I like statistics like those above.
I personally have had mixed luck with drive brands in the 3.5 inch industry. Seagate ironically seems to be the most reliable from my retail standpoint over the past ~8 years, Western Digital and Hitachi are nearly equal and all brands obviously fail...
I can say with certainty in the retail laptop environment, Toshiba 2.5 inch spindle 250-500GB hard drives had the HIGHEST failure rate of any brand in the 2.5 inch 9mm format. I saw no less than 3 laptops a week with a Toshiba drive that appeared to have suffered a head crash or head failure which resulted in hundreds of thousands of bad blocks, I can not be certain this is what happened but these drives were in bad shape according to diagnostic tests! In most of these cases (about 90%) no legible data could be recovered without a professional service such as Drive Savers or Ontrack Recovery where they can take the drive apart. The strange part is that most of these laptops were barely over a year, in some cases they were under a year and still in warranty. Toshiba laptops however outside of hard drive failures were pretty reliable.
Samsung 320GB spindle 2.5 9mm drives also seemed to have issues that I might describe as the "beep" of death. I never tried to replace a controller board on any of these but they were not accessible at a hardware level at all when the "beep" of death happened.
The Toshiba drives I saw were mostly within a range of years 2009-2013. I am not in retail anymore so I do not see enough drives to make any judgement call on drives newer than 2013.
As with any tech, a backup followed by a few more is never a bad idea. Also never keep all of your eggs in one basket, by that I mean your backups all in the same location. I had one customer that lost all data after a house fire.
Edited by zingo156, 15 April 2015 - 11:25 AM.