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SubjectRe: IDE Disk Problems
>>        "       ide0: do_ide_reset: success
>>
>> Now, my question is, can (or is it remotely possible) linux be
>> writing something out to the WD IDE drives to break the drive.
>
>Yes. The answer is Yes! IDE drives are like cheap watches. They look like
>drives. When new, they even work like drives. However, IDE, correctly
>translated means CHEAP. Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) is a way of
>making drives real CHEAP, merely functional for a short time. What Linux
>is doing "wrong" is USING your drive. A Multitasking Operating System does
>MUCH more disk I/O than MS-DOS. It is being worn out. The head actuator
>bearings are wearing out, the disc spindle bearings are being worn out.
>This will allow the Disc assembly to wobble. Eventually the heads will
>touch and...
> That's all she wrote!

>Your next disk drives should be SCSI. You will probably never replace
>them, only transfer them to other systems when you replace them with the
>latest higher-speed, larger-space units when they become available.
>One-point-two gigabyte drives are now considered "obsolete", you can get a
>few for the cost of a real poor 2 gigabyte IDE drive. The only problem is
>you will need a SCSI Controller and they are not cheap. A good one will
>set you back maybe US$300.

I have read a number of messages related to the quality of IDE drives and WD drives in particular and I believe that I have to respond to give the other side of the story.
I have had what I consider to be a reasonable amount of sys-admin experience (including running an ISP for over a year). Currently I run 3 OS/2 servers, 5 Linux servers, 2 NT servers, and quite a few workstations. All the OS/2 and Linux machines have IDE hard drives, most of the hard drives are WD (about 10 WD drives in operation now, but I've gone got rid of a few of the smaller ones - 340meg drives aren't much use now). I have not had a single problem with a WD drive that could be attributed to the drive (mis-use of `rm` doesn't count as a drive problem). However with the NT systems running SCSI drives (Seagate and Maxtor drives mainly with Adaptec, NCR, and DPT controllers) I have had heaps of problems. Strange crashes on boot, data loss in running system, systems booting up and suddenly crashing when previously they had worked fine.
Based on the experiences with SCSI the client has now decided to save money and buy IDE - the extra money they spent on SCSI wasn't getting them any extra performance or reliability.

As for performance, I recall seeing a message from Mark Lord saying that in most Linux systems you won't gain anything from SCSI. Save the $300 on a SCSI controller and get 64meg of RAM - it'll make your system faster and more reliable than SCSI.


Russell Coker


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