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IBM GXP Problems: The Truth Exposed and Possible Fixes

By: Asher Moses | Editorials in Storage | Posted: Feb 12, 2002 5:00 am

Freeze Spray Experiments


I brought a 250g can of Dick Smith Electronics (popular nation-wide electrical store in Australia) Freeze Spray for this project that only set me back around $16 Australian dollars. Its purpose was to try and keep the controller chip cooled at temperatures below freezing level, roughly around -50 degrees Celsius according to all accounts.



I think it would be a funny party trick. Just imagine walking around spraying people on the back of the neck and watching them jump! The "Keep Out Of Reach Of Children" warning should really be reworded to include myself... ;)


Freeze Spray is a non-conductive material and designed to be sprayed directly onto electrical equipment such as motherboards and the inside of TV's to detect faulty chips and circuits while operational - The chips which don't thaw out are faulty. This is visible since the white coating of frost on chips evaporates on the chips that heat up when they become operative, meaning these chips are functional.


In my experiments, the controller chip we've been talking about throughout this article was the quickest to thaw out thus proving it is the hottest operating of all. Here's a picture of what I've been talking about...



I tried this on the controller chips of my faulty IBM drive and it didn't really help, at all. Its effect was actually counter-productive. The drive doesn't even power up anymore. So, it goes without saying, I highly recommend everyone avoid this method. I'll be replacing the circuit board of my faulty HDD drive with my existing working IBM 60GXP drive. It's a shame this method of freeze spray cooling doesn't last hours on end at high temperatures, it could bring a new and much quieter meaning to "CPU cooling technology".




The aim of this article was to increase the general awareness of IBM Deskstar 60GXP and 75GXP has the problems which I have been explaining to you in this article.


I'd personally like to encourage IBM to update all of their Installation and References manuals with inclusions of the cooling we have proved is needed for these drives to operate reliably. Aside from this, IBM should also issue a press release so fewer victims are claimed.


I hope everyone enjoyed this brief article; it was never designed to be an extensive essay of how hard disk drives work, just to serve as a pure warning. If you are a user of 60GXP or 75GXP drives, I strongly suggest you get some cooling for them immediately before it drops like a fly.


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