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Bah! Hard-drives these days! - Journal of Omnifarious

May. 22nd, 2006

10:24 pm - Bah! Hard-drives these days!

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I went to upgrade my router, which had been running for probably over 200 days straight. I finally shut it down because I wanted to push it to the newest version of Fedora Core so I could get the version of openvpn I wanted and properly tie my work network to home.

But, when I brought it back up with the install CD, it couldn't do the install. The partition table was broken and it wanted to try to re-write it. I checked the logs and played with 'dd' a bit and figured out that the first 7 sectors of the disk were bad. All the other sectors were fine. Just the first 7 were bad.

That drive is only 2 years old. It was a Maxtor 40G drive. Needless to say I was seriously ticked.

klicrai graciously went out and bought me a drive today, and I left work early so I could install it. I found some nice tools (TestDisk in particular) on the net that would reconstruct the partition table by looking for the filesystem headers on disk. It worked surprisingly well, especially since the install CD would recognize the USB key I stored it on if I had it in the slot while I booted.

The partition table couldn't be written, but I could use the information to construct a new partition table on the new disk and copy the appropriate sectors from the old disk onto the new disk. I didn't lose any data at all. But it took me a lot of fiddling to make it work right.

Up until 2002 or so, I never had a problem with a hard-drive going bad, even long after the warranty expired. I think hard-drive quality has precipitously declined in the past few years, and it really annoys me.

Current Mood: [mood icon] annoyed

Comments:

From:incused
Date:May 23rd, 2006 06:04 am (UTC)
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From:omnifarious
Date:May 23rd, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC)
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That's why I got a Seagate too. :-)

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From:incused
Date:May 23rd, 2006 02:25 pm (UTC)
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From:omnifarious
Date:May 23rd, 2006 02:46 pm (UTC)
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With the 5 year warranty, it looks like they're more willing to be punished, so I'll have to content with that, and make more frequent backups of my router's configuration :-).

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From:lunasoleil
Date:May 23rd, 2006 01:21 pm (UTC)
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I've had decent luck with Maxtor, it's Western Digital that I've had troubles with. I've had 3 of their drives die within one year, all less than a year old. They RMA them for free but still, I'd rather have drives that work than keep replacing them.
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From:omnifarious
Date:May 23rd, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC)
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I've been avoiding Western Digital because I've been hearing about the same kinds of problems from others. I got a Seagate because of their 5 year warranty.

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From:kosmo
Date:May 23rd, 2006 01:54 pm (UTC)
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FWIW, Seagate carries a 5 year warranty on all of their units, and lately they seem pretty solid.

Maxtors ... not so much.

Sorry you had problems.
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From:omnifarious
Date:May 23rd, 2006 02:09 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I purchased Seagate for that reason.

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From:omnifarious
Date:August 17th, 2006 12:16 pm (UTC)
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You've been silent on the talker for quite some time. :-)

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From:ohpun
Date:May 23rd, 2006 10:24 pm (UTC)

nobbled

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I got a Seagate Barracuda V 40GB drive from Computer Renaissance and it showed up as 20 GB. Repartitioning did not change anything. I checked and the drive was supposed to be 40GB. So I looked around and found http://www.altruists.org/projects/hw/hr/ I used the HDAT2 program (holding my breath and crossing my fingers all the way) to fix the problem. For quite a while I was seriously ticked off at whoever did this.

I've only had one hard drive fail on me and I don't remember the brand. Amusingly enough it failed when I was rebooting servers after Y2K.
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From:omnifarious
Date:May 24th, 2006 02:41 pm (UTC)

Re: nobbled

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What an interesting link. :-)

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From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 17th, 2006 12:09 pm (UTC)

Re: nobbled

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Have you got a reference number for that? It'd be good to publish what you can, so that the guys at http://www.altruists.org/projects/hw/hr, so they can add it to the site.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:August 18th, 2006 12:00 pm (UTC)

Re: nobbled

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Have you got a reference number for that? It'd be good to publish what you can, so that the guys at http://www.altruists.org/projects/hw/hr, so they can add it to the site.
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From:daisykitten
Date:May 26th, 2006 08:48 pm (UTC)
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From:omnifarious
Date:August 17th, 2006 12:17 pm (UTC)
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It means that it's probably time for one of the full re-installs you periodically need to subject a Windows box to. :-(

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