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Welcome to my blog, which was once a mailing list of the same name and is still generated by mail. Please reply via the "comment" links.

Always interested in offers/projects/new ideas. Eclectic experience in fields like: numerical computing; Python web; Java enterprise; functional languages; GPGPU; SQL databases; etc. Based in Santiago, Chile; telecommute worldwide. CV; email.

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Scavenging 2.5" Disks

From: andrew cooke <andrew@...>

Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2012 11:08:21 -0300

There are no 1TB 2.5" disks in Chile.  Well, almost none, at a reasonable
price.  The availability of imported goods is always variable here (isolated
geographically, with a small market, so you get the "shot noise" of single
boatloads), and I guess the problem has been exacerbated with the floods in

But there are a lot of external drives available.  In particular, PC factory
has the Verbatim Titan and the LG XD7 available for the reasonable price of

I needed two (both a disk in my RAID and a backup disk failed) so I bought one
of each (the theory being that I would open whichever seemed easier for the
RAID and use the other over USB for backups).

The Verbatim looks and feels really nice, in a rubber case, so I forced open
the LG.  With a sharp knife, care, and perhaps a little luck, you can prise
open the LG case without damaging it, and inside was a Toshiba disk - not a
great disk (DMA-5, ~5000 rpm), but a usable one.

Happy, I rebuilt my RAID and then started doing backups.  But the Verbatim USB
connection is unreliable.  It may be a compatability issue with Linux; it
doesn't seem to be the disk itself (SMART looks fine).  So I decided to open
that up too.  And it opens up really easily - there's a flap that's simply
held down with double sided sticky-tape.

Unfortunately, what is inside is a USB disk!  For real.  It's not SATA - the
disk board has a USB connection.  So it's only usable as an external disk.

Moral of the story: buy the LG.


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