Re: SUMMARY: Strange SCSI disk errors on Wren IV: Sparc SunOS 4.1.1

Date: Thu Jan 23 1992 - 19:36:15 CST

For once I'll break the rules and reply to the list:

Fact 1: If you have a Wren IV and need to re-format it under SunOS 4.1.1,
        strange things may happen. If you get messages from format about
        cylinders far beyond the actual physical size of the disk, you've
        struck dirt. Don't ever expect to use that disk again. Don't ever
        expect anybody to tell you why! Not Sun, not Seagate, not your
        friendly vendor. DON'T WASTE ANY MORE TIME ON IT. Far too many
        people have done so already. (Except of course, if you're a

Fact 2: If you have a disk that starts making "SPIOONNGG" noises at you,
        the disk is a "goner". It may live for awhile, but you'll get
        more and more error messages, and finally your machine will be to busy
        printing these messages to do anything else. The "SPIONNGG" noise
        means the disk head is actually *hitting* the disk platter, not a
        very good thing for the disk platter.

Fact 3: We have observed that this is far more likely to happen if the disk
        is sitting on the same electric circuit as a "neon lamp". We, and
        some other sites I know, have been hit very hard by this. The cause
        was a new, "environmentally friendly", neon table lamp that the
        university bought for us... It may be worth your time and money to
        check this if your site uses neon table lamps.

(I hope the list maintainer hasn't returned from the Usenix party, yet ...
If he has, I hope it was a great party, and he's in a forgiving mood :-)


Jan Berger Henriksen
Principal Engineer
Institute of Informatics E-mail:
University of Bergen
N - 5020 Bergen, Phone : 47-5-544173
Norway Fax : 47-5-544199

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