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Life expectancy of an "old" HDD

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Reply 20 of 47, by cyclone3d

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But the old drives are soooooo insanely slow.

I'm completely spoiled by solid state storage.

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Reply 22 of 47, by cyclone3d

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Or you had a feeling deep down that your drive was about to crash and didn't realize it.

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Reply 23 of 47, by Schule04

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weedeewee wrote on 2021-04-21, 15:24:
Schule04 wrote on 2021-04-21, 15:03:

- Did not have Seagates, Maxtor, Hitachi or Quantum drives fail yet

No maxtors ? That I find extremely hard to believe. 🤔

As i said, just anecdotes. I only have some 10GB and 20GB Maxtors.
I have many Seagates though and they do work well. I guess I got lucky so far

Reply 24 of 47, by probnot

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I think every manufacturer of hard drives had their good and bad runs. I used to swear by Seagate in the early 2000s with the 40 and 80GB drives. But then a few years later their latest drives were failing left and right, so we all started buying WD.

I have lots of old drives that are still reliable some 2-3 decades later, but I don't use them as much due to bearing whine. Old hard drives were loud when they were brand new - now some are just unbearable.

Reply 26 of 47, by Fujoshi-hime

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In my experience, any HDD, from any period, even ones made new today, will last anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 years. Trying to 'Guess' the lifecycle is silly, they have average life cycles but that's just the average, they could just as well die after you open the box or they could be leviathans that outlive your pets.

Reply 27 of 47, by The Serpent Rider

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I think every manufacturer of hard drives had their good and bad runs.

Nothing beats IBM DTLA series. Nothing. These hard drives became a meme.

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Reply 28 of 47, by cyclone3d

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IBM Deathstar !

Some business gave use a box of around 40 of those drives back in the day.

All were bad except for something like 5. Those ended up dying fairly quickly when we used them.

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Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
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Reply 29 of 47, by shamino

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I used to have a lot more trouble with hard drive failures in the late 90s and early 2000s.
It was around the mid 2000s that I started using quality power supplies and keeping my drives cool. I've had much better experiences with them ever since.

Drives that are constantly spinning but not actually working that hard seem to last a ridiculously long time.
Drives that automatically and arbitrarily park their heads every 8 seconds (without command from the OS) are suspect IMO. That braindead "feature" has been around long enough now that "fairly old" drives may do it.
In my file server I try to avoid those type of drives, but I use software control to fully spin down a drive that's idle for 30-45minutes. That way it saves power (and probably drive lifetime) but it's not abusive.

I'm wary of brand name fanaticism, but I have gone through phases of being "comfortable" with some particular series of drives due to having already bought others like them.

Basically treat your drives right and have a backup plan. If they die, they die.

Reply 30 of 47, by RandomStranger

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In my experience if a hard drive don't show any serious problems (not uncharacteristically loud or slow, don't have too many bad sectors, etc.) then they are fairly reliable. I even have some infamously unreliable models that don't have any issues. I think those which wanted to die already died decades ago.

Also, as said earlier, you don't use a retro drive (or PC in general) the same way you do a modern one. A couple hours a week compared to presumably daily use.
With heavy use, I could imagine a 20+ years old drive won't last longer than 3-5 years, but I never had a drive that died out of the blue, only those that were already faulty when I got them.
But hardware failure is inevitable. Nothing is built to last forever.

sreq.png

Reply 31 of 47, by Miphee

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shamino wrote on 2021-04-22, 04:51:

Drives that automatically and arbitrarily park their heads every 8 seconds (without command from the OS) are suspect IMO.

Agreed. I've had the misfortune of dealing with numerous WD Caviar green and Samsung Spinpoint drives and the constant slow spin-down spin-up cycles were maddening. I've had 3 WD and 2 Samsung green drives fail within 3 years. Too bad my employers couldn't be convinced to buy something else. They wanted green, they got green.

Reply 32 of 47, by user33331

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" I used to swear by Seagate in the early 2000s with the 40 and 80GB drives. But then a few years later their latest drives were failing left and right, so we all started buying WD."
- I stopped buying Seagate HDDs around 2010 because they were so bad. Once I had a xbox 360 Seagate 320GB external drive fail by just being in a closet for a 1 year.

Seagate was good in 1998-2006.
+ Seagate Medallist ST32122A 2.1GB 1998. Still working.
+ Seagate 3144A 130MB 1991-92. Still working.

Some Maxtor's were good.
(Majority bad)
- Maxtor D740X-6L 20GB 2002-2004. Still working.

Fujitsu Desktop MPB3021AT 2.1GB. 1998.
- Working.

Lots of newer 80GB, 120GB Samsung IDE working and one larger Matrox 250GB IDE.

Reply 33 of 47, by waterbeesje

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I've got a few 10/20/30/40MB mfm and rll drives surviving from the late 80s. Nothing wrong with them and scandisk reports no errors at all.

Meanwhile I've seen several "modern" disks from 80GB to 1TB with good reputation gone bad: striction, unexplained headcrash, heads unable to read, totally worn out with no heavy usage...

I've bought second hand dinosaurs that got a format just fine, installed dos and windows 3. Next boot nothing wrong, third boot game over.

I guess it's still one big gamble which disk will send won't survive. In the end they all will die before the test of the systems.
Backup is the magic word of your attached to your data and installed environment. And keep a load of compact flash cards ready.

Stuck at 10MHz...

Reply 35 of 47, by Miphee

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starhubble wrote on 2021-04-22, 09:06:

Okay, so the spindowns: Good or bad? Is it better to have the drive spin constantly or spin down when idle? Someone mentioned that unnecessary spinups might put extra strain on the drive.

It's the work of the Devil IMO. When you want to access a file it takes 10 seconds to spin up. The drive wakes up on it's own even when you aren't accessing any files. It's like Windows just randomly tests the drive to see if it's still there. In those 10 seconds the computer slows down or stops responding completely. After 5 minutes the drive spins down again and this feature can't be turned off. Worst drives ever.

Reply 36 of 47, by starhubble

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Miphee wrote on 2021-04-22, 09:14:
starhubble wrote on 2021-04-22, 09:06:

Okay, so the spindowns: Good or bad? Is it better to have the drive spin constantly or spin down when idle? Someone mentioned that unnecessary spinups might put extra strain on the drive.

It's the work of the Devil IMO. When you want to access a file it takes 10 seconds to spin up. The drive wakes up on it's own even when you aren't accessing any files. It's like Windows just randomly tests the drive to see if it's still there. In those 10 seconds the computer slows down or stops responding completely. After 5 minutes the drive spins down again and this feature can't be turned off. Worst drives ever.

Yeah, it's annoying, but will it prolong or shorten the life of the drive?

Reply 37 of 47, by weedeewee

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Is it better to have the drive in use/storage vertically or horizontally ?

Regarding the spinup/spindown, it's useful for a mediacenter, watching a movie or some series. The drive spins up, you have your entertainment, it spins down. Thus less wear on the heads and spindle.

And does anyone remember the early 2000 quantums, around 2003 i think. Where they changed the chemistry of the controller ic packaging and it ended up causing a short blowing up the controller ic. (might 've been the hard disk motor driver)

Reply 39 of 47, by Miphee

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starhubble wrote on 2021-04-22, 10:05:

Yeah, it's annoying, but will it prolong or shorten the life of the drive?

It wasn't designed to increase the lifespan of a drive. It was designed to consume less power.