blakespot

Administrator
Original poster
Jun 4, 2000
1,325
93
Alexandria, VA
Given the response to the recent posting about IBM's scary 333 power-on hour specification on its GXP series drives, it seems worth noting that in response to such a show of concern about the reliability of these drives, IBM has put out a release indicating that it is going to remove that item on its spec sheet. The linked article refers to the 120 GXP in particular, where the 333 hour spec is most apparent, but this spec can be found buried deeper in other GXP drives' datasheets, but it would seem that the spec will disappear from all GXP drives. IBM points out that they honor their stated 3-year warranty on drives that have been used 24/7. Seems positive news.
 

evildead

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2001
1,275
0
WestCost, USA
Thats what I thought...

I have always trusted IBM drives and so does The company I work for. I figured that there had to be some mistake about that. I run IBM drives 24/7/365 at work with very little problems. And these systems get hit HARD!

I feel a little better about the 60GB IBM that came with MY Mac and the one I dropped in last weekend.

... and all the ones at work
 

blakespot

Administrator
Original poster
Jun 4, 2000
1,325
93
Alexandria, VA
Originally posted by AmbitiousLemon
ok maybe im missing something here but has does editing the specs fix the drive?

is it just a legal thing where before they wouldnt honor a warranty because of the spec?

It would seem that the spec was more a recommendation than a requirement. But just how it was founded is curious. Obviously the less hours a drive is on the longer it will live---but where does it cross the line of unreasonably short usage life?

blakespot
 

TechLarry

macrumors regular
Feb 21, 2002
142
0
Originally posted by AmbitiousLemon
ok maybe im missing something here but has does editing the specs fix the drive?

is it just a legal thing where before they wouldnt honor a warranty because of the spec?

I have to think that the potential for failures of drives in warranty was a MUCH lower consideration than the immense bad press this is getting.

The percentage of drives being used past this amount of time is probably low in number anyway, and they are probably just hoping for the best.

This is on the heals of the Class-Action lawsuit concerning the extremely high-failure rate of the GXP drives. They didn't need this.

Personally, I've had to replace far, far too many IBM drives to warrant their purchase for my use.

TL
 

AmbitiousLemon

Moderator emeritus
Nov 28, 2001
3,413
0
down in Fraggle Rock
but isnt the cat kinda out of the bag? i mean the bad press is here. removing the specs will just be seen as a coverup.

but like i asked before could this just be to extend the warranty so that it does not exclude drives running more than 333 hours/month?

because although this doesnt prevent failure and fix the drive wouldnt it at least make sure consumers would know they wont be paying for multiple drives.
 

IndyGopher

macrumors 6502a
Nov 3, 2001
782
1
Indianapolis, IN
The cost of the physical drive is inconsequential.. I'm more concerned with the data on it. And the hard feelings associated with selling someone a drive that fails... I can make backups twice a day, but I can't make my customers do it. I won't be real quick to install any IBM drives in the near future.
 

gbojim

macrumors 6502
Jan 30, 2002
353
0
I think the biggest issue here, at least from the posts I've seen, is that most people do not seem to realize that hard disks are designed to run on average for a pre-defined number of hours before failure. Every drive manufacturer does this - they have to so that the mechanical designers can determine how robust (and therefore costly) the mechanism will be. Part of the determination of the time to failure is the duty cycle - or how much the device runs over a given period of time.

Most IDE drives are designed for a 60% duty cycle - or around 432 hours per month. For this series of drive IBMs is a little lower at about 46% - or 333 hours per month. Wheras SCSI drives are designed to run at 100% duty cycle - or 24/7 at even higher RPMs - which is one of the reasons they are more expensive. This does not mean your drive will have a problem if you go over the design spec. Some drives last for many years. Others don't last 5 minutes. But it will last less time if run constantly - its not really any different than putting miles on your car.

As well, IBM still honors the warranty if you go over the recommended time just like all the other drive manufacturers - no problem.

I asked IBM why they had published this spec since no one else does, and I was told that more people are starting to use IDE drives in servers in place of SCSI. The person I was talking to said that the biggest area of failure of the 60GB drives was in servers - I don't know if that is true or not, I'm repeating what I was told. So they thought it would be a good idea to let people know what the design spec is so they do not have premature failures in their servers.

I also asked why the spec was being removed, and the answer to that was with all of the press this is receiving, it makes it appear that every manufacturers drives other than IBMs are made to run 24/7, which is not true. Although with the cat being out of the bag as AmbitiousLemon says, the PR damage is already done.
 

oldMac

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2001
529
23
Tommy Boy...

Have you ever seen the movie "Tommy Boy"?

At one point someone says that they won't buy Tommy's brake pads because there's no warranty on the box. At which point, Tommy says:

"Look, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time."

Anybody (read IBM) who is removing an engineer's recommendation from their hard drive to attempt to prevent bad press is essentially dumping in a box and marking it guaranteed.

This is the kind of crap that had IBM travelstar drives failing en masse.
 

AmbitiousLemon

Moderator emeritus
Nov 28, 2001
3,413
0
down in Fraggle Rock
gbojim: thats the kind of thourough response i was looking for. thanks for the info. we were all wondering in the other thread how long the lifespan of the other drives were. well said. thanks.
 

Choppaface

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2002
1,187
0
SFBA
ah! does that mean that my western digital 100gb jumbo buffer won't last very long if I keep the comp on ~18 hours/day for SETI working, rest of time for heavy use?
 

Beej

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2002
2,139
0
Originally posted by Choppaface
ah! does that mean that my western digital 100gb jumbo buffer won't last very long if I keep the comp on ~18 hours/day for SETI working, rest of time for heavy use?
Uh... yep. :D

At least it'll last longer than an IBM drive, though! Heh heh...
 
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