HDD advice?

Ian Molton spyro at f2s.com
Thu Nov 14 12:19:18 PST 2002

Hi. no replies so perhaps I should ask here instead ;-) I suppose the
problem /might/ be LFS related... hehe  how many people actually read
lfs.chat anyway?

firstly, please reply by email as well as to the list, as I use the news
server and its non too reliable right now...

I have a query about HDDs in case anyone knows better than I.

I just got a WD120GB special edition with 8MB cache.

the first drive died shortly after receiving it, so i have a replacement

Right from the bat, though, I have been concerened, as the replacement
has never performed up to expectations.

first, the original drive cosistently got 50MB/sec in hdparm, wheras the
new one hasnt bested 46MB/sec. its 1 month older than the drive it
replaced and obviously has different firmware.

Today I tried to burn a CD for the first time since getting the new
drive(s) and it died after about 17% due to a buffer underrun.

I wrote a little program to read 1MB then print time in microseconds,
then read another MB, etc. and found that the disk read was averaging
about 2MB/sec for the most part, with an extended period of 0.8MB/sec,
and picking up to a spotty average of 8-10MB/sec (with peaks of 20) for
about the last 1/3 of the file.

What I need to know, is is this a bad drive, or should I be expecting

the file was aquired over a DSL link, probably at about 5K/sec or so, at
the same time as a few other large files (ok, so I was leeching movies),
and so I imagine its at least a little fragmented, but still!

The filesystem is a 116GB ext3 one, with standard journalling options.

I know this is a non-ideal case, but 0.8MB/sec! really?! with an 8MB
cache on the drive?

Ideas? are there any fragment-o-meter programs out there?
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