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Re: [nslu2-linux] Which drives do you recommend?

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  • MrE
    Hi, I m using a Seagate Pushbutton Backup 350 GB drive, which is *very* quiet and spins down by itself; I didn t need to make any config changes to get it to
    Message 1 of 16 , May 2, 2007
      Hi,

      I'm using a Seagate Pushbutton Backup 350 GB drive, which is *very* quiet and spins down by itself; I didn't need to make any config changes to get it to spin down.

      If you read the various WD MyBook reviews on Amazon, you most definitely consider buying one of those anymore!

      Cheers
      Emile

      On Tue, 2007-05-01 at 15:57 +0000, pezmannen_77 wrote:
      Hi

      I'm gonna buy the nslu2 next week. First i decided to by a MyBook
      500gb from WD, but reading the Wiki and here has made be reconsider.
      Looks to me that nobody has managed to spindown these drives?





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    • Ricardo Silva
      Hi there, That s strange because I have a MyBook 250 GB (formatted as NTFS) and it spins down wherever it is mounted in whichever operating system (including
      Message 2 of 16 , May 2, 2007
        Hi there,

        That's strange because I have a MyBook 250 GB (formatted as NTFS) and it
        spins down wherever it is mounted in whichever operating system
        (including my Unslung NSLU). I think the mechanism is built into the
        enclosure. I don't see why the behaviour should be different if it's
        formatted by the NSLU.

        Ricardo



        pezmannen_77 wrote:
        >
        >
        > Hi
        >
        > I'm gonna buy the nslu2 next week. First i decided to by a MyBook
        > 500gb from WD, but reading the Wiki and here has made be reconsider.
        > Looks to me that nobody has managed to spindown these drives?
        >
        >
      • pezmannen_77
        ... Isn t that exactly what you want your drives to do? Spinning them down will make them live longer, wouldn t it?
        Message 3 of 16 , May 2, 2007
          --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Brian Wood <bwood@...> wrote:
          >
          > pezmannen_77 wrote:
          > >
          > >
          > > Hi
          > >
          > > I'm gonna buy the nslu2 next week. First i decided to by a MyBook
          > > 500gb from WD, but reading the Wiki and here has made be reconsider.
          > > Looks to me that nobody has managed to spindown these drives?
          >
          > I've run a couple of Maxtor externals. My biggest problem was to *stop*
          > them from spinning down, which they did right out of the box when
          > connected to the slug.
          >

          Isn't that exactly what you want your drives to do? Spinning them down
          will make them live longer, wouldn't it?
        • David Given
          ... Hash: SHA1 pezmannen_77 wrote: [...] ... Not necessarily --- there s some evidence to suggest that most of the wear happens during spin-up and spin-down
          Message 4 of 16 , May 2, 2007
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            Hash: SHA1

            pezmannen_77 wrote:
            [...]
            > Isn't that exactly what you want your drives to do? Spinning them down
            > will make them live longer, wouldn't it?

            Not necessarily --- there's some evidence to suggest that most of the wear
            happens during spin-up and spin-down (maximum torque). Spinning down mainly
            makes them use less power.

            - --
            ┌── dg@cowlark.com ─── http://www.cowlark.com ───────────────────
            │ "This is the captain. We have a little problem with our reentry sequence,
            │ so we may experience some slight turbulence and then explode." --- Mal
            │ Reynolds, _Serenity_
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            Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)
            Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org

            iD8DBQFGOLfhf9E0noFvlzgRAscRAKCqQThP1uFKNEO7wwHiCzomiq/LWwCgqgj7
            WLsjutCIaAG9UWntm+IOK/s=
            =1jgP
            -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
          • Brian Wood
            ... There is a lot of argument over that issue. Personally I prefer to let them spin. It will wear the bearings more, but is kinder to the electronics. Plus, I
            Message 5 of 16 , May 2, 2007
              David Given wrote:
              >
              >
              > pezmannen_77 wrote:
              > [...]
              >> Isn't that exactly what you want your drives to do? Spinning them down
              >> will make them live longer, wouldn't it?
              >
              > Not necessarily --- there's some evidence to suggest that most of the wear
              > happens during spin-up and spin-down (maximum torque). Spinning down mainly
              > makes them use less power.
              >

              There is a lot of argument over that issue. Personally I prefer to let
              them spin. It will wear the bearings more, but is kinder to the electronics.

              Plus, I do not like the delay waiting for the drive to spin up when I go
              to access my NFS-mounted drives. The drives are accessed enough that the
              spun-down time would be much less than the spun-up time anyway.

              Essentially it's the "lightbulb effect". How many lightbulbs have you
              seen burn out just as they are turned on, as opposed to ones that are
              just sitting there burning away and decide to fail.

              It's a bad analogy perhaps, since the electronics of the drive is not
              powered down. This is why the arguments persist.

              The best thing you can do to increase drive life is to keep them as cool
              as you can.

              But the bottom line is the decision should be up to the user, and not be
              forced on him or her by hardware limitations.
            • Chris Watts
              Hi I wouldn’t advise a Maxtor drive either, mine just gave up the ghost and reading reviews this seems common across the Maxtor range! L Cheer Chris Hi I
              Message 6 of 16 , May 2, 2007

                Hi

                 

                I wouldn’t advise a Maxtor drive either, mine just gave up the ghost and reading reviews this seems common across the Maxtor range! L

                 

                Cheer

                Chris

              • Drew Gibson
                ... Some folks with a lot of experience with hard disks might beg to differ about cooling... http://labs.google.com/papers/disk_failures.html They are dealing
                Message 7 of 16 , May 2, 2007
                  Brian Wood wrote:
                  David Given wrote:
                    
                  pezmannen_77 wrote:
                  [...]
                      
                  Isn't that exactly what you want your drives to do? Spinning them down
                  will make them live longer, wouldn't it?
                        
                  Not necessarily --- there's some evidence to suggest that most of the wear
                  happens during spin-up and spin-down (maximum torque). Spinning down mainly
                  makes them use less power.
                      
                  There is a lot of argument over that issue. Personally I prefer to let
                  them spin. It will wear the bearings more, but is kinder to the electronics.
                  
                  Plus, I do not like the delay waiting for the drive to spin up when I go
                  to access my NFS-mounted drives. The drives are accessed enough that the
                  spun-down time would be much less than the spun-up time anyway.
                  
                  Essentially it's the "lightbulb effect". How many lightbulbs have you
                  seen burn out just as they are turned on, as opposed to ones that are
                  just sitting there burning away and decide to fail.
                  
                  It's a bad analogy perhaps, since the electronics of the drive is not
                  powered down. This is why the arguments persist.
                  
                  The best thing you can do to increase drive life is to keep them as cool
                  as you can.
                  
                    
                  Some folks with a lot of experience with hard disks might beg to differ about cooling...
                  http://labs.google.com/papers/disk_failures.html
                  They are dealing with regular 3.5" disks which like to run constantly, not 2.5" laptop drives which _are_ engineered to be spun up and down frequently.
                  Google's conclusions:-
                  1. Hard drives prefer to be hot rather than cool (over cooling causes more failures than under cooling, unless the drives are >5 yrs old.)
                  2. Load is not a factor (so thrash 'em drives!)

                  But the bottom line is the decision should be up to the user, and not be
                  forced on him or her by hardware limitations.
                    
                  I like to let mine run, spin them down to save battery life or the planet only.

                  regards,

                  Drew
                • Brian Wood
                  ... I got three of the 500GB Maxtor units very cheap on sale. I have removed the PATA drives from 2 of them for internal use in other machines. They were both
                  Message 8 of 16 , May 2, 2007
                    Chris Watts wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > Hi
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > I wouldn’t advise a Maxtor drive either, mine just gave up the ghost
                    > and reading reviews this seems common across the Maxtor range! L

                    I got three of the 500GB Maxtor units very cheap on sale. I have removed
                    the PATA drives from 2 of them for internal use in other machines. They
                    were both Seagate drives, their "best" consumer perpendicular-type units.

                    Perhaps it is the USB case that "gave up the ghost"? Ive had no problems
                    with the drives, but they are in properly-cooled cases now, not those
                    strange things with the psychedelic lights on the front.
                  • Brian Wood
                    ... At some point, if your spun-down time is short enough, you are actually damaging the planet more by spinning down as the startup surge might exceed the
                    Message 9 of 16 , May 2, 2007
                      Drew Gibson wrote:
                      >>
                      > I like to let mine run, spin them down to save battery life or the
                      > planet only.

                      At some point, if your spun-down time is short enough, you are actually
                      damaging the planet more by spinning down as the startup surge might
                      exceed the savings.
                    • Philip Pemberton
                      ... Seconded - I ve got a pair of the 400GB drives in a RAID1 config - they re very nice. Well, except for the fact that you need to hit the power switch to
                      Message 10 of 16 , May 2, 2007
                        MrE wrote:
                        > I'm using a Seagate Pushbutton Backup 350 GB drive, which is *very*
                        > quiet and spins down by itself; I didn't need to make any config changes
                        > to get it to spin down.

                        Seconded - I've got a pair of the 400GB drives in a RAID1 config - they're
                        very nice. Well, except for the fact that you need to hit the power switch to
                        turn 'em on if the power fails. If I can find a way to get them apart without
                        breaking them, I'll install a power-on mod of some kind in them. Warranty,
                        what warranty? :P

                        --
                        Phil. | (\_/) This is Bunny. Copy and paste Bunny
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                      • Chris Watts
                        ... Perhaps the Maxtor drives were so unrealiable that Seagate replaced them with their own drives but retained the Maxtor name on the usb case? Just don t
                        Message 11 of 16 , May 3, 2007
                          >Brian Wood wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          >I got three of the 500GB Maxtor units very cheap on sale. I have removed
                          >the PATA drives from 2 of them for internal use in other machines. They
                          >were both Seagate drives, their "best" consumer perpendicular-type >units.

                          >Perhaps it is the USB case that "gave up the ghost"? Ive had no problems
                          >with the drives, but they are in properly-cooled cases now, not those
                          >strange things with the psychedelic lights on the front.

                          Perhaps the Maxtor drives were so unrealiable that Seagate replaced them with their own drives but retained the Maxtor name on the usb case? Just don't buy a old one off ebay or make sure you don't get old stock that been sitting on a self for ages then!
                        • Brian Wood
                          ... That s the problem with buying external USB units, you never really know what s inside. Usually you can t even tell if it is a SATA or a PATA drive, but
                          Message 12 of 16 , May 3, 2007
                            Chris Watts wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >>Brian Wood wrote:
                            >>
                            >>
                            >>I got three of the 500GB Maxtor units very cheap on sale. I have removed
                            >>the PATA drives from 2 of them for internal use in other machines. They
                            >>were both Seagate drives, their "best" consumer perpendicular-type >units.
                            >
                            >>Perhaps it is the USB case that "gave up the ghost"? Ive had no problems
                            >>with the drives, but they are in properly-cooled cases now, not those
                            >>strange things with the psychedelic lights on the front.
                            >
                            > Perhaps the Maxtor drives were so unrealiable that Seagate replaced them
                            > with their own drives but retained the Maxtor name on the usb case? Just
                            > don't buy a old one off ebay or make sure you don't get old stock that
                            > been sitting on a self for ages then!


                            That's the problem with buying external USB units, you never really know
                            what's inside. Usually you can't even tell if it is a SATA or a PATA
                            drive, but that matters only if you're going to rip it out I guess.

                            I've often seen external units selling for less than a same-sized bare
                            drive. I think the reason is the makers can throw whatever they sweep up
                            off the floor into those cheap USB cases and the buyers will be happy as
                            long as the capacity is close to what's on the box. Issues like speed,
                            latency etc. are all made academic by the USB interface.

                            Also, the market seems to want SATA units these days, and the external
                            boxes are a way to get rid of excess PATA drives.

                            I tried to buy a 20 or 40 GB the other day, all I really needed was 2GB
                            to hold an OS. Of course the smallest I could easily find was 160GB.

                            Of course if you want to buy a *real* hard drive (Ultra-320 SCSI at
                            15,000 RPM) you still pay through the nose. Quality always costs, but is
                            usually worth it in the end.
                          • mattvillago
                            ... i like seagate because most of their products have a 5 year warranty.
                            Message 13 of 16 , May 3, 2007
                              --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, "pezmannen_77" <pezmannen_77@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi
                              >
                              > I'm gonna buy the nslu2 next week. First i decided to by a MyBook
                              > 500gb from WD, but reading the Wiki and here has made be reconsider.
                              > Looks to me that nobody has managed to spindown these drives?
                              >

                              i like seagate because most of their products have a 5 year warranty.
                            • Phil Endecott
                              ... That s true, but only just. Here are some numbers from a Seagate datasheet; I suspect that other drives are similar: Idle: 7.2 W Peak: 33.6 W How long
                              Message 14 of 16 , May 3, 2007
                                > At some point, if your spun-down time is short enough, you are actually
                                > damaging the planet more by spinning down as the startup surge might
                                > exceed the savings.

                                That's true, but only just. Here are some numbers from a Seagate
                                datasheet; I suspect that other drives are similar:

                                Idle: 7.2 W
                                Peak: 33.6 W

                                How long does it take to spin up? Let's say 3 seconds. 3 x 33.6 is
                                near enough 100 J, which is about what it takes during about 14 seconds
                                idling. So you save power overall as long as your average period of
                                time spun down is greater than about 14 seconds. Surely no-one would
                                set a spin-down time short enough to see that sort of average behaviour.

                                The Seagate datasheet also quotes "50,000 contact start-stops" in its
                                "reliability" section; I don't really know what that means, but maybe
                                it means spin down/up cycles. If you want the drive to last 5 years of
                                24/7 operation, that's about one start-stop per hour.

                                If I were still using disks (which I'm not - no moving parts here
                                except the keyboard and the printer) I would probably choose a spin
                                down period of the order of 10 to 30 minutes.


                                Phil.
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