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IBM hit with hard drive class action suit

Glass platter 75GXP HDD is giving pain

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Michael T. Granito, Jr., an American user of IBM's 75GXP hard drive, filed a class action lawsuit against the company last Tuesday for defects in the product causing it to "crash", according to an article on The Tech Report.

Of course, class action means that anyone who happens to purchase one of these drives is now able to join in on the action, sharing the costs of the suit and, potentially, reaping some of the compensation (think Erin Brockovitch, just sans Julia Roberts).

The drive, a 7,200RPM Deskstar 75GB drive, was released on 15 March last year. At the time, the press release announced excitedly that the drive was "the first IBM drive to use glass disk platters instead of aluminium ... allowing the recording head to read smaller bits of information that are packed more closely together. In addition, glass disks are more stable at higher speeds".

Now, as the complaint reads, "Contrary to IBM representations, the Deskstar 75GXP is defectively designed and/or manufactured such that it is not a reliable HDD and fails to function properly. When the defect manifests by the sudden occurrence of a loud clicking or scratching noise, the Deskstar 75GXP stops operating and 'crashes.' The result of the crash is the irreversible and permanent loss of data and software programs installed on the Deskstar".

Of course, nobody has yet established what is the exact cause of the problem, but IBM has long maintained that it has super cool (and super reliable) drives. The complaint document points to a Big Blue site that discusses 'IBM hard disk drive reliability'.

Many readers on Tech Report's forum commented about similar problems that they had encountered, showing that it is unlikely for this to be an issue affecting just a few users. Many of them pointed out that the 75GXPs smaller brother, the 60GB version, runs as solidly as a rock, while others wanted to know why there weren't more lawsuits against IBM's competitors.

Another comment read: "Funny, you can sue a major manufacturer because they [messed] up a product. It's not like they've been trying to cop out on their warranties or anything ... SUE EM ANYWAY! It's the wonderful American way". ®

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