I have an older Dell E520 that I've been using as a sort of development server. Over the last 6 months I've had two hard drives and 2 DVD drives fail in this box.

Is this just really bad luck? Is this box just cursed, or could there be something else causing the failures? Maybe a bad power supply?

  • Either a bad PSU or really nasty AC supplying it
    – Moab
    Dec 31, 2010 at 2:48

1 Answer 1


Bad power supply, or even bad power to the system, causing over- or under-volting.

Replace your power supply, and run off clean power (you can get a reasonable UPS for a reasonable price).

  • Incidentally, I refer to undervolting as "brownouts" and get funny looks. What does everyone else call that?
    – user3463
    Dec 31, 2010 at 2:48
  • I've always said "brownout", but undervolting is more obvious, I guess. Probably the safest option. Dec 31, 2010 at 4:18
  • I guess it's just semantics, and funny looks aren't always a bad thing. At least you get noticed :-)
    – user3463
    Dec 31, 2010 at 4:19

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