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SubjectRe: IDE Disk Problems
On 11 Feb, Gary Vinson wrote:
> Hello,
> 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.

I too have had numerous problems with the WD Caviars. I have had
somewhere around fifteen of these drives die. I was originally running
Asus motherboards and there was a reported firmware problem in the WD
that was only supposed to cause problems with certain Asus
motherboards. I believe c't had a little write up on it 6 or eight
months ago. When I spoke with WD I chose not to mention that I was
running Asus motherboards and asked them if they could analyze the drive
for me and give me some clues about what was going wrong. They said
they didnt do that kind of thing. I then tried to offer them some
money to get them to give me some answers. They still said that they
didnt do that kind of thing but were more then happy to replace the
drives for me.

After the lack of support from WD I switched over to Quantum Fireballs
and have had no problems with them. Unfortunately a few of the drives
that WD sent me as replacements have started to crap out on me as well
and there not even on Asus boards. Now I am stuck with a bunch of
drives that I can get replaced just so that they can fail on me again.
Its a horrible never ending cycle for me with WD. Needless to say
that I have not been to quick to get them replaced.

The drives I have had fail have been a mixture of 1.6 and 1.2 gig's. It
would only be fair to mention that I have numerous 425 MB 540 MB 850 MB
and 1.0 gig drives that have been running flawlessly for years now.

The failures have been a mixture of bad spots on the drives as well bad
spots combined with lots of horrible clanking.

If anyone has any ideas please send them my way as I would love to get
to the end of this whole thing.

Travis Woodbury

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