Hybrid Hype

After I post this article I will be switching back to my old legacy hard drive. I was afraid this would happen.

When hybrid drives became available I followed the reviews obsessively, I could not wait to get one. Yet the reviews kept warning about poorly implemented firmware and erratic behavior. Then came the Seagate Momentus XT ST500LX003. Seagate did not manage to communicate the changes in the new model but obsessive research revealed that the new version had a full 8GB of SSD vs. the 4GB of its predecessor. Reviews stated that they had fixed their erratic firmware. The interface supported a full 6gb/s. It was time to move. With 8GB of SSD my whole system folder could fit on the SSD and then some! A “smart” firmware that goes further than that could only be better right? … Wrong.

After I installed the drive I immediately noticed improvement, super fast, and that lasted for about a week, maybe even two. I was reveling in the same joy that I had read in the reviews. Yet around week 3 I started to notice that my hard drive light would stay on, not blink, just solid on for 5-10 minutes at a time. Within a week of that this solid light was accompanied by system paralysis. I’ve now spent several months trying everything I can think of to stop the madness and renew the bliss of the honeymoon days.

From defrag to reboots, from searches for utility programs, to task manager. If I could only find a program that would let me move C:\WINDOWS permanently to the SSD portion of the drive and bypass whatever algorithm was so dreadfully flawed as to render my machine slower than with a 5400rpm dinosaur. Yet there appears to be no resolution. Random freezes, usually when I’m doing something important, have become a part of life.

With practice I’ve narrowed down a few things that cause this to happen more often. Sleeping the computer is a sure way to have to wait 5-10 minutes for the spasm to subside. Since my machine reboots in 2 minutes it makes sleeping the computer pointless. However, reboots also trigger the spasms… as does Chrome, the program that I use more than any other. Which should have earned it a permanent spot on the SSD if the mystery “algorithm” was worth diddly, but as usual there is so little accountability and Q/A beyond a 24 hour burn in test that it’s a sure bet that time will reveal lots of flaws.

So if you want to take your chances with bad tech, then we have one for cheap!

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