Stupid question, I know.

I've had a very odd pattern of failure with a number of drives in the same system. One broke >10 months ago, I chalked it up to old age. Then I had one break last March or April, one point to the AC coming back on (vent is blocked now), zero to the drives.

However, during this time I was steadily having to unplug things from my battery backup as the battery aged out. Just before the previous drive failed, the battery backup flipped out while the system was plugged in and really rapidly cycled power on and off. That battery backup is done and I have a new one now. The PSU hasn't been replaced but it got thumped around a bit.

I've also had a few kernel panics recently. I thought these were due to the UPS because I had 3 in a week while on the UPS, then none for 2 weeks off of the UPS, but I switched back on to double check and have only had 1 in 3 weeks.

Unlinked to the kernel panics, which get a soft reset, the drives are disappearing from the bios until I shut off, wait 30 seconds, and power back on. I'm not getting S.M.A.R.T. errors on them or any real warning, they're just disappearing while the system is on, which freaks Linux out, then reappearing after a long power cycle.

I'm having a bit of trouble believing I'd have 3 disks in a row all die by firmware on the same drive controller and power supply without one dying a horrible mechanical death. I can replace everything about the system but the hard drives, however, I can't chuck the entire thing out. What do you guys think's going on here?

(I was on the fence on getting one of the 256 gig Samsung 830s, this convinced me. And since the drives are playing zombie with me, I'm managing to pull my data off of them.)