Hard Measures

Due to massive problems I had to replace two of the hard disks in my server in a hurry recently. As I had positive experience with Western Digital RAID Edition drives in the past I bought two RE4‑GP WD2002FYPS drives. Silke and I installed them earlier last week and our server is in a satisfactory state again.

A few afterthoughts on the whole affair:

  1. It is very disappointing that one of my server grade Seagate Barracuda ES.2 hard disks died within little over two years.
  2. The good news is that Seagate offer a five year warrantee on this model. I am therefore entitled to a replacement which I have requested via their website.
  3. Before you return a faulty hard disk to Seagate they however ask you to run SeaTools to get an error code. The quality of this tool is really impressive. You can download a bootable ISO image with a DOS version that doesn’t seem to work. I tried it to boot on both my HP Proliant ML110 G4 and on an old Pentium 4 PC but it hung after loading the main program. As a result I had to use the Windows version. This version of SeaTools has a charming Windows for Workgroups style user interface. But to be fair it got the job done in the end and confirmed that one my Barracuda hard disks was indeed broken.
  4. Seagate’s warranty serviced turned out to be very good. I shipped the broken hard disk, received the receipt acknowledgement on Tuesday and the new hard disk on Friday. The replacement hard disk is only a year old and looks brand new.
  5. Considering that only one of the disks was really broken I’m still a bit puzzled why the second hard disks initially showed problems as well. In a system using SATA with its point-to-point connections you would hope that disks don’t interfere with each other. But somehow they seem to do nevertheless which is not what you would hope for.

Anyway, I’m decided to give the two Seagate hard disks a try and installed them as the second RAID 1 in my server.