Fujitsu Refurbished Drives
page edited: Friday, October 16, 2009

Matters concerning GreatDeals00, acting as Best Deals Anywhere, of Lancaster, California, and of eBay and Fujitsu, in relation to hard drive purchases.

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Important: Sunday, January 13th., 2008: Jas, of GreatDeals00 offered a total refund, less one already done regarding a UPS snafu. This implies, without a doubt, that he was scared about the details that I had placed on my website. He must have been apprised, via eBay, of what I had written. This prompted him first to offer me the drive price, and then to agree to my request for the offer to include postage. It occurred after he had firstly answered an email I had sent a month previously. My reply started this bargaining dance.

The monetary part was immediately, almost, placed in my PayPal account.

Read into this what you will! My conclusion is that it is a clear admission of guilt.

January 21st., 2008: Have returned the pages to a state allowing others who have contacted me to understand where the problems arose. This is certainly allowable, a part of the freedom of speech.

Those not dealt with as I have been, do need to have a source of information to help deal with their own disasters.

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The drives are all nominally Fujitsu 147GB U320 SCSI, model MAT3147NC, of which 18 have been bought from this dealer, and of which 6 have failed. Nominally is the true adjective because the images that appear on the eBay listings are all without a drive cover. No label is ever shown, in contrast to the advertisements claiming all drives are of Fujitsu origin. This dealer is the dominant seller of 147 and 73GB U320 drives on eBay.

The main reason for purchasing off eBay is to obtain the best deal for the dollar, given my finances.

I have emailed Jas at GreatDeals00, both directly and through the company's sales department and have heard nothing in return. I contacted the police (sheriff), by phone, in Lancaster, which resulted in them stating that I could only take civil action. The person I spoke to was regretful about this.

Prior to these events criticism on winning item feedback, on eBay, regarding his labelling of items resulted in him banning me from bidding.

I have had one drive replaced by GreatDeals00, which proved faulty, and has never worked. I would be happy to forward one or more of these drives to Fujitsu for analysis.

If necessary, I shall complain to eBay once more, because the reliability of these drives is abysmally poor. I may also determine if the police in San Diego would be interested. That eBay will not entertain informing complainants about any conclusions smacks of Star Chamber attitudes. As one of my remarks in a TimeLine entry states, regarding blogs on the New York Times, eBay/PayPal is problematic both for sellers and buyers.

Currently, six of eighteen 147GB U320 drives purchased have died. The 73GB U320 drives I bought have given no trouble so far. Two drives bought from other sellers were replaced: one was the wrong size, and the other was replaced without a murmur. That was a Maxtor, which, naturally, shows up in any form as what it is, as do other drives. Only those drives supplied by the GreatDeals00 organisation provide improper information.

On Thursday, January 10th., at approximately 19:30hrs, I took a screen seize of eBay offerings of 147GB hard drives. This is a large image viewable by clicking on the thumbnail. It is apparent by counting those drives with the rising sun alongside the coverless drive, that GreatDeals00 is by far the most common vendor within the parameters shown:


It is possible at any time to visit the eBay site and search with 147GB or 73GB under Computers and Networking to reveal the number of drives sold by this vendor as genuine Fujitsu drives.

Note that I am a senior citizen, on a pension, who works on people's computers and on his own network of machines, researching software and hardware. I have had long experience of computers going back almost fifty years, from mainframes to minicomputers, as the PC was called originally. I have had an especially long relationship with SCSI objects, in my opinion clearly superior in design compared to ATA and similar on an historical basis.

Nearly all of the following information can be found on the TimeLine pages for 2007 and 2008: additional information that is added below is in italics.
 

The email address of the person who is purportedly the manager at GreatDeals00: This person has the name Jas, no surname provided at any time: [greatdeals00@yahoo.com]
The given address, on the shipping documentation, is:

357 E Ave K-8 Unit 103
Lancaster CA 93535

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September 28th., 2007: I received the final drive for my eServer xSeries 220. Problems occurred with the drive, because it wanted to be regarded as basic only, and after googling for information I found this, with attendant comments. These notes were added to both the Dell and the Petri XP forums:

This is regarding a problem with dynamic drives on a Dell Precision, but becomes related to problems with drives from GreatDeals00:

A possible cause of this problem is maybe a result of the drives used.
This is from Google Groups for comp.sys.sun.hardware, where the following was written:

"Ebay. http://stores.ebay.com/The-Best-Deals-Anywhere <--- I've bought
all mine at this dealer. Price depends on the other bidders. Shipping
is always $15.99 with no combined shipping discount though if you order
multiples you can contact them by email to get the ORDERS combined into
a single payment and they will box them in a single package. I paid
under $60 each total with shipping.

They are refurb Fujitsu drives that come back showing up as "ModusLnk"
drives. Under Linux the 73GB drive shows as "ModusLnk MXJ3073SC800600X
5704" and the 147GB drives show *ONLY* "ModusLnk" with no serial/model
number. I need to play with that a bit as it's giving me fits
identifying the drives. Hot-swap is twitchy because drive
identification is VERY slot specific when they show no identifying
serial numbers for udev to pick up on.

I can't find any info on ModusLnk. Full drive refurb right down to the
firmware though."

I have discovered in my Microsoft boxes, especially the Dell Precision, that these drives can cause problems because they lack model and other recognition enablers. These are drives that the seller states are particular Fujitsu model designations in the eBay listings. When one receives the drives, either ModusLnk or Qualitas is shown as labelling, and nothing other than that, except in the eServer, is shown in device manager. The only drive in the IBM eServer that gave me a problem was a ModusLnk with no identifier. The other two ModusLnk 73GB U320 drives had a model designation, and gave no problems. The one that did could not be kept dynamic, and kept giving me a 'name illegal' when trying to access it under Windows Explorer. When I changed it to basic, it worked fine. The opposite to what my problem was in the Dell with the U320 147GB drives.

September 29th., 2007: These are the hard drive allocations for Durham and Devon:


Note that for Durham, XP Pro SP2, above, each of the 147GB drives is simply listed as ModusLnk, as does the properties box for each device, and they are enabled by default. For Devon, W2kAS SP4, below, the 15k ModusLnk drive has no details, and is the one that can't be made dynamic, but the other two 10k 73GB U320 drives do show details, and are as dynamic as they were when installed, and as they are when checked in Disk Management.  Odd, indeed. The Maxtor drives noted are PATA 40GB.




Fascinating, if this is one of the reasons I've had so many problems. Note that one of the 73GB Maxtor hard drives in the Dell gave me the dynamic drive snafu, not just the 147GB ModusLnk/Fujitsu varieties. The other Maxtor 73GB was cloned using Acronis software from the original Fujitsu 36GB as the XP Pro boot and system drive. Both of these are basic drives. I retain the 36GB drive in case I have problems: it would be easy enough to reinstall or clone it.

Given what the quotation above states, it will be interesting to see how the Adaptec 3200s, in the Compaq ML570 G server, to which I shall attach four U320 147GB ModusLnk drives (the eBay seller, Great Deals, quotes them as Fujitsu as usual) to begin with, copes with lack of details/serial numbers. These drives are currently in transit.

Currently, the upper cage in the ML570 has four U160 18.2GB drives which I want to replace with the larger drives. If I am successful, then the remaining slots in the cage will receive two more 147GB drives and the two 36GB U320 drives currently in those slots can be moved elsewhere. I shall then attempt to expand the RAID-5 arrangement to encompass all six U320 147GB drives. If that works then the six Ultra2 80MB/s 18.2GB drives that occupy the lower cage will be replaced by more U320 147GB drives.

I do hope that everything works, but sod's law applies inexorably.

I downloaded from Fujitsu a Windows diagnostic tool (right click to download), which failed to recognise any of the drives in the Dell. Apparently, and not unexpectedly, the ModusLnk refurbishing removes all identifiers in the drives. As the blurb above mentions, one cannot find ModusLnk on the Web. Only references to problems people are having can be discovered, mainly not in English: I really wonder about that. These drives are readily available on eBay from the US vendor. I really don't know if ModusLnk is a sub-contractor to Fujitsu or otherwise related. I am at a loss to understand why the vendor can quote them as being Fujitsu and they patently are not. When properly installed they seem as good as anything else. I shouldn't press my luck, should I?

October 1st., 2007: Now then, there is not a problem with dynamic drives, as I had thought, on the eServer. I have used Disk Management again and changed the ModusLnk, the one with no other descriptor, to dynamic. Although it would not accept the name I had given it immediately after altering its type, a reboot brought the drive up named and usable in Windows Explorer. Disk Management added the usual 8MB unallocated space to the end of the drive. I have copied and deleted files and installed a programme using this drive and everything works properly. So, what now with the Dell? The Compaq ML570 will be used for the next Fujitsu/ModusLnk batch of purchased drives.

The next drives to arrive will be the four 147GB U320 from Great Deals, aka Best Deals Anywhere (see above). There are other suppliers on eBay, and I will attempt to capture a couple from one of them and ultimately determine their usability. Mix and match, no doubt, to test them all.

It will be interesting to see what happens on the ML570. But, given that although the Dell works well, I will not add a RAID card to it if the computer cannot allow dynamic drives and possibly be unusable, although external attachment to a drive array is a possibility.

October 5th., 2007: Four U320 drives arrived today, sent via UPS and not by USPS (note the difference!), which resulted in a significant increase in the average cost of these items won on eBay. This is my current argument with the vendor.

They were placed in the ML570, Cornwall. Firstly, Disk Management was used to delete the volume for the old set of drives (six 18.2GB Ultra-2). Secondly, the Adaptec Storage Manager was used in Windows to break the RAID-5 arrangement in the lower cage. While the computer was still running, the four Ultra-2 drives I decided to replace were removed and de-sledded. The four U320 drives were themselves sledded and placed in the relevant slots.

Then the computer was restarted, and at the proper moment Ctrl-A was pressed to bring up the Adaptec 3200s administrative screen. The four new drives were chosen, and set as a RAID-5 arrangement. When the other two U320 drives arrive they will be used to expand the storage total. On the left below is a thumbnail of the Adaptec screen, showing how the drives are currently delineated:

Note how the drives in the images above delineate these nominal Fujitsu drives. Some have an obvious BIOS classification, others do not. All were sold by GreatDeals00 as real, refurbished Fujitsu models, the labelling does not tell one this, since they are all either ModusLnk or Worldisk, with no other identifiers.


After the machine was restarted and loaded up Win2kAS, Disk Management was used to format and name the new RAID-5 unit. No problems at all, even with the ModusLnk denominators. So, the (RAID) drive space has been enlarged successfully and there was nothing like the disaster that happens on the Dell Precision 650 when installing any drive. Above on the right is the Device Manager of the Dell, showing how the drives are mentioned in hardware. Compare this lot with those in your own machines, they will normally have information similar to the Maxtor drives. Unless they're ModusLnk too, of course. For comparison purposes, the IBM Device Manager (eServer x220 8645) is shown in the centre above. Note where the 15k ModusLnk has no information cf the two 10k U320 73GB drives. This is a recap of what was shown earlier in September.


Note that all of the new drives for the ML570 were dynamic to begin with, and remain that way. The Adaptec 3200s has had no difficulty with these U320 imports.


I shall test my abilities when I try to import the next two drives, one after the other, and find out if Windows and Adaptec drivers allow seamless expansion. If one looks at the Adaptec image, Channel 1 will become totally ModusLnk, and, in time, Channel 0 will be similarly afflicted. Possibly, the two 36GB U320 in Channel 0 will go to my back up Domain Controller (the BDC, Lancaster, is also SCSI, currently U160, based).

October 15th
The other significant thing that happened today is thankfully rare: one of the four new U320 147GB ModusLnk drives died in the RAID-5 array in Cornwall, the W2kAS domain controller. (I have contacted the vendor to see if I can obtain a replacement.) The neat thing, however, is that Windows still sees the storage space as if the whole array was still viable.

I had tried to copy something over the network and the operation failed because it couldn't reach the RAID drive. Then, on a reboot, the Adaptec card set off its audible failure signal. Ctrl-A revealed a failed drive, and a degraded array. However, the machine started up and Adaptec Storage Manager was opened to check the situation. I had removed the drive before I thought of making an image of the Adaptec screen with its big red X where it designated the drive in Channel 1 (1:01:0) of the lower cage as dead. An image of the array can be seen in the entry for October 5th., above. Some of the current drive assignments have altered, but not with regard to this particular RAID-5 array.

Of course, I immediately copied all of the newer data, using xcopy, to other storage destinations on my network. There are two drives at the Post Office, and one will replace the failed drive. I need to acquire even more drives to fill the cages to my satisfaction. This unfortunate event is a temporary glitch before that can happen.

October 15th., 2007: An interesting time with the drives and the Adaptec 3200s RAID adapter. I picked up the two drives at the Post Office. I returned home and placed them in the lower cage, alongside the remaining three U320 147GB drives. I decided to try the supposedly dead drive in slot 6 (id 5). There was a major problem with a small (1.26MB) drive at ID 06 apparently a part of the particular RAID-5 set up, and this was giving the system fits. I removed the 'dead' drive, and set up the two new drives in the Adaptec Storage Manager in Windows, after using Disk Management to see what it had found. I managed eventually to gather these five drives into a running RAID-5 array, that is building at its snail like pace as I write this. The tiny drive disappeared entirely at some stage. It must have been a part of the 'dead' drive.

One extra thing is that I had copied off all of the data this morning, and therefore there was nothing new. The phantom tiny drive that was shown in Ctrl-A screens caused me to delete the original RAID-5 array and recreate it. I have no clue what caused the drive error, it could have been dust, an electrical brown-out or equally easily something else entirely. Whatever it was it caused this particular drive to play dead: I think the tiny volume appeared at the beginning of the drive, and the necessity to have equal volumes throughout the array obviously caused the Adaptec failure indication.

Placing the supposed dead drive into the top slot in the cage resulted in it being recognised within the Ctrl-A Adaptec DOS set up, and it seems to work. I shall add it to the array when it finishes its build. At the same time as it's building it allows me, under Win2k, to copy all of the data back. After all, one has to try everything to determine what or what's not allowable. After 16 hours, the build is at 24%, truly snail like even though Adaptec Storage Manager Pro states it's running at 'high speed'. At this rate adding the sixth drive to the array will not be possible for another two days.

October 16th., 2007: Below is the status at just before 3pm today. Looks like tomorrow evening might might come before completion of the build of the five U320 147GB drives into a RAID-5 array. Then is the time that I can import the sixth indicated in the Channel 1 cage. The upper cage should, within two weeks, have four more of the ModusLnk/Worldisk drives installed, which is why, right now, the sleds in Channel 0 contain JBOD 18.2GB U160 SCA drives. They are unrecognised in Windows except for one which is large enough to contain the folders needed at the moment to run the machine without Services errors arising.

One other item I discovered in the Adaptec 3200s Ctrl-A pages: all of the ModusLnk are at revision 5704, except for 1:01:0 which is 6688. There are some differences between drives, I see. But, no software or BIOS on the other computers containing ModusLnk drives gives anything like this degree of information.

October 30th., 2007: The drives for the ML570 are slowly arriving so that I can update the total storage space available in the upper drive cage. Two to go.

One drive was seemingly acting up, of the drives already present, but a format and reactivation and a deletion of missing drives in Disk Management has cured that. I had forgotten to remove the indicator in Disk Management for drives that have been replaced in the cage: doing that cleared the error report. Note, in the image above, that there are minor differences in the total space available for each nominal 147GB drive. Note also that one of the Fujitsu/ModusLnk/Worldisk drives has no model number. Sometimes that will cause problems in an array. If it's the only one here, that shouldn't hurt. Chip sets are obviously not equivalent throughout the examples in the cages. So far, so good.

The drives arrive one by one because I don't want to use UPS, since the brokerage fees at the border from their third-party partners is extortionate, as I have previously mentioned. We'll see if the array for the upper cage can be built starting some day this week. I expect the building of the RAID-5 array to take about three days. When completed it will provide enough space for mostly anything I can dream of.

November 18th., 2007: I have emailed Fujitsu Canada to find out, if they respond, what connections with ModusLnk they are aware of. If not, I'll try Fujitsu Japan. Here are three images showing, firstly, the current drive arrays in Cornwall, the ML570 W2kAS AD Domain Controller, and, in the other two, some of the purchases I have made recently on eBay with the relevant naming of the drives by the vendor:

The beginning of my problems with GreatDeals, Jas bans me from bidding around this time: simply because of my approval of his sales, but disapproval of his naming infraction.

It should be clear that all of the drives from Best Deals Anywhere, appearing on eBay under the name of greatdeals00, are offered as Fujitsu, and are delivered and appear anywhere as ModusLnk. The right-hand image above shows three purchases of U320 147GB drives which include statements that they are Fujitsu models. There are no hits for ModusLnk drives on Google that allow one to determine where in the world they are made, other than, more likely than not, somewhere in Malaysia. The drives do work, but I wonder about the ethical standards perhaps involved here.

Note that an earlier Adaptec ASM Pro illustration can be found above in the entry for October 16th. The lower bay is basically completed, with the addition of the larger drives, and the upper not. But, the interesting point is that there are HP drives below a Fujitsu and Compaq SCA examples. These are genuine articles, presumably.

Also, see September 29th. And, for October 5th: the two right side images can be opened to show that the nominally Fujitsu ModusLnk drives show up strangely and the other drives, eg the Maxtor pair of U320s in Durham, show up as they really are. Interesting, what?

See the latest image, above left, to show the current delineation.

November 19th., 2007: The strange thing about the apparent transaction blocking of my bids on the hard drive supplier is that actual activity on items for sale has dropped significantly. I wonder whether there is a computer glitch somewhere. I have emailed eBay and Best Deals Anywhere about this apparent anomaly. It would be nice to find out that I had done nothing wrong, because, in fact, I can't think of doing anything untoward at all.

The hilarious blocking situation can be compared with the feedback from this company, relating to the many drives purchased there, that obviously means nothing at all, as shown by the remarks on this image:

Later today: it would appear that I am in fact blocked by Best Deals Anywhere, because of my negative drive transaction feedback comments. Positive but negative, you understand. I was never advised that this would happen. The hint of appalling protocol arises.

Note that I was made aware today (in a phone call) that Fujitsu only refurbishes its drives in their Japanese manufacturing plants. These ModusLnk examples are/were likely refurbished ex-OEM drives, so they could have come from anywhere in the world.

November 20th., 2007: Came home from a Microsoft Seminar,  Unified Communications Launch 2007, to do with Office Communications Server, Office Communicator 2007, to find that no word from GreatDeals00 had arrived. So, I have opened a dispute under PayPal's aegis.
This is the text, that the vendor receives:

Hello,
Two drives received: one of them has not worked, it failed on installation. I have requested RMA and been contacted twice but no other proper response. I have kept all relevant emails and documentation.
Vendor has blocked me from bidding, because I refer to the drives as ModusLnk not Fujitsu. My feedback otherwise has been generally positive, which the vendor has concurred with.
Fujitsu is the name by which the items are described for at least both sizes of drives I have purchased, viz 73 and 147 GB U320 SCSI.
The vendor will be reported by me to Fujitsu if this charade continues. (Whoops! done that, already). I have a 100% record, and have been honest with every purchase made with this or with other vendors.
I believe the action taken by the vendor to ban someone who is properly describing goods when using feedback to be unethical.
There should be an ability to demand punitive damages.
I hope that this problem is resolved quickly.
Regards,
Paul Dickins

In the PayPal object boxes:
ModusLnk in BIOS not Fujitsu
Either this or the other drive proved faulty producing an Adaptec warning signal on start up with one server. It gave a predictive failure message when placed in a Dell Precision with an LSI U320 BIOS, causing an immediate reboot.
This or the other drive, whichever, because there are no distinguishing marks or labels regarding serial or model number on any drive of this nominal example.

Furthermore:
The information in the PayPal report might be garbled, because after I had finished my screed and copied it to WordPad, there arose a time out. After logging in to PayPal once more, I copied and pasted after going through the reporting procedure, but it might not be as I wrote it. PayPal are remiss in creating a time out especially when one is trying to write accurate text on a critical matter.

November 21st., 2007: The SpinRite pages on Gibson's site tell one that modern drives cannot be low-level formatted. This contraindicates what Jas at GreatDeals00 asked me. I had not done a format, and won't, even if the clattery noises that arise are symptomatic of platter or chip control failures. It is, like every other drive that is of late manufacture, of any kind, a SMART drive, and can predict failures, and this clearly is what happened.

I decided, after all, to run the low level format, which was done on the ML570. It failed, see below in the body of the email sent to GreatDeals00. Lots of work for nothing.

Consequently, my response to Jas' latest email was this:
Hello,
The low level format was run, and failed. Even though on a Compaq ML570 the drive was regarded as optimal under Adaptec 3200s adapter Ctrl-A set up pages, the drive was not thereafter available in Windows 2kAs SP4+. The drive, in Disk Management, was regarded as unreadable.
Neither, would a Compaq ML350, using a SCSI hot-swap cage, when the drive was installed there, even allow boot up to continue, since the SMART activator on the drive announced an imminent failure, this after, I repeat after, the format had taken its several hours to run.
The only option was to reboot.
This page, on Gibson's site, the originator of many good programmes, offers the statement that low level formatting is impossible on all late model drives:

http://www.grc.com/sr/faq.htm

Therefore, given the charade that has occurred and the work that I have undertaken to prove this drive is unusable, I reiterate that I should have a new drive sent to me asap.
I am thinking of sending this drive to Fujitsu to determine if they can deconstruct what has happened to it, especially what happened when it transformed itself into a ModusLnk object.
Please advise soonest. And, once more, I reiterate that this is the only drive of about a score that I have obtained from your store that has failed.
Plus, I need another 147GB U320. You could throw one of those in as a peace offering, methinks. Not a joke.

END of message.

November 24th., 2007: Here, concerning the ModusLnk Fujitsu dead drive scenario, is my latest email reply to Best Deals Anywhere:

Sir,
This is unacceptable. Did you actually read what I wrote you regarding what was necessary to prove to you that the drive was dead?  

You have prevaricated at your end, failing to send me a reply to earlier emails about the drive, and only doing so when I complained to eBay. Therefore, why allow me a mere 7-day limitation in returning the drive?  

In fact, I require that you send me the drives before I return the dead one to you. Then I can be sure that what I receive is in good condition. You can have no qualms that I would not honour my obligation. This email is copied to certain people who are aware of my good character. (Also, see the final statement below.) 

Further, I have been on your eBay greatdeals00 feedback pages.

I have determined that _most_ of the complaints have indeed related to U320 147GB nominally Fujitsu drives, especially those sent to customers in bunches. Most of these disappointed customers also realised that they were not receiving genuine Fujitsu products. It wouldn't be so bad if you would admit this was the case.  

Does eBay know what is happening? 

I wonder too whether all of the other complainants have been blocked from bidding as I have been. That is an unethical stance; and I doubt that eBay would be in favour of such censorship. 

Note that I was not joking when I mentioned that you should add an extra drive to compensate for the convoluted way you have been attempting to deny your responsibilities. 

I will be contacting Fujitsu immediately (I have already been in contact with them about certain technical issues) unless you do the decent thing, and admit that these drives are not wholly of their manufacture: that, indeed, they have been modified by a third party. Otherwise, this is blatant misrepresentation, is it not? 

Finally, one latest point: most genuine vendors have a website and an attendant email that is not related to webmail and suchlike impermanence. 

Regards,
Paul Dickins 

-----Original Message-----

From: Jas [mailto:greatdeals00@yahoo.com]
Sent: Saturday, November 24, 2007 2:09 PM
To: Paul Dickins
Subject: RE: FW: You've received a question about your eBay item, Fujitsu 147GB 10K SCSI HARDDRIVE MAT3147NC U320 80 PIN

Paul 
Send the one drive back within 7 days and we will replace it.. I have attached and RMA form..
END
I am, if the vendor does not play, obviously intending to send the bad drive to Fujitsu. If that happens, then they can check the innards and find out what goes on with regard to these ModusLnk drives when they are received from whatever source GreatDeals00 (Best Deals Anywhere) discovers them.

November 26th., 2007: The Dell will not reveal any USB flash drives in Windows Explorer. If one has a programme window open and go to Save As, then both USB drives present in the front connectors on the Dell, are easily seen as Removable Disk J: and R: in the image shown below:

The Adobe Photoshop Album software opens its dialogue box and reveals those files it can find that are images. If one adds another USB drive then refreshing the APA dialogue box will show the new drive. One can copy files or folders between the USB drives in, say, Word's Save As dialogue box.  However, one cannot find the Removable Disk objects in Windows Explorer. Nothing that I have found can cure this. It may require a fresh install of XP PRO SP2 later on, to see if that stops the nonsense with USB and dynamic drives, and an insufferable inability to save consistently using IE 7. Or to use xcopy or similar command scripts.

November 28th., 2007: Here is the label on the ModusLnk defective drive:

Malaysia, eh? I don't know, because no one else does either. I have bought an upgrade and now have SpinRite 6. I shall try and run the programme against this drive to determine the problem. Whereas most genuine drives produce information in the BIOS at start up, this drive does not. No proof that this is the serial number.

December 6th., 2007:
Nothing arrived from GreatDeals00 (Best Deals Anywhere) so far. The drive was supposed, by the vendor's promise, to take only 1-3 days to arrive here. That was a statement made in an email from the vendor on November 26th. I have received another drive bought elsewhere in California after this date and it has already arrived and is waiting for a hot-swap tray for installation into Lancaster. It should have had its partner here before now, qué?

Because the latest PayPal email, received late this afternoon, concerning the defective drive and other matters, stated that the trouble ticket would elapse if not dealt with, I placed this blurb this evening in the additional text box of the trouble ticket form:

Hello,
This case has not been resolved to my satisfaction.
a) The replacement drive purportedly sent November 26th., 2007.
b) If I do not receive this drive, and if another one is not sent to make up for the inordinate delays wrt the defective drive, then I shall be contacting eBay and Fujitsu (Canada, US and Japan offices, for which I have received contact details), to hammer out why these drives are listed as Fujitsu, but are in fact ModusLnk, a refurbisher, and why I as an honest, 100% eBayer, was banned on bidding by this vendor. All that did was invigorate my position.
And, as I suspect others had the same action taken, have had my comments hidden from the feedback. This is dishonest activity.
Regards,
Paul Dickins

Also, PayPal has sent me an email that, of course, includes a name but not a phone number. How do they expect to service people without proper interaction? Here's their response about instant transfer fubars:

Dear Paul Dickins,
Hello my name is Jayne, I apologize that you feel your question has not been answered. As I was unable to determine your question from this email, I read through the previous correspondence. In reviewing your account, I see that there were two payments where instant transfer payments from your bank were declined by our statistical model for risk.

PayPal reviews every transaction before it is approved, and occasionally, we must limit funding options for a given payment. All aspects of the transaction, including the merchant's settings and PayPal's statistical models are reviewed in making this decision. From time to time, these complex security measures may affect some accounts in good standing. I regret any inconvenience this may have caused. (Editor's emphasis)

If this is not what you meant by 'payments to vendors that PayPal forces with no warning,' please contact me back with further information so that I can address your additional concerns.

Thank you for being a valuable member of the PayPal community.
Sincerely,
Jayne
Consumer Support
PayPal, an eBay Company

Original Message Follows:
------------------------
Form Message
Customer Subject: Change of payment without customer options
Customer Message: Additional Information:
'Hello,
No good your company sending me a contact phone number if one cannot ever contact someone to actually talk to.
No one has answered my problem with regard to payments to vendors that PayPal forces with no warning.
Plus, some of the statements relating to PayPal actions, for example refunds, do not relate to the actual situation.
Regards,
Paul Dickins'

Clearly, their statistical modelling is faulty, because they must have software taking the decisions based on algorithms the company has decided are useful. I wonder who the mathematicians are, because the parameters are obviously incorrect when dealing with my account. Not only because the transactions are inexpensive, but also because I have a 100% record with eBay.

Then again, back to GreatDeals00, I receive an email (within ten minutes of posting the information about GreatDeals00 shown at the start of today's screed) from PayPal stating that I am being refunded. Where in fact do I stand in all of this? How can the vendor state that he has sent a drive and now states that I will receive or have received a refund?

Well, time will tell about the actual drive, since my PayPal account has been credited for the last two drives I ordered from the company. Good grief!! I will be very surprised if a drive does turn up. If not, then the company personnel lied, but I can see no reason why. It only leads to further problems for them.

December 7th., 2007: The fifth anniversary of the death of my mother. Tempus fugit.

Two items arrived: one worked, one seems destined to fail. The two 1GB ECC 133MHz DIMMs were placed in the IBM and work. The same vendor sent me a 73GB U320 drive which gives me, at boot up, the message that the drive has exceeded the failure prediction threshold. Oh?

Not to worry, not yet. The DIMMs in the IBM released some there to be placed in another machine, a Compaq ML350, Lancaster. That worked, and the latter machine now has its maximum in allowable RAM. 

So, even though I had to invoke Directory Services Recovery Mode to fix an lsass.exe error, after replacing the 36GB with the 73GB (the drive with the error), and use NTBackup to restore the system state, the main server, Cornwall, still works. I shall run SpinRite in level 4 to see if it can fix the start up error for this new drive.

Not that it should matter unduly, since I have, this evening, won a genuine Fujitsu drive off eBay, that will be held to replace today's arrival should it prove unreliable. I ran SpinRite on level 2 and it revealed nothing wrong. I then started a run at level 4, and it will take about 12 hours.

December 8th., 2007: SpinRite ran overnight and into the morning on level 4, checking the drive. The conclusion: no errors. The drive has been running now in the machine for over a day and is not showing any signs of quitting. Here are two relevant images:

Clicking on the above produces an image that shows the health of the drives under Disk Management. Oddment is the EISA partition at the end of the Daffodil drive. Daffodil is the device in question, a U320 73GB replacement for a U160 36GB SCSI drive. The second image shows Device Manager and Daffodil is the Compaq BD0728856A indicated.

There may be a problem with a chip either in the adapter BIOS or in the drive. I shall try to find diagnostic software.
There were two 36GB drives that I wanted to move out of the ML570. The one is standing by, but the other 36GB will be removed when I install Windows 2003 Enterprise and use ASR to enable another U320 73GB installation as the boot/system drive. It's easier to the pocket , since, for example, purchasing the server version of Acronis, though undoubtedly easier to use, would cost about $1,000. ASR (Automatic System Recovery) comes with the OS.

December 9th., 2007: Back to square one: it was necessary to remove the 73GB U320, because of the warning and the fact that it stopped the boot up process every time. The original 36B U160 was put back and, of course, works as well as it usually did. Then, one ModusLnk giving the system fits, a Seagate version was installed as a replacement in Cornwall, the ML570. The RAID array is rebuilding.

Will have to see what the vendor of the HP/Compaq 73GB U320 comes up with. On the other hand, I'll try it in the other Dell to see if native U320 drivers make a difference. Unlikely.

Update: the final ModusLnk that comes up without any model delineation failed today in Cornwall. Therefore, the RAID-5 array had to be rebuilt, but with four Fujitsu/ModusLnk U320 147GB, since none of that size were available. On the other hand, the peculiar U320 72.8GB U320 drive was installed in the cage, and promptly started to behave correctly. It is, as can be seen in this image, next to the newly installed Seagate.

Consequently, I shall have to berate GreatDeals00 once more about the quality of these drives. Not only fake but refurbished badly. It would seem that those that only come up in the SCSI BIOS of any machine I possess with the cryptic ModusLnk designation are of poorer quality than the others.

There are none of these particular drives remaining in my systems. There is an image on November 18th., above, which shows the presence of the ModusLnk that died today. It's the only one there with no other designation.

December 11th., 2007: There have been three, plus the one that replaced another that died, of the score of 147GB U320 drives sold by GreatDeals00 (Best Deals Anywhere) that have failed in the past week or more. There has, of course, been a good reason for me to contact their company again. Notwithstanding that it is too early to expect a reply, if one is indeed to come, I thought it might be instructive to show a few images. This morning, around 0840hrs, I decided to visit eBay and check 147GB drives.

The first image is of some of the drives that were available.
Please note that six, those with the rising sun next to the word Fujitsu, are being sold by GreatDeals over the next few hours. 
Note particularly that every drive image is of the bottom of the article, or the cover has been removed, but in whatever case never is the label apparent.
There will be many more offered by the vendor today and every day, both under this search, and in other areas, such as 73GB drives, with the same failings that are revealed below:



 

The next two images are of the drive that is fourth from the top in the picture above, from Unity Electronics:

 

Both images above and below taken from the vendor's page


It is clear that although the drive shown above is nominally Fujitsu, the vendor clearly states that it is refurbished. Note that it says Worldisk on the drive label. That is one of the same type that is shown on all GreatDeals drives that I have received.

Now, look at this image taken from the vendor description for the first, or any other of this vendor's offerings of any date, that shows how he describes his wares:


Here I believe that I have shown verifiable false advertising. Note the clear statement in the blurb that 'We offer top quality merchandise at very competitive prices. You can be confident that you will receive only the best quality products and services from a trusted eBay seller'.

Given that so many of GreatDeals00 drives have failed, I think that they are clearly of inferior workmanship, refurbished as they are. I hope that no more of them collapse: indeed, I would wish that they 'learn' from their compatriots installed in my network of machines.

It does state in the advertisement that it is factory reconditioned and is in like new condition: but that infers official factory, Fujitsu reconditioning, not some sweatshop deep in the once forested Malaysian zone. Also, the Buy It Now price of Only $169.99 is not exactly comparative to the overall intention?

None of the other drives (i.e. not supplied by GreatDeals00) have failed in at least five years. That plainly shows that even if they were used when I took ownership, their reliability is of far greater magnitude. 

This is a most important fact: reliability is normally excellent, and I have received many second-hand drives, none of which have failed in a significant time limit.

Off today to CAA, because I had another fubar by PayPal, who charged an item to my Credit Card and not to the preferred monetary source, my bank. That meant that my CC balance was fractionally lower than the charge for my TechNet subscription. I shall have to top off the CC and resubmit my purchase. There is still time to obtain the, $100 off the original $349, promotional offer.

Tuesday, December 18th., 2007: The vendor continues to ignore me, so I am thinking of involving the LA police/sheriff's department. I did, yesterday, regale eBay concerning this scenario of pathetic drive quality. They responded by thanking me, and there may be developments with the 'Jas man'. I do hope so, because even if I can't be refunded what I have so far lost, in kind or in geld, taking his false goods off the market would be a good Christmas present for eBay customers. And for Fujitsu.

2007/2008 boundary

Friday, January 4th., 2008: GreatDeals00 indeed. The last two zeros imply something. Yet another 147GB U320 drive is giving me problems. I have bought too many drives to be fooled by thinking that the failure rate of this vendor's goods is normal. Four of eighteen of this capacity have now failed. Given my experiences with other drives, of all types, whatever this dealer is selling are fake goods.

Here is the email I sent to GreatDeals00 today:
The first two paragraphs are taken from the advertisement on eBay for a typical sales pitch by the vendor:

Best Deals Anywhere welcomes you our ebay store. We offer low prices with great quality products everyday. All auctions start at .01 and we have new products coming in daily. We are one of Ebays top sellers so you can bid with confidence each and every time. We have served over 200,000 customers and counting.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to email our customer service at sales@greatdeals00.com. We pride ourselves on offering the best products and service possible.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Here is my statement 

The above is taken from your ungrammatical blurb contained in an offer for a Fujitsu 147GB U320 drive selling today.

Yet another of the eighteen drives of this capacity that I have bought from your store has now failed. This makes five when one includes the replacement drive that never worked.

Your advertisement states that you are selling Fujitsu trade-marked drives. Small print states that they are refurbished.
You never mention that they contain a re-engineered BIOS that never allows Fujitsu to appear, and that the labels never state Fujitsu.

It is clear from the amount of goods sold by you that people are being scammed. That the feedback states how happy they are is ridiculous: they can have no idea what they are buying.

It is also clear that eBay profits from your sales, and are in collusion since their Rules for Listings include these two categories: keyword spamming and misleading titles. You are in clear violation of said rulings.

This email is being copied to several other interested parties. I will continue to pursue this matter until you admit your wrongdoing and provide me with replacements of the quality that your advertisements claim.

Sincerely,
Paul Dickins

End of email

I had, late last year, approached eBay: their statement that anything they do must be kept private, given that this vendor's drives constitute a significant proportion of all of the U320 drives sold within their structure, means that the money they make from him clouds their thinking. The problem is serious: I cannot afford to have drives fail like this, for any reason.

Here is the email sent to me by eBay after my complaint:

Subject: LP62825 Your recent email to eBays Trust and Safety Department (KMM277117862V53246L0KM) Received: Dec-18-07
From: eBay Customer Support Expires: Jan-17-08
 
Dear eBay member,
Thank you for your report.

We will thoroughly review the listings you have reported for violations
of eBay policy. We sincerely appreciate your efforts to report such
listings or posts to us.

Please keep in mind that account information is confidential. Therefore,
whatever action we may take will be between eBay and the seller. We will
not be able to keep you abreast of any developments
.(my emphasis) If we determine
that the listing does violate policy, we may choose to: 

- send the seller an informational alert;
- remove the listing or post; or
- suspend the seller.

Account suspensions are usually reserved for those sellers that
continuously disregard policy.

If you would like to review other Listing Policies, please visit:
http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/listing-ov.html

To report any other listing violation, please visit the link below:
http://pages.ebay.com/help/contact_us/_base/index_selection.html

We appreciate your concerns and we thank you for helping to keep eBay a
safe and reputable forum in which to conduct business.

Sincerely,
eBay Customer Support
_____________________________________________

Whether you're new to eBay or an experienced buyer and seller, the eBay
Security & Resolution Center can help you protect yourself on eBay and
online. For more information, please click the "Security Center" link at
the bottom of most eBay pages.
_____________________________________________

For our latest announcements, please check:
http://www2.ebay.com/aw/announce.shtml
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
End of email


I am not happy about this Star Council attitude for customers; where can one determine that eBay actually looks at one's complaints?

If one goes to the New York Times, please search for eBay problems in the blogs thereon. Illumination will appear.

Tuesday, January 8th., 2008: I was woken in the night by the sound of an alarm. It was the ML570, and the source was the Adaptec 3200s adapter. On it was a Jas man 147GB U320 that had failed, and I was being told about it. Not another one: so, I arose and for a couple of hours worked at replacing the drive and starting on the build for a new array.

Thursday, January 10th., 2008: Awoken at 06:00 hours by the Adaptec 3200s: yet another of the Jas man's U320 147GB drives has failed. This was probably why the array was taking such a long time to build. There was only 2% completed after two days, and when I checked visually last night the faulty drive that gave notice this morning had its drive action light on constantly. Should have reasoned why, shouldn't I?

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