Western Digital Caviar 250GB failures


R

Rob Nicholson

We have a development server running Windows 2000 Server on a dual AMD
Gigabyte motherboard. It's performed flawlessly for several months but over
the weekend, the IDE RAID disk system started to develop faults. It
eventually seems to have failed. On Saturday I opened up the server on one
of the Western Digital Caviar 250GB hard disks appeared to be making a
regular clunky noise. A bit of trial and error identified the drive that was
clunking. I replaced it with a 120MB Maxtor drive as a temporary solution
and brought the system back up with the original 250GB WD and 128MB Maxtor
in RAID stripe (which only gave us 256MB but that was fine).

However, today, part way through the tape restore the disk system failed
again and now it appears that the *other* Western Digital drive appears to
have failed. I say "appears" as I just can't believe both drives would fail
within 48 hours of each other. I've just replaced it with another spare IDE
drive (smaller again) and trying a third time :)

What are the chances of this happening and is the clunking noise a symptom?
The drives haven't totally failed - if we bring them up on normal ATA
interfaces (as opposed to the Promise IDE RAID controller on the
motherboard), we can start to format them under DOS (didn't let them finish
as we ran out of time). However, put them into a RAID configuration and DOS
FORMAT doesn't get beyond 0%.

We've ordered a couple of 300GB Maxtor drives in the meantime (they are
cheap!) and will switch to SATA at the same time whilst we diagnose this
problem.

I still can't believe both drives have failed so soon after each other...
Guess we'll know more when we find time to mount them in a spare PC with a
IDE RAID controller and try using them there.

Cheers, Rob.
 
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T

Tod

Western Digitals are know for making a clicking sound when they start to
die.
Know as the "click of death".
Is the sound your drives are making sound more like clicking instead of
clunky noise ?
I've had two Western Digitals (40GBs) fail in one week on one system.

Also try formatting the drives with Western Digital's utilities,
then put them in the RAID configuration
 
D

dg

Tod said:
Western Digitals are know for making a clicking sound when they start to
die.
Know as the "click of death".
Is the sound your drives are making sound more like clicking instead of
clunky noise ?
I've had two Western Digitals (40GBs) fail in one week on one system.

Also try formatting the drives with Western Digital's utilities,
then put them in the RAID configuration

All drives are known for making a click sound when they start to die. A
thought I had is maybe the original poster removed the wrong drive and that
is why it is making the sound again. Or maybe they both died, if so, the
sudden deaths is likely related to something else like a power problem or a
bad heat problem.

I have always had good experiences with WD drives (maybe luck). At the
moment I have had 2 of the IDE 250s for a couple years, and 3 of the SATA
250s for a year or so. One SATA 250 just died, it has been the first death
of a 250 for me so far. All drives except 1 see 24hr ontime, the one
without 24/7 operation is in the xbox.

--Dan
 
F

Folkert Rienstra

dg said:
All drives are known for making a click sound when they start to die. A
thought I had is maybe the original poster removed the wrong drive and
that is why it is making the sound again. Or maybe they both died, if so,
the sudden deaths is likely related to something else like a power problem
or a bad heat problem.

I have always had good experiences with WD drives (maybe luck). At the
moment I have had 2 of the IDE 250s for a couple years,

Just curious, how many months are there in your average 'years'? 3-4?
How time flies, eh.
 
R

Rob Nicholson

Is the sound your drives are making sound more like clicking instead of
clunky noise ?

It sounds like the kind of noise a drive makes when it re-calibrates, sort
of pushing the head against the end? It's definately a clunk, not a click
:)

Two new DiamondMax SATA drives and SATA RAID controller arrived today
anyway. Thought it might as well be useful to catch up with technology while
we can.

Not had chance yet to try the drives in another system - will try
reformatting as you suggest.

Cheers, Rob.
 
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R

Rob Nicholson

My last two survived 18 months before giving trouble.

These have been in the development server for about 10 months. The server
isn't exceptionally heavily used - it's more a dumping ground for
big/archive files.

Cheers, Rob.
 
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D

dg

Folkert Rienstra said:
Just curious, how many months are there in your average 'years'? 3-4?
How time flies, eh.

Wow, can't get anything past you! You are right.

--Dan
 

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