Stories about storage and hardware

Have you tried shouting? Shouting in the Datacenter - YouTube


lol that’s awesome and very interesting.
have thought about trying to do some vibration dampening…like a strong rubber mat below a rack / server… but with how fast ssd’s are evolving and dropping in price… i think vibrational issues for storage will be a thing of the past very soon.
i don’t see the hdd market surviving for much longer.
so most likely won’t bother… but i do have some vibrational concerns due to heavy machinery nearby here at times.

I remember when I replaced a staff member at a site and as their last act before leaving they arranged for the computer room to be painted.
Unfortunately, they used oil paints and the vapors attacked the rubber seals on the drives.
Our failure rate for hard drives for the next 6 months more than trebled.


That is an amazing tale of caution


Zinc whiskers was another failure mode we had to deal with.
Had to replace so many floor tiles because of the problem.

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apparently i might be adding to those tales of caution…
have had 3 drives act up in the last week since my little dust experiment.
would never have imagine it to give me any real problems…

never thought about the fumes thing either… thats very interesting

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So, in the early 2000’s I was doing Automation support work at a smelter.
The Magnetics were so strong that you could balance a metal spoon on its end in the crib rooms the staff used inside the potline. This was literally the first place I was exposed to SSD’s as you could not use a normal hard drive in such an environment. At the time they were hugely expensive as well. We would spend more than $1000 on an SSD less than 200GB.

When I moved to Omsk in 2013 I bought a HP Microserver N54L and stuck some WD Black’s in it. I lost one of the drives quite early and pulled it out to find a lot of the circuits on the pcb were etched away. This drive was the most exposed to the air. The others seem fine but were far more covered. Omsk has notorious levels of air pollution and it was one of the reasons we left as i was at the point of needing regular assistance to breathe from a spray made from Nitroglyercine.


Dust is a machine killer in general. I was surprised how much so , something something a certain factory at the edge of a desert where the pollution was so bad it would make a sticky petrol dust sludge layer on and in everything :roll_eyes:

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I worked at a coal fired power station as well in my past and coal dust certainly was a pc killer! (Not good for the work force either!)


Oh your poor lungs. Glad thats in past tense. Much better to be running nodes :smiley:


Once upon a time in a datacenter far far away…

Two little disks was sent from home, into the server forests to die.
It wasn’t long before the evil nerd discovered the little drives and put them in the cages.
little disks immediately felt sick, “it’s like the whole room is spinning!!!” exclaimed the little disk, like little disks do.

quick throw a bitflip said the other one, and they was both collected and promptly RMA’ed
and lived happily on a shelf for ever and ever…

sorry just couldn’t help myself, could have been better… tried to do it in a Hansel and Gretel theme… :smiley:

oh it’s not that kind of stories that goes here…???

on a side note or something.
my server did stop throwing errors, must have been static created by the dust… a bit odd, but maybe it will pop up again when i use power tools next…
got some more welding coming up… its weird tho, i wouldn’t have thought dust to cause so much mayhem


Epic post :smiley:

Glad it stopped throwing errors! Please do let us know if the welding tips the static again. So weirdly interesting.

A very long time ago when I was starting in IT I was buying machines with 20MB Seagate MFM drives. I remember one incidence where the drive I had would read files perfectly fine but the write head was busted. You could format, even remove the partitions and then reboot and it would all be back again. It was around this time I got my first home Unix systems too - an AT&T 3B2 and a 3B1. The 3B1 was more of a desktop as it had an integrated monochrome monitor with the case.

I liked the 3B2 far more as it was more server grade. Remember setting up the 3B2 for dial in access from the modem. This was long before Linux was around and those systems helped me learn a lot. I still have the CPU from the 3B2. when the motherboard failed I sold off the bits to other users but kept the CPU.

Here is a link to the 3B1.

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When I went to University the computer systems were split along Departmental lines. Accounting/commerce used Vax/VMS and the Comp Sci/Engineering used Apollo and Digital Ultrix. I wasn’t a fan of the Apollo machines which were on a token ring network but I loved Ultrix. The post grad students had huge 19" CRT’s on their machines. It took me a while but I eventually got myself the Ultimate Ultrix machine - a DEC 5000/260 with 448MB RAM and dual Sony 17" CRT’s.
Bear in mind this machine came out in the 1990’s. Unfortunately, this machine was destroyed by a relative of mine. I’d love to get another one day.


First time I had over 1GB storage at home was a tower of these. Pity it took 3 phase power!

That is 3 x 400MB Hard drives.