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American manufacturer of hard drives with legendary failure rates. Went out of business 1997-11-10 and eventually morphed into something called Streamlogic.

Their products were some of the most miserable excuses for hardware ever sold and a 100% failure rate on a batch within a year was not uncommon (my personal experience is that all five failed betwen 12 and 24 months of purchase). Some retailers are still trying to offload their stock on unsupecting buyers looking for a deal. Micropolis hard drives have become an industry joke, synonymous with the cheap, defective SCSI hard drives your boss buys for tuppence and expects you to take into production.

Generally speaking, if you have a Micropolis HD in production and it still works, say your thanks to $DEITY that it's lasted as long as it has and buy a replacement before it kicks the bit bucket. You know it will. Luckily, they tend to go flaky before their demise and give you time to replace them.

See ECED: Micropolis Hard Drives for hardware specs.

It is true that retailers were trying to unload a bunch of Micropolis disks in the last few years. This is why I own no less than six Microp SCSI hard disks. These go from the heavy 5 1/4 full form factor SCSI bricks which range from 650 megabytes to 1.5 gigabytes, to a set of Micropolis Stinger SCSI drives which weigh in at 4.5 gigs each. None of these drives have ever failed. The Stinger drives run in my Linux server 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and have for the last three years without incident. Is this a coincidence, or just really good luck?

This is compared to the many Quantum and Seagate drives that I have had fail. I have a box full of failed hard drives in the closet. Not one of them is Micropolis.

I got conned into buying a micropolis scsi hd. The first three arrived dead and had to be sent back (with a 3 month delay each time). The third I had to low level format before it would work at all. It lasted a total of 3 months before it too was sent back.

Oddly enough, when I did a postmortem on it before sending it back, only the areas with lots of writes had problems. High activity areas with only reads had no errors at all. (I guess trying to swap on it wasn't a good idea.)

When I got the replacement drive (6 months later), I just used it to cache cdrom's. The drive is still functional, and has not run out of replacement sectors yet. Did I finally get a good drive, or is it just holding up under the read I/O strain? Idunno. I'm not gonna test it either. I probably got that drive (the replacement) around 8/97; it is still going strong in 2002!

 

updates:

March 2002: I recently deleted some stale cdroms from that drive and copied some new ones on. Untouched volumes are now showing bad sectors. The directory inodes seem to be going bad first. (Bad sectors in inodes, oh my!) I suspect the drive would be fine if I had turned off atime--the nightly updatedb must be killing it. Too bad the OS it is currently attached to supports neither bad sector support nor the noatime mount option.

May 2002: The drive has died, of course. It makes strange clicking noises periodically, and does not respond to I/O requests.

2017: I still have some of the disassembled pieces of this drive on my desk. It's a monument to the hugeness of disks back in the day!

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