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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Apple Drive Modules (ADM) for G4 xServe

Apple Drive Modules (ADM) for G4 xServe
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JMII
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Jun 25, 2005, 04:08 PM
 
Just had a 120GB ADM fail in our xServe ...OK no big deal it's part of a mirrored RAID and other drive is still running fine (plus we have tape backup as well). So I head over to Apple's website in the hopes of ordering a replacement ADM and guess what - they don't sell 120GB ADMs any more.

Now what to do?

Can you simply replace the drive itself? It appears to be nothing more then IBM Deskstar 7200 RPM 120GB Ultra ATA/IDE (Parallel) drive in Apple's custom ADM sled with Apple HDD Firmware 2002 on it (whatever that is). It seems these drives are now made by Hitachi, is that what I should get?

Or could I just drop ANY 120GB IDE Ultra ATA100 7200 RPM drive in... for example a Western Digital from Newegg is $105

- John
     
schalliol
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Jun 26, 2005, 01:03 AM
 
My understanding is that you want a SMART compatible drive, which should be most any drive you note. Since you have the module that slides in, you should be able to replace the drive alone and use the module, but I've never done that myself. Hitachi bought IBM's drive line, so that's the confusion between the Deskstar. People like to have the exact same drives in arrays, though it's really not necessary, but you might look for the same part number as the one you have. A note of caution, you want a fast drive that is going to be reliable. People have different opinions on brands of drives, and you might [dare I say] hop over to MacGurus [.com] forum to ask them their opinion. Look for the specs on the drive you have at least and ensure that the access time, throughput, buffer, and transfer rate is as good or better than the drive you have.
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mousehouse
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Jun 26, 2005, 02:57 AM
 
also, even though drives from a different manufacturer might list the same size (eg. 120GB) real-life gives slightly different real sizes that can be off by 10's of MBytes. why care? you already have a RAID array, adding a drive smaller than the original will fail to rebuild the array as the target drive is to small. that will force you to do a complete restore from tape after recreating the RAID...
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schalliol
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Jun 26, 2005, 06:19 AM
 
Having a smaller disk wouldn't be good, but a bigger one ought to be able partitioned for less. That said, I haven't used Apple's software or hardware RAID, esp. on an Xserve.
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tooki
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Jun 26, 2005, 10:51 AM
 
I would buy a 160GB drive -- that way, though some space will be wasted, you'll be sure not to run into the problem mousehouse described.

It shouldn't really matter what brand the drives are. I happen to prefer Seagate because they offer a 5 year warranty on internal drives, while almost everyone else offers just 1 year. (Hitachi gives 3 years.)

tooki
     
Luca Rescigno
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Jun 27, 2005, 12:07 AM
 
Given that it's $5 extra for a 160 GB drive over a 120 GB one at NewEgg, I think it's worth it. Tooki recommended a Seagate and I agree. NewEgg has the 120 GB 7200.7 for $75 and the 160 GB version for $81. The difference in price is almost nothing so I'd play it safe.

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ChrisF
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Jun 27, 2005, 07:35 AM
 
I've used some RAIDs which require all the drives to be identical... even down to the firmware of the controller on the drive. I don't know if that's the case with Apple but it might be worth checking with them. Another solution- an expensive one- might be to buy a 120GB ADM for the G5 xServe and put the drive in your G4 ADM drawer.
     
JMII  (op)
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Jun 27, 2005, 08:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by ChrisF
I've used some RAIDs which require all the drives to be identical... even down to the firmware of the controller on the drive. I don't know if that's the case with Apple but it might be worth checking with them. Another solution- an expensive one- might be to buy a 120GB ADM for the G5 xServe and put the drive in your G4 ADM drawer.
Yes the drives had to be the same - we have an extra 180 GB and even after partitioning it Apple's RAID software refuses to resync the drives.

The G5s ADM are SATA while the G4s PATA so I can't go that route either. It seems these IBM Deskstars are complete junk, so this is the drive I'm looking at:

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/specs.aspx?EDC=676354

Specs wise it's the same drive, my only fear is have the exact capacity once formated. I guess the other option is to use a different RAID solution, one that will allow me to use 180GB drive I have now... I'll look into that as well.

Thanks.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Jun 27, 2005, 09:12 AM
 
Another option is to just buy TWO new drives and... um... figure out something else to do with that extra 120 GB drive.

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tooki
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Jun 27, 2005, 10:36 AM
 
The Deskstars aren't "junk" -- they had one faulty model (and even then, only those units built at one specific plant), all the rest have been totally fine.

I'd still go for the Seagate -- the fact that they warrant it for 5 years means that they don't expect many of the units to fail within that time period. No other drive maker seems to have as much faith in its products.

If the RAID system won't allow a bigger drive, it's not going to allow anything but an identical drive, and that WD won't work.

I'd sooner suggest that you buy several identical drives (probably as many drives as you need in the RAID, plus a spare), and I'd go for the Seagates.

tooki
     
JMII  (op)
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Jun 27, 2005, 12:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by tooki
The Deskstars aren't "junk" -- they had one faulty model (and even then, only those units built at one specific plant), all the rest have been totally fine.
Well this the 2nd ADM containing an IBM Deskstar that has died on us within three years, the first one lasted a grand total of ONE month So my confidence in them is shot.

It seems the only way to fix this is to buy TWO drives at this point... but $200 worth of drives sure beats the pants off Apple's insane price which would total $1,000!
     
ChrisF
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Jun 27, 2005, 12:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno
Another option is to just buy TWO new drives and... um... figure out something else to do with that extra 120 GB drive.
Actually, it would probably be best to buy several since they're so inexpensive and put the extras on the shelf for replacements when the next fails, so that this won't happen again.
     
mousehouse
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Jun 27, 2005, 02:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by JMII
Well this the 2nd ADM containing an IBM Deskstar that has died on us within three years, the first one lasted a grand total of ONE month So my confidence in them is shot.

It seems the only way to fix this is to buy TWO drives at this point... but $200 worth of drives sure beats the pants off Apple's insane price which would total $1,000!
indeed the IDE Deskstars have the worst reputation. I've actually had three of them fail. first one was the new one that lasted 6 months. the second one was the refurbished replacement drive that died in two months. the third one spent some time collecting dust, was finally put into service and died 4 months later, just after the warranty on the original drive expired and we couldn't get a replacement drive.

we're not buying any IBM (now Hitachi) drives if we have the choice, it's our company policy.

as for the apple drives, guess you're out of applecare? probably best to buy the needed amount of drives plus one or two spares.
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JMII  (op)
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Jun 28, 2005, 08:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by mousehouse
as for the apple drives, guess you're out of applecare?
Yes, this xServe is over three years old... still seems strange that we can't get 120GB ADMs anymore, but considering thier cost and poor track record I'm almost glad to see them go

I've got spare drives but they are not the same size, thus Apple RAID will not work with them. Now if we run into this problem again I'll just switch to SoftRAID and use a partition of the larger disks we have sitting around to create equal sized mirrors. Just seems silly that Apple RAID doesn't support this simple option
     
daiSho
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Jun 28, 2005, 11:39 PM
 
i watched so many of the deskstar's die an early thermal death in rackmounts (not Xserve's) over the years they lived up to their unofficial nickname... deathstars..
     
   
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