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How to make my WORKING 2.5in scsi hard drive keep working? Hard drive maintenance tips?


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There are lots of posts about ways to get a dead 2.5in drive working again, but I'm curious if there are any tips for ensuring a working drive stays working as long as possible? The drive in question is a 160MB IBM DHAS-2270 from my PowerBook 520c, but I'm hoping to make a list of "best practices" for any working PowerBook drive (or maybe any working SCSI HDD in general).

 

Should I be using the drive regularly to "exercise" it, or will that just wear it out faster?

 

Should I park the heads and pack it away in an antistatic bag? Or will that just cause the heads to get stuck when the bumpers inside the drive go gooey, like in every Quantium ProDrive?

 

I don't think it has any bearing howl yet, though I don't know how noisy it was from the factory. Should I consider popping it open and re-lubricating anything?

 

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20 hours ago, xunker said:

Should I be using the drive regularly to "exercise" it, or will that just wear it out faster?

 

I'm not an expert, but I've found that drives seem to do better if you periodically use them.

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20 hours ago, dcr said:

 

I'm not an expert, but I've found that drives seem to do better if you periodically use them.

 

This, from my experience, is true. Don't leave it sitting in storage, I would just ensure its used now and then.

 

Also, there is no need to open a drive that still works - best left alone.

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Don't be surprised when you go to spin up your 2.5" drive, it struggles.  This is usually common if you haven't used it for a few months; some gentle percussive maintenance on the palm reset usually frees things up.  I've found 2.5" SCSI drives to be fairly reliable though, even with giving them a gentle thump, apart from the really early Connor 20/40 MB ones used in earlier PowerBook models.

Edited by Byrd
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On 4/23/2021 at 5:06 AM, Byrd said:

some gentle percussive maintenance on the palm reset usually frees things up

 

Is the angle you hit at important? As in, better to aim for the top of the drive vs. the side? The paranoid in me says hitting it from the side may make the heads skate over the platters, but I dunno.

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From what I remember--and I no longer offer any guarantees about my memory--the advice was to hit the top of the drive.  I don't recall if they were specific but I tried to hit somewhere not on top of the platter.

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@xunker @dcr Yes, same method here - a hit or drop of the palm rest onto a towel ~ 5cm has resurrected mine.  I've got this PowerBook 170 with 120MB HD (IBM branded I think) I need to do this on, and so far no concerns but I'm sure the HD doesn't like it.

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