions and ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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What is common

by JamesRL In reply to Hard Drives Dying

You don't tell us about how many computers this is out of....

What are the common factors. Every hard drive manfacturer makes the odd bad design or has problems with the odd production run. If the HDs are all identical, then there is a clue.

How good are your surge protectors?

Do you get brownouts? A power drop can be as bad as a spike.

Do your computers run hot? Can you put a thermometer in there? Does the MB have temp sensor?


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by djames In reply to Hard Drives Dying

Are they computer grade surge protectors? The office grade surge protectors have proven close to worthless. I use UPS to protect from brown outs as well as spikes. What about ESD? Is there carpet? Static electricity?

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What brand?

by stress junkie In reply to Hard Drives Dying

There are several brands of disk drives that I won't use because they have proven to me that they will break before they should. On the other hand there are two brands that I like as far as durability is concerned.

I like Maxtor and Seagate.

I hate Western Digital and IBM Deskstar (now owned by either Fujistu or Hitachi but still using the IBM Deskstar brand name).

Of course if you're buying complete systems and find Western Digital drives you are stuck but you at least know not to buy that brand of computer in the future.

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Depends on the brand...

by dnvrtechgrrl In reply to Hard Drives Dying

No E-machine problems yet. (low budget three person operation upstairs.) A couple of the old Compaq's used to fry out on me - bad DIMM boards. I'm still not sure why that would take the HDD with it but I just chalked it up to usual Comcrap performance.

Dell - that's a different story. A bunch of the Optiplex units went out with bad power supplies. It took me months to figure out what was going on. Dell won't recall, or admit there's a problem to any of the large corporations, but they'll replace the parts for free.

If they go suddenly - you've lost your hard drive, CPU, possibly your motherboard too.

If they go slow, there's no telling what problems will kick up first. Here though, it's been either the processor, memory, or HDD. Then the power supply.

Hope this helps some.

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Bad Batches

by mcollins1 In reply to Hard Drives Dying

I used to work in computer sales (We would make the machines onsite and sell them).
Even though we went for the top brands (Seagate, Maxtor etc.) we would occasionally get in a bad batch of drives, that ran fine while we were building the machines, but gave up in the following weeks or months of the user's ownership.
I think it is the same with anything nowadays, everything is made to the cheapest possible spec without making the product appear to suffer, therefore occasioanlly you get failures.
I would just say you may have been unlucky on this occasion. Or there may have been other factors involved (as the other posts mention)...

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sounds like the norm

by Senior Program Analyst In reply to Hard Drives Dying

I couldnt tell from your message but if you purchased the all at the same time or close to it then Its probably the batch they were created in. I often replace a group of PCs / monitors / printers each year. And it seldom fails that they all seem to have the same issues/failures within a very short time of each other. Printer rollers, Hard Drives, power supplies, etc all seem to know a particular amount of time (usually a week or two after warrentees are up) that they should start to fail and all purchased together have the same time stamp for giving out. That what this sounds like to me.
Of course in some cases this may be before (even long before0 the warrentees if a bad batch gets through. as for Hard Drives - I would check as previously mentioned the Power Supplies. Also check with the tech support of the manufacturer and find out if this may be something they are aware of and can tell you how to fix (or fix themselves if they will warrentee them). I did have one case where the manufacture finally did replace a part in all the PCs I purchased at the time since I was having so many of the same failure. In another case I just started calling about once a week on another PC with the same description of the problem even though It hadnt occured yet just so I could get the problem out of the way at my convinence instead of its.

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