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Seagate Barracuda 80 GB (7200.10) - PATA
I am reviewing the PATA version of this Seagate Barracuda drive. We bought two of this lately and have been using this ever since the hard drives from our oldest computer cluster started failing early in 2007. We have a Beowulf cluster made up of 16 Dell desktop computers with Pentium IV CPU's. This cluster has been around since 2002 and is very reliable. However, the hard drives that come from the Dell computers are manufactured by IBM and five years later this drives started failing. These old drives are 40 GB and we noted that the price of a 40GB hard drive is almost the same as 80 GB so we opted for this size. We did not want to go to high capacity drives because the operating system of the cluster is relatively old and the kernel might not be able to handle large capacities.
When I compared the old 40 GB hard drives that this drive was meant to replace, I can see that these are thinner. These are internal hard drives so the looks really doesn't matter but I just want to point out that the technology of disk plates has improved since the last five years. Thinner devices but with more capacity is the direction that it is heading. The casing is still the same and the hard drives still fit to a standard 3.5 inch internal bay.
Like any typical PATA hard drive, you can see that the jumper is in either cable select or on the master mode. I always choose "cable select" and let the cable choose which mode the drive will run. The mode is usually labeled in the IDE cable. If you use only one hard drive then that drive should be connected to the master port. There is nothing special with this drive. Of course you need to check the BIOS if the drive is detected or dead. We have purchased many hard drives from Newegg.com and I haven't had the experience where a drive arrived dead or (DOA). If you are installing a second hard drive make sure that it is plugged in the slave IDE port and you turned that drive "ON" in the BIOS.
==Software Installation and Partitioning==
As I mentioned before, we have a 16 node cluster and each node is identical. They have a SUSE Linux OS with ext2 partitions on them. So what I do with the new drive is just remove one working node and clone the partitions in that drive with the new drive. These Seagate drives are very compatible with most cloning software and I use Norton Ghost. There are some freeware programs that you can download to clone drives but they are slow and doesn't handle other file systems like reiserfs. (This is why we purchased Norton Ghost). I never had a problem with cloning.
This is only an 80 GB hard drive so the cache is pretty small (2MB) but is sufficient for the size of the drive. The oldest Seagate drive that we have is approximately 2 years old and we haven't had any problem with it. I am not sure though if that drive is the 7200.10 version or the 7200.9 one. But I assure you that it performs very well. The drive is also very quiet.
All drives that we purchase here in the laboratory are from Seagate (unless if they come with the computer system) and we find them very reliable. Furthermore, Seagate offers 5 year limited warranty unlike the other manufactures like Western Digital who has only 3 years. This drive is silent and fast. You can get the SATA and the higher capacity versions of this drive and they will probably perform just as well as this one (or maybe better because SATA is faster than PATA). Finally, I just received an email from Newegg.com that this product has been nominated for Newegg's Customer Choice Awards. I guess this is the one of the last PATA low capacity drives that you can obtain brand new and cheap.
Below is an excerpt of the email that I received from Newegg.com regarding this product:
Thank you for shopping at Newegg!
We thought you'd like to know that your recent purchase contains one or more items currently nominated for Newegg's Customer Choice Awards:
Newegg Sales Order Number: xxxxxxxx
Sales Order Date: 1/6/2009 10:43:36 AM
Nominated Item(s) Purchased:
HD 80G|ST 7K 2M ATA100 ST380215A %
We'd like you to rate your satisfaction level for the nominated product(s) that you have purchased. To do this, please visit the below page and cast your vote(s):
***This review is also posted in CIAO US by the same author