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Thread: Drive Questions

  1. #1
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Drive Questions

    The latest issue of MaximumPC contained a report titled "Your 10 Most Burning Hard Drive Questions" These questions were directed to various HD suppliers. I am posting several that I found of interest or have been discussed in TZ forums.

    If I drop a HD and it still works, should I replace it anyway?

    Segate - If you drop a drive that is not in operation, you should run a diagnostic utility such as Seagate's SeaTools. If the diagnostic says the drive is OK, you can safely keep and use the drive.

    Who needs SCSI these days?

    Hitachi - SCSI will continue to be an important interface for use in RAID and other enterprise environments.

    Western Digital - Nobody really - high performance and high reliability are both available with Serial ATA. Of course if you are feeling charitable and wish to give money away, then feel free to buy SCSI components.

    What are the most common symptoms of impending drive failure?

    Seagate - If you see a recurring problem within an application whenever it loads or executes a particular function, that may be your hint that it's time to run a hard drive diagnostic program like Segate SeaTools. Metalic or grinding noises mean you should immediately adopt a backup plan.

    Do rounded parallel ATA cables affect drive performance?

    Segate - Yes, ... they potentially increase crosstalk.

    Western Digital - Yes, for the same reason.
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  2. #2
    Triple Platinum Member Thor's Avatar
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    Interesting about the round cables.

    IBM is supposed to be coming out with an 'Aware' drive for laptops which senses if it's being dropped or moved suddenly. It allows it to park the head before crashing saving it from potentiol damage.

  3. #3
    Near Life Experienced TZ Veteran zipp51's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what crosstalk is but I'm assuming that it has to do with transfer rates accross the cable.Anyone know if thats correct? That may be a good upgrade and may even aid in keeping the innards cooler.
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  4. #4
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    I was just hitting the high points in the initial post. I will add to the rounded parallel ATA cable topic here.

    Segate - Rounded cables are not defined in the official industry specification for ATA cables and they can potentially increase data crosstalk between wires in the cable, which might require the drive to resend data, thus slowing response time.

    Western Digital - The 80- conductor parallel ATA ribbon cables are designed so that there is a ground line between every signal line. This cable first introduced to enable the higher speeds of Ultra ATA/66-the extra ground lines reduce the effect of cross-talk on adjacent data lines. Bunching the signal lines back together means that performance could be adversely affected by round cables.
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  5. #5
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    I use rounded cables and have no issues.

  6. #6
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Conan - I like the neat appearance that result from round cables. Were you careful about cable specs or did you simply buy those available?

    Have you ever done a comparison speed test using the round cables then flat cables?

    I will eventually try the round cable unless someone finds something bad and reports it here.
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  7. #7
    Phoar!! TZ Veteran zErO's Avatar
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    I use the round cables too
    simply to help keep my case clean and to increase air-flow, which I think the round cables do. Dont know anything about this crosstalk, but I havent noticed any significant data speed loss since changinging them over
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  8. #8
    My Name is.... TZ Veteran Stripe's Avatar
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    I use rounded cables in both PC's and like everyone here, see no data transfer rate loss.

    I noticed that they did say that there is no industry standard. That concerns me and immediately says "Don't buy cheap rounded cables. . Also, since we don't deal with lots of network type applications in a home environment, we wont's see the cross talk. But look at it in an enterprise environment. 1000 computers all with rounded cables (assuming the crosstalk) running the same network application....I could see intense loads on servers if the crosstalk was severe enough.

  9. #9
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Originally posted by efc
    Conan - I like the neat appearance that result from round cables. Were you careful about cable specs or did you simply buy those available?

    Have you ever done a comparison speed test using the round cables then flat cables?

    I will eventually try the round cable unless someone finds something bad and reports it here.
    I bought branded ones, Vantec.

    http://www.vantecusa.com/product-accessory.html#

  10. #10
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I will include some in my next order.
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