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My Western Digital Caviar 22100 hard drive is fast and spacious (5,200 RPM,
11ms access). But, is it reliable?

In late 1997, playing some wave files in Cool Edit would stop the system
cold. A system reboot confirmed the problem..."Your disk may have bad
sectors. Press a key to run ScanDisk". It went through fine. I got that
message again, but it didn't finish...it was on pace to take days, so I
went on Western Digital's web site and downloaded the WDDIAG program. I let
it scan the entire drive. It stopped after finding 10 bad sectors and I
told the program to "fix" the sectors. Actually, the bad sectors are marked
and spare sectors are used. After that, the program scanned the drive again,
but it gave up with "Too many bad sectors. Contact WD Tech. Support." I
requested an RMA number from WD's web site and got the number 2 days later.

I was assuming that one of the platters were deteriorating. Bad spots
popping up everwhere.

It was around two weeks between the time I shipped the drive to Western
Digital to the time I recieved a replacement drive. This replacement is
currently outlasting the original drive that I got in late February 1997.

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