Sharp MM 1 Hard Drive

My Sharp PC-MM1-H3W laptop came with a Toshiba MK1503GAL 15GB 1.8" hard drive that began to fail a few months after I took ownership of it. This showed up as "lost interrupt" messages under Linux accompanied by noises of it spinning up and down. Sometimes it would kick in again and everything would resume normally, but more often than not it would lock up entirely. It gradually got worse until the point where I was barely able to use the computer.

I ordered a 20GB Hitachi drive from ebay, but was distressed to discover that Hitachi drives have a male connector on the long side, whereas the Toshiba has a female connector on the short side! Fortunately, the Hitachi came with a USB2.0 enclosure so I've been happily using it as a backup and storage device.

I then ordered a MK4004GAH (40GB) drive for about $200 from a dodgy mob called Priority Computer. Another MM1 owner pointed out to me that the GAH drive was twice the height of a GAL drive, so I freaked out and asked Priority Computer to supply a GAL part or a refund. They ignored me and shipped the drive. I asked if they'd provide an RMA number and a refund. They ignored me. A bit dispirited, I ordered a MK2004GAL (20GB) drive from Dell USA for about $150.

Both drives arrived at the same time. The 40GB drive was indeed twice as tall as the 20GB. The laptop is already ridiculously thin and I couldn't imagine it possibly fitting in.. but I tried anyway! It was a bit of a squeeze, but after some shoving I got the screws back in. The case felt like it might all explode out but now that it's all back together it isn't bulging at all. Best of all, it hasn't lost any interrupts and it's 25GB larger than before! Worst of all, I have a spare 20GB drive that cost me a lot of money.

Addendum: Six months on, the 40GB drive is starting to show signs of failure.

Addendum: A year and a bit on, and the laptop stopped accepting a charge and died completely. The drive still works when the computer is in its cradle and plugged into another machine via USB, so I can still use it as a very large and inconvenient external drive.

Addendum: Apparently Linux's laptop mode can make drives spin up and down way more than they're designed to and fail. Details are [[here ->]]. I did once read that the MK drives were rated for spinning up and down rather than continuous usage, though. So who knows?

Addendum: I Googled a bit recently and found someone else with the same issue. Someone suggested that they clean the battery terminals and try charging it again. I'll have to try this one day if I can find it.