External Desktop HDDs? Any *reliable* ones?

Discussion in 'Memory and Storage' started by VirtualLarry, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I saw a deal on Seagate Expansion 5TB Desktop External 3.5" USB 3.0 HDDs. So I posted a thread in the Hot Deals forum. I also ordered several.

    The ebay reviews, were mostly positive (4.5 stars, like 30+ reviews).

    But when I checked Newegg, the 5TB model only had three eggs, and had as many one-egg reviews, as the total of 5- and 4-egg reviews combined. Not a good sign.

    Lots of DOA or early death reviews. Some complaining about the USB3.0 cable flaking out or being too short.

    Now, I had previously bought a Samsung D3 Station 5TB Desktop External, which is made by Seagate and had a 5TB Seagate 3.5" HDD inside.

    I had a horrible time getting the HDD to work in the factory external enclosure, but I looked up a video on YouTube and shucked the drive fairly easily, and once shucked, seemed to perform fine and reliable, using it in my USB3.0 HDD dock. (Ultra dual-drive dock)

    Are there any external HDDs (desktop-sized, high-capacity) that A) work WELL, and B) are affordable?

    I know that WD recently came out with their 6TB and 8TB MyBook and MyCloud (NAS) external drives. I almost bought a MyCloud 6TB NAS for $240 on ebay this past month, but I didn't have spare funds for it.

    I'm basically assuming that I'll need to shuck these 5TB Seagate Expansion drives when I get them, but if I could somehow get them to work in the enclosure, or put them into my own enclosures (which I recently purchased some, I had forgotten about them), then I could plug them into the USB3.0 port(s) on my NAS units, and share out the 5TB HDD. Or use it to backup my NAS.

    Edit: This is the Vantec USB3.0 UASP SATA6G 3.5" enclosure that I bought:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817392075
     
    #1 VirtualLarry, Apr 23, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
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  3. smitbret

    smitbret Diamond Member

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    I have had a couple of Toshiba ext HDDs (2Tb & 3TB) for the last 4 years and they have been just fine. The one problem I run into is that they go to sleep after 5 minutes and I have to unplug and then plug them back in to get them to show up in "My Computer" again. I run NoSleep HDD at startup and set it to write every 4 minutes and they have been fine.
     
  4. Omar F1

    Omar F1 Senior member

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    Had a bad experience with external WD 1TB/7200 rpm, glad there wasn't much of important stuff. I think it's the external controllers that goes, not the HDD itself.
     
  5. Shmee

    Shmee Moderator <BR> Memory and Storage <BR> Video Cards
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    I would get a GOOD internal (WD Black or RED) and put it in an enclosure. I don't trust most consumer drives from seagate or toshiba. Or use an enterprise drive.
     
  6. bryanl

    bryanl Golden Member

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    I would not trust separately sold enclosures whose power supplies were not UL listed. They have no overvoltage protection, and surge protection is inferior.
     
  7. bononos

    bononos Diamond Member

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    Whats wrong with consumer drives that are going to be used only occassionally for backups in an enclosure?
     
  8. jkauff

    jkauff Senior member

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    I have eight WD MyBook drives ranging in size from 2TB to 4TB. In three years only one has gone bad, and I was the cause of that. WD replaced it with a larger drive within a week.

    When I bought them, however, I didn't realize, as someone on the Forum pointed out, that the drives automatically encrypt the data so you have no way of recovering data from a bad drive. That's not an issue for me because they're set up with mirror-image backups, so if the data drive goes down I can restore from the backup drive, and vice-versa.

    I won't buy any more of them, however, because of the encryption.
     
  9. dave_the_nerd

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    No such thing as a reliable data storage device, only a good backup strategy.
     
  10. JimmiG

    JimmiG Platinum Member

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    Both my external drives (2TB Toshiba and 1TB Buffalo) have a few bad sectors. No problems with any of the internal drives (several WD, Hitachi and Seagates at 640GB - 4TB). Don't know if it's just coincidence, but I get a feeling they put rejected internal drives in enclosures and sell them as external ones. That would explain why external drives are usually cheaper per GB even with the added cost of the enclosure.
     
    #9 JimmiG, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016
  11. Shmee

    Shmee Moderator <BR> Memory and Storage <BR> Video Cards
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    I have seen many HDDs fail, and seagate just seems to be the cheap of the cheap. I am not fond of using cheap HDD's in general, and even then, SSDs would generally be preferred to a good HDD.

    Good HDDs should be used for storage/backups. I always cringe when people get cheap HDDs.
     
  12. nerp

    nerp Diamond Member

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    OR buy refurbs. Or on Ebay. Yikes.
     
  13. ronbo613

    ronbo613 Golden Member

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    I used to buy external hard drives then I switched to putting hard drives in external enclosures. Now, I just use a hard drive dock. Cheaper and less room needed to store your "external" drives.
     
  14. smitbret

    smitbret Diamond Member

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    My impression from BackBlaze and general consumer reviews is that the Reds aren't any more reliable than any other HDD (outside of the magnetic POS known as the Seagate 3TB Barracuda).
     
  15. Anteaus

    Anteaus Platinum Member

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    I've had good success with the WD external drives, though I did have to retire a 3TB one a couple weeks ago. Right now I have 6x4TB and 2x3TB drives which provide me with two complete backups. In recent years I have moved to Seagate for my internal HDDs with moderate success. Two out of three 4TB Seagate drives failed. These were not in a NAS or RAID configuration so that isn't a factor.

    I have no evidence to back this up, but I believe that as drive capacities have increased and engineering tolerances have decreased we are seeing a higher rate of failure across the board. I really don't think it matters what brand you choose. It matters more that you maintain adequate backups. If RAID 6 has become the new RAID 5, in that spirit two backups should be considered minimum for important files.

    I have changed my view from hoping my drives don't fail to simply expecting them to fail without warning. If you plan using that logic you'll find yourself worrying less about it.

    I'm partial to Western Digital, but honestly if we are talking about consumer drives just go with what your familiar with. I don't think reliability is better for any specific brand until you jump to enterprise level drives, and even then there are strong opinions out there.