Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Seagate's 2TB SATA drives

A year ago I added two 2TB SATA drives made by Seagate to grumpy, my MythTV machine, and set them up as a RAID1. I got the Barracuda Green 5900rpm drives at a quite decent price.

The trouble started within weeks. The ominous "Seagate click". Study of various articles led to the conclusion that in this drive family this is some harmless recalibration during times when the disk has been idle for a while. Not  the well-known "click of death", when the disk heads can't read the servo information on the platters any more. Aside from a firmware upgrade (which more or less just makes this calibration less audible), one could prevent the click by making sure there's at least one disk access every 30 seconds or so. 

Anyways, that was dealt with. A year later, in late October,  one of the two disks got thrown out of the RAID array due to failure to read a sector. Since this is a giant data volume with lots of movies and videos, I got a replacement drive at a local store (at a higher price than I paid last year, thanks to the flodds in Thailand), installed it and resynced the RAID. Good.

I sent the disk to Seagate for warranty replacement. A refurbished drive arrived promptly a few weeks later. On Monday the replacement drive I bought new in October got thrown out of the array with a bad sector. I ran a SMART self-test, and sure enough, the self-test reports unreadable sectors. 

Not a problem, I still have that replacement drive in the closet, install that, re-sync the mirror over night, go to bed, and ... the sync didn't even complete before the drive got thrown out of the array with read errors. In the morning, I left the drive in the machine, and went to work with a plan to take a closer look in the evening. Just after dinner, there it was, ... the "click of death". The replacement drive didn't last even 24 hours.

So, now I have two bad drives that are going back to Seagate tomorrow, and a replacement Green drive from Western Digital should show up by Friday. 

Sometimes I hate technology.


Bernhard Beck said...

WD disk arrived. RAID1 syncing.

Bernhard Beck said...

Seagate's advance replacement shipping not only sends you a box you can use, but also uses 2nd Air Shipping. Quite impressive. If only the drives were as good.