Most number of times you've RMA'd an individual drive?

Most number of times you've RMA'd an individual drive?

  • 1 time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 2 times

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  • 3 times

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  • 4 times

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 5 times

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  • 6 times

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 7 times

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  • 8 times

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  • 9 times

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 10 or more times

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I've never returned a drive to the manufacturer

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    0

Barry K. Nathan

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I just received my latest 36GB 10000RPM IBM UltraStar "serviceable used part" today (replacement for the last four that failed on me), and it made me wonder whether anyone else really goes through the bother of returning the drive that many times to the manufacturer or if they just give up beforehand... :)

As an aside, my previous "serviceable used part" was never able to spin up, even. :lol: At least the one I got today spins up. (I haven't tested it thoroughly yet, however.)
 

Tea

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I think four is correct. Somehere between three and five, anyway. The problem children were:
  • Several 5.1GB Maxtors. I'm not sure how many times any of the individual drives were RMAed, but we only ever bought about five of them and over the next three years we sent quite a few 5120s back for replacement, initially through the wholesaler and later on direct throgh Maxtor in Singapore. (I'd link to the long SR thread* that gave chapter and verse here, but it was lost in the MBF and I can't remember all the details now. Guess that this will have to do instead.) At a guess, we sent 5120s back eight or ten times in total. (Out of about five drives.) There was one that went back and was replaced three times that I know for certain about - at least once by the wholesaler, and then twice by Maxtor - but it may have been four.
  • The notorious Seagate Medalist Pro. Click for details. We sent these back, we got them back, we tested them, they passed. We fitted them, they failed again. Because of the unusual nature of the fault, we never, ever lost a customer's data due to a Medalist Pro, but round and round and bloody round they went. I have no idea how many of these we sent back, nor what was the maximum number of times any particular drive and its RMA replacements cycled through Seagate's warranty department, but I'd be surprised to find that one or another of them didn't do the full four trips. Eventually, long after we had switched to selling Quantum Fireball TMs instead, I wrote to Seagate, and said "look, I don't care what you send me: send me smaller drives, send me bigger drives and I'll pay the difference, send my my money back and I'll buy a different Seagate model with it - Medalist 4500s for example - just don't send me any of those 2.5GB Medalist Pros!" And Seagate, to their great credit, replaced the lot with a newer bigger model and didn't charge a penny for it.
  • A few of our Seagate U Series drives have been back at least twice, possibly three times. The U-10 seems to be the main offender: we only sold a few of those and we keep seeing them on the RMA list. The U-8, which we sold a lot of in the 17GB and 8GB sizes, has been much better. The newer U Series drives I can't speak for. Why should we buy them when Spinpoints are just as quiet, incredibly reliable, vastly faster, and quite often even cheaper?
And Barry - great topic!

---------------------------------
* Footnote: the thread took the form of a firey debate between Tannin and Supercaff, with assorted efforts to join in and/or referee by various bystanders. It climaxed in what was quite possibly Tannin's most satisfying SR moment ever, at least in the nasty, petty "well, I sure won that one" sense.

Supercaff, who was at the height of his snotty Maxtor-can-do-no-wrong phase, finally trumped all Tannin's Maxtor service and reliability complaints by putting the whole sorry saga down to Australia's "extreme and remote" distance from the technical centres of the world, as compared to the USA. It was all "handling damage caused by our southern hemishpere location". And it seemed like a telling point - until Tannin replied with a terse one-liner, giving the figures to show that Melbourne was one hell of a lot closer to the Maxtor factory in Singapore than New York is, or even LA.

Petty point-scorer that he is, Tannin always treasured that moment.
 

time

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Back in 1995 I bought a couple of Seagate Decathlon 850 drives with extended five year warranty. Only one gave any trouble, and this story is all about that naughty little drive.

It worked hard and happily for about a year. Then suddenly, in the prime of life, it died catastrophically :( There was some sort of shortage at the time, so I supplied an alternative drive and when the replacement 850 finally arrived, I put it in a drawer.

A year later (I don't look in drawers), I used it to upgrade a PC. It prospered in this new environment for about six months, then whimpered and became very still. The owner wanted to sell that PC without being beaten up by the buyer, so once again I supplied an alternative and the resurrected Decathlon returned to its cosy old home in the drawer.

Another year went by. Perhaps a year and a half.

A suitably desperate person presented their PC to me with a rapidly deceasing drive and an empty wallet. Ah ha! The Decathlon will ride again!

And for about three months it did indeed spin and seek and store and all the other things that healthy drives do.

But then ...

I really wanted to send it back to Seagate. Truly. It still had about six months to run on the warranty, and I was intrigued to see if Seagate could still cough up a replacement after 4 1/2 years. Of course, the distributor muttered about not having any stock, but distributors always do that sort of thing.

Sometimes you just have to know when to let go. So the little drive that couldn't is once again back in its rightful place ... the bottom of a nice dark drawer. But sometimes when it's late at night, and I've had too much to drink, I'd swear I can hear a whirring noise somewhere.

Oh wait, that's a fan.
 

Clocker

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One Seagate Medalist Pro (IDE) ST36530A RMAd after getting too hot. It was one of the first 7,200 RPM IDE drives (if not '*the* first, can't . remember). The identical replacement (reburb) part was fine and I sold it on eBay.

C
 

Fushigi

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Barry K. Nathan said:
I just received my latest 36GB 10000RPM IBM UltraStar "serviceable used part" today (replacement for the last four that failed on me), and it made me wonder whether anyone else really goes through the bother of returning the drive that many times to the manufacturer or if they just give up beforehand... :)
Barry -

Is this an LZX series drive? IBM has had numerous problems over the past year with 10K LZX series disks. The vast majority is chalked up to bad firmware.

What follows is heavily stilted towards IBM's iSeris (AS/400) platform but they are the same 10K LZX drives that are avilable in other systems & to the general public. See http://www.midrangeserver.com/tfh/080101.html#3 then http://www.midrangeserver.com/tfh/TFH-09-04-2001.html#2 for the problems being reported. When a solution was implemented, http://www.midrangeserver.com/tfh/tfh011402-story2.html and finally http://www.midrangeserver.com/tfh/tfh012102-story03.html

On the AS/400s I manage, I just got management to replace all 90 10K drives in the two systems with 15K drives at a very minimal cost. I think that's the only way I'll ever regain confidence in the stability of our disk subsystem.

- Fushigi
 

Mercutio

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WD 1.2GB IDE - four tries in a single year (1995 - 96). I hated that drive. It was new when I bought it and at the time 1.2GB was a good-sized drive, but along with a number of other failed WDs, I finally got tired of it.
I set it out on a fence post and shot it with a BB gun until I blew the cover off and dinged up all the platters. Very satisfying, and it took a lot longer than the quick death a real gun would've provided. :)
 

Barry K. Nathan

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Irvine, CA
Fushigi said:
Is this an LZX series drive? IBM has had numerous problems over the past year with 10K LZX series disks. The vast majority is chalked up to bad firmware.
The first three were 36LZX's. The first one got louder and louder until it suddenly stopped spinning (after 6 months). The second one started getting louder the same way, and IBM tech support told me to return it (after 3 months). The third one died after a month or so (it sounded like it was unable to seek properly).

At that point, I asked IBM to give me some other kind of replacement. They claimed to not have any 36GB 10KRPM drives newer than the 36LZX, so in the end I asked for a 36ZX (so L, so half-height instead of low profile) and that's what they gave me. I left it in its box for a month, then when I installed it into one of my computers, it was DOA.

The latest drive is also a 36ZX. It seems to be working, so far, but I haven't tried running DFT yet to make sure and I really haven't used the drive yet -- I've just made sure it spins.
 

Mercutio

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Not completely RMA-related, but this thread reminds me of a bad experience I once had:

When I was 15 - 18, early 90s timeframe, I hired myself out for PC repair housecalls, and did pretty well for myself.

I got a call to fix a "broken PC". Went to the nice lady's house, found a genuine AT&T 386 Unix workstation. 16MHz, 8MB RAM, nice little SCSI tape drive... the works. The woman used the machine for work - early telecommuter, I guess, didn't really know much about it - all she knew was the thing had cost a fortune, more than $15,000 when it was new (and, in 1993, it was kinda old). So she was basically terrified she had broken this machine, and just of terrified of what I might have to do to fix it.
I looked at it for a while and figured out right away that its hard disk had died. No big deal. It only had a 40MB drive in it. So I explained I'd just pop out to my car for a much better 120MB drive that, along with her tape backups, would make everything OK.

So, with this woman standing over my shoulder, I popped in the new drive, installed SystemV from the tape she had, restored the backups of her personal stuff from a different tape, made sure everything worked, best as I could (first time I had ever used Unix other than SCO)... and it was fine. I shut it down.

I plopped the computer up on her kitchen counter where we could both watch as I got her final OK that everything was fixed. She fired it up... and heard the LOUDEST, most HORRIBLE head crash ever - half-height SCSI drive. Maybe lots of head crashes.
To top it off, some dust was blowing out of the PS fan. She thought the machine was on fire.

After I pried the poor woman off the ceiling, I convinced her I could get the thing working with another, different drive. Back out to my car. No more 120MB SCSI drives. But I had an old 60MB drive. I installed that. Powered it on the first time, confidently smiling to this poor woman the whole time... and heard just about the same "vacuuming up nails" noise.

She put all the parts of the computer in a box, shoved it in my arms and pushed me out the door.

Like I said, not an RMA story. Funny as I look back at it, though.
 
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