19 October 2006, 00:30 by mark hoekstra

dying ibook-drive

click to enlarge

A couple of days ago I was having a look at somebody else’s iBook... and because I had my head in disk utility and such, all of a sudden I discovered my own 20GB tiny whining ibook-drive was dying (SMART-errors)... So, even though this is always bad news, this time I had the time to go out, buy another drive and put that back into my little green ibook. The drive I put in is a Samsung 80GB 5400RPM. There was hardly a price difference between that one and the cheapest 40GB-drive.

But, replacing the drive was the easiest part as it seemed… My guess was to connect the old drive via firewire, by the means of a harddisk-enclosure with USB and firewire, and image the whole thing onto the new drive… But… it seemed there already were some errors on the disk and no matter what I did, Disk Utilty wouldn’t complete it’s task… I tried Disk Warrior but that one also wouldn’t have a go on my old drive, too many errors… It seemed I really didn’t wait too long to replace the drive after all, although I hadn’t noticed anything in particular in OS X itself.

Any way, after long hours on this ‘problem’ to get my old install onto the new drive, the solution which worked for me was the following. I partitioned the drive in three parts, installed Panther (which I have on CD-Roms and my iBook doesn’t have a DVD-drive) onto the second partition. I booted from that and then I could image the old disk, which I connected by firewire, with good old dd

dd bs=512 if=/dev/disk2s9 of=/dev/disk0s10 conv=noerror,sync

more info here

disk2s9 is the bootpartition on my old drive
disk0s10 is the bootpartition on my new drive

Once the image was in place, I booted in single-user mode and ran fsck until the drive seemed fine…

So, next to the fact that my old ibook has a fresh drive now, are there any other differences?

Output from Xbench:

a while ago on my old drive:

Disk Test 11.45
Sequential 26.00
Uncached Write 22.30 13.69 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 23.75 13.44 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 34.19 10.01 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 26.56 13.35 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 7.34
Uncached Write 2.26 0.24 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 22.16 7.09 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 31.50 0.22 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 38.33 7.11 MB/sec [256K blocks]

and now, on the new drive:

Disk Test 26.85
Sequential 42.42
Uncached Write 42.76 26.26 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 50.55 28.60 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 32.39 9.48 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 49.35 24.80 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 19.64
Uncached Write 6.50 0.69 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 58.93 18.87 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 53.66 0.38 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 70.83 13.14 MB/sec [256K blocks]

well, that’s quite an improvement! So much even that my old G3 ibook now got a score of 15.33(!!!) in Xbench... which, ahem, means it performs at roughly 15% of what a dual G5 2.0GHz is capable of (and that’s already obsolete nowadays!)... *^_^*

Well, and what does Bates think of all this?

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  1. ocke @ 19 October 2006, 01:31 :

    Fallen asleep!? What a twat by not paying attention, he could have learned so much.

  2. Chris @ 21 October 2006, 22:30 :

    I think she thinks your iBook is so slow it makes her fall asleep in comparison to the G5…

    Cats can be such twats…

  3. involutaryhaxor @ 22 October 2006, 14:57 :

    Bates is so uber cute

  4. Ferret Simpson @ 30 October 2006, 10:24 :

    Yes, Bates is verrrry cute.

    Mmmm. . G3. PPC FOREVER!!!

    I’m trying to acquire a G3 14. It’s SOUP UP TIME!!

  5. Laurence Anderson @ 24 February 2007, 21:43 :

    I’ve got my hands on a 700MHz G3 SnowBook, and I’m running Xbench on it right now, with a final score of…


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