I have an old Titanium that has bad sections on the drive. This isn't my main system, I use it to check e-mail, listen to a voice mail server, etc. It's basically a semi-retired, but still useful. Some weeks ago I while using it I started getting spinning beach balls periodically. I thought the systems memory was all used up but Activity Monitor told me otherwise. The system was also making some noises when it would slow down.
After doing some research I came across this article:
The noise they refer to as a "chug-a-chug-a" noise was exactly what I was hearing, so I went ahead and bought their drive testing tool Scannerz. I ran the program and the drive scanned perfectly until about the last 3GB of the drive. When entering this realm, Scannerz, which had been moving along very speedily suddenly slows down. Irregularity counts, which were at 0 suddenly start increasing at about 1 per second. Then Scannerz slows down even futher, then the error increment goes up. This happened through the last 3GB of the test.
I put Scannerz into probing mode and did a test of the last 3GB of the drive to determine how severe the damage was. After about 15 min of testing I cancelled the test because it was quite evident that the damage in these areas is quite extensive.
This are really a 2 questions I have:
Part 1: The drive in this system was replaced from it's original 40GB to an 80GB drive some time ago. The 40GB drive wasn't big enough at the time to hold all my stuff. I ended up putting it in an iBook. I would guess around 2006. The 80GB drive only has about 50GB used on it.
Here's question 1: If this thing is using ONLY 50GB of space, why is it causing me problems in the 77-80GB range? I thought the operating system wrote things sequentially keeping everything nice and orderly.
Part 2: This system is old and I don't want to replace the drive. IDE hard drives are now commanding a premium price (twice what SATA drives cost) because a good, new one is hard to find. A new IDE drive would likely cost more than computers like this are selling for on ebay. This system is so old that I know that one of these days I'll open it up and a puff of smoke will come out of it, the LCD backlight will be dead, or it just won't turn on. This will happen, probably within the next year. The thing is already 11 years old.
With that said, what I'm thinking about doing is partitioning the drive to EXCLUDE the last 3GB. I figured I could split the partition up into one 77GB volume and a 3 GB volume, then delete the 3GB volume.
If I did this, would it completely eliminate the bad region of the drive from being accessed by the OS, and thus put an end to the spinning beach ball problems. I think it will. Can anyone confirm or dispute this?