Laptop Drives - Less robust?

Went into a local computing shop today and inquired if they had any gaming mouse mats in. Nope, doesn’t stock any mouse pads as they’re a personal choice and he never had ones that people wanted (one’s with simpsons on or it’s not square enough etc)

Fair enough.

I then asked about his laptop drives and what price they were as I want to use one in my low powered mini-itx server (currently booting and running Debian very well off a 4Gb compact flash card connected via a IDE/CF adapter)

“Why” he asked?

So I can keep the power consumption of the rig to a minimum. He then argued with me saying the seek times would be slow (yeah I know, that’s cos it’s a 5400RPM compared to a 7200RPM drive and he recommended I buy a 10K RPM drive) and that the drives aren’t as robust as desktop drives. And that the laptop drive was more likely to give out after 3 years than a desktop drive.

Now I would have said the opposite that laptop drives should be MORE robust as they get carted around the place more often etc. Is there any truth to this?
It’s not going to stop me getting a laptop drive and then a 3.5" converison kit as I want the low power, don’t need the space of a 500Gb drive (hell I’ve just bought a main rig with 1Tb of storage!) and can afford to lose the data on the drive if it blows up 3 years down the line. Was just wondering if he knew what he was on about or I should leave the shop well alone in the future?

He also refused to believe I had a 17x17cm fanless CPU + motherboard running my server and the whole shebang using less then 30W. :rolleyes: God bless Via chips :smiley:

I have some small ish laptop drives kicking about…

free to a good home ect

nowt wrong with them – He just wants your money.

Ha dmore desktop drives fails than 2.5 drives

He wasn’t gonna get it regardless! £60 for a 120Gb laptop drive? Even PC World can undercut that…

Arguably I haven’t had as many 2.5 inch drives as 3.5 inch ones, but in my limited experience I wouldn’t say the failure rate was much different.

Apart from two Maxtors ('nuff said?), I haven’t had any 3.5 inch drives go. On the 2.5 inch front, one 40 GB Seagate 4200 rpm drive died suddenly under 24/7 use. A Seagate 40 GB 5400 rpm drive I used to replace it has been fine for a similar period, as is a 30 GB Hitachi.

Only observation I have is that, even at same capacity and spin speed, lappy drives do feel slower to me than the equiv 3.5 inch drive. But I never quantified this. Then again, if you’re building a low power box, I’m guessing bleeding performance isn’t a requirement anyway…

For fun, would a home brew SSD be any use? Maybe a pair of high capacity CF cards with IDE adapters and raid 0 them?

For fun, would a home brew SSD be any use? Maybe a pair of high capacity CF cards with IDE adapters and raid 0 them?[/QUOTE]

Mackeral, I’d using a CF card currently and it’s been working fantastically well. Nip over to my website and see it running. It’s a minimal Debian install using the network boot running Lighttpd as the webserver.

I want to add a bit more room to the machine though and I’m unsure to either head the 80/120Gb 2.5" drive or another IDE adapter and 4Gb CF card.

The whole project of building the server was aimed at me having a bit of fun, hence the Via CPU and not a Skt A etc. My thoughts was I shall be now using the server as an FTP server and adding some more dynamic content with MySQL and PHP and thus disk load would increase and I didn’t really want the CF card to fail early.

Thanks for the offer Wallis, but I’m gonna buy brand new I think.

I’ve got to weigh up the pros and cons of a laptop drive or another CF card… Was wanting to change the OS to Ubuntu over Debian as whilst basically the same, Debian has some quirks I’m not used to over Ubuntu (like the list of Sudo’rs)

Were you tinkering? :stuck_out_tongue: Site wasn’t loading for a while but just did.

I was thinking you were looking for space if you’re thinking of moving from CF to HD. Hence I was wondering if multiple CF in raid 0 might provide extra capacity and performance at same time, particularly as even fast CF cards are not so fast.

I wasn’t tinkering no. I think it’s a problem I have because the server is currently under 100% load running BOINC and sometimes it wont give up enough CPU to allow the webserver to serve pages up :stuck_out_tongue: That should be sorted when I’m back in Leeds to fiddle with it.

I was wanting the more space to be honest. Thats the main move. What I said above does hold true but 80Gb of space will happily allow me to back up my music and documents to it and use it as a document fileserver whilst at home.

For RAID, I’d be looking at a RAID card would I not? Specifically a PCI one?

I don’t know which mobo you have, but if it doesn’t have onboard raid (unlikely on Via mini-ITX) then it’ll be an add in card and all that comes with it. But if you’re after capacity, the 2.5 inch will be easier :slight_smile:

Hardware RAID sounds like it’ll be a pig to setup in Linux. Unless I buy a card I know WILL work in linux.

Ah but a 2.5Gb will increase the power consumption (slightly - by about 2.5W according to here but it’ll increase the noise slightly. And I’m not to convinced a 2.5" to 3.5" drive bay adapter will be free from vibrations…

Decisions. :frowning:

Modern 2.5 inch drives are practically silent and low vibration.

Probably not cost/capacity effective, there’s 1.8 inch drives on ebay. Not used one myself but might be a power saving there.

I’ve taken a few old laptop drives out of machines with dead motherboards and put them in usb caddies. They go in a backpack along with my laptops and me on my mountain bike to work. Drives are listed good to how many G??? I doubt a fall from a table top is going to get close :slight_smile:

USB a 2.5", mount it in your current Debian, make sure you place the swap on it as it will be quicker than CF. That’s pretty much what I’ve done to the slug, boots onto the 2Gb stick, swap is on the 2.5" (or nfs on some of the slugs in the office_ and things re pretty nippy, admittedly one user at a time is fine, concurrency struggles.


Cheers DT, I’ll have a play next week. :thumbsup: