[SATLUG] Average lifespan of an Adaptec SCSI card?

FIRESTORM_v1 firestorm.v1 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 22 10:28:12 CDT 2009

That's a good question Jeremy:

I still have a couple of AHA1542B/CF cards (the old 16bit ISA ones
with the eleventy bazillion jumpers which are still alive and have yet
to fail.  They have outlasted several motherboards and procs and
refuse to die.

On the other hand, I've also had new hardware suddenly and without
reasonable cause for explanation just die, some of which has been in
hardware I've had for ages.

I guess it's luck of the draw sometimes, a flawed design that doesn't
come into play for months/years or a once in a lifetime defect that
wasn't an issue on first installation that suddenly without warning
causes something to give up the ghost.

I am noticing a trend however and this is a bit of a scary one.  The
move from the surface mount Quad inline pin (QIP?) package and surface
mount Dual Inline Pin (SOIC) methods of mounting components to the
newer Ball Grid Array (BGA) method  appears to cause some significant
hardware failures recently.  I'm sure that regardless of whether or
not you own one, you've no doubt heard about the RROD (Red Rings of
Death) concerning the newish Xbox360s with failures ranging from HDMI
not working to all the way up to processor failure or RAM failure.

The issue has been found to be the heating and cooling of some
components over time causes the BGA mount to begin to seperate and
momentarily lose contact, causing the RROD in Xboxes and while
research hasn't been able to pinpoint a specific manufacturing
technique that is producing the failed components, it has been
suspected that there is definitely something amiss with the whole BGA
thought for mounting some heat-generating components.

The whole idea behind using BGA is to cut down on a chip's package
size but not have to cut down on the amount of pins available to the
PCB for a particular device.  The thing that concerns me is that if
the Xbox360's are the most notable product suffering from this issue,
what other components have also been experiencing this but aren't
diagnosed well enough (or made public) that could also be suffering
from this same issue?

I know that my nVidia card in my laptop is BGA and I had to replace
that with one that I had from another laptop of the same model and
make and while the processor in my laptop is a regular pin-style
(complete with small ZIF socket) I can't help but wonder about the
chipset which is also BGA.



On Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 9:58 AM, Jeremy Mann<jeremymann at gmail.com> wrote:
> After 6 years of faithful service, our Adaptec SCSI adaptor (Adaptec
> 3410S Ultra160 4 channel) may have bit the dust. Over the weekend, 2
> of the 6 drives failed and were marked as Dead. I have replaced those,
> however, the server keeps kernel panicing at random intervals with
> regards to the dpt_i2o driver (kernel SCSI driver).
> This server is our secondary backup server and it has been online and
> operational for quite some time. In fact, its the one server in our
> lab with the highest uptime, until this weekend.
> We didn't lose any data other than the operating system so I can bring
> the system down for testing, pulling cards, etc...
> My question is, under this typical data center environment, what is
> the average lifespan of a SCSI card (or a SATA card)?
> --
> Jeremy Mann
> jeremy at biochem.uthscsa.edu
> University of Texas Health Science Center
> Bioinformatics Core Facility
> http://www.bioinformatics.uthscsa.edu
> Phone: (210) 567-2672
> --
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