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IBM Deskstar 75GXP

Bungo Pony

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This was nicknamed the "Deathstar" since the failure rates were extremely high. Does anybody have one simply for nostalgia's sake? I've been keeping my eye out for one simply because of it's fame of being unreliable. These drives are likely on the "endangered" list :D

I have a 120GXP, the 40GB version. It does not work, so it seems that the 75GXP may not be the only one prone to failure. It proudly hangs on the wall in my garage :D
 

NeXT

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As a former recycler my job never saw any of these drives come in, dead or alive. I saw capacities above and below that model but never the 75. Most if not all of them were disposed of years ago.
 

cthulhu

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May 2, 2012
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The 75GXP isn't just one model, the 75 GB model, it's six models in total ranging from 15 GB to 75 GB. I have two of the 45 GB models which have never given me any problems whatsoever that both still worked perfectly when I last used them a few years ago. They had been unpowered for many years prior to that. These drives were purchased in New Zealand and as far as I remember were made in a different country than the problematic units that were commonly available in the USA.
 

krebizfan

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When a DeathStar failed, it did so in impressive fashion. http://www.astro.ufl.edu/~ken/crash/

The lawsuit showed that IBM knew about the failure rate (2.5% at factory) and shoved drives returned for failure back out to the market without internal testing. The IBM internal emails and depositions were an intriguing look at a company losing its way.

All the models of the 75GXP were bad but the more platters the more frequent the failures.
 

cthulhu

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All the models of the 75GXP were bad but the more platters the more frequent the failures.

All 75GXP models were affected, but not every factory producing them were making drives with excessive failure rates. Mine worked perfectly and I know for a fact that many others did too, at least in this part of the world. I remember my friend who worked in the computer industry being surprised when I told him about the disaster that was unfolding for IBM at the time. He'd sold many 75GXP's without any problems, both then and later.
 

cthulhu

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May 2, 2012
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According to Wikipedia the only drives that were continued after Hitachi purchased IBM's hard drive division were the 120GXP and 180GXP series, i.e. all the earlier 75GXPs should be IBM drives.
 

GiGaBiTe

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I had a whole pile of those garbage drives at one point.

I was dumb enough to buy one back in the day and it failed within a few months. I RMAd the thing more than 6 times within a year and eventually IBM just sent me a Maxtor drive with double the capacity (I had a 60 GB and the replacement was 120 or 150 GB.) But Maxtor drives were right down there with IBM and had a notorious failure rate. I think the Maxtor replacement I had failed within a few years of the RMA.

After that I slowly accumulated at least a dozen of them from various PCs people had given me. Most of them still worked alright but I knew better than to use them and sent the whole lot to recycling about a 7 years ago.

But they're like lassie, they always come back. I got another 4-5 of them again and they all have problems ranging from screaming bearings to hundreds of bad sectors. One of them refuses to even read, disk utilities mark the entire drive as bad and won't even try to initialize it let alone partition it.

Hitachi promised to clean IBM's mess up when they bought the drive division out, but it's the same old junk with a new label.
 

krebizfan

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Maxtor drives were ten times better than IBM GXP drives according to IBM internal evaluation.

Hitachi's hard drive division is no more since it got bought by Western Digital. Western Digital in turn sold off part of the WD manufacturing to Toshiba.
Today:
Western Digital drives are IBM (via Hitachi) designs
Toshiba drives are Western Digital designs
Seagate drives are Samsung designs while the external drives sold under the Samsung name use low end Seagate drives
 

mbbrutman

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6,235
Some corrections:

WD announced that they were going to acquire HGST in early 2011. It took a year or so for the regulators in the EU, US, China and Japan to approve the sale with specific conditions.

To meet the conditions set by one of the regulatory bodies WD agreed to sell the HGST desktop/consumer 3.5 inch drive designs and manufacturing to Toshiba, who had previously only been making 2.5" mobile drives. This was to preserve competition in the 3.5" desktop/consumer market. I'm sure they sold it really cheap to allow the rest of the sale to continue.

WD desktop/consumer 3.5" drives are still WD drives. WD was also selling mobile drives, and very few enterprise class drives. HGST is very strong in enterprise class drives, which is part of the reason why WD bought them. I'm not sure of the fate of the mobile drives; WD does not need two competing designs for that segment.

Recent Toshiba 3.5" drives are probably the HGST designed desktop drives from the sale.

It is still possible to see HGST designed 3.5" drives being sold by WD - those would be low end enterprise drives, which is a different market segment.


Mike
 

mbbrutman

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As for the whole Deskstar/Deathstar thing ...

IBM starved their drive division for resources before selling it to Hitachi. Hitachi took a bad situation and invested the money needed to restore things. If you look at HGST over the past 8 years, their quality has been incredible even when compared to Seagate.

The Deathstar fiasco can be described as a near death experience. Part of the reaction to nearly going out of business forever was to improve the quality of the product. This was made possible by Hitachi's funding. Otherwise, they should have been purchased for the patents and scrapped.

Many good Deskstar drives were sold afterwards. For some reason Hitachi never changed the branding.
 

bjt

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Jun 18, 2013
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Had 2 75GXPs which died spectacularly.

I also had 2 60GXPs (the model immediately following the 75GXP) and both of these gave great service over 10 years until they were retired.
I hold IBM/Hitachi 2.5 drives in high regard, especially the fluid bearing models.
Have a couple of newer Hitachi desktop drives which haven't skipped a beat either.

The 75GXP thing seems to have been a blip, but the PR fallout was obviously huge.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Maxtor drives were ten times better than IBM GXP drives according to IBM internal evaluation.

They may have been slightly better than an IBM drive but they were still far worse than any of the other drives at the time. I've had dozens and dozens of Maxtor drives of all models and capacities and I don't think a single one was ever reliable. Mind you these were used drives, but they all had less than a year of run time on them.

The common issues I had with Maxtor drives is that the controller would go bad, the head preamp would die or the drive would suddenly get crazy numbers of bad sectors like it had a head strike.
 

bjt

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Jun 18, 2013
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I bought a 13GB Maxtor Diamondmax Plus (7200rpm, it was fast in its day) in '99. Was still running great in a system I sold last year. Anecdotes are anecdotal :)
 
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