Hard Drive reliability study - Make and models

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Defenestration, Aug 21, 2006.

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  1. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    I'm looking to gauge the reliability of different makes and models of hard drive so I know which ones to avoid for a RAID 0 system which I am thinking of building. I have generally gone for Hitachi drives with my laptop which have been very reliable so far (touch wood :) ). I'd like to hear from anyone who has suffered from a hard drive failure, including the make, model, when it was bought, length of time before failure, and the amount of work the drive had to do (eg. was it a server for lots of people, or was it for a sole PC which was not used much). I hope this thread can eventually be used by people to make an informed decision about the reliability of various hard drives, without having to rely solely on the MTBF statistic given by the manufacturers.
     
  2. Devinco

    Devinco Registered Member

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    The WD raptors have been very reliable so far, so have the Seagate Barracuda 7200.x series.
     
  3. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    Generally speaking, just look at the warranty period. That's really where the company is going to put their money where their mouth is regarding durability. Seagate definitely leads the pack with 5 year warranties. Truth is that I've had Maxtor, WD, Seagate, Hitachi, and other drives that have all been fine. I've found that, for the most part, if they're going to die early, it's probably going to be very early, otherwise you can expect it to be not all that much longer than the warranty (but then I also have a Maxtor drive that is still going strong a couple years after the warranty).
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2006
  4. sosaiso

    sosaiso Registered Member

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    I've had WD's and Seagates last me 5+ years. WD failed, but Seagate still going strong. Replaced the Seagate [only because of too many bad sectores] with a new WD. Hopefully this one lasts much longer.
     
  5. ThunderZ

    ThunderZ Registered Member

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    I know Maxtor (now owned by Seagate) has a bad rep. However, I had one last 10 years. I currently have an old Seagate going on 8 years, but used only as a Slave\storage drive. Also have a WD with 5+ years on it. Moral of the story........? Go with Seagate or WD. IMO Not sure what the story will be with Maxtor sense the buy out. :rolleyes: (ThunderZ knocking on wood)
     
  6. cthorpe

    cthorpe Registered Member

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    My WDs have always lasted 4+ years. Maxtors have lasted 2-3. Never used Segates. I do have a 10gig WD that is about 8 years old that is working perfectly with no bad sectors.

    Ct
     
  7. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    All good info. Thanks for replying. I know Hitachi bought out IBM's hard drive division a while ago so I imagine they also bought a fair amount of know-how, hence my current preference for them. Not so sure about their Deskstar range though.

    A while ago I had compatibility problems with WD and Samsung - the PC would not boot with both installed. This may have been a BIOS problem or a HD problem - I wasn't knowledgeable enough at the time.
     
  8. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Have two 6 year old 20GB IBM hdd, one a 7200RPM IDE, other a 15500 RPM SCSI, they run day in day out in hot and cold weather so I guess they take my vote for being the most reliable, have used Maxtor which quit on me as well as WD, now have a Seagate SATA 300GB on my other machine, lets see how long that lasts.
     
  9. ErikAlbert

    ErikAlbert Registered Member

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    My previous computer, which I bought on 2000.09.28 had an
    IBM Ultrastar 18.3gb U2W-SCSI 10000RPM
    and it is still running.

    My new computer has :
    2 x WD Raptor WD740GD HDD 74gb 10000rpm SATA 8mb Cache 4.5ms
    1 x Seagate External HDD 160GB USB 2.0 7200rpm 8mb
    I hope I made the right choices.
    I'm glad I have 3 harddisks now, which is for me the minimum : WinXPproSP2 + Data + Backup.
     
  10. NOD32 user

    NOD32 user Registered Member

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    If anybody does have old Hard Disks like that, please don't throw them out - send them to me and I'll recycle them (data blank them before sending if you wish).
    Mostly if they fire up OK and just have some aparently bad sectors they're still in quite good condition, just in need of a bit of a hard disk 'tune-up'. :)
    Seriously.

    Cheers :)
     
  11. sosaiso

    sosaiso Registered Member

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    Yep. Formatted so that the bad sectors are recognized, threw it into an external case, and using it to back up data now.
     
  12. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    My 10 gig was a WD hd started dropping sectors. That drive lasted 5 years before totally dieing - had a few bad sectors for the last year of its life before one day the heads started slapping, drive would spin down, spin up again, head would bang again...
    I have a seagate 20 gig still going which is 4 years old, a 40 gig maxtor that is 3 years old and an 80 gig maxtor that is 18 months old.

    My laptop's hdd is 4 years old and is a Hitachi 20gig.

    Last time I saw a hdd actually crash was last year when we had a power cut at work an one of 3 drives in a scsi raid on our web development server totally failled to spin up again, that drive was less than 6 months old, but cant blame the drive really, was the power cut that killed it somehow.
     
  13. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi Guys,

    You should all get a copy of Steve Gibsons "Spinrite", this will keep your drives healthy, way beyond what other utilities will do. See

    grc.com

    My "Samsung" drive is still healthy, thanks in part to Spinrite!


    Take Care
    rico
     
  14. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    Sounds like SPAM to me.... Mods feel free to remove the quoted post.
     
  15. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi

    I can assure you "Spinrite" is a valid wonderful program, but don't take my word for it. See:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19284-2004Oct9.html

    I liked that review as a submerged drive was rescued! PC World magazine offers there informed opinion, as do many other knowledgeable sources.

    I might also suggest when you take the time to actually visit grc.com, you should also check out "Shields Up" port scan etc. FREE.

    Take Care
    rico
     
  16. NOD32 user

    NOD32 user Registered Member

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    I've often wondered just how effective Spinrite would be.
    Would certainly help get the maximum life out of a hard disk if it does all is claims.
     
  17. mercurie

    mercurie A Friendly Creature

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    I have a Maxtor External, a Iomega External, a Seagate main drive and I have no clue what is in my emachine. All of these are less then 5 years old but over 3 years and function very well and quiet.

    I had a rather loud Quantum Fireball that failed after about 4 years. Clunk, Clunk gone! o_O :( The Seagate replaced it.

    All my hard drives run 24/7 except for the Maxtor which shuts down at certain time intervals when not in use as a power saving feature. ;)
     
  18. Carver

    Carver Registered Member

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    I have two western digital 120 in a O raid that have 4 years and going strong. Then theres my Dell Dimension XPS R450 late 1998 Started with a IBM 5400 RPM 15 GIg HD late,went to a Western Digital 250 Gig 7200 RPM about 2002. It died Last december, refused to boot all I got was the Dell screen, black screen, Then back to the Dell screen. I just put in a seagate Baracuda 320 Gig 7200 RPM (IDE) hope it lasts longer.
     
  19. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    I don't doubt that SR can do it's job but this thread is about the reliability of hard drives - it's not about hard drive recovery programs, of which there are many.

    So, please don't mention SR again in this thread. What I do know is that Steve Gibson is well versed in the art of public promotion (for all I know I am speaking to the person himself), and just because a product gets good reviews in "BIG" publication does not always mean a product is technically good - most of these reviewers are journalists first, and part-time (at best) computer technicians second.

    If you want to continue this debate please do it by PM'ing me rather than adding irrelevant stuff to this thread. :)
     
  20. Defenestration

    Defenestration Registered Member

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    To everyone else.... Thanks for the feedback on your experiences with various hard drives. Keep it coming! :)
     
  21. VikingStorm

    VikingStorm Registered Member

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    You might want to head over to: http://www.storagereview.com

    They have a pretty large reliability survey database.
    "20583 readers have entered results for their experiences with a total of 44871 drives."
     
  22. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Hard drive reliability depends on several factors, one of which is whether the microcode version on the hard drive has matured.

    While working at one company, I had first hand experience with one of the major drive vendors mentioned in this thread. Mfging at my company had an absolutely baroque policy of back patching the disks to the level they had previously been in-house qualified at from the drive distributor prior to acceptance of the drives. This meant that our disks were not as reliable as more recent ones of the same model with all of the microcode patch fixes.

    During the course of investigating a sytem failure involving many different vendor parties, I was able to get the internal doc from the drive vendor regarding their microcode fixes (which exonerated the vendor in this particular problem area) and determined that our Management needed to get with it and accept disks with the newer microcode patches. My mantra for Mfging was to exhort - Now why can't we get more highly reliable disks with the new microcode patches? Eventually, they were shamed into changing the dumba** policy.

    -- Tom
     
  23. Inspector Clouseau

    Inspector Clouseau AV Expert

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    A Seagte Baracuda alives in my RAID usually around 5 months then they are dying. WD alives sligthly less something around 4 months.

    24/7 Fullstream Speed Scan Array at 3GBit cooled down (watercooling) to 24 Celsius per Disk. Still they are dying like flys :eek:
     
  24. Escalader

    Escalader Registered Member

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    Went there but have to register... did that happen to you? Did your spam rate go up? Just a question.

    The heavy weights seem to be

    Seagate
    Western Digital
    Maxtor

    I will probably have to go through hoops to ensure comapatibility with my Dell 4700...?:doubt:
     
  25. noway

    noway Registered Member

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    Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 80GB ATA/133 lasted just over one year. Used moderately but created/restored Drive Images once or twice a week, if that makes any difference to lifespan.
     
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