This Space for Rent

The oh-so-reliable IBM 40gb hard drive

A couple of years ago, I bought three IBM XP75 (40gb) drives to put into a backup server. Last year, around the beginning of summer, all three of them just stopped working within about a week of each other. So I got the RMAs, packaged them up, and mailed them off to IBM for replacement. This morning, I went down into the basement to finish up the migration of a machine from FreeBSD 4.9 to 4.10, and there was my backup server going click! click! click! click! while error messages about ad4: timeout rolled across the console.

A few reboots later, I had a new 80gb disk in the machine (which, due to the age of the machine was only being recognised as a 32gb drive. sigh) and could go off to work, where I checked the RMA status and discovered that I had a whopping 22 days of warranty left on this replacement drive. Ugh. So this makes 4 out of 3 defective IBM hard drives. I fully expect that the other two will follow this drive to hell in the next day or so -- time to take a backup of / so I can recover it when the bottom falls out.


Actually, it may not be the motherboard that's failing; it may instead be the promise fasttrack (ata 66) card that's in the machine. This is an old card (so old that Promise doesn't even list it on their website) and probably doesn't believe that disks can get larger than 64mb.

David Parsons website Thu Jun 3 15:15:11 2004

Nope, it's not the motherboard or the promise Fastrack (Promise Fasttrack Ultra 66, or so it claims); it appears to be the hard drive I was using, which has decided to say it's a 32gb drive. I'd ordered a pair of 80gb drives last week because I will filling up the backup media, and when I got them into the machine (after a hour of work because I moved the fasttrack to a non-bus-master slot during the installation -- neither freebsd or the fasttrack thought that was a particularly good plan) everything was happy, obese, and wise.

David Parsons website Fri Jun 4 07:44:43 2004

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