VOGONS


Reply 20 of 46, by Vynix

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I can't really speak for IDE hard drives as I have a slew of SCSI HDDs, when it comes to IDE hard drives I stick with whatever I have on hand.

Right now I have a IBM Ultrastar 9ES (aka DDRS-39130) hard drive in my P133 rig, this thing is quite snappy (well for a hard drive of its time) and makes all sorts of clicks and clunks when seeking, and it does indeed have that "humming" that older hard drives have. To this day it's still going strong.

retardware wrote on 2019-12-31, 16:49:

Nobody here (except me) appears to use Fujitsu enterprise HDDs 😀
They seem to be a secret tip for connoisseurs.
I like them because they are quiet, fast and reliable.

Oh you're not alone, I have a Fujitsu hard drive (a very late one, 80 gigs, 15k RPM - yup that's pure SCSI madness) but unfortunately it's a SCA80 drive... I'm not sure if it works but the day I'll get a adapter I'll use it.

Proud owner of a Shuttle HOT-555A 430VX motherboard and two wonderful retro laptops, namely a Compaq Armada 1700 [nonfunctional] and a HP Omnibook XE3-GC [fully working :p]

Reply 21 of 46, by Horun

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SirNickity wrote on 2019-12-31, 00:08:

I always had a favorite, go-to HDD. For drives <2GB I really like the black Western Digital Caviar drives. For ~10-20GB, the Seagate U series in the foam wrap.

My fav's were WD 21000, 21600, 31200, etc (though the 20000 series always seemed to outlast the 30000 series) but also used some Fujits and Conners in the 500-2Gb sizes. Mostly used SCSI drives from the 4 to 18Gb size range. In bigger sizes seemed to always use Seagate and WD.

chinny22 wrote on 2019-12-31, 11:07:
IDE drives are going to old in general and at such small capacity these are easily pushing 20 years. so would go with whatever i […]
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IDE drives are going to old in general and at such small capacity these are easily pushing 20 years. so would go with whatever is available. Ex Xbox HDD's will probably have had an easy life and relatively new.
Maxtor 71080AP (1GB)
Seagate ST32122A (2.1GB)
... +9 more

Good list ! I also have some older xbox drives, mostly 20 and 60Gb. A few weeks ago got a 60Gb with 2200 hours and a 20Gb with less than an hour and only 2 startups so basically brand new though 10 years old, see pic. Yeah I added one more startup to it for the pic ;p
Drive has a man date of 2006.12 🤣

CF I use in a few systems (Xt and 286) but with a dozen old systems and 60+ pre socket 775 spare boards would go broke adding CF to all of them and do think there is a charm in having hardware similar to what was around a few years within the build period. I alsways use regular mechanical drives when building or restoring a good 386, 486 or Pentium machine.

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Hate posting a reply and have to edit it because it made no sense 😁 First computer was an IBM 3270 workstation with CGA monitor. 🤣 Second computer a 286 12Mhz with real IDE drive ! After that came 386, 486, Pentium, P.Pro and everything after....

Reply 22 of 46, by Mister Xiado

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I use CF because all of my sub-20GB HDDs are dying the death, most of which are probably due to the previous owners' "just chuck 'em in a box" storage solutions. Bad sectors increasing on them like an infestation of kudzu. I've got a 2GB card in my 486 divided into a 1024MB partition, and the remainder just for whatever. I wasn't certain if the system would play ball with anything bigger, otherwise I would have gotten a much larger card and loaded it up with software. Still runs fine, and I don't have to worry about my on-again-off-again VB3 project being corrupted. I use a 4GB card in my Pentium 1 tower, split into two 2GB partitions, IIRC.
While I have a really nice PCI SCSI card, I don't have any SCSI drives or devices, otherwise I might have entertained that as a solution, at least for the Pentium system.

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Reply 24 of 46, by PCBONEZ

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emote wrote on 2020-01-01, 13:03:

Old drives seem to make more noise with age. Maybe it's not very nostalgic to run them if they don't sound the same any more.

That's called old bearings.
Eventually the platters will wobble enough to have head-disc crashes.
.

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Reply 25 of 46, by Cobra42898

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my experience...
samsung 30gb -20years old and still going
samsung 80gb - fried from a failing psu
quantum fireballs-2 of the 3 still work
maxtors - i have a bunch from 130 mb all the way to 120gb. very reliable, but often they're not very compatible on a multiple hdd PC. newer ones are less problematic it seems.
Seagate - i love my old st-225 but modern era drives i dont have any to try.
wd - i have one 2gb that is toast, but 2-3 that still work from that era.
conner -have one 420mb that was OE in my signature 486, still runs great.

Searching for Epson Actiontower 3000 486 PC.

Reply 26 of 46, by SPBHM

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my p166 is running a 2GB WD drive that I got for free 10 years ago with huge red letters saying "BAD" or something, it has some bad blocks (like a couple of MB) but it's working OK other than that
my Compaq k6-2 had is currently using the quantum LCT 10GB my p3 had since new, and the P3 is using a newer (like 2005) 40GB Samsung (it's so fast and silent!)

the only lower capacity HD that I have is a seagate 20MB that still works (last I checked) but it's currently not being used.

I would look into CF/SD adapters but really, I think it's cheaper for me to find some old HDs anyway.

Reply 27 of 46, by retardware

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Vynix wrote on 2019-12-31, 20:01:
I can't really speak for IDE hard drives as I have a slew of SCSI HDDs, when it comes to IDE hard drives I stick with whatever I […]
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I can't really speak for IDE hard drives as I have a slew of SCSI HDDs, when it comes to IDE hard drives I stick with whatever I have on hand.

Right now I have a IBM Ultrastar 9ES (aka DDRS-39130) hard drive in my P133 rig, this thing is quite snappy (well for a hard drive of its time) and makes all sorts of clicks and clunks when seeking, and it does indeed have that "humming" that older hard drives have. To this day it's still going strong.

retardware wrote on 2019-12-31, 16:49:

Nobody here (except me) appears to use Fujitsu enterprise HDDs 😀
They seem to be a secret tip for connoisseurs.
I like them because they are quiet, fast and reliable.

Oh you're not alone, I have a Fujitsu hard drive (a very late one, 80 gigs, 15k RPM - yup that's pure SCSI madness) but unfortunately it's a SCA80 drive... I'm not sure if it works but the day I'll get a adapter I'll use it.

I also liked the IBM Ultrastars 😀
They had very good noise... the seek noises were lovely, not that lame as with most IDE drives.
Sadly, in the early 2000s all my Ultrastars died in the course of a few hours one after the next when I came home from a weekend outside, and turned on the computer before reacclimatizing. 😢
It was winter and I had the heater on freeze protection. Another lesson learnt the hard way.

Soundwise the Fujitsus are just boring. Almost nothing. But otherwise, they are fast. With these SCSI madness drives, it is often hard to even spot the HDD leds flashing up, almost no difference to ramdisk. Getting a SCA adapter and trying that out really pays off 😀

Reply 28 of 46, by Vynix

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I also have two Seagate 10K Cheetah 300GB drives, though just like the Fujitsu, they're HP OEM hard drives, these two are also untested. Along with that there's also a Maxtor SCSI drive that I have, that one however... I don't have very high hopes (it's kinda in rough condition).

The day I'll get a SCA80 adapter they're going to be the first one to be tested with my trusty Adaptec AHA-2940U2W.

Proud owner of a Shuttle HOT-555A 430VX motherboard and two wonderful retro laptops, namely a Compaq Armada 1700 [nonfunctional] and a HP Omnibook XE3-GC [fully working :p]

Reply 29 of 46, by SirNickity

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Living wrote on 2019-12-31, 01:45:

you are playing with the most unreliable part of an old PC.

Although i have ~30 old HDD's from 30mb to 20gb i dont want to risk my invested time into installing alll the software (no, cloning doesnt work with every pc), i want something reliable, fast and easy to transfer files, that's why i use CF to IDE adapters.

Thanks, but I'm well aware. I knew the topic would illicit this kind of response, so let me assure you:

I'm not going to be writing a 1,000-page novel in Word 6.0 that I hope will afford my retirement. If a HDD fails, it means I might lose a save-game for WarCraft II, and will have to spend a day reinstalling on a new drive. I can live with that.

I might do some software development, but I have outfitted half of my retro fleet with ZIP drives, and 3/4 of them have network cards. All, up to the Core 2 era, have floppy drives. I have a NAS, and drives I used to backup that NAS. There are plenty of ways to ensure the safety of any unique data.

So don't worry, my well-being and fortune do not hinge on the viability of a 25-year-old HDD. My sense of pride and enjoyment of that 25-year-old PC, however, does hinge on its authenticity. This makes it a fairly simple proposition for me.

Moving on...

Reply 30 of 46, by SirNickity

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pewpewpew wrote on 2019-12-31, 02:35:

That might be the worst period for HDD reliablitly.

This is what I'm finding as well, but it seems like every manufacturer had their slump era. This seems to me to be WD's not-so-bright period.

STX wrote on 2019-12-31, 01:47:

I am a huge fan of the Seagate Barracuda IV and V. As far as I know, they were the first really quiet hard drives, and I prefer quiet PCs.

Yep, first gen of the fluid dynamic bearings, I think. It's a noticeable difference between those and the U-series before it -- which I already thought were pretty decent when I got my 10GB back around 2000.

chinny22 wrote on 2019-12-31, 11:07:

Ex Xbox HDD's will probably have had an easy life and relatively new.

Now that is an interesting idea. I have just converted a few Xboxen to SSDs (where reliability, silence, and performance are more important to me than 100%-OG hardware) and so have a few leftover HDDs. All I have to do is figure out how to unlock them. (I'm sure it's not difficult, but it's not something I've ever had to bother with before.)

So it does seem as though some are having better luck with the silver Caviars than I am. Maybe I was just unlucky?

Might also have to try a Fujitsu though. I enjoy having some diversity in my builds. I think nearly every PC has a floppy drive manufactured by someone different. Teac (of course), Alps, Chinon, Epson, Mitsumi, Sony, Panasonic...

Reply 31 of 46, by Warlord

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ok wow 🤣 if we are going to get all anal about vintage hard drives, it's pretty much scsi or go home.

Otherwise I personally I don't put shitty hard drives in my computers just because it fits some obsession that I have that my hard drive must be made the same hour or the same day of the same year as everything else I put there or its not any good. Mind blown. For retro gaming and the type of computing I do solid state media will never go bad, because my use scenario doesn't involve writing gigs of data to my disk every day for 10 years. It involve me writing my games or whatever to it once then playing them.

Reply 32 of 46, by Logistics

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I wonder if mounting old, mechanical drives in rubber does anything for their longevity. I've seen drives with rubber sleeves, but I assumed it was for noise, not vibration dampening with endurance in mind.

Reply 33 of 46, by SPBHM

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SirNickity wrote on 2020-01-02, 20:30:
This is what I'm finding as well, but it seems like every manufacturer had their slump era. This seems to me to be WD's not-so- […]
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pewpewpew wrote on 2019-12-31, 02:35:

That might be the worst period for HDD reliablitly.

This is what I'm finding as well, but it seems like every manufacturer had their slump era. This seems to me to be WD's not-so-bright period.

STX wrote on 2019-12-31, 01:47:

I am a huge fan of the Seagate Barracuda IV and V. As far as I know, they were the first really quiet hard drives, and I prefer quiet PCs.

Yep, first gen of the fluid dynamic bearings, I think. It's a noticeable difference between those and the U-series before it -- which I already thought were pretty decent when I got my 10GB back around 2000.

chinny22 wrote on 2019-12-31, 11:07:

Ex Xbox HDD's will probably have had an easy life and relatively new.

Now that is an interesting idea. I have just converted a few Xboxen to SSDs (where reliability, silence, and performance are more important to me than 100%-OG hardware) and so have a few leftover HDDs. All I have to do is figure out how to unlock them. (I'm sure it's not difficult, but it's not something I've ever had to bother with before.)

So it does seem as though some are having better luck with the silver Caviars than I am. Maybe I was just unlucky?

Might also have to try a Fujitsu though. I enjoy having some diversity in my builds. I think nearly every PC has a floppy drive manufactured by someone different. Teac (of course), Alps, Chinon, Epson, Mitsumi, Sony, Panasonic...

I don't remember well what the procedure was, but it was easy following the xbox-scene tutorials when I did it, I replaced the 10GB drive for a 120GB one in 2004 on my Xbox and used the 10GB drive in some PCs, I think it was in a Duron 1Ghz when I gave it to another person, it was still working,
but I think the Xbox HD can have a hard life also, some people are not too kind to their consoles, the interior is likely very warm,

Reply 36 of 46, by Caluser2000

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Unknown_K wrote on 2019-12-31, 04:49:

I must be the only one alive who still uses real HDs.

Connor, Maxtor, and WD are what I use in the 1-10GB range, probably the same under that size and including Seagate if I am using SCSI. Also Micropolis for SCSI over 1GB (mostly in A/V systems).

Nah mate all my systems have hdds. Use BigFoots in the xt-turbo with xt-ide card and 386dx33 system. Plenty of spare hdds of all sizes. Run Dos/win3.1X, OS/2, Win9x and Linux without any bother.

Gave the smaller ones, up to 8gig a test about 3 months ago and all were fine. All my Acorn Conner drives are fine as well.

Anything I got with scsi the drives were doa. Had about 4 IDE drives go on me since I've been using computers from around 1989.

There's a glitch in the matrix.

Reply 37 of 46, by shamino

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I have a random collection of IDE hard drives in the described 1-10GB range, but I don't use them much. Several have some bad sectors but some are still in good working order.
I have 4x Seagate Barracuda ATA IV 40GB drives that I bought on eBay a few years ago and 2 others from Maxtor of the same size, so I tend to use those. They've been reliable. Not too long ago I was still using one of the Seagates as a boot drive on a file server. Most recently I'm using one of the Maxtor 40GB as a 32GB on a socket-7 machine. I'm shrinking it, but not by very much.

The drives I really like are 7200rpm SCSI drives. I really like the ST34371W which is a 4.3GB Barracuda. It has a very cool sound to it, but mine both died. I've also had a couple similar IBM DDRS-34560 that I liked.
I have a perfectly working 10K Cheetah 9.1GB, but I don't like it as much. It's too loud and not as cool sounding as the 7200rpm drives.

About a year ago I bought a Seagate Barracuda ST12550ND 2.1GB on eBay. It might be NOS - seller didn't "think" it had been used and it was totally, completely clean.

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This was apparently Seagate's first series of 7200rpm drives. I found a few ancient newsgroup posts about it, the main complaint was heat. IIRC they came out in 1993 or 94 but mine is from 2/95. I've been wanting to build a Pentium60 socket4 SBPro system, and I'd love to use this drive in it.
Mechanically it starts and runs fine. It's about as quiet as you'd expect from a 10 platter 7200rpm drive with ball bearings.

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There are 2 problems. This is a high voltage differential SCSI drive, and it has a Unisys firmware.
I've only ever used it with an AHA-2944UW HVD SCSI controller and with the correct terminator (which was not easy to find - I almost decided to build one), but I can't get the controller card to see any capacity in the drive. It reports zero size. I tried to do a low level format (via the SCSI card's menu) but the process doesn't seem to do anything, after leaving the warning screen running for 18 hours I gave up and turned it off.

I don't know anything about Unisys, but according to the ancient internet I think they made some kind of external storage array thingies. That might explain how a drive like this could plausibly go unused (maybe it was a backup for somebody's array). I think their modified firmware is causing the problem. Unfortunately I didn't find any sign of a firmware for these drives on the internet, and I don't know if it's even possible to reprogram it.

Reply 38 of 46, by computerguy08

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I'm gonna share my experience with sub 10GB hard drives real quick here.

My personal favorite is the Quantum Fireball lct series (very quiet bearings, decent seek noise, no bad sectors so far)
The Seagate Medalist has a very cool sound , but is unreliable nowadays (I have quite a few with bad sectors)
I have two WD Caviar 16000, both are in excellent condition
The Maxtor lineup is just absolutely dreadful (especially the silver ones), very noisy and unreliable, I have a stack of dead Maxtors
SCSI HDDs (like IBM Ultrastar and the Seagate Cheetah) have amazing acoustics (especially the full height ones), but they tend to get hot and seeking is a little on the loud side tbh

I did not have any good experience with my laptop HDDs under 10GB, all of them have bad sectors (IBM Travelstars)

Looking for a motherboard? You can find it in Ultimate Hardware 2019: http://www.win3x.org/uh19/motherboard/search

Reply 39 of 46, by RaverX

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kolderman wrote on 2019-12-31, 01:52:

If you are in this range...can't see why anyone would NOT use CF.

Because some of us like to build retro computers that are 100% period correct (or as close as possible). Also, there's quite a few people that like the sound of old hard drives, it's part of the nostalgia.
I like Quantum Fireball (I had one - 4.3 GB back in 1999), but I'm fine with almost anything, as long as is period correct for the build. I love some of Seagate Barracuda HDDs, those that have some rubber on the outside. In the range of 20-80 GB I like Maxtor, they are fast (for that time) and are not very noisy.