World's Crappiest Drives

From: <(>
Date: Wed Dec 6 14:35:22 2000

> Date: Wed, 6 Dec 2000 12:54:06 -0500 (EST)
> From: "r. 'bear' stricklin" <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: World's Crappiest Drives (was Re: A&J Microdrive)
> Reply-to:

> On Tue, 5 Dec 2000 wrote:
> > Miniscribe 3650
> I think I had one of these. 3.5" HH 40 MB MFM disk? ca. 60ms seek
> times? Loudest drive I've ever heard.

Any seagate st2xx and st1xx with upgraded seektimes denoted by the -1
suffix) and miniscrbes with "+" suffix. noisy and short lived. The
mechanicals not designed to take that kind of stress. Voice coil is
a must when going sub 40ms w/ fast track to track seeks. Also those
seagate I listed also those miniscribes. they had heat deaths as
well, those stepper ICs cooked nice DARK golden brown spots on PCBs.
More specially on miniscribes, they develop stress cracks both in
mechanicals and on PCB, two screws that holds the gear rack to the
head platform in turn rides on rails loosens up with time and timing
got lost. That gives this common "SOS" flashes. On Seagate all
ST2xx series, a small spring that takes up the slack inside that
spindle bearing assembly weakens and more loose causing data errors.
On all st4xxx only ones with external motor cap that rotates has very
soft steel spindle shaft and bad batches of bearings also and all
drives based on st251 series has soft shaft also. Soft shaft bends
very easily when bumped.

Yes that's right, did my analysis on failed and dying drives.

> I will, however, nominate any hard disk Micropolis made which was in a
> smaller form factor than 5.25" FH. Garbage.

Confirmed. I had dud 11 micropolis based on 3.5" 1" height drives
shipped to me by a seller along with few sick cdroms, 1 quantum hd
that I replaced for warrenty. Good deal.

Those micropolis 3.5" drives shudders.... they had NO QC at all. No
problems on circuit boards, only no torque at all on 80% of
screws!! The platters is only held in place by friction via a
pressed in hub ring onto second equally loose hub ring, in turn to
rest of platter stack. I said loose because that platters hub hole
where hub goes through has very loose 1mm slack. Simply center all
the platters and platter rings then last hub ring pressed to secure
it all. A hard good non-dinging damage bump is enough to shift it
> Oh, and the Seagate Barracudas. Ran so fast they burned themselves up. At

Yup, got working 2.1 barracuda for a bux. Did test it ok but still
needs to find a proper quality cooling bracket.

> The ST51080N, though.. super-nice. Small, cool, quiet, reasonably

A word about this. all ST5xxxx series is bit fussy about handling due
to lightly built casing to get ".75 height and the tape band that
goes around the seam for a seal tears real easy. Young techs and
idiots rips open that foil-like band from rough handling and
installation and dust gets in and that drive dies.. Any st5xxxx that
are babied w/ care lasted long time. Oh, they're GREAT and they
never heat up at all in lousy cases. Another note, it was nice
performance for that time but Seagate didn't forgave those techs who
cares about details, $eagate cut down that buffer size to 128K from
256K. >:-P And early ST5series smaller than 1G has 4500rpm while
greater than 1GB got 5400. YUK.

Many reviewers who envaluated drives says buffer sizes doesn't matter
much but I do notice the differences. Much as you can get in any
given drives helps lot. Wistress the WD, Protege series, 2MB,
5400rpm, dense platter and I didn't notice the loss in performance
compared to my GXP 9GB 7200rpm w/ 2MB but big deal for me that
protege is deathly quiet and cool to the touch. IBM got the award as
well for making speedy hd that is not so noisy. Maxtor, where are
you, those drives so noisy and odd performance loss!?.

> The IBM UltraStar ES.

All ibm drives currently in production. Bar none. speedy and utter
> > Bulletproof drives:
> > Seagate St225,251, and 4096 interface version notwithstanding

No. These you spreak of were in all computers with poor cooling and
poor designs isnide and handlings killed all of them.
> Nah, I had a 4096N which had stiction. It took progressively stronger
> shocks to the chassis to get it to spin up, until finally I was beating it
> with a shoe. That situation ultimately ended in a head crash and data
> loss.

whap! whap! slap! WHAP! it singed nice tones...sceeech! oops.
:-) Now you know I didn't go for that ST4xxx when I discovered
these has problems. st1xx has heat buildup problem and they always
had died from stickum.

Serious heat soak cooks the platters especially landing/taking off
areas lube coating wears faster when hot and more softer also.
Reult: stickum. If a running drive feels like as hot as holding a
paper cup of 10 min old coffee. BAD.

I only buy proven and reliable hds by reputation and that haven't
failed me in long run. Advice, buy cooler running hd for poor
cooling locations. Nearly all machine cases has this problems.

Had ST3144A howl LOUDLY like a wolf suddenly. Can hear from next
room over clearly.


Received on Wed Dec 06 2000 - 14:35:22 GMT

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