Deskstar 75GXP: the pain continues

Weird noises, fitness tests and class action

Users returning their faulty hard drives to IBM for repair say they are waiting up to six weeks for a replacement.

And the swap-outs leave much to be desired, Reg readers report.

John Goss says, after waiting patiently for the drive to return, it now makes a "loud crunching noise when accessing data, as opposed to the nice and quiet drive it used to be"' at least it works.

He appears to be lucky: "Yes, IBM's been replacing broken 75GXPs... with new 75GXPs that fail after a couple of weeks", said a reader who asked not to be named. Nate Amsden is more direct: "The drives are crap and IBM should have pulled them long ago."

If such responses are anything to go by, Michael Granito Jr, instigator of the Deskstar lawsuit against IBM , will have little problem in finding others to hop onto his class action bandwagon.

As widely seen in newsgroups and storage discussions around the Net, Deskstar 75GXP reliability issues have affected many, many users.

Reader Drew Baxter notes that IBM has a "Drive Fitness Test", which is able to analyse your Deskstar drive and even "restore drive fitness". In this case, when his 75GXP drive started making various undesired noises, he downloaded the kit, went through the lengthy backup process (the fixing part of this program requires a low-level drive format) and voila everything was back to normal. However, this solution only addresses the repair of bad sectors.

Several readers note that the 75GXP is a product family, introduced in early 2000, rather than simply referring to a 75GB drive (capacity ranges from 15.36GB to 76.86GB). A second generation product, the 60GXP, started shipping early this year, with capacity ranging from 10.27GB to 61.49GB. IBM has all the Deskstar details on its site. ®

Reliable

In an attempt to build a database of reliability information, StorageReview has launched a survey that tries to "combine and analyse individual experiences with a variety of hard drives into a comprehensive whole that aims to provide reliability information for reviewed drives". While still in its infancy, this could become a useful tool for users trying to make their next purchasing decision.

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