Life of Hard drives

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Life of Hard drives

Hi:

First, allow me to rant please...What the *&&*(# are the hard drive manufacturers up???

Sorry, I just hard my Nth number of Seagate HD failure. The original one in my G5-1.8 died last winter(about 2 years old). I put in another Baracuda(could find any Maxtor in a moments notice). Well, It just pull a vanishing act last friday. Could even be mounted to be repaired or at least pull some of my latest data out. I lost 4 days worth of stuffs, which is maximum of what I could lost, 'cause I do the backup on monday nights.

Remember the old Quantums drives? They used to last forever. I still have fully functional 500mb drive I pull from ColorClassics. Maxtors aren't that bad, I had one killed by the phone company via the modem. But I don't remember I have one die on me under normal use. Just a stack of small but functioning drives sitting in a box some where.

Then there is Seagate. I don't think I have a single Seagate outside a system that is still working. They all got pulled because they died or become unreliable. Not because they outlived their usefulness.

WD. I have returned almost half of the WD because I can't get them to start up with some system. They are not DOA or anything. Just compatibility issue with the systems I need them to work in(PC or MAC). Quite often I tried them in other systems and they work, Just not the ones that the drive was intented for. Especially if it had to be master or slave with a different manufacturer's drive on the same cable.

So, not knowing what happened in the market, I set out to get a Maxtor drive. Guess what, Seagate bought them and they are no longer available. They guy I by my drive from stopped stocking WD because he started to have a lot of issue with them recently too(Glad I am not the only one).

Now, the choice that's left is crap, and crapier. The other smaller drive makers doesn't have any better reputation either. I personally have not tried them. (Toshiba and Fujitsu Notebook drive seems to be ok, but they see far less usage then desktop drive in my case)

which lead to the real question of this post. Has anybody every used "enterprise grade" or "server grade" drive on a desktop? and how is their reliability? I know the drives are design with different critiria. It was meant to be at a fixed temperature(in the server room) and run for 24/7. Desktop drive are usuallt turned of at the end of the day and see some temperature cycles and a lot of on/off cycles. I guess the question is, can a server drive be use on a desktop and still have good reliablity?

I know it costed more, but as far as I am concerned, the drive should be the most reliable component in a system. If any else died, I could buy replacement part and keep going. But if drive died, I am kind of SOL with the data.

Tried using silverkeeper to do a daily sync to a NAS. but with 24 gb of data(small files, lots and lots of small files). It usually takes over 4 hours to compare the HD with the NAS. Slowing the system down enough that I can't work with it.

Any info is greatly appreciated. Thanks

Dr. Webster's picture
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Perceived reliability from ha

Perceived reliability from hard drives is relative, and highly subjective. I have a data center at work that's 90% Seagate drives, about 200 in total. They've been very reliable for me, especially considering the 24x7, constant activity they're put though.

Seagate offers two grades to their 3.5" SATA drives, AS and NS. AS is the "desktop" class, and NS is the "server" class. The only real difference is a slightly higher MTBF with the NS drives. In the real world, I haven't seen a difference. NS drives cost about 20% more.

If you're so concerned about your data, perhaps you should buy several drives and RAID them. Several cheap drives in a RAID 1 or 10 will ultimately yield better protection for your data than a single, expensive drive.

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Small sample from home

My wife has a 250GB Seagate Barracuda in her machine that is for the most part left on all the time. So far so good. We have had no issues with the drive. Stupid issues with the system itself (mine of course) but none with the drive. It's cooled by a fan in a well-designed case.

Until recently I had a WD 250GB drive in my computer. It survived several home-built computers until I sold it with the last machine it was in not too long ago. Biggest mistake I have made recently - I can really use the space.

I have also used a Samsung 160GB SATA drive in the past. It worked OK, but occasionally the system couldn't find it. Restarting or resetting the computer fixed the issue.

Besides the Seagate 250GB drive, my mule PC has a 20GB Fujitsu laptop hard drive removed from a Thinkpad T30. It works, but is slightly slow and clicks occasionally. The G4 has an IBM 30GB in it that I would love to replace, and the G3 at work has a 40GB IBM that is OK.

In external cases we have a slightly noisy 40GB IBM used for storing downloads and virtual machine images, and a WD 40GB in another case used to store Mac downloads.

The last drive I had to fail was a Maxtor DiamondMax (I think that's the model) 40GB drive.

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Hitachi Deskstar

Hitachi Deskstar...Has any body every used any of these? Recently, I heard they are very reliable. But a few years ago I heard some bad news about them. I guess every manufacturer have some failures. I am just trying to find out which is a better bet...Statitically.

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Re: Hitachi Deskstar

Hitachi Deskstar...Has any body every used any of these? Recently, I heard they are very reliable. But a few years ago I heard some bad news about them. I guess every manufacturer have some failures. I am just trying to find out which is a better bet...Statitically.

Hitachi/IBM (IBM had a partial interest in the Deskstar brand until about a year and a half ago.) made a *really* bad batch of 40/80GB drives between 2001 and 2003 that from my experience had a nearly 100% failure rate by about two years old. Because of those you'll often hear Deskstar drives referred to as "DeathStars".

Other then that anomaly they seem to be "about as reliable as anyone else". Everyone has their own horror stories about Brand "X" drives dying "all the time" and how Brand "Y" has never failed them, but ask enough people and you'll probably find statistically that any given manufacturer has an equal number of "X"s and "Y"s attributed to them.

My personal experience is that I've seen more dead IBM/Hitachi drives then anything else, but they've all been those bad 40/80GB ones. Contrarywise, I've *never* had a Maxtor drive die on me. Maxtor's part of Seagate now, and Seagate has pretty good warranty terms, so they're probably an all-around safe choice.

--Peace

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Deskstars

I guess you and I have similar experience with Maxtor. But Seagate is not selling the internal Maxtor drive now...At least in Canada.

I just pickup a Deskstar 250gb(they were out of the 750gb at the moment). I am hoping the Deathstar batch is sort of like the Quantum Maverick series. A bad anomally in an otherwise excellent drive reliablilty experience.

Thanks

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Every drive that needed repla

Every drive that needed replacing in the last 3 years...either my own or clients, were Maxtor.

So go figure. If someone told me that one company made all the drives in the world and than just slapped different stickers on them, I would believe it. They all fail for one reason or another and its always at the worst time.

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Is there ever a good time for

Is there ever a good time for your drive to fail? I can't imagine wanting to lose my data, haha.

I've had good luck with WD and Seagate, but those Quantum Fireballs in old PPC Macs seem like they'll just keep spining forever...

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