if disk drives aren't used in 6 months, they will freeze up

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

I understand that if disk drives aren't used in 6 months, they will
freeze up. I suppose fresh on retail shelves they can last longer(?),
but once one starts using them, they must be exercised regularly.

The symptom of failure might be ka-chunk noise once per second as it
can't even get started rotating. Any home remedies?

Say if we don't have a computer but still want to exercise our disks
to prevent freeze, could we connect a wallwart transformer at the
appropriate IDE voltage for a few minutes? But there are 4 sockets,
not just red and black.

I was thinking of buying a 2nd IDE drive to do backups. I suppose
whatever brand I buy must still be spun up one every few months to
prevent permanent freeze.
21 answers Last reply
More about disk drives aren months freeze
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Dan Jacobson wrote:

    > I understand that if disk drives aren't used in 6 months, they will
    > freeze up. I suppose fresh on retail shelves they can last longer(?),
    > but once one starts using them, they must be exercised regularly.
    >
    > The symptom of failure might be ka-chunk noise once per second as it
    > can't even get started rotating. Any home remedies?


    And where did you get this information?


    -WD
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Seconded - where did this disinformation come from?

    "must be exercised regularly" - LOL - what type of exercise???


    "Dan Jacobson" <jidanni@jidanni.org> wrote in message
    news:878yfrlz58.fsf@jidanni.org...
    > I understand that if disk drives aren't used in 6 months, they will
    > freeze up. I suppose fresh on retail shelves they can last longer(?),
    > but once one starts using them, they must be exercised regularly.
    >
    > The symptom of failure might be ka-chunk noise once per second as it
    > can't even get started rotating. Any home remedies?
    >
    > Say if we don't have a computer but still want to exercise our disks
    > to prevent freeze, could we connect a wallwart transformer at the
    > appropriate IDE voltage for a few minutes? But there are 4 sockets,
    > not just red and black.
    >
    > I was thinking of buying a 2nd IDE drive to do backups. I suppose
    > whatever brand I buy must still be spun up one every few months to
    > prevent permanent freeze.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <878yfrlz58.fsf@jidanni.org>,
    Dan Jacobson <jidanni@jidanni.org> wrote:
    >I understand that if disk drives aren't used in 6 months, they will
    >freeze up. I suppose fresh on retail shelves they can last longer(?),
    >but once one starts using them, they must be exercised regularly.
    >
    >The symptom of failure might be ka-chunk noise once per second as it
    >can't even get started rotating. Any home remedies?
    >
    >Say if we don't have a computer but still want to exercise our disks
    >to prevent freeze, could we connect a wallwart transformer at the
    >appropriate IDE voltage for a few minutes? But there are 4 sockets,
    >not just red and black.
    >
    >I was thinking of buying a 2nd IDE drive to do backups. I suppose
    >whatever brand I buy must still be spun up one every few months to
    >prevent permanent freeze.


    You're about 6 months late for an April 1 post
    --
    Al Dykes
    -----------
    adykes at p a n i x . c o m
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Dan Jacobson" <jidanni@jidanni.org> wrote in message
    news:878yfrlz58.fsf@jidanni.org...
    > I understand that if disk drives aren't used in 6 months, they will
    > freeze up.

    It's called stiction and sometimes happens.

    > I suppose fresh on retail shelves they can last longer(?),
    > but once one starts using them, they must be exercised regularly.
    >
    > The symptom of failure might be ka-chunk noise once per second as it
    > can't even get started rotating. Any home remedies?

    It's easy and almost always works. While the drive is powered and trying to
    spin up have the drive sitting on a desktop and firmly pick it up and give
    it a quick rotational wrist flick on the axis of rotation. Try both
    directions repeatedly and soon it'll start spinning. No mechanical
    impacts....just snappy rotational wrist flicks on the correct axis.

    > Say if we don't have a computer but still want to exercise our disks
    > to prevent freeze, could we connect a wallwart transformer at the
    > appropriate IDE voltage for a few minutes? But there are 4 sockets,
    > not just red and black.
    >
    > I was thinking of buying a 2nd IDE drive to do backups. I suppose
    > whatever brand I buy must still be spun up one every few months to
    > prevent permanent freeze.

    Don't worry about it as mostly it wont happen.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Will Dormann wrote:

    > Dan Jacobson wrote:
    >
    >> I understand that if disk drives aren't used in 6 months, they will
    >> freeze up. I suppose fresh on retail shelves they can last longer(?),
    >> but once one starts using them, they must be exercised regularly.
    >>
    >> The symptom of failure might be ka-chunk noise once per second as it
    >> can't even get started rotating. Any home remedies?
    >
    >
    > And where did you get this information?

    Some models from CDC/Imprimis did exhibit this behavior--seemed to be
    something to do with the lubricant--they could generally be started by a
    certain manipulation (I'm not going to try to describe the technique
    here--google "imprimis stiction" and you'll probably find some long threads
    on it). That was a long time ago though.

    > -WD

    --
    --John
    Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "someone" <someone@spamfree.com> wrote in message
    news:T18qc.20673$Md.3724@lakeread05...
    > Seconded - where did this disinformation come from?

    Well the idea that drives need to be frequently powered as presented is just
    wive's tales. The fact that drives that sit for sometime unpowered
    may(infrequently) experience stiction is a fact.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On 17 May 2004 16:07:42 -0400, adykes@panix.com (Al Dykes) wrote:

    >You're about 6 months late for an April 1 post

    *wonders about Al's calendar" :)

    --
    Michael Cecil
    http://home.comcast.net/~macecil/
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Mon, 17 May 2004 20:26:30 GMT, "Ron Reaugh" <ron-reaugh@att.net>
    wrote:

    >Well the idea that drives need to be frequently powered as presented is just
    >wive's tales. The fact that drives that sit for sometime unpowered
    >may(infrequently) experience stiction is a fact.

    The old Seagate ST20 drives would experience stiction overnight. It
    eventually made the drive unusable. But that was 15 years ago.

    I thought the stiction problem was solved with a special landing zone
    where the heads would not stick when the drive was not spinning.


    --

    Map Of The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy:
    http://www.freewebs.com/vrwc/

    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in one pretty and well-preserved piece.
    One should rather skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
    totally worn out, loudly proclaiming "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Yep!!! 5 out of 4 people just don't understand math!

    "Michael Cecil" <macecil@comcast.net> wrote in message
    news:fsjia01sq06gptpq7qdlm0kf64qkph473e@4ax.com...
    > On 17 May 2004 16:07:42 -0400, adykes@panix.com (Al Dykes) wrote:
    >
    > >You're about 6 months late for an April 1 post
    >
    > *wonders about Al's calendar" :)
    >
    > --
    > Michael Cecil
    > http://home.comcast.net/~macecil/
    >
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    In article <c8b5kf0f3p@news4.newsguy.com>,
    J. Clarke <jclarke@nospam.invalid> wrote:
    >Will Dormann wrote:
    >
    >> Dan Jacobson wrote:
    >>
    >>> I understand that if disk drives aren't used in 6 months, they will
    >>> freeze up. I suppose fresh on retail shelves they can last longer(?),
    >
    >Some models from CDC/Imprimis did exhibit this behavior--seemed to be

    Apple had a service bulletin out years ago with some of their CDC drives.

    I also remember going around a lab of IBM PS 2/70's (about 1995)
    after a power outage tapping each HD with a small ball-pein hammer to get
    them started when all of them froze up when the power came back on. I got
    about 90% restarted this way. I tried milder methods but they failed.

    I suspect something similar with the newer Seagate Elites - I've had a high
    failure rate in surplus ST446452W's which appear to be unable to spin up
    (beeping noise that never stops), but rather than try to fix them I just
    junk them ($10 each, not worth the risk). Once they start they're quite
    reliable.

    Mike Squires
    --

    Mike Squires (mikes at cs.indiana.edu) 317 233 9456 (w) 812 333 6564 (h)
    mikes at siralan.org 546 N Park Ridge Rd., Bloomington, IN 47408
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Mon, 17 May 2004 21:13:20 GMT, spam@spam.com (Bob) wrote:

    >The old Seagate ST20 drives would experience stiction overnight. It
    >eventually made the drive unusable. But that was 15 years ago.
    >
    >I thought the stiction problem was solved with a special landing zone
    >where the heads would not stick when the drive was not spinning.

    I had a few Seagate ST225 drives that suffered from stiction. One
    would start up if given a thump or twist when powered up, but the
    other required actually removing the cover and giving the platters a
    nudge. I only did this a few times (enough to figure out the problem
    and get the data off) before retiring it. It worked fine once it
    started spinning, though.

    This was back when HDs and memory were pretty durn expensive, and you
    didn't retire them casually. These days, any little burp is enough
    for me to take a drive out of action.


    Neil Maxwell - I don't speak for my employer
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Michael Cecil" <macecil@comcast.net> wrote in message news:fsjia01sq06gptpq7qdlm0kf64qkph473e@4ax.com
    > On 17 May 2004 16:07:42 -0400, adykes@panix.com (Al Dykes) wrote:
    >
    > > You're about 6 months late for an April 1 post
    >
    > *wonders about Al's calendar" :)

    Al's "staff" probably forgot to proofread Al's posting.
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    It's a Seagate 15.3 Gb ST315323A. I plug it in and one can hear the
    motor running, but every second there is this loud ka-chunk. Indeed
    about every third second, there is a louder ka-chunk. Normal drives
    seem to only have a single such ka-chunk just upon starting,
    apparently some kind of safety door opening inside.

    I had left this drive inside the computer unplugged for two years. The
    neighboring drive provided some warmth 12 hours a day. Here in Taiwan
    it doesn't get too cold though.

    Anyways, I recall the guy at the store said if you don't spin up
    within 6 months, drives will be no good.

    I tried the wrist flicking mentioned. No help. Same with the soft
    impact technique.

    Say, with the 4 plug socket, and me wanting to test spinning it up
    when I'm not using the computer, can I use a 12,9,7.5,6,4.5,3V
    wallwart, or are its voltages not exacting enough? and do I use the 5V
    hole or the 12V hole, and would 6V be an ok wallwart setting if using
    the 5v hole, or does one need all 4 holes connected instead of 2?
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Dan Jacobson" <jidanni@jidanni.org> wrote in message
    news:871xlhjzwt.fsf@jidanni.org...
    > It's a Seagate 15.3 Gb ST315323A. I plug it in and one can hear the
    > motor running, but every second there is this loud ka-chunk.

    Well, it's spinning or it isn't. Which is it?

    > Indeed
    > about every third second, there is a louder ka-chunk. Normal drives
    > seem to only have a single such ka-chunk just upon starting,
    > apparently some kind of safety door opening inside.
    >
    > I had left this drive inside the computer unplugged for two years. The
    > neighboring drive provided some warmth 12 hours a day. Here in Taiwan
    > it doesn't get too cold though.
    >
    > Anyways, I recall the guy at the store said if you don't spin up
    > within 6 months, drives will be no good.

    Wive's tale in most cases.

    > I tried the wrist flicking mentioned. No help. Same with the soft
    > impact technique.

    If the drive is spinning then it's likely failed in some other fashion.

    > Say, with the 4 plug socket, and me wanting to test spinning it up
    > when I'm not using the computer, can I use a 12,9,7.5,6,4.5,3V
    > wallwart, or are its voltages not exacting enough? and do I use the 5V
    > hole or the 12V hole, and would 6V be an ok wallwart setting if using
    > the 5v hole, or does one need all 4 holes connected instead of 2?
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Dan Jacobson" <jidanni@jidanni.org> wrote in message
    news:878yfrlz58.fsf@jidanni.org...
    > I understand that if disk drives aren't used in 6 months, they will
    > freeze up...
    >
    > The symptom of failure might be ka-chunk noise once per second as it
    > can't even get started rotating. Any home remedies?

    A few weeks ago I tried to start an old computer that had been running fine
    a year or so ago. The HDD is an ST52520A, which I always considered one of
    Seagate's best drives in its day. The drive begins to spin up, gets to
    less-than-cruising speed, clicks, stops, repeats. Pre-warming in an oven
    didn't help, and neither did the quick-twist method. Anyway, it does start
    spinning, so if it's a stiction problem it's with the head mechanism, not
    the platter.

    nf
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 20:39:27 GMT, "nutso fasst" <no.replies@no.where>
    wrote:

    >A few weeks ago I tried to start an old computer that had been running fine
    >a year or so ago. The HDD is an ST52520A, which I always considered one of
    >Seagate's best drives in its day.

    There is no such thing as a Seagate drive that was considered "best".

    Seagate always shipped junk.


    --

    Map Of The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy:
    http://www.freewebs.com/vrwc/

    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in one pretty and well-preserved piece.
    One should rather skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
    totally worn out, loudly proclaiming "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Bob" <spam@spam.com> wrote in message
    news:40abf244.9392826@news-server.houston.rr.com...
    > On Wed, 19 May 2004 20:39:27 GMT, "nutso fasst" <no.replies@no.where>
    > wrote:
    >
    > There is no such thing as a Seagate drive that was considered "best".
    >
    > Seagate always shipped junk.
    >
    Nonsense. Is this something Ron told you?
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On Wed, 19 May 2004 18:51:10 -0700, "Eric Gisin"
    <ericgisin@graffiti.net> wrote:

    >> Seagate always shipped junk.

    >Nonsense. Is this something Ron told you?

    No, it's something we have known all along.

    Maybe WD told us.


    --

    Map Of The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy:
    http://www.freewebs.com/vrwc/

    Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in one pretty and well-preserved piece.
    One should rather skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
    totally worn out, loudly proclaiming "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"
  19. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "nutso fasst" <no.replies@no.where> wrote in message news:<3CPqc.1397$Iq6.516@newssvr27.news.prodigy.com>...

    > A few weeks ago I tried to start an old computer that had
    > been running fine a year or so ago. The HDD is an ST52520A,
    > which I always considered one of Seagate's best drives in its
    > day. The drive begins to spin up, gets to less-than-cruising
    > speed, clicks, stops, repeats. Pre-warming in an oven didn't
    > help, and neither did the quick-twist method. Anyway, it does
    > start spinning, so if it's a stiction problem it's with the
    > head mechanism, not the platter.

    If it spun at all, it can't possibly be a stiction problem, period.
  20. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    This is not true. I have had hard drives sit for years and then started
    them with no problem. You are getting this information from a less than
    reliable source.

    Jimmy


    "Dan Jacobson" <jidanni@jidanni.org> wrote in message
    news:878yfrlz58.fsf@jidanni.org...
    > I understand that if disk drives aren't used in 6 months, they will
    > freeze up. I suppose fresh on retail shelves they can last longer(?),
    > but once one starts using them, they must be exercised regularly.
    >
    > The symptom of failure might be ka-chunk noise once per second as it
    > can't even get started rotating. Any home remedies?
    >
    > Say if we don't have a computer but still want to exercise our disks
    > to prevent freeze, could we connect a wallwart transformer at the
    > appropriate IDE voltage for a few minutes? But there are 4 sockets,
    > not just red and black.
    >
    > I was thinking of buying a 2nd IDE drive to do backups. I suppose
    > whatever brand I buy must still be spun up one every few months to
    > prevent permanent freeze.
  21. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Bob" <spam@spam.com> wrote in message
    news:40abf244.9392826@news-server.houston.rr.com...
    > On Wed, 19 May 2004 20:39:27 GMT, "nutso fasst" <no.replies@no.where>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >A few weeks ago I tried to start an old computer that had been running
    fine
    > >a year or so ago. The HDD is an ST52520A, which I always considered one
    of
    > >Seagate's best drives in its day.
    >
    > There is no such thing as a Seagate drive that was considered "best".
    >
    > Seagate always shipped junk.

    All hard drives are junk.


    >
    >
    > --
    >
    > Map Of The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy:
    > http://www.freewebs.com/vrwc/
    >
    > Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of
    > arriving safely in one pretty and well-preserved piece.
    > One should rather skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
    > totally worn out, loudly proclaiming "WOW! WHAT A RIDE!"
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