Maxtor full-height 5.25" drives of death

allison allisonportable at
Fri Feb 9 14:14:12 CST 2018

On 02/09/2018 01:05 PM, js--- via cctalk wrote:
> On 2/9/2018 12:25 PM, Chuck Guzis via cctalk wrote:
>> On 02/09/2018 05:20 AM, allison via cctalk wrote:
>>> At the other extreme I have over a dozen Quantum D540s (RD52 31mb full
>>> height)
>>> that are really old and getting older and still work without issues.
>>> Some of those
>>> have sat on the shelf for a decade and work fine when I need one.
>> I've still got a Q540 mounted on its side in a MAD Intelligent Systems
>> case--I fired it up about a week ago and it's still working just fine.
>> --Chuck
> A tangential question out of curiosity: who here has 5.25" MFM drives
> they're extremely surprised are still working, and which model(s)?

Working Drive some of which I bought new...

These are all MFM:
 2 st506  1 new in 1981, last tested 1 year ago and still has the base
install of CP/M 2.2.
    It was my first hard disk in my Northstar Horizon S100 crate and
still visits there.
    Its hard to imagine when 5MB seemed like a huge unfillable space.
2 St412  both gotten used (one was RD51) both work but one has stiction
so startup
   the first time in a while requires manual twist of the drive(inertia).
 3 ST225 one was former RD31 all work though they have been formatted
for RQDX2,
    RQDX3 and WD1003 at different times.
  1 ST250, out of a PC rescue back in the early 90s, still hasn't died.
14 Q540s some as old as 1985 all work no failures yet.  The first one I
have was "tossed"
      literally as bad by field circus (dec internal in 1986) only to
find the RQDX2 had
      croaked.  By tossed I mean dropped from 3Ft into a steel trash
can.  Reformatted
      (high level using XXDP) for RQDX2 its served me since.  Yes, I
pick trash.
 3  RD53 aka 1325s ll had spindown from head sticking to bumper, opened
and fixed
    with the oldest picked up used in 1991.
 1 CDC (wren) 3.5" MFM picked up used in '93 and paired with a Xybec
controller in my
    Micromint SBC180.

SCSI group:
In the SCSI class I have a large collection of PC and VAX drives from
RZ22 though RZ56s
and those that worked when I got them still do over 20 years later. 
This is a mix of 3.5
and 5inch full height.

Of those from PCs the Baracuda 1gb drives  have proven bullet proof.  I
have 4 that
came from system upgrades (2001) that have at least 2 years 24/7 when I
got them.
Note the replacement Maxtor drives (9gb) tended to fail after about 13
(humm pattern, yes?).

One noteable SCSI drive is a 3.5" Fugitsu SCSI 45MB given to me for a
still running more than 20 years and used just yesterday to assemble
some 8085 code.

Large selection of pulls all tested good.  Noteables were the 420mb WD,
4.3GB WD and
St3660A.  Oddballs like a 5.25 thin bigfoot (slowest and reputed to be
the worst for failure)
in linux 486box thats still running Slackware 1.2.

In all cases the drive mentioned are not less than 15 years old most
greater than
25 and a few pushing more than 35 years.

The grand daddy of them all is the RL02 salvaged in 1983 and still
running along
with two packs from then.  Its life was 9 years of Monday through Friday
power on
and now intermittent about 5 times a month since 1994.  Still booting a


More information about the cctalk mailing list