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Thread: Most reliable hard-drive, period.

  1. #1

    Most reliable hard-drive, period.

    I am having an issue picking a hard-drive. I had a Samsung? Hitachi? I forget which, but at 1TB had all m important pictures, of kids, my dead grandfather, etc. I have the pictures, but it was a close call, and its bull that its dead before the warranty ended. Hearing all the nightmares with their RMA department, and knowing most companies just give you a refurb, I didn't even bother.

    I've been looking at WD's enterprise line, $120 for a terabyte and 2TB is $250? Either way is decent if it lives up to the name and 1.2million hour claim. But, alas, newegg has negative reviews about DOA drives and receiving refurbs as replacements. Should I believe any of it?


    Any ideas? I kinda want to give WD a shot with the 5yr warranty, but people where saying how you have to mail in the invoice from newegg? Sound about right?
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  2. #2
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    I had a Raptor drive, the 150gb variant. It died after about 3 years. It was an enterprise-class drive w/ a 5 year warranty. This was in 2009, I bought the drive in 06. I didn't bother with RMA, because having worked in data reecovery, I'm kinda data paranoid.

    I replaced it with a Seagate, but after just 3 years it's showing signs too (unexplained slowdowns, extended load times, programs "forgetting" my preferences...). I almost wanna say Hitachi. When I was in data recovery, it was Seagate. But that was pre-2008.

    The safest thing to do is to RAID with drives from different manufacturers, or offsite backup services.
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  3. #3
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    If your worried then yea just slap 2x drives in RAID 1 and be done with it

  4. #4
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    I've always been loyal to WD, specifically the Caviar Blacks (5yr warranty). Keep in mind that any HDD can bite the dust at any given time, no matter the brand, quality, usage pattern...that's just the nature of the beast. Every brand is going to have good and bad user experiences which makes your storage I've had nothing but good luck with WD for years except for a Caviar Blue I have that is less than 2yrs old and just had it's first sector reallocation and is throwing an occasional error 11 in the event monitor and has been semi-retired to achieve duty via eSata dock.
    As mentioned above raid1 is always the safest bet. If you end up going raid0, for a couple extra dollars you can buy a little extra piece of mind by getting the 'RE' version (Raid Edition) WDs which is what I chose for my primary storage array. Fwiw, I still have 2 WD 74GB Raptors in raid0 I bought 7-8 years ago...noisy as hell and slow by todays standards but smart readings still look fantastic.
    Last edited by Zaxx; 07-21-2012 at 05:42 PM.
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  5. #5
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    All drives fail, but, for me, WD fails the least and I've tried them all. Prefer the Black series or the RE for RAID arrays. ALWAYS have a backup for HDDs and SSDs!
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  6. #6
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    Prefer the Black series
    i agree. the only totally safe method is to have a separate copy on another machine. remember raid is NOT a backup. you can lose any raidset.
    Last edited by Computurd; 07-21-2012 at 06:34 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Another piece of advice that has saved be some grief before...Always try to give a new HDD some 'break-in' time along with some stress testing thown in if possible before placing the drive in service. I remember reading somewhere that most HDDs fail either in the first couple of weeks/months or after ~3 years, so this advice made good sense to me. I ran all my WDs solo for 4-6 weeks with some stress testing as well before setting them up in raid.
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  8. #8
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    I am a tad confused why anyone would rely on a 1.2million hour claim & 5 Year warranty with photos, buy yourself a $50 USB backup drive which all come with backup software, personally I store my pics offsite as well.

    We run over 1000 dedicated servers in our facility and I can tell you now we get the same amount of failures from SATA to "Enterprise" SATA if anything the standard seagate single platter 500GB last longer then the ES.2 we have had in servers but with over 2000+ seagates running 24/7 with some going 3+ years we get maybe 10-15 failures though ours are all cooled at 21 degrees all year around so I guess that raises the question how hot does your drive get in summer?

  9. #9
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    For me the (12) Seagate 15k.5 sasdrives is the most relieble drives. They are old now, but the refuse to die :p

    Samsung f4 2TB and hitachi 7k3000 3TB is also very good. Non of them have died. I have over 20pcs of F4 and 8pcs of the 7k3000. All of them is from one of the first batches.

  10. #10
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    In my experience most brands are ok these days.
    If you want safety, just go for a RAID with redundancy (1,5,6,etc) and / or a back-up of your disk. Preferably off-site.

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  11. #11
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    I think this is almost a impossible question to answer in the relevant time frame. By the time we know what hard drive is (more) reliable there will be a new model to replace it. I've had and tested many HDD's from every manufacture, and it's hard to determine if one makes a more reliable HDD than the other.

    This is what I do and it's not perfect in any way. Look at the customer reviews on Newegg and other such site. No matter what you'll see ppl saying DOA, or Died after 3 months on every HDD, just look for the one that has the least complaints about crapping out. It's a gamble but at least this way you're turning the odds of reliability in your favor.

    And it's an absolute must that you have 2 or more copies of your important data. I always backup to a usb HDD, or a network server.
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  12. #12
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    I've had good luck with Enterprise drives from Seagate, both the Barracuda ES and the Constellation ES.2. Avoid their consumer drives at all cost, though. My Constellation ES.2s aren't the fastest drives on the planet, but they are bulletproof reliable. The fact that they're not incredibly fast is due to a setting in the firmware that ensure write quality (some sort of write verification). When I built my array, I ordered two extra drives to have as ready spares. Both are untouched to this day.

    Always back up your stuff though
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  13. #13
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    I have here multiple WD RE4 and RE3 based arrays. Not even one failed. With Seagate I experienced a stream of bad luck lately. Three consumer drives on rma, received one. Tested and sent to rma again. Failed at short and long dst.

    Unfortunately, RE4 drives costs a LOT here in Brazil.

  14. #14
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    People still use those antique spinny disk things?

    Backup your data. Backup your data. Backup your data.
    I'm in the storage industry so I'm paranoid.
    Even my work laptop has 2 SSD drives in it- one as primary, the second as a workspace and backup image drive.

    For home usage, a 60GB SSD would be enough to cover all the important data I don't want to lose (documents, pictures, etc).
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zads View Post
    Backup your data. Backup your data. Backup your data.
    Exactly ... there is no such thing as a reliable drive. Every spinning hard drive is one good knock from self destruction. Every SSD is one firmware bug away from destroying all your data. Every user is one bad hair day away from accidentally deleting or corrupting all their data.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    Food for thought - if it's a storage drive that is not regularly written to, or has a relatively light workload, looking into SSDs might be a good idea. Since there are no moving parts, chances of a failure from being powered on day to day and read from are slim.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kain665 View Post
    Food for thought - if it's a storage drive that is not regularly written to, or has a relatively light workload, looking into SSDs might be a good idea. Since there are no moving parts, chances of a failure from being powered on day to day and read from are slim.
    But then you have higher risk of component failure, and higher risk of firmware bugs ruining your day.

    SSDs, while fantastic, are not a solution to reliabile storage.

  19. #19
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    Rules for HDD and SDD:

    1. Backup
    2. Backup
    3. Backup dammit!
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by canthearu View Post
    But then you have higher risk of component failure, and higher risk of firmware bugs ruining your day.

    SSDs, while fantastic, are not a solution to reliabile storage.
    Depends. I feel that some SSDs are up to scratch for data storage. Samsung 830 springs to mind.

  21. #21
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    +1 to back up / multiple copies on different HDDs

    & +1 to WD Black or RE. Alternatively Hitachi Ultrastar. In the past I would have also recommended Seagate ES.2, but SG have reduced the warranty on their enterprise line, so screw them
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