Question Hard drive for local back ups

Thunder 57

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2007
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Hello all.

For years I have used a 4TB WD Gold drive for weekly backups on this PC. It is very much low on space and I was looking to get an 8TB+ to take its place. I have had excellent luck with WD drives and nearly as good luck with Seagate. I was doing some shopping and saw the WD Gold 8TB is $210 on Newegg/Amazon. That seemed a bit pricy so I kept looking. I saw the 8TB Ironwolf on Newegg for $140. It isn't as quality a drive I'm sure, but it wasn't like I had demanding plans for it.

However I always thought running a NAS drive on a desktop was a no no. Is that the case? Aren't they designed to be spinning 24/7, and turning on just once a week might wear it out? Also, wouldn't it give up on read errors much more quickly? I just foresee unexpected consequences.

Also, am I overthinking it? Would a consumer drive be just fine? Problem with those is they all seem to be 5400RPM other than the WD Black. I also value drive reliability over price considering it will be holding plenty of important data. Therefore I am still leaning towards the WD Gold. If the price was closer I wouldn't think twice. I'm sure I could find something to spend $70 on though.

Thanks in advance!
 

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
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I run several WD reds in raid. They've been stable for years now. Gold is probably overkill for this type of use. Also, consider a higher capacity for just a few dollars more. There are 18tb for around $200.

 

gdansk

Golden Member
Feb 8, 2011
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Do people take them seriously? I've never owned one, at least not by choice.
Some of their enterprise drives (e.g. MG07/MG08) are comparable to Seagate in Backblaze reliability stats.
But they don't honor their warranty unless you buy directly from Toshiba. So it is best to avoid them.
Those U.S. customers or businesses that did not purchase their Hard Disk drives directly from TAEC must return the Hard Disk drives to the place of purchase. They are not eligible for warranty support in the U.S.
 

Thunder 57

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2007
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I run several WD reds in raid. They've been stable for years now. Gold is probably overkill for this type of use. Also, consider a higher capacity for just a few dollars more. There are 18tb for around $200.


Thanks for the link. I'm not going to be using the drive in a NAS so I am not sure what to do. I agree Gold is overkill. I just want a solid drive that I can use for weekly backups with a large capacity and ideally 7200RPM. Could I use a NAS drive as a "normal" drive in that regard?
 

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
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Nas drives just have higher endurance ratings like enterprise drives. Using one won't hurt it. I do weekly reboots for kernel upgrades and they're just fine. 7k drives just cause more heat and noise though for a slight bump in data speed. With larger capacities though they're mostly 7k speeds anyway due to density.

I would just do a red or gold or the HC models. If you go Seagate then look at the Exos model.
 

kschendel

Senior member
Aug 1, 2018
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My habit has been to take a few months worth of backups on a drive, backing up every couple days, and then I toss the drive into a drawer and start with another. About once a year I'll pull out the old drives and make sure they spin up and are accessible. (Probably because I was traumatized by the old 100MB Seagate drives in the Sparcstation 1.) Unless you're using the same backup drive for years, which doesn't sound like a good idea to me, I can't imagine that the drive usage label is relevant for occasional use.

My backup volumes may be less than yours. Anyway, if you're firing up a drive once a week, I see no reason why it couldn't last for 1-2 years under that regime unless the drive was defective. (That's like 100 startup cycles, which no drive should have an issue with, regardless of optimal target use.)
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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A WD Blue 4TB 5400RPM drive I bought a year or two ago can do 165MB/sec. A Seagate Ironwolf NAS 4TB 7200RPM drive (I'm not sure how old it is, it was given to me) I have can do just over 200MB/sec. I swapped out the former as my desktop PC's data HDD for the latter because the latter can do APM and Linux won't automatically turn off the former on a timer due to the lack of APM.

I thought I'd throw in some potentially useful information that might help OP's decision making. Normally I'd ask why performance is so important for a backup system (and my impression of 'weekly' was 'scheduled/automated' but that's possibly an incorrect assumption), but having said that I run my backups manually so it's of some importance to me.
 

Thunder 57

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2007
2,639
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My habit has been to take a few months worth of backups on a drive, backing up every couple days, and then I toss the drive into a drawer and start with another. About once a year I'll pull out the old drives and make sure they spin up and are accessible. (Probably because I was traumatized by the old 100MB Seagate drives in the Sparcstation 1.) Unless you're using the same backup drive for years, which doesn't sound like a good idea to me, I can't imagine that the drive usage label is relevant for occasional use.

My backup volumes may be less than yours. Anyway, if you're firing up a drive once a week, I see no reason why it couldn't last for 1-2 years under that regime unless the drive was defective. (That's like 100 startup cycles, which no drive should have an issue with, regardless of optimal target use.)

While that sounds very thorough, it also sounds like a lot of drives. I've had very good luck with drives not failing so that has probably influenced my decisions.
A WD Blue 4TB 5400RPM drive I bought a year or two ago can do 165MB/sec. A Seagate Ironwolf NAS 4TB 7200RPM drive (I'm not sure how old it is, it was given to me) I have can do just over 200MB/sec. I swapped out the former as my desktop PC's data HDD for the latter because the latter can do APM and Linux won't automatically turn off the former on a timer due to the lack of APM.

I thought I'd throw in some potentially useful information that might help OP's decision making. Normally I'd ask why performance is so important for a backup system (and my impression of 'weekly' was 'scheduled/automated' but that's possibly an incorrect assumption), but having said that I run my backups manually so it's of some importance to me.

Performance isn't important for backups. I have always been adverse to 5400RPM drives though. Also, I may re-purpose it one day. I'm thinking about turning this 4TB drive into a "game drive" for large games I very rarely play. You know, the 150GB behemoths. Or at least just to have the data on hand to swap to an SSD. I think I have been over thinking it. I may just got with a 8-10GB WD Blue.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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Performance isn't important for backups. I have always been adverse to 5400RPM drives though. Also, I may re-purpose it one day. I'm thinking about turning this 4TB drive into a "game drive" for large games I very rarely play. You know, the 150GB behemoths. Or at least just to have the data on hand to swap to an SSD. I think I have been over thinking it. I may just got with a 8-10GB WD Blue.

That kind of capacity is likely to be an SMR drive, which wouldn't be a great choice for a drive that will have to do lots of sustained writes. I personally would try to avoid SMR if I could.
 

Thunder 57

Platinum Member
Aug 19, 2007
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That kind of capacity is likely to be an SMR drive, which wouldn't be a great choice for a drive that will have to do lots of sustained writes. I personally would try to avoid SMR if I could.

Thankfully SMR seems to have went away for the most part. Where it does exist, it is usually on smaller capacity drives for some reason. I will certainly be sure to not get one of those. Thanks for the reminder.
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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Thankfully SMR seems to have went away for the most part. Where it does exist, it is usually on smaller capacity drives for some reason. I will certainly be sure to not get one of those. Thanks for the reminder.

Really? I mean yes I can understand it being present for cheaper drives, but it was also a way to get more capacity on the platter.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
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I've got a WD Red 4TB drive that I've had as a storage drive in my HTPC for some years... never a problem... sort of. The original 3TB Red was DOA, and they shipped me a 4TB Red as a replacement.

Don't forget about Dre Toshiba.


What's wrong with Toshiba drives? My other HTPC drive is a 6TB Toshiba... besides running a little hot, it's been a good drive as well. What am I missing?