How should I abuse my probably failing disk drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by spidey3, May 10, 2011.

  1. spidey3 macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2010
    A few days ago I got a warning from the Apple Raid Utility that one of the four drives in my RAID 5 array had been removed and re-inserted, when in fact the drive had remained in place the whole time :eek:. Now I've learned [the hard way!:(] that this is the preliminary warning that the drive is about to fail, so I immediately replaced the drive. Good news: I pulled out the apparently failing drive, put the new one in, and the RAID rebuilt successfully. Excellent result - no data lost, almost zero downtime. :D

    Now to my question is:
    What clever abusive things should I do with the apparently failing drive? I am not at all surprised that it is on its last legs, being the only one of the four original drives from 2007 which had not yet failed under 24x7 use. I wouldn't want to trust any data to it, but I am curious as to the actual state of the drive [Apple RAID hides the S.M.A.R.T. data], and wondering if could get any kind of fun out of using it as anything other than a paperweight... :cool:

    So everyone, please weigh in with your suggestions on what I should do with my drive. I am interested in both the serious and the humorous -- so please chime in with your suggestions for drive abuse!

  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    If you want to can still view the SMART data with SMARTReporter or with smartctl.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    You could go with Thermite to melt it super quick, or if you know someone with the ability to legally get explosives, make a fireworks show of it (example). :eek: :D :p

    On a serious note, if you want to check out the drive and have access to a PC (disk needs to be attached to the PC in order to pass the low level data correctly - this doesn't work in the MP), download the HDD Tools from the disk maker's website, and do a full surface scan.
  4. spidey3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2010
    Yeah, I figured that. Sadly I don't have any machine with an open SATA bay right now...
  5. spidey3 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2010
    Heh, heh, he said Thermite... :D

    Just curious, why can't this be done in MP? Is it just that the drive manufacturers utilities are not available for Apple?

  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008

    The utilities were written a long time ago, when BIOS was all that was used. But it's more complicated than that (i.e. just need an EFI tool to do so), due to the fact each disk maker's products are proprietary in terms of the low level information once you're actually into their controller boards and platters. The computer doesn't see this, just the SATA interface, but I'm talking about how they actually made the drive work = different from one maker to another. But it means each maker needs to create their own EFI/UEFI based utility, or a 3rd party company could do it by licensing the necessary information from each disk maker.
  7. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    carefully disassemble the drive and use the platters to make some art... iirc, someone made a clock using a design that utilised hdd parts ;)
  8. jtara macrumors 68000

    Mar 23, 2009
    Open it up and see how long it will run without error exposed to dust. Perhaps longer than you think. A co-worker once did this to spin-up a drive with failing bearings and get his data off. It ran another two weeks just fine.
  9. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    They don't :p

    I opened one up and ran a random error test on it.

    It no longer works, mounts, but then freezes immediately even with the top back on.

    Quite cool seeing the thing spin up tho.

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