Reliable USB External Hard Drives ?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by JosephB, Mar 8, 2012.

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  1. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    For a Backup Drive, which External USB Hard Drive have you found to reliable and last for more than 1 year ?

    Do WD MyBook or Seagate Goflex hold up for more tha 1 year ?
    --OR--
    Do you find that you need to go with a USB enclosure and standard desktop internal drives for a reliable solution that will last more than 1 year ? If yes, then what USB Enclosure Brand do you use ?
    -- OR --
    Do you instead use a "Drobo" OR a Wireless Router with its gigabit port connected to a "NAS Backup Drive" (with Raid) ? ... If yes, which brand have you found to be reliable ?
     
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I have several USB Hard Drives (3.5" SATA) which I built myself. I buy the SATA hard drive and install it in a Good Quality USB External Enclosure (preferably one with a fan).

    I also have a two bay Synology NAS with two Seagate Enterprise Grade 500 GB SATA hard drives configured in RAID1 (Mirrored).

    "THEORETICALLY" Enterprise Grade SATA hard drives are much more reliable than typical SATA hard drives. Of course, any hard drive can fail. Enterprise Grade hard drives are very pricey, especially after the Thailand Floods. The Western Digital RE4 500 GB SATA II Enterprise Grade hard drive has decreased recently to the low $100's.
     
  3. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    For years, I have used USB Vantec enclosures with standard WD or Seagate SATA desktop internal drives, no problems so far.

    I suppose MyBook and similar external disks also use standard drives. The probabilities of failure should be the same.
     
  4. berryracer

    berryracer Suspended Member

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    I have a Seagate 1 TB USB HDD and a WD 120 GB USB HDD and both have never failed me so either way you can't go wrong with any of them

    Although I personally prefer Seagate
     
  5. Cutting_Edgetech

    Cutting_Edgetech Registered Member

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    Seagate use to be really great, but I believe their glory days are over. The drivers just plain suck! I have 5 of the Goflex drives, and the drives constantly have hardware failure issues, and causing me to get BSOD's. I have one now that is thumping each time the disk spins so it will be out soon.They also disappear from windows explorer constantly. One minute the drive letter is there, and the next the drive disappears again. I'm constantly have to unplug the drives for a moment, and then plug them back in again to get windows to recognize the drives. I have Seagate Goflex 2tb, 3tb, and 4tb drives. The only thing they have been good for is stressing me out! What a waste of money. I'm going to go with western digital on my next purchases. Better yet I'm currently researching to decide wether i'm going to buy or build an 8 bay drive enclosure, and use internal drives. They will last much longer, and perform better. IMO the most dependable, and longest lasting external drive ever made was by Seagate. Here is a pic of the one i'm speaking of -http://www.instructables.com/id/Disassemble-Seagate-External-Harddrive/ I have 2 of these since 2001 or 2002, and I have never had a problem out them. They run as good as new. Seagate needs to go back, and look at these drives, and see what they did right. If I could get these drives in 2TB or larger I would be in business.
     
  6. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    I'll purchase a WD My Passport Essential 750GB, are those good and reliable? :D
     
  7. treehouse786

    treehouse786 Registered Member

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    no one can tell you which ones are reliable, you will just have to buy and see. its always luck of the draw.
     
  8. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I have a collection of dead Lacie and WD external USB drives. Most went at around the 1.5 year point.

    I currently have 6 Iomega drives some of which are going on two, and all are going strong.

    Pete
     
  9. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    I have 2 WD Passport drives. One @ 1-1/2 yrs, one @ +4 yrs.
    (I'm a big proponent of off-site storage. Always keep one in vehicle glovebox & rotate them)
    No problems to date.
     
  10. LoneWolf

    LoneWolf Registered Member

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    I've had good luck with the one I went with, a Samsung S1 Mini.
     
  11. guest

    guest Guest

    I'm probably shooting off my mouth here and may come to regret it,
    but I have never had a hard drive go bad, I have had several that
    were way over ten years old and never gave me a spot of trouble
    with that being saido_O now I better watch outo_O o_O o_O
     
  12. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I have a WD Passport 500GB external that's lasted about 3 years so far. No issues.
     
  13. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Nice to hear your experiences :D
    I think i'll just get the WD Passport :D :thumb:
     
  14. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    Do bear in mind that these are electro-mechanical devices, and are a bit on the fragile side.
    Therefore, to hopefully prolong it's life, do treat it gently: avoid dropping, banging, or anything else that could shock it.
     
  15. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    no more wd for me. WAY to many failures i see with them i am in this business and deal with people at the consumer level and i see soo many dead wd drives and externals of late i will not touch them. i use to like hitachi and still will if they dont become the same drives as wd. samsung hdd's have also worked out VERY very well for me with almost no failures, im talking about hundreds of drives here and i have only warranted out maybe 5-7 drives that i can remember. i have recently switched back to seagate since they got samsung hdd division and i have to say i am impressed. its been around 6 months and i have yet to have a bad drive. some think im crazy but when you use and sell drives on a daily basis you get a god feel of whats going on with them.

    for a portable drive myself i prefer and use the hornettek enclosures then i can put whatever drive in them i want to. two i really like are the shark and the panther 3.0 versions. otherwise i really like the goflex portable drives and unlike the person above i have not seen any issues with the drivers for them. i DONT LIKE what wd did when they switched their 2.5" drives away from normal sata drives and went to a usb type connector attached directly to the drive. if you open a recent wd one thats what you will find inside. this is also done in most of the toshiba, some hitachi and the hp portable drives which wd makes as well.
     
  16. JosephB

    JosephB Registered Member

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    Well thanks for all the feedback. I am currently thinking of adding an addtional external Hard Drive(s) to have extra backup redundancy. I am currently using for my Backups a Drobo S (1st gen - usb 2) with 3 internal seagate drives (without any issues for 2 years). I feel reassured that I have a RAID (a version of RAID which basically gives mirrored protection) Backup Drive System which will protect against a hard drive failure.
    ... However, the Drobo is slow for backing up and one could possibily get a hardware failure of the unit. So, for ultimate protection I should have another type of external backup system to supplement the Drobo system and also would like to have a drive system with faster transfer times. I see by feedback that the external usb drives tend to have issues.
    .. So, I think the best bet is for me to supplement with another raid external system where you can put in your own more robust internal desktop hard drives. I think I should go this time for a NAS Raid external drive system.

    ... Therefore, any Brand experience with the reliability and speed of NAS (RAID) drive systems ?
    (P.S. TheKid7, I saw your recommendation for Synology NAS. Thanks, I will look into it.)
     
  17. whitedragon551

    whitedragon551 Registered Member

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    I use an external docking station and 3.5" or 2.5" hard drive. The docking station comes in handy all the time for getting files off of hard drives with OS failures.

    My station is a ThermalTake BlacX and the HD I use is a 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda.
     
  18. Noob

    Noob Registered Member

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    Well at the end i'll get a 1TB Seagate Expansion :D
    (Changed my mind on WD, although their Desktop HDD's have never failed me, the reviews on their portable drives changed my mind)
     
  19. TairikuOkami

    TairikuOkami Registered Member

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    Well, since there are only 2 brands left now, Seagate and WD, and they are both reliable, it is more about, what brand/type of an external box to choose.
    I currently backup online, but I plan to buy 2,5" HDD only, since it does not need an external powersupply, especially tough one ADATA Series SH93 2.5”.
     
  20. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    I don´t like external enclosures without their own power supplies, especially USB 3.0 enclosures. Some USB 3.0 ports in laptops can´t supply the necessary power to these enclosures. Some must be connected to two USB ports, which is somewhat better.
     
  21. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    That's good to know. In the past I've usually preferred Samung drives, but I read an article recently suggesting that the quality of Samsung may drop since they were taken over. Thankfully it seems that Seagate's quality if improved.
     
  22. treehouse786

    treehouse786 Registered Member

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    there will not be any samsung hard drives from now on, seagate bought all of the hard disk business from samsung and seagate will now incorporate the technologies into their own drives. the only place you will see 'samsung' printed on a storage drive is on an SSD from now on.
     
  23. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    A few more than two - but not many.

    The only actual manufacturers of hard drives as of March 2012:

    Seagate

    Western Digital

    Toshiba

    Iomega/EMC/ExcelStor


    (Edited to remove Hitachi. The WD acquisition was approved earlier this month.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  24. treehouse786

    treehouse786 Registered Member

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    toshiba and western digital have joined forces to cross licence patents and factories, although they are staying as independent entities, the technology sharing will eventually mean that both companies will have the same type of tech in their hard drives.

    excelstor still making hard drives? not 100% sure they are.

    i might be wrong but eventually there will only be 2 hdd manufacturers with competing technologies (seagate and WD/toshiba)
     
  25. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    It's entirely individual. Some will swear by one brand, others will curse it.
    There's no way about it except hard self-inflicted statistics.
    Mrk
     
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