By all means, Paul, fuck with the hard drives…

I’ve spent the last two nights trying to get Vicki’s laptop working again. Back in August I bought her a new hard drive for it – a 250Gb one to replace her 80Gb one. The 250Gb one is the same model number as the one that came stock in my MacBook Pro, so I figured it was safe to put it in her slightly older MacBook Pro.

That’s great in theory, but back in December she was complaining about very slow response, and she ended up formatting and re-installing. And again this week, it started happening again. Console.log showed that once again, the disk was full of errors. We tried repairing things with Disk Utility and booting into single user mode and running fsck. Both repaired things, but the disk quickly started acting up. I installed TechTools from a AppleCare disk and did a surface scan, and it found lots of errors.

Ok, now it’s time to get serious. We burned a copy of the DFT (Drive Function(?) Test) ISO from Hitachi, but when you boot it in the MBP it asks for “Floppy B” and refuses to continue. Oh oh. So today I got *really* serious – I opened up the MBP (a tedious process) and took the drive out and put it in my Linux box so I could run DFT there. So my home Linux box is off-line for the rest of the evening as well. (Normally I would use my old Windows box for stuff like this, but the Windows box is IDE and the Linux box is SATA.)

While I was waiting for DFT to find the inevitable errors, I decided to start filling out an RMA request on the Hitachi web site. And I had a real feeling of deja-vu. And then I remembered – I’ve only returned two other drives in my life, and both of them were IBM/HItachi DeathStars. It’s nice that they make it so easy, but I think I’d rather they made the drives so they didn’t fail.