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View Full Version : Which Hard Drive?



Billy
01-05-2014, 11:56 AM
We are buying an external hard drive for an Historical Society. Which brand is the most reliable?

Mainly for backups.

Thanks in advance.

Nick G
01-05-2014, 12:28 PM
Seagate or WD would be my recommendations.

Agent_24
01-05-2014, 05:21 PM
Get one of each brand and have two backups.

EFFIGY
01-05-2014, 08:32 PM
Get one of each brand and have two backups.
Thats what I have.

Digby
04-05-2014, 06:21 PM
Yes dont rely on any hard drive, they will all fail at some stage.

Have several backup hard drives and keep them off site

dugimodo
04-05-2014, 06:58 PM
Yes dont rely on any hard drive, they will all fail at some stage.

Have several backup hard drives and keep them off site

Good advice in general but many of us never bother with serious backup strategies. Anyone who only keeps a single copy of something important stored on a hard drive is asking for trouble but there are a lot of people like myself who simply never keep anything of any real importance on my computer. If I lost it all tomorrow I'd just re-install windows and start over - annoying but no biggie in the grand scheme of things.

While it's true no drive will last for ever I've been building and playing with computers since my 386 days sometime in the 80's and I've only ever suffered one serious hard drive failure and 2 minor (ish) ones in that time. Maybe I've just been lucky but it seems like the failure rate is pretty low on average. I had a drive die fairly early which I put down to being sandwiched too close between two other drives and heat, one that developed a single bad sector after stalling on a copy over night but never got any worse (minor miracle) and one that mysteriously got corrupted and lost all my recorded TV shows but has been fine since and passes all the tests I've thrown at it (ok that one pissed me off a bit but I had watched it all).

Point is, never have anything you can't afford to lose stored on a hard drive without some form of secure backup but don't stress too much about hard drive failures for the rest of it.

Digby
05-05-2014, 09:55 PM
Yes in my 30 or 40 years of computer use I've only had one critical hard drive fail on me.

They usually get retired (as being too small) before the get a chance to die.

Then there are those "Enterprise" hard drives they make for use in servers etc. They are supposed to be much more reliable, but dearer of course.

Neil McC
06-05-2014, 06:26 AM
I've been using Seagate for years with the odd fault,but recently had to replace 2 at once.At least I had warning that they were faulty.Now I'm trying out the WD green 2 TB.
But as "they" say I'm using more than 1 for backups.

1101
06-05-2014, 11:23 AM
Sure, in general they are reliable, but they are one of the more common devices to fail on a PC/laptop .
Ive replaced hundreds of faulty HD's over the years .
Ive also seen the anguish its caused when data was unrecoverable , or the 'backup' simply wasnt working as expected
* TEST YOUR BACKUP SYSTEM * , try some test recoveries from backup.
Dont assume everything you need is backed up : data sometimes gets stored in stupid locations that isnt part of some default backups.

Bring back the Seagate Bigfoot I say :thumbs:

Agent_24
06-05-2014, 11:25 AM
Bring back the Seagate Bigfoot I say :thumbs:

Heh, I've still got two of those in my 386.

Digby
06-05-2014, 12:01 PM
* TEST YOUR BACKUP SYSTEM * , try some test recoveries from backup.
Dont assume everything you need is backed up : data sometimes gets stored in stupid locations that isnt part of some default backups.


That's why I do all of my backups manually, using the copy command.
I don't trust anything.

Agent_24
06-05-2014, 12:18 PM
Even that may cause errors, do you verify checksums on the files afterwards?

Nomad
06-05-2014, 12:32 PM
No idea. I go with the warranty and I am on borrowed time. HD companies have also been reducing the warranty length too.

2009 Jan purchase. Seagate's 5yr warranty.
Drive #1. Failed due to the bad firmware.
Drive #2. Broke connector myself. Bought a WD Black also 5yr warranty. Just over a yr failed to boot, warranty. Within a year failed again due to bad sectors.
Drive #2. 3rd Seagate. I updated the firmware. Now has bad sectors. Just over 5yrs.

Yeah I have 2 drives internal, using spare space 2 copies to each other and 1 external. So 2 of the 3 drives are quite new :D One just bought today.