A couple of month ago, my main working machine had some hard drive problems. I didn't remark anything initially. It all showed up, when the drive didn't show up anymore.
Unfortunately, that drive was my development drive: all my recent and current projects were stored on it. So when it faded out, I was happy that I made daily backups...
So I thought... but in fact, the hard drive problem didn't happen only that day, but also all the other days. But only when using the drive for a long time. The result?
Well... During day to day operation the drive worked as expected. I didn't encounter any problems (until the fatal day). But when the drive is used a lot (like when doing some backup and zipping up 2gb of data/source code) the electronics heated up and started to create some read failures which were NOT reported by the hardware and software. For them, everything was just fine. So corrupted data was packed up and then stored on my server.
There I was... no HD and corrupted backups since end of July.
I found a company in Brussels which sent the HD to a facility in Spain. They managed to read the ALL data from the dismounted HD plates. It took 5 days (including UPS pickup and delivery) and cost ~1600 Euros.
I didn't want to run again into such a heating<->HD problem, so I decided to build a new machine. The old machine wasn't a slow one:
Q9550, 8Gb DDR2 Ram, 2 TB HDs, Ati HD5870 + GF8400GS (for a 3rd monitor).
i7 870, 8GB DDR3 Ram, 3x OCZ Vertex2 128 GB SSD, 1x Corsair SSD-F129GB2, HD5870+GF8400GS
I obviously had to change the motherboard.
Basically I only pulled over the power supply and the graphic cards...
2 weeks ago the power supply started having some problems: Whenever I started the computer, it would try to power up, stop, retry to power up, stop, etc. It took like 5-6 power ups before the machine started as should.
Additionally, the onboard fan of the HD5870 started to make some LOUD noise.
This morning I had some time free, so I went to a hardware store and bought a Thermalright Spitfire + 14cm fan + Thermalright VRM R5 + a new BeQuiet power supply. The installing instructions weren't very clear about the ram cooling thingies, but after 1h everything was installed and up running.
The machine starts without a glitch and first tests show that the HD5870 doesn't heat up to more than 41?C under heavy stress.
Ah yes... startup time from Bios screen to Win7 desktop: 19 seconds :)