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[Discuss] [ OT ] hard drives

Jerry lamented:
> Recently once of my hard drives in a RAID1 reported an event and was
> dropped out of the array. This was a Seagate 1TB that is about 3 - 4
> years old.

First:  go to to check the
warranty.  Seagate drives usually have (had?) a 5-year warranty, and I've
probably swapped out 4 or 5 of their drives using their convenient RMA service
over the past decade.  (*Very* convenient:  with a credit-card number, they'll
do an advance-replacement by whatever shipping method you choose; they'll send
you a return-shipping label worth more than the $9.95 cost of the service.)

Second: read about the future of hard drive warranties and weep:
. That 5-year standard warranty is, alas, now in our collective rear-view


I've long lectured here on the merits of software RAID (congrats on your own
usage of it).  It's a zero-cost method of reducing the effort of maintaining
systems over the long-term: until rotating media becomes a thing of the past,
it's a lot easier to keep all files mirrored.  Why do I say zero-cost? 
Because usually there's a spare drive lying around; keep the old ones to use
as mirrors, rather than discarding them.  Why is it better than hardware RAID?
 Two reasons:  (1) device drivers for hardware adapters inevitably go
obsolete, or are incompatible in varying ways with different O/S distros; and
(2) notification of failures is almost never standardized so you'll either
spend a lot of effort getting them set up, or you'll endure a silent failure
months before your big data-destroying failure.

I'll offer kudos to the one vendor who has made software RAID incredibly easy
to set up in its latest distro.  What amazes me is who it is: Microsoft.  You
can convert an existing default installation of Windows 7 Ultimate to mirrored
software RAID by (1) plugging in a new drive to a spare SATA connection (no
need to reboot), and (2) doing about 3 mouse-clicks in the volume manager to
convert the existing drive to 'dynamic' and set up the mirror.  I challenge
the Linux distro vendors to make it that simple.


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