Pay it forward - 'Giving' Ubuntu to Windows Users

Brian McKee brian.mckee at
Wed Dec 10 18:57:22 UTC 2008

On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 8:20 AM, Bart Silverstrim
<bsilver at> wrote:

> Hard drives can go anytime, but statistically speaking we've seen a high
> failure of hard drives (20, 40, 60, 80 gig, often six or seven years
> old) from recycled systems.

Speaking as someone who's seen a lot of recycled systems :-)
I've had some success with those old drives by torture testing them a
bit before I use them.
e.g.  dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/whatever until it runs out of space
I suppose DBAN might accomplish the same, or SpinRite.

It seems like exercising the whole surface like that once or twice and
then reviewing the SMART status often separates the about to die from
the ok but has a few undiscovered trouble spots.

I wonder if the failure rate isn't because the drives are old, but
rather because they got knocked around a bunch when they were pulled
out of service and shipped off the recycle bin or whatever.

Oh, and if it's an IBM Deathstar, just pitch it :-)


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