Reply 41860 of 45389, by HanJammer
TrashPanda wrote on 2022-01-09, 14:13:
God . .old Seagate drives ...the bane of every IT professionals job back in the day, same for a particular batch of IBM HDDs that failed if you sneezed in their direction. I have a soft spot for MFM drives after owning an IBM 286 machine (The big gray/beige box type with the red clacky switch on the side) with one, that old brick was very reliable and to this day I dont like seeing them die, so if I find one in working order im reluctant to use it as a daily driver in a retro build.
I can understand you point of view about keeping old hdds in use as a way of catching issues early or for diagnosis but with how old MFM drives are im not sure how easy it would be to actually repair one that has failed.
Unless it's a serious mechanical issue (ie. heads falling off 😉 they are relatively easy to fix - on Seagate ST-2** drive electronics is mostly THT and not much going on on it because controller sits in the ISA slot. Even mechanical things can be relatively easy to fix (like head replacement) because they are simply huge compared to later drives. On the other hand - I value my time more than hardware so I don't really bother fixing them (unless it's a simple electronic repair) because they are still somewhat easily available here in Poland. Also if you want good, reliable MFM HDD - look for NEC drives. Those are bullet proof. I have around 10 and every single one works perfectly fine (not a single bad sector too!).
This type: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintag … 6913-1885861518
Although when I first time turned one of them on I almost had a heart attack (heads servo is mechanically blocked by a wedge moved by the electromagnet which makes a horribly loud clunk noise - almost like exploding capacitor). Downside is they are not quite as loud as Seagates.
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