SUMMARY: Sick hard drive, when will it die?

From: Bill Morrow (
Date: Tue Feb 28 1995 - 03:48:28 CST

Two weeks ago, I wrote

> I have a 5 year old CDC Wren IV that is giving read/write errors
> every hour or so, on 5-6 different blocks. It's been doing this for
> about 2 months. Once, the user reported that it reported a burst of
> errors and crashed. It gives similar behaviour on different machines.
> Should I spend any time mapping out the defects and reformatting, or
> just get a new disk? How much longer will it live? We're a cash-poor
> academic site, keep in mind.

I had 21 replies, thanks to all of you. The results were split:

9 said reformat, and be prepared for a complete failure with 1 week - 2 months
2 said reformat, the drive will work for a long time afterwards
6 said replace, it will fail completely real soon, not worth wasting time on
3 said replace immediately, disaster is imminent.
1 offered sympathy but no real firm advice. Thanks!

We ordered a new drive with twice the capacity, at about 1/3rd the cost,
power consumption etc. However, the old drive is still chugging along
at this time. I plan to switch it to a less critical role.

Bill Morrow    Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary
e-mail: voice: (403) 220-6275 fax: (403) 283-8770
HMRB 105, 3330 Hospital Drive NW Calgary, Alberta, CANADA T2N 4N1

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