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6 years old Hitachis, still worth keeping?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi, OCN!

I managed to get my hands on a couple of 1TB Hitachi HDD-s. Unfortunately, as I'm not at home, I can't say the exact models of the drives.

They were formerly used as server HDD-s and I got them for free, as they were replaced due to their age.


I checked the drives with HDTune, SMART is totally error-free. Long error scan also passed without any bad blocks.
However, HDTune reveals that the drives have been working for ~6 years already.

I've read that mechanical HDD-s are usually alright for ~4 years and years after 5th are considered as a bonus.

I'm wondering if it's worth risking using these drives in my system or should I be cautious? What do you guys think?
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post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karlz3r View Post

Hi, OCN!

I managed to get my hands on a couple of 1TB Hitachi HDD-s. Unfortunately, as I'm not at home, I can't say the exact models of the drives.

They were formerly used as server HDD-s and I got them for free, as they were replaced due to their age.


I checked the drives with HDTune, SMART is totally error-free. Long error scan also passed without any bad blocks.
However, HDTune reveals that the drives have been working for ~6 years already.

I've read that mechanical HDD-s are usually alright for ~4 years and years after 5th are considered as a bonus.

I'm wondering if it's worth risking using these drives in my system or should I be cautious? What do you guys think?

I am using HDD's from 2002 and earlier on my server, all going still fine. In my opinion its definitely worth keeping them, but maybe not for storing the most critical data on them, unless you do a RAID-1 or similar with them. If I were you, I would put them into RAID-1 and use them as regular storage drive. (=stuff like games, apps, other big data, definitely not the only place for storing very critical files or documents, unless they are stored elsewhere as well)

Edit:

Though, I'd run a test to the drives before putting them in use, SMART data don't always show problems like bad blocks or so. For windows I use this utility called HDtune (free version enough), and on Linux machines I use this utility called badblocks
Edited by Microx256 - 5/15/14 at 5:39am
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply (and the Finns for kahen kilon siika).
I've already ran the drives through HDTune error scan, as stated in the first post. No bad blocks were found.
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post #4 of 7
I think the HDDs are fine for daily use. Depends on how they sound (bearings) and do they show some signs of mechanical failure such as remapped sectors in SMART or spikes in seek and access times.

HDtune is not the best because it runs read-only test and "blocks in blocks". Most drives with failing sector will read the weak, failing sector when adjacent sectors are read together. I use DOS version of Victoria in Erase mode. It tests each individual LBA and it's access time.

SMART is good at reporting already encountered problems. It cannot show bad block that is waiting somewhere to be discovered and remapped (if possible).
     
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post #5 of 7
Back them up more often than you normally would and don't put anything too important on them. Other than that, there is no reason to not use them.
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post #6 of 7
I keep all drives, only when I see SMART issues does it get dissected (rare earth magnet), platters damaged, and then once I have a full box (55-70; about 4-5x/yr) I take them all to the electronics recycled (one that's been independently secretly investigated and found to have exactly zero bad things going on behind the scenes).

You can never have too many drives!

I use some for backups of a specific thing, nothing more (very critical things), put a little name label on it and record the PC/directory/file(s)/size used/date/drive letter assigned/power-on hours/etc stuck on the top. The drives go into boxes I got from my lab, which are completely airtight (less than 0.002pct "change", or leak, over 10yrs when sealed for long term, or 0.01pct without the extra covering and for 5yrs), it just needs suction and in seconds the little indicator goes from red to blue (pressure mated membrane actuated).

I love getting multiple drives that are identical make/SKU/capacity, and around me is golden for that apparently... I have ggotten anything from 3x 73GB to 71x 300GB 2.5" 15krpm SAS/2 drives for as low as $3 a pop and with less than 2yr use, to the point that I have boxes, even though I havebuilt all my (fellow comp uter geek friends), family members, etc various types of PC's in order to get rid of some of the ones I can't use... It is almost always a "repurpose older hardware" setup (like, everything but the case...), and has beena LLOT of centralized storage servers, and then NAS/DAS + Media Streaming Box and HTPC + a few other random things. They only need pay for a (brand new) PERC6/i with BBU/upgraded cache (the absolute minimum I'll do) but most have had me find them what I think is a great deal on eBay, as I alreadywell kknow their needs/abilities, and trust me to pick the best option (keeping in mind that we're talking S939/940/AM2(+) or Opteron, or S775/478/771/etc, with most low-CPU need setups running A64 X2 4800+ Black Editions, E6600 up to (kept for myself) E8600 and some Q6600/8300's and a ton of 771 Xeon 4C+ chips I got for like $7/ea on eBay a year ago.

Heck, I have been able to even use a good amount of ATA/PATA drives, and the last WD drives designed exclusively for the interface are quite nearly indestructible, and thanks to the 80-ribbon cables, quite fast for their age. Ultra-super-crazy best of the best hardware PATA RAID controller cards are pennies, and the best ones use the full bandwidth of the connections and run a true 8 or 16 channels instead of 4 split channels, giving each drive full speed instead of sharing. A few even have a decent sized cache (256/512), and they work still, just fine.
I used a pair of 8-channel (true 8ch) with 256MB DDR-400 RE/ECC cache/BBU in the most recent media mess-around box, for my mom, with some brand new never been used WD 250GB drives in RAID5 (each drive alone runs 115-135MB/s), and the other eight are 4x Samsung 320GB in RAID10 and a pair of WD 500GB in RAID1.

It works great, although it now has an H800 as against all expectations my mother filled the former setup!


Honestly, you will be bottlenecked by your ethernet LOOOOONG before even PATA/IDE drives, just 2 in RAID0 using decent models will net greater than 120MB/sec... Unless you are running true 10GbEth with a quality switch and hardware NIC's, or like me, teamed 10GbEth NIC's just aren't enough, you can get fiber channel equipment cheap... I paid just $910 for a $7200 switch, and under $100/ea for 2x40Gb + 2x10Gb/4x1Gb NIC's, which is a deal for 5GB/s+ sustainable throughput...

Cheap ($0-10), plenty fast for up to uncompressed BD, and most all audio, and they're great for a cheap convenience box, or even to build your own portable DAS.
$8 x 15 320GB WD3200AAKS
$18 x 2 Adaptec 8-individual-port IDE/E-IDE RAID Cards
$12-20 for 15 quality ultra-slim shielded round cables

If you are using as a media player/storage, and thus WORM, RAID5 CAN BE acceptable depending on the capacity and quantity of drives, but I still say it MUST BE RAID5E, as most older controllers are too slow for RAID6. For example, the 15 320GB drives and 2x8port cards could be setup as:
1x 320GB SS'ed to 40-80GB for OS/media players
2x 6-drive (1.92TB) arrays, one per controller
1x/ea hot spare per array

If the drives are quality, you can get well over 500MB/s sequential reads (writes will be 125-195, higher if you have caching).


That's 4TB redundant, fast media storage for less than $10/drive!
   
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post #7 of 7
I have a 200GB PATA Hitachi from 2005 that still works well, despite occasional clunking (designed to do that).

I test with MHDD (DOS) or HDDscan (Windows) because they not only report outright bad sectors but also sectors that require several retries to read correctly. It's normal for HDDscan to report some slow sectors, probably from Windows overhead.
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