World's End Supernova
When good computers go bad (need new hard drive)
So I had the pleasure of suffering catastrophic hard drive failure on my main machine yesterday afternoon (I'm posting this from my laptop). Now I can't even load Windows; I just get a S.M.A.R.T. error telling me that the drive is bad. "Backup and replace," it helpfully suggests. I'd love to, I tell it. Maybe if you'd let me load an OS, I COULD FUCKING DO THAT!!!
Yes, I have been reduced to yelling at my PC.
So, anyone haved any good recommendations for new hard drives? I'm looking for a SATA drive, probably in the 200-300GB range. Should I go Maxtor? Seagate? Western Digital (iffy, since that's the drive that just died)? Is there really much of a difference these days?
I've never had a drive go before. What a colossal pain in the ass, not to mention the fact that there's some stuff on there that I need. Yeah, I backup from time to time. It's been a little while since I've done so, though; I was planning to do an fdisk/Windows reinstall this month.
The whole affair is making me seriously consider a RAID 1 configuration.
In general, Seagates are quiet and have an equal or longer warranty than their competitors. WD used to have a reputation for being noisy, but they changed their bearings a couple of generations ago and are now reasonably quiet and usually the cheapest. I have no experience with Maxtor or Hitachi. Usually I just bounce from Best Buy to Circuit City to Fry's to CompUSA and see who has a rebate on WD/Seagates. Almost always at least one of them does.
I've had about equal failures with all brands (maxtor, seagate, wd). At least this one is cheap and a 5yr warranty.
Get a SAMSUNG SpinPoint SP2504C SATA-2 drive. Maxtor and WD are a bit faster (were talking miliseconds here), but both drives are considerably hotter and noisier.
I had 2 WD 1200JB 120 GB drives and they were loud as hell.
I have currently 2 Maxtor DM9 plus 200 GB drives - loud (not as the WD which had a high pitched whining noise from the motor) and esp. HOT as hell - I had the feeling I burn my fingers when I touch them until I placed a fan straight in front of them.
A friend has Samsung drives and I was amazed about the noise (or the not present noise), so I installed a predecessor of the 2504 in my work machine. Its virtually silent and runs very cool.
PS: You could try and use a disk utility, maybe you can move the data to a non defect area and at least get your stuff from the disk. IIRC some utilities like Hitachis have a repair option for bad sectors:
I think this also works with non-IBM/Hitachidrives.
World's End Supernova
Well, I went with a 200GB Maxtor drive. It was on sale. The computer is up and running again, and I'm going to try to hook up the old drive as a non-boot drive and see if I can access any data. If I'm lucky, the problem is with a (or multiple) platter--bad boot sector, maybe. I sort of have a feeling it's a read head issue, though... I guess we'll see. A friend suggested putting the drive in the freezer first, which sounds utterly bizarre (isn't condensation a problem?), but I suppose I'll try it because hey! What do I have to lose, at this point?
If there's anything critical on it that you can't read, there's always Ontrack, DriveSavers, and others. (I've used OnTrack at a previous job, when a desktop HD blew out with a TON of critical client work on it at the exact wrong time -- they sent a stack of DVD's with the full contents of the drive. Cost about $1200, though).
If you google for Data Recovery, there's a ton of places that offer the service, no idea how rates/reliability compares from service to service, though.
On the off chance you call around for rate comparisons, I'd be interested to know what you find (don't expect to find any bargains :()
Ben is being kind by not naming me as the friend who suggested putting the HDD in the freezer (in case everyone goes "Holy crap what jacktard made THAT suggestion?"), but here is where I heard about it. Although the guy suggesting is was named "Kraaze," so take it for what it's worth.
I lost two hard drives in the last 2 years on my work laptop. Each time I called my company's tech support they tried the hard drive in the freezer routine though it was no help. You are not alone Rywill.