IBM 120GXP . . .

Via Hardware goes into much detail summarizing and commenting on the emerging IBM 120GXP fiasco. It’s a very good article, and I strongly suggest you read it.

Why The Warning?

At the least, this seems to be a way to reduce lawsuits. Harder to sue about reliability if the manufacturer says it’s not a 24/7 drive.

Nor does it take much paranoia to wonder if warranty claims will be next. Have the CSR ask innocently, “For how long a day was the drive used,” and if somebody just as innocently give the “wrong” answer, no RMA for you.

Why The Quietness of the Warning?

IBM has long been a pioneer in hard drive technology, but I guess building the first part-time drive isn’t the sort of virgin ground IBM wants to brag about.

Why The Need?

The concept of a part-time drive isn’t inherently ludicrous. Most computers aren’t used 24/7 or close to it, and a 333-hour duty cycle is enough or more than enough for most people. If that means lower prices, good, provided people know about it upfront.

So I don’t have a problem with the concept of part-time drives that are made and cost less than 24/7 drives, but I don’t think that’s what IBM had in mind at all.

A Beancounter Debacle?

You don’t start this sort of “innovation” with what’s supposed to be your high-end drive. You do it with lower-end and -priced drives.

Of course, by past IBM standards, these are lower-end and -priced drives.

I think the problems many have had with recent generations of IBM drives can be traced to making them as cheaply as possible to make them economically competitive.

When that happens, reliability standards that cost a lot of money but yield relatively little statistical benefit get attacked by the beancounters. Of course, if you’re the statistic, you look upon this matter quite differently.

It might be interesting to somehow compare the failure rates of IBM 75GXP, 60GXP and 120GXP drives used 24/7 to those used lightly.

Oh, what the hell, might as well get the ball rolling.

If you’ve owned or own any of these particular drives, could you answer the following?

1. How much do you use your hard drives on average? (I’m especially interested in the extremes: 24/7 and light use.)

2. What IBM drives did you have?

3. What happened to them? If they died, how fast did they die?

4. Did you have drives that essentially died immediately (out of the box, or within a day or two)?

5. Did you do anything special for them (like use fans or other coolers)?

Let’s see what we find out.

Email Ed

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