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miniConvert

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Well, my beloved Mac Pro came with a Hitachi (Disk)Deathstar 500GB drive in bay 2, which is used as the staff storage drive at the office. True to form, just as everyone was logging out today it suddenly 'messed up', eventually vanishing from my desktop.

I tried to open disk utility, but it opened and closed again. When I ran it again, OS X crashed, meaning I had to force a reboot via the power button.

Scarily, when I rebooted the drive wasn't on the desktop. Then, about a minute later, 'ding', it mounted itself and was accessible. Even though I had very recent backups I obviously took this chance to update them again.

Back in disk utility I tried to verify the drive but got an error about verify failing because it could not unmount the drive. I verified the other drives, including the system drive, without problem - so I assume the HDD is screwed? SMART status is still Verified.

I called Apple but the guy was hopeless (every CS operation I've ever known has had its share of crap staff) so I'll call again tomorrow if they're open or Monday if they're not/I don't get to it. Basically he advised to 'wait and see' as the drive hadn't actually failed... I'll get a replacement out of them, if you guys agree that'd be the best course of action?

I also intend on requesting that the replacement not be Hitachi. I thought all I'd read was just the unlucky few, but of many many HDD's over the years I've been incredibly lucky until now - and this is my first by this manufacturer.

So yes, that was the end to my day. At least nothing was lost, but I want the network to be fully usable on Monday.

What's the best way to thoroughly check the drive (maybe boot from the CD and check the drive from there? Or safe mode? How does one get into safe mode...?) so I know what I'm dealing with? Bloody hard drives, I can't wait for the solid state (rev)evolution!
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
Yikes! I thought the days of the melting deskstars were over!

Oh well, learn something new every day.

Tough break guy, I'm sure the next one will be fine though.
 

localoid

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2007
2,447
1,737
America's Third World
...What's the best way to thoroughly check the drive (maybe boot from the CD and check the drive from there? Or safe mode? How does one get into safe mode...?) so I know what I'm dealing with? Bloody hard drives, I can't wait for the solid state (rev)evolution!

It might be worth a shot to try booting from one of Hitachi's hard drive utility programs. I haven't used Hitachi's, but most hard drive manufacturers offer a bootable CD that can (at least) be used to test the drive and identify a defective drive, etc. I assume Hitachi's "Drive Fitness Test" can do something along these lines...
 

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Thanks, I'll try that.

I need to treat the information on the drive very carefully, as if permissions or ownership get changed it'll quite possibly mess up Open Directory.

I know that tarballs can be used to preserve permissions and ownership data, but does Apple's Backup program also do this?

Also, volume names:
/Volumes/HDD2 is, lets say, the original failing disk.
/Volumes/HDD3 is, lets say, a replacement.

If I were to restore a HDD2 backup to HDD3, then rename HDD2 to 'Failed' and HDD3 to HDD2, would applications/Open Directory now look to the replacement drive for data?

Please say I'm not over simplifying things ;)
 

LeviG

macrumors 65816
Nov 6, 2006
1,277
3
Norfolk, UK
I know this might seem a random thing to suggest. I have hitachi drives and they seem fine (well the current gen ones anyways) and I also vaguely remember something about the sata ports sometimes being a little loose on the mac pro. SATA is hot pluggable so its possible the sata connection is loose so it could be an idea opening up the case and hard drive bay and having a check.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
149
I have had three deskstars. Two blew one is ok but not being used because I fear it. I am sad to hear apple is tossing them in their mac pros.
 

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
Original poster
TTD repaired several problems with the drive, but also said that they were likely caused by hardware errors.

So, I'll be back on the blower tomorrow to tell Applecare what they want to hear in order to dispatch a replacement drive.

I've managed to make a disk image of the drive now, since I repaired it, so I assume I can just remove the old drive, insert the new one (and give it the same name as the old one) then restore the disk image via Disk Utility and everything will be identical to how it was before?
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
I know this might seem a random thing to suggest. I have hitachi drives and they seem fine (well the current gen ones anyways) and I also vaguely remember something about the sata ports sometimes being a little loose on the mac pro. SATA is hot pluggable so its possible the sata connection is loose so it could be an idea opening up the case and hard drive bay and having a check.

SATA is not hot pluggable in mac pros.
 

gnasher729

Suspended
Nov 25, 2005
17,980
5,558
Oh well. I remember these "Deskstar" drives got the nickname "Deathstar" a few years ago quite deservedly. I don't know if they still have quality problems, but I wouldn't by anything with "Deskstar" in the name. That's just me.

I think I would order a different model of 500 GB harddisk asap. They are less than £100.
 

dex22

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2003
248
0
Round Rock, TX
It was just one specific batch of Deskstar drives in two capacities from one factory that had issues several years ago, resulting in a near 50% failure rate. The signature of the failure was that they would constantly try to recalibrate, making a click-click-click-click noise.

No other drives were affected. No Hitachi drives were affected, as Hitachi bought the drive business after the issue was resolved. Hitachi Deskstar drives have failure rates within the industry norms.

This isn't a "Deskstar" failure in the true sense of the word.

It does suck though, when you lose a drive.
 

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Great news

My replacement HDD arrived today (Apple agreed to send me a new one yesterday) and it's a Seagate Barracuda 500GB :D No more Hitachi for me!

I'll honestly be glad to see the back of the Hitachi regardless of its recent transgressions - it relatively noisy, when network users save it sometimes makes me jump :p

Now I just have to transfer everything to it in such a way that Open Directory still thinks it's the same drive. My plan is to take a new disk image and then shut down, remove the old disk and insert the new one. Then name the new disk exactly the same as the old one and restore the disk image to it.

If any paths change, I'm screwed :p
 

California

macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
3,845
80
Frankly I had worse luck with Fujitsu hard drives and after that, Toshiba drives.

One Toshiba drive that was nearly brand new was dying and I did the old freezer trick... stuck it in the freezer for a while in a plastic bag... got the information off it before it died completely. Heat does affect hds.
 

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Google did some research on heat and HDDs (they've got plenty to research). If I remember correctly they found that heat actually didn't play much of a factor.

The new Seagate is a 7200.9, and it makes some funky sounds :( My 7200.10 is close to silent, but every now and then this one makes clicky loud noises. I'm sure it's fine, it's definitely performing well, I'm just not used to hearing much sound from my Mac Pro.

That Hitachi was so screwed. I did manage to get all the data off in the end, after trying a few cloning solutions (Apple's Backup and restoring disk images all failed) a simple copy as root at the command line worked. I've had to rethink my entire backup strategy, but no data has been lost and I'll be better prepared for next time.

Now Spotlight is all messed up. I rebooted before I left work (had to remove the Hitachi), hopefully it'll sort itself out. I've already tried forcing it to reindex etc.

Edit: Nope... it's indexing all my drives, including my clones that I have disabled indexing on. When I add the drives to Privacy in the Spotlight GUI nothing appears in the box :(
 

Chromako

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2007
93
0
The Wired
Hmm... ouch... I feel for you. Diskwarrior sometimes works for some things, as does TechTool Pro. Though, btw, I've had very good experience with Hitachi... dozens and no problems, but I personally keep clear of Seagates which seem to hate me with a vengeance. But as they say, YMMV. Whatever you do, I hope you have a happy replacement. Best of luck!
 

miniConvert

macrumors 68040
Original poster
All sweetness and light here, for the time being, thanks!

The new 7200.9 is a bit noisy and clicky, though. I'm going to buy a spare HDD today so I've got one to drop in, so next time a drive goes if it's a total loss then I don't have to wait for warranty parts, but I might keep the 7200.9 as the spare and get something better to use now. Mhm...
 
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