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Keep drive or not?

 
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asmack
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:50 am    Post subject: Keep drive or not? Reply with quote

My late 2009 Mac mini started becoming very sluggish the other day. Took forever to reboot and to copy files, open files, etc. I ran Disk Utility and it found nothing wrong. Did fsck -fy and also nothing wrong. So I erased the hard drive and did a fresh install of Snow Leopard.

The mini rebooted normally, but after migrating all my files from Time Machine, the sluggishness resumed. So I decided to run the Apple Hardware Test (AHT) and it revealed this: "4HDD/11/40000000:SATA (0,0)". Googled this and found out it indicates either a HD problem or a HD controller problem. I made an appointment with the local Genius Bar on Wednesday because I have 3 year Apple Care Plan.

However, I decided to do one more thing: zero out the hard drive. Now, it seems to pass the AHT with flying colors. I am currently running the TechTool Deluxe that came with my Apple Care and it won't finish for another 8 or 9 hours by my estimate.

Anyway, if it passes the TechTool suite of tests, should I just keep the internal HD and continuing to trust it with my data, or should I just play it safe and replace it? I'm tempted to put in an SSD. I know I can just bootup from an external drive, but I'd prefer to keep my bootup disk internal. Are SSDs issue and maintenance-free compared to regular drives?

Did zeroing out the disk somehow "fix" the problem? Was it some bad blocks that are now being ignored because I zeroed out the drive instead of just using quick erase?

Any input or advice is much appreciated. I am off to work now so I won't be able to see any replies until then.

P.S. I said in another thread that I have never encountered any hard drive problems in my entire life and that I was overdue for a catastrophe. I guess it's my time now! Smile
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mooblie
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always assumed that zeroing out a drive re-checks every sector for bad blocks (as done when new), and if the process finds any new ones, it marks them permanently as "not for use" - so your drive might, now, be completely OK? Or at least as good as a "freshly tested" one from the factory?

( I'm ready to be shot down in flames, by someone who actually knows what they're talking about! Smile )
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philiparcario
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had this work with hdds. Not sure why but it has.

here is the biggest hdd that fits in a mini

I just grabbed this large hdd from samsung works nice.



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152291&Tpk=samsung%201tb%202.5%20inch samsung link



http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Samsung/HNM101MBB/

two sellers above have it. not an ssd but it is big.
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asmack
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I just came home and to my dismay, TechTool has reported one error during the surface scan which is still not done. In fact, it seems to have slowed to a crawl and is definitely not going as fast as when I left for work this morning. So I think the HDD is dying. Sad

I'll keep my appointment with the Genius Bar and see if my 3 year AppleCare will cover it. If not, I'll look at that drive Philip linked to (thanks, BTW!), or just get an SSD. I mainly only use the bootup drive for OS X and a few apps anyway, so a 256 GB one should suffice.

Any suggestions for SSDs? The OWC's look pretty nice...
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asmack
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's been my understanding as well.

mooblie wrote:
I've always assumed that zeroing out a drive re-checks every sector for bad blocks (as done when new), and if the process finds any new ones, it marks them permanently as "not for use" - so your drive might, now, be completely OK? Or at least as good as a "freshly tested" one from the factory?

( I'm ready to be shot down in flames, by someone who actually knows what they're talking about! Smile )
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asmack
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a WD 1TB Scorpio Blue bare drive being used for Time Machine at the moment. I wonder if it will be suitable as a bootup disk.

philiparcario wrote:
I have had this work with hdds. Not sure why but it has.

here is the biggest hdd that fits in a mini

I just grabbed this large hdd from samsung works nice.



http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152291&Tpk=samsung%201tb%202.5%20inch samsung link



http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Samsung/HNM101MBB/

two sellers above have it. not an ssd but it is big.
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macmanmacman
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats not right...

I trust tech tool deluxe if tech tool starts to slow down or tell's you error messages be concerned it doesn't lie.
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asmack
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update: the Apple Store will replace the HDD under my AppleCare plan. Smile They don't have any drives in stock so it'll be at least a couple of days, but I can cope because I have a Windoze laptop and an iPod Touch to tide me over until then.
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asmack
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I trust TechTool. I think I might get Disk Warrior as well, just to beef up the tools in my arsenal in case I run into drive troubles again.

macmanmacman wrote:
Thats not right...

I trust tech tool deluxe if tech tool starts to slow down or tell's you error messages be concerned it doesn't lie.
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asmack
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an update: the hard drive that was replaced by Apple last year has started to exhibit the exact same symptoms and will need to be replaced. Apple Hardware Test revealed the same problem: "4HDD/11/40000000:SATA (0,0)."

I'm just wondering if the cramped interior of the mini contributed to the early deaths of 2 hard drives in a row.

I've ordered a 240GB Mercury Electra 6G SSD in the hope that it will be more reliable. But I might send it back now because I've just learned there are better brands out there that I should have considered.
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asmack
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, so I decided to keep the OWC 240GB Mercury Electra 6G SSD and stick it in a new 2.3 Mac mini that I just ordered. I will cross my fingers and hope they play nice together.

I will take the 500GB HD from that and stick it in my late 2009 mini. I've also ordered the 16GB RAM for the 2.3 mini. I don't think I'll need that much, but the price was not much more than 8GB so I figured, why not?

I don't need the 2.5 or 2.7 Mac mini with discrete graphics because I don't play games or watch movies on my Mac, mostly just Lightroom, web and email.

I will keep the '09 mini as a backup computer in case my new one goes down in flames, lol.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have kept the drive as well. I hope you like it.
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