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SubjectIDE Disk Problems

We are running Linux Redhat 3.0.3 (1.2.13 kernel) using Cyrix 586.
We have lost one Western Digital Caviar 31600 (1.6GB) IDE drive and
one WD Caviar (700MB) IDE drive. Now, when I say lost, I mean that when
the system is rebooted, the disk sounds like it is physcially broke. There
is a periodic clanging noise, as if one of the drive components is
actually damaged. At this point, we don't get past the BIOS.

These two drives ran for approximately one month each
before dieing. Prior to this, we noticed in our system messages:

kernel: hdb: read_intr: status=0x4b { DriveRead DataRequest Index Error }
" " read_intr: error=0x04 { Drive Status Error}
" 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. The
analogy being, that you can write to a video controller and cause
damage to a monitor. One of our people have suggested that Linux is
writing to sector 0 of the WD IDE drive.

Sorry to make this so long, but to add to this woe, we have had two other
drives go bad on other Linux boxes, both running slackware with kernel of
(1.2.8). These drives ran for approximately 6 months before expiring.
On one, the conditions very similar to description above. The other system
had a seagate ST5108A (1GB) where we did not get the clanging noise but
received the "hda: read_intr ..." messages after Linux has loaded and
during file check. It happened to be an inode where the first bad
spot showed up. We changed out the drive and tried to format the
seagate with DOS but format failed (just to see if DOS could
read/write to the drive).
One other piece of information. On at least two of these systems, the
CPU fan was not working. These are pentium class processors and I have
always heard that you can get very flaky results when these processors
heat up.
These WDs drives were bought at separate times so we do not suspect
that we got hold of a bad batch of drives.
Any informations, ideas, would be greatly appreciated.


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