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General Hardware General hardware related questions.

View Poll Results: Most reliable?
Seagate 5 16.67%
Western Digital 15 50.00%
Maxtor 4 13.33%
Hitachi 3 10.00%
Toshiba 0 0%
Samsung 0 0%
Quantum 1 3.33%
other ... 2 6.67%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 9th June 2009
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Default Hard disk reliability

I was under the impression that hard disk reliablity doesn't vary much b/w the different manufacturers.
Hard disk reviews only report price/performance data.
In a study that was conducted on hard disk life/reliability (sorry don't remember where i read it ) showed that some batches of disks were faulty and failed prematurely. I suppose this can happen with any manufacturer, but what was surprising was that disks from a particular manufacturer had a (significantly) higher rate of failure (across various models) compared to the other brands.
What's your experience on this?
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Old 9th June 2009
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I have always been very impressed with the reliability of Quantum hard disks ... Only downside is that they stopped making them 10 years ago ... :-/

I have good experiences with Western Digital ... But I don't have particularly bad experiences with other brand ...
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Old 9th June 2009
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I have had one Maxtor 160GB failure (Maxtor is one of the Seagate brands), worked fine for about a year.

Also recent 7200.11 series of Seagate drives were all broken because of fauly firmware.

Western Digital drives always worked for me reliably, I currently also own Hitachi 7200 3.5" 160GB and this one also works ok.

I would stick away from desktop Seagate series, but mobile ones seem to be not affected by desktop series problems (like firmware).
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Old 9th June 2009
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No vendor preference here either, I've used a wide spectrum of the old HDD vendors.. some lasted far beyond their inteded expirartion date.

I had a Maxtor drive that was starting to fail, random bad sectors... remapping didn't seem to be working anymore.. but it was over 10 years old, it had a good life.. and it didn't just randomly die one day, so I could move things off of it.

Right now, the majority of my semi-newer (..no new systems here) have Western Digital drives.. so far I'm impressed by them.

You're pretty much on your own though, you might get a drive that's a dud... or you may get one that'll last for several decades... time will tell.
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Old 9th June 2009
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Usually avoid Seagate and Maxtor, good experiences with WD. I've only seen Hitachi on laptops/notebooks, but not for any prolonged period of time yet.
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Old 9th June 2009
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@ephemera

I have added Toshiba and Samsung options.
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Old 9th June 2009
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These are my experiences with hard drives. Note that I haven't bought a drive since 2005, so they aren't very current observations.

Maxtor: I've had several of these and none have failed. Been very happy with them and would buy again.

IBM/Hitachi: Bought one IBM and it started going bad with about 1/2 a year left on the warranty. It was replaced free under warranty by a comparable Hitachi (whom IBM farmed their drive business out to). The Hitachi has been working fine.

WD: Never bought one but came into possession of a few. One was bad. General impression is they are "just ok" and cheap so they weren't the fastest or quietest options.

Samsung: Bought one in 2005 to replace the dying IBM immediately. I was a bit leery since when Samsung first started selling drives they were kind of cheap, but I've been very happy with it; still going great, fast and quiet. Only minor complaint is some of the SMART parameters seem to have a non-standard format. Would also buy again.
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Old 9th June 2009
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I have 160 GB samsung drive since i bought my desktop about 5 years ago.
Once it stopped working... I take it back to company that sold it and they fixed it in few days (they told me that there was some dust between plates and head (or something like that))

It works fine since than, no bad sectors

and i have WD.... I like it. It works for 3-4 years now. No problem at all.
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Old 9th June 2009
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Quote:
I would stick away from desktop Seagate series, but mobile ones seem to be not affected by desktop series problems (like firmware).
Only the 1TB drivers were affected, and although it took some time, the problem has long been fixed.
It's rather unfair to keep away from Seagate just because of this one error ...
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Old 9th June 2009
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I assume this poll is for IDE/SATA drives. I use (mostly) old SCSI drives, and they have been great. I've used both Seagate and Maxtor flavors, in a variety of sizes and speeds.

OTOH, I've never lost a drive of any kind (I do have three computers with IDEs; one dates back to 2001). I recently fired up my old 486 computer (from 1992, IIRC), which has a 250MB WD. Still works fine, though my God does Windows 3.1 feel dated.

The only issues I've seen are with notebook drives, which seem uniformly to fail after a couple of years. My wife has lost a couple on her laptop.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carpetsmoker View Post
Only the 1TB drivers were affected, and although it took some time, the problem has long been fixed.
It's rather unfair to keep away from Seagate just because of this one error ...
500GB and 1.5TB were also affected, whole 7200.11 series.

Newer Seagate 7200.12 seriees seems to be ok, but while having 500GB* platters (WD mostly 340GB) it has RAC (Random Access Time) at about 15-16ms while WD have it at about 12ms, that makes a big difference.

Bigger platters means less space needed for head moving = faster transfers/operations etc.
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Old 9th June 2009
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Most of my computers have either Hitachi or Maxter IDE drives, there is also one Western Digital in the mix. They have always worked well, the Maxter in particular is an old bucket of bolts that has taken a lickin' and kept on tickin' - while I've always wanted to try Seagate, I would buy Maxters given a suitable price.

Since my first hard drive in ~2000 I have never had a hard drive fail, only 1 hard drive controller. (And the associated hard disk was about 250-320mb or so). When it comes to back ups the only thing I realy worry about is a hard drive failure: data is stored on 3 hard disks in different locations of the building.


Some of the comments about laptop hard disks makes me worry, since my laptops old, slow, cheap hard disk gets a workout quite often... but it makes me glad that despite the abuse, it doesn't get banged around very often...
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Old 22nd July 2009
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Except some dying 40GB desktop harddisks I never had any problems with WD. I use the Raid edition series on servers, Raptors and WD-black series on the desktops, I love the 5 years warranty and never had to test the RMA procedure.

Some older Maxtors died within the last few month, really old 20GB Seagates likewise.

But I made good experience with the Seagate support, I returned two drives and got the replacement within 10 days, both drives were replaced with never versions.
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Old 23rd July 2009
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I have only seen three hard drives die on me: An IBM, a Samsung, and a Fujitsu -- all laptop drives and all in Dell latops (the first two in my girl friend's old Inspiron 2500, and the last in my Inspiron 6400).

My guess is excessive load/unload cycles as the 2500 was constantly hitting the swap file, and I could never seem to stop the constant load/unload on my 6400.

I tend to buy mainly Seagates, though have purchased some WDs as well. There are a few Maxtors too (pre-built machines).

[edit]
I lied, I had a dead Seagate once. It was DOA though. A part of the casing (1/8" aluminum I think) was bent, indicating a pretty good drop.
[/edit]
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Old 24th July 2009
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I've had excellent track record with Fujitsu -- especially SCSI line.

Always found drive reliability to be closely coupled to the thermal management (or lack of it) of the case. Always bought/buy cases that allow fan placement on the drive cage so as to actively move air across the drives.

Very modern SATA-II run quite cool, but, in the past, drives with active air flow just ran, and ran, and ran for me.

/S
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Old 24th July 2009
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For me, it's all Fujitsu and Western Digital. I have this 15+-year-old 2GB Western Digital "Caviar" drive. I spun it up the other day and it worked *perfectly*.

On a more techincal note, Fujitsus are nice, especially when you check out their SMART specs (their temperature tolerances are amazing).
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Old 24th July 2009
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Agree on Fujitsu thermal spec's.

Mean-Time Between Failure (MTBF) specs are always "characterized" at some temp. point, which is typically 18°C. Each degree-per-period of operation above this characterization point (or outside of the gradient/h) [continuously] knocks thousands of hours off the MTBF.

Non-climate controlled (i.e. non data centre) inside-case temps are usually way above 18°C. This is why active air-flow helps reliability.

Fujitsu's are (or were the last time I looked) characterized at a far more realistic 24°C (exclusive of 15,000RPM drives).

/S
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Old 24th July 2009
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I've always liked Hitachi and Fujitsu but these have been all SCSI drives.

I bought my first SATA drive last year a Maxtor and so far it has been ok.

But in the past(PI through PIII days) WD and Maxtor were always crappy for me, which is why I moved to SCSI in the first place.

I forget who made Packard Bell hard drive back in the 8086 to 486 days but I never had a problem with them at all, then again my 30 year old TI 99 4a external expansion hard drive still fires up...
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Old 25th July 2009
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No preference here either. I have about 12 hd's here in the house. They range from 40 meg to 160 gig and include WD, Seagate, Maxtor, IBM, and one or two others that I can't see/remember right now.
Since late '80's, I've only had one go bad, but I probably shouldn't have written that
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Old 30th July 2009
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I don't have really a opinion towards harddrives anymore, usually I tend to Western Digital - because it sucks less at the moment ;-) Long time ago I was a happy Quantum user, later Seagate. I had problems with all major manufacturers, so most of the time I wish myself good luck only with a new harddrive ;-)
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