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Old 11-08-2012, 12:19 PM   #1
Shephard
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Default Which hard drive brand do you trust?

Do you trust a specific brand, do you choose whatever is the best price, or do you go with the best warranty?

Mfenn and I talk aobut hard drives in my topic in general hardware.

Right now I have 500gb Western Digital Blue SATA 2. It is out of warranty but still going strong 5 years now.

Everytime I look at hard drive reviews on newegg many people get dead on arrival and even the second hard drive after RMA comes dead!

I see people complain there hard drive only lasts 2-3 years and then it dies after the warranty is expired!

What do you say is the best, or is there not one?

Western Digital Black 1 terabyte has 5 year warranty. I think it's the fastest 7200 rpm drive to with SATA 3 and 64mb cache. I hear it's really loud though.

thanks
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:31 PM   #2
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Short answer:

Avoid Seagate. WD and Toshiba are the other options in this not-very-competitive market. If I had to buy based on brand alone, I'd go with Toshiba--they can't possibly be any worse than Seagate, and might even be better than WD.

Long answer:

There have been two big studies of consumer HDDs used in data centers (Google and CMU) and neither one would name names. However, Backblaze did name names in a blog post and they said they had good experiences (and no failures yet) of Hitach 5k3000 HDDs whereas Seagate and WD--even WD RE HDDs--would fail or drop in and out of arrays more often.

Unfortunately Hitachi doesn't make HDDs anymore; they sold their HDD stuff to WD, except 3.5" production (due to anti-trust regulation), which they sold to Hitachi.

Since Samsung sold out to Seagate, there are only three major consumer 3.5" HDD makers now: WD, Seagate, and Toshiba.

Toshiba may or may not dilute the quality of product from Hitachi's standards--it's too early to really know. In any case their consumer 3.5" HDDs appear to have 2-3 year warranties. If Backblaze was onto something, and Toshiba keeps quality at Hitachi levels or better, I would say Toshiba is the brand to get, but without more information it's hard to say for sure.

Seagate by dropping its warranties to 1 year on most consumer internal HDDs is probably signalling something, because presumably if they had more confidence that their warranty liability wouldn't seriously increase by going from 1 year to 2 years, they'd have at least a 2 year warranty. Seagate's handling of problems like the infamous 7200.11 series also speaks volumes as to how they value (or don't value) customers.

WD has also dropped warranty durations for most HDDs, to 2 years, rather than 1 year. Some of the upper level ones like Red/Black/VelociRaptor/RE HDDs get 3 or more years. I suspect WD's HDDs aren't much more reliable than Seagates, but the extra warranty is valuable. I've personally had HDD failures from Seagate, Samsung, and WD all get repaired under warranty, saving me hundreds of dollars, and until recently I didn't even have that many HDDs!
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
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Avoid Seagate.
I would agree with the exception of low-RPM drives from Seagate. Those don't seem to have near the same failure as their 7200RPM counterparts.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:01 PM   #4
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I heard Hitachi drives were good as well.

I don't know anything about Toshiba and I use to have an old Seagate IDE that died.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N4g4rok View Post
I would agree with the exception of low-RPM drives from Seagate. Those don't seem to have near the same failure as their 7200RPM counterparts.
I am not saying you're wrong or that Backblaze is always right, but Backblaze wasn't impressed by any of the Seagate or WD drives they used, including low spindle speed drives. In any case, I think we need to punish hard drive makers that skimp on warranty, so out of principle I absolutely refuse to buy any drives with less than 2 year warranty. Preferably 3. In fact all of the HDDs I've ever bought have had 3+ year warranties, including the most recent six 3TB HDDs that I bought (Hitachi, Toshiba, and WD Red).

Companies only listen to money, so vote with your wallet!
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:21 PM   #6
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All of my HDD in my server are Hitachi. Pity I built the server and haven't set it up yet.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:21 PM   #7
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I don't put my trust in brands as I've seen all brands fail. I've also seen enterprise drives fail as well. Back up your data and go with the longest warranty length you can afford.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:24 PM   #8
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For the last decade I have only used Seagate. No real good reason, just habit now, but I originally switched to them after Maxtor had a run of really crappy drives and I ended up with one of them.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:33 PM   #9
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So 3 year warranty minimum ok I agree with that.

The Toshiba drive on newegg has bad reveiws and only 1 year warranty... 1TB 7200 drive.

There is also a Hitachi drive but with really bad reviews. 8-10 months people complain it dies.

There is a Seagate 1TB with ok reviews, $74.99 but only 2 year warranty.

dang this sucks!
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:04 PM   #10
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Since 2008, I've only used WD blacks in my personal PC's with the most recent one purchased last year, first one purchased in 2008.
5yr warranty is also good to have even though I've never had to use it.

Every one I've ever purchased is still running strong and is used on a regular basis.
Being the guy "That knows computers" amongst friends and family my experience with their HD choices is that WD greens and Blues turn to junk at the 2 year mark if they last that long at all.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:15 PM   #11
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Zero out of six WD Greens (ranging from 1.5 to 2 TB) have failed me and it's been over 2 years. I sold them off anyway to make room for my 3TB drives.

In contrast to 1 out of 2 Samsung Eco's failing, and 1 out of 1 Seagate Barracuda 7200.11.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:23 PM   #12
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well I don't want a 5400 rpm drive which is what a Green is. I only want 7200rpm. I am sure 5400 is no problem for a server, but way to slow for main PC.

My Western Digitai is Blue and is over 5 years old, 500GB. Maybe I got lucky or maybe they were way better quality back then.

How loud is your Western Digital Black? I hear a lot of complaints about that one.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:48 PM   #13
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Short answer:
don't trust storage of any kind.

I have at least 2x backups with at least one in a waterproof & fireproof safe or off-site.

When you do that, you don't have to worry about trust, because any manufacturer of hard drives or SSDs has a certain percentage of failures. You can't trust anyone. I've had failures from most current MFRs.

It's a numbers game. If you trust any particular vendor, you'll get burned eventually.

Last edited by Concillian; 11-08-2012 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:50 PM   #14
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Everybody knows HDDs can fail, the question is, what companies do better than others. So saying that you should have backups etc. is not helpful in addressing that question.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:02 PM   #15
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well what exactly is your backup... lol another hard drive? Or are you burning to DVDs?

I have 2 backups. a 1TB External in a aluminmum enclosure. I also have a 2.5" 80GB in a slim aluminimum enclosure. Both those drives are about 4 years old as well. I actually can't remember what brand the HD is. I think one is a Lacie and one is Western Digital.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:10 PM   #16
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Western Digital only here. Won't use anything else. Have never, ever head a problem with WD drives.

Currently using a 1TB velociraptor, and a 2TB caviar black with 2 256GB SSDs
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concillian View Post
Short answer:
don't trust storage of any kind.

I have at least 2x backups with at least one in a waterproof & fireproof safe or off-site.

When you do that, you don't have to worry about trust, because any manufacturer of hard drives or SSDs has a certain percentage of failures. You can't trust anyone. I've had failures from most current MFRs.

It's a numbers game. If you trust any particular vendor, you'll get burned eventually.
I think this is a very good point! I always have remote and local backups. I like WD, they seem to work well for me. But I use maybe one drive a year. So that is a useless statistic for sure. I'll say it again, I believe in backups! And I would love to have a water and fire proof safe. Maybe for Christmas!
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:16 PM   #18
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As a statistician in the industry, I can tell you that some dude with personal experience with 10 drives is also not helpful in addressing that question.

Trying to predict reliability of one particular drive is impossible. Even if you're trying to influence your chances, you're talking about a fractional percent of a fractional percent.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I think this is a very good point! I always have remote and local backups. I like WD, they seem to work well for me. But I use maybe one drive a year. So that is a useless statistic for sure. I'll say it again, I believe in backups! And I would love to have a water and fire proof safe. Maybe for Christmas!
Remote backups can include services like Carbonite, Backblaze, Crashplan, Mozy, etc. They tend to be limited by your upload speed but in theory should be better protected than pretty much any other option.

You can also have local backups but if they are literally in the same system or next to it, then a fire/hurricane/burglar/etc. can wipe everything out at once.

Then there are in-between options like periodic backups to external drives held by a friend or family member who lives close by, or a safe deposit box.

I also use RAID10-style redundancy, and others use RAID5/6 style redundancy; either way you can survive a failure (or two) and still not lose data, though you will want to replace the drive ASAP once you experience a failure.

Quote:
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As a statistician in the industry, I can tell you that some dude with personal experience with 10 drives is also not helpful in addressing that question.

Trying to predict reliability of one particular drive is impossible. Even if you're trying to influence your chances, you're talking about a fractional percent of a fractional percent.
Yup, and I've heard that batch to batch or drive model to drive model variation can swamp brand to brand average reliability. But Backblaze did recommend a very specific 5k3000 model so at least that might help. It was enough for me to pay extra just to get my hands on some of the very last 5k3000s available new for sale. And regardless of our not knowing the actual stats for most of this, I still think we should punish Seagate for going down to 1 year warranties on many of their consumer drives. Companies only listen to money. Send them a message--vote with your wallet!
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Last edited by blastingcap; 11-08-2012 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:40 PM   #20
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For me wd drives have been the most reliable but I've had them fail. Backups are your best friend for anything that you value.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:51 PM   #21
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Quote:
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For me wd drives have been the most reliable but I've had them fail. Backups are your best friend for anything that you value.
do you backup to DVDs?
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:57 PM   #22
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I take all anecdotal evidence of this sort with many grains of salt. HDDs are manufactured in batches. QC is in batches. I cannot condemn any brand. Have used 'em all. The only failure I have ever had was WD. I remember when Hitachi was the whipping boy. Now it is apparently Seagate. I have several Seagates and never had a failure. Drive health depends a lot as to how they are used - how full they are allowed to get - whether or not regular maintenance is performed - and their environment (adequate ventilation, etc.). I find that large drives are ALL somewhat flaky once you exceed 1 TB. But, I don't condemn them. I never buy drives greater than 500GB, and never slower than 7200 RPM.

All my drives are always duplicated 100%, and I rotate them regularly

I suppose it makes for a good discussion. Have at it!
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:01 PM   #23
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For what its worth, i've owned several seagate drives in the past with no issue. I really like WD though - they had a better warranty at the time that I purchased the 1TB velociraptor and 2TB black. Not sure if the warranty stuff changed recently, though.
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:19 PM   #24
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Over say the past 10 years, zero issues with maybe 5-6 Barracuda's and one Constellation. 1 of 5 WD's Blacks failed (a 640GB in Raid) and 1 of 1 Samsung failed (1TB standalone). I'll buy Seagate all day, every day.
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:16 AM   #25
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How is this for a good price?

$79.99 for Western Digital Black1TB 7200 RPM 64MB SATA 3?

Free shipping as well?

Should I jump on it or you think it will go cheaper on the Black Friday?
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