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hard drive reliability


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#1 psicobra

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:13 AM

i know this is going to be a topic where every one has an opinion and an opinion is very easy to form based on half the evidence. I have on my desk a pile of faulty western digital hard drives in fact 7 to be precise all that have come into my office quite recently i also have 1 faulty fuhitsu, 1 faulty toshiba and one faulty toshiba. Now my first reaction was god WD are crap so i googled and the online evidence seems to suggest otherwise that WD seem to be one of the most reliable. So maybe its a case that WD are the m ost commonly supplied hard drive in laptops and therefore i would see a greater number of faulty western digital drives wo what is everyone else's experience thanks.



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#2 zingo156

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 10:39 AM

In my experience Toshiba laptop 2.5 inch hard drives are the least reliable, often failing within 6 months to a year of purchase. It could just be the way people use their Toshiba computers though who knows? Platter or spindle drives can be damaged by a light bump to the computer while they are in operation, I have seen a 4 inch fall destroy a hard drive. There is no real world way to say x is more reliable than x outside of the manufacture's MTBF rate (mean time before failure) which would only apply if the computer was never moved, never bumped etc during operation. You can read the reviews or look at the highest reviewed drives, even those sometimes are DOA or die shortly after purchase.

 

Spinning drives are very sensitive and mechanical moving parts are destined to fail. Some people are rougher on computers than others, laptop drives fail significantly more often than desktop drives: desktops aren't often moved during operation. Personally I favor Seagate but if you read reviews some people do not have good luck with them either.

 

I will say this: I thoroughly test all of my new hard drives for bad blocks the first time I plug them in. Drives can be damaged during shipping so knowing it is good before using it seems to be worth the time and effort: I have never had catastrophic failure on any of my current spindle drives.

 

Here is a decent article on hard drive reliability:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_disk_drive_failure


Edited by zingo156, 06 August 2014 - 10:49 AM.

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#3 jonuk76

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:19 AM

According to this which is a company providing large amounts of online storage, in the 3.5" size Hitachi drives have had the lowest failure rate, closely followed by most WD models (Green excepted), with Seagate higher overall but with some models having much higher failure rates than others.

 

Hitachi have since exited the market, and sold their 3.5" drive business to Toshiba, and the 2.5" range went to WD.  Late last year I had a Toshiba branded 3.5" drive which was clearly a Hitachi drive with a new label on it...  I suppose we will have to wait and see how the Toshiba made 3.5" drives hold up.


Edited by jonuk76, 06 August 2014 - 11:21 AM.

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#4 zingo156

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:31 AM

I had quite a few older hitachi deskstars with bad blocks, they weren't actually completely failed drives though. Statistics are always interesting, I didn't expect seagate to be less reliable than Hitachi, both have been reliable in my experiences with them. I do have 2 WD red 3TB drives in a raid 1 nas and I bet those will go a long while.


Edited by zingo156, 06 August 2014 - 11:38 AM.

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#5 zingo156

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:35 AM

I do have one seagate drive that does strange things occasionally: it is a 3.5inch 1.5TB 5900 rpm drive in an external enclosure, every now and then it will start to screech and then disappear from the bios. Unplugging and plugging it back in always brings it back online. I tried it outside of the external enclosure and the issue still happens directly connected to sata. I have run scans on it and it always passes. I have read a firmware update may fix the issue but it still works so I leave it be. I use it for mobile media which is backed up on my NAS so no worries if it fails.


Edited by zingo156, 06 August 2014 - 11:39 AM.

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#6 jonuk76

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 11:46 AM

It's one information source, but Backblaze are using them in a very specific way, and perhaps they get more intensive use than the "average consumer" will give them?  I've got a Seagate 2Tb drive in my PC, and a 3Tb external which both seem fine.  I haven't had the immediate urge to go out and replace them with a WD drive!  Most of the older drives I've got of various makes report one bad sector, but they are all still functional and have been like it for a while.


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#7 psicobra

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 12:30 PM

According to this which is a company providing large amounts of online storage, in the 3.5" size Hitachi drives have had the lowest failure rate, closely followed by most WD models (Green excepted), with Seagate higher overall but with some models having much higher failure rates than others.

 

Hitachi have since exited the market, and sold their 3.5" drive business to Toshiba, and the 2.5" range went to WD.  Late last year I had a Toshiba branded 3.5" drive which was clearly a Hitachi drive with a new label on it...  I suppose we will have to wait and see how the Toshiba made 3.5" drives hold up.

 

 

It's one information source, but Backblaze are using them in a very specific way, and perhaps they get more intensive use than the "average consumer" will give them?  I've got a Seagate 2Tb drive in my PC, and a 3Tb external which both seem fine.  I haven't had the immediate urge to go out and replace them with a WD drive!  Most of the older drives I've got of various makes report one bad sector, but they are all still functional and have been like it for a while.

 

yeah i saw that article but you are all right they are stuck in cabinets no movement ect. also when a customer drops a dell into me saying its freezing ect 9/10 its a hard drive failure but yet again WD drives.



#8 rotor123

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 03:35 PM

Hi

I mostly buy USB3 external drives anymore for Data, SSD for Windows.

 

I have not seen any pattern of unreliable in any brand. Overall I have to say, They are all reliable. I have retired many drives as being to small. I just leave the data on them and consider them as backups. Knock Wood, I can not recall the last drive failure, Having said that I expect one to die now just to prove me wrong.

 

I just ordered 3 Seagate 2Tb USB3 Portable drives. They were around $10 cheaper than the next more expensive brand I saw and $20 cheaper than the WD drives.

 

FWIW that is my experience with modern drives.

 

The Drives that proved less reliable in the past have all gone out of business or been bought out.

 

Cheers

Roger

 

P.S. I am using WD Reds in my NAS drives.


Edited by rotor123, 06 August 2014 - 03:36 PM.

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