WD Caviar RE "high reliability" drives

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

What's the scoop on these? They cost a bit more than regular WD
drives, but have the fluid bearings and claims of higher reliability.
21 answers Last reply
More about caviar high reliability drives
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    chrisv wrote:
    > What's the scoop on these? They cost a bit more than regular WD
    > drives, but have the fluid bearings and claims of higher reliability.

    I don't remember a claim of high reliability, but that can be just
    semantics. Those drives should work better with a RAID controller.

    Seagate came up with a similar line of drives and both vendors agree
    that there are benefits only in RAID configurations
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    chrisv wrote:

    > What's the scoop on these? They cost a bit more than regular WD
    > drives, but have the fluid bearings and claims of higher reliability.

    I'd like to know why MTBF ratings keep going up, now over a million
    hours for some drives, but the expected lifespan remains at five years
    (and that may be for only eight hours of use per day). Because if
    drives really are better now, shouldn't their expected lifespans also
    be higher?

    I thought that all new WD drives now use fluid bearings. I know that
    the 120GB one I bought this Labor Day does.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    I would have no problem buying Western Digitals,
    but would rather have Seagate.

    "chrisv" <chrisv@nospam.invalid> wrote in message
    news:d48ei11049tecluf26hfgcj0voe4u6vf93@4ax.com...
    >
    > What's the scoop on these? They cost a bit more than regular WD
    > drives, but have the fluid bearings and claims of higher reliability.
    >
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    chrisv <chrisv@nospam.invalid> wrote

    > What's the scoop on these?

    Just PR bullshit.

    > They cost a bit more than regular WD drives,

    That's really just the cost of the longer warranty.

    > but have the fluid bearings

    They all do now.

    > and claims of higher reliability.

    That is a lie, maybe higher than the worst of the WD drives tho.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Rod Speed" <rod_speed@yahoo.com> wrote in news:3ooo8rF6ki0mU1
    @individual.net:

    >> and claims of higher reliability.
    >
    > That is a lie, maybe higher than the worst of the WD drives tho.
    >

    Please would you post references to justify you assertion?
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "McSpreader" <invalid@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:Xns96D0D3568F23EMcP@80.5.182.99
    > "Rod Speed" <rod_speed@yahoo.com> wrote in news:3ooo8rF6ki0mU1@individual.net:
    >
    > > > and claims of higher reliability.
    > >
    > > That is a lie, maybe higher than the worst of the WD drives tho.
    > >
    >
    > Please would you post references to justify you assertion?

    Corse he will, doesn't he always?
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    larry moe 'n curly <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote
    > chrisv wrote

    >> What's the scoop on these? They cost a bit more than regular WD
    >> drives, but have the fluid bearings and claims of higher reliability.

    > I'd like to know why MTBF ratings keep going up, now over a million
    > hours for some drives, but the expected lifespan remains at five years

    That isnt the expected lifespan, that's the design life, a different animal
    entirely.

    > (and that may be for only eight hours of use per day).
    > Because if drives really are better now, shouldn't their
    > expected lifespans also be higher?

    That 5 years aint the expected lifespan.

    > I thought that all new WD drives now use fluid bearings.
    > I know that the 120GB one I bought this Labor Day does.

    Yep.
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Folkert Rienstra" <see_reply-to@myweb.nl> wrote in message
    news:43277a80$0$91265$892e7fe2@authen.white.readfreenews.net...
    > "McSpreader" <invalid@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:Xns96D0D3568F23EMcP@80.5.182.99
    > > "Rod Speed" <rod_speed@yahoo.com> wrote in
    news:3ooo8rF6ki0mU1@individual.net:
    > >
    > > > > and claims of higher reliability.
    > > >
    > > > That is a lie, maybe higher than the worst of the WD drives tho.
    > > >
    > >
    > > Please would you post references to justify you assertion?
    >
    > Corse he will, doesn't he always?

    I was a WD fan, but I've just had my third WD Caviar drive (out of a sample
    of 4) fail. The failed drives lasted about 12-18 months. The survivor is
    just under three years old. They weren't overheated - Two were used in a PC
    fitted with tripple drive fans and one in a big all metal fan equipped 5.25"
    external enclosure that was never transported/moved. All three made strange
    mechanical noises - typically at startup - anything from a quiet ticking to
    a screech. I've decided to replace the latest failure with a Samsung
    Spinpoint drive. I've no idea if they are any better - will let you know how
    they do in three years time.
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > I was a WD fan, but I've just had my third WD Caviar drive (out of a
    sample
    > of 4) fail. The failed drives lasted about 12-18 months. The survivor is
    > just under three years old. They weren't overheated - Two were used in a
    PC
    > fitted with tripple drive fans and one in a big all metal fan equipped
    5.25"
    > external enclosure that was never transported/moved. All three made
    strange
    > mechanical noises - typically at startup - anything from a quiet ticking
    to
    > a screech. I've decided to replace the latest failure with a Samsung
    > Spinpoint drive. I've no idea if they are any better - will let you know
    how
    > they do in three years time.

    That is why you should have a reliable backup. Any brand hard disk can fail.
    Any time.
    With reliable backup it is just a nuisance to restore systems after
    replacing failed hard disks. You have a bit less of that hassle if your
    disks are better quality, thats all. You pay for it.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Iago wrote:

    >chrisv wrote:
    >> What's the scoop on these? They cost a bit more than regular WD
    >> drives, but have the fluid bearings and claims of higher reliability.
    >
    >I don't remember a claim of high reliability, but that can be just
    >semantics. Those drives should work better with a RAID controller.

    See here for their "regular" drives:

    http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/index.asp?Cat=3&Language=en

    Here, for their "enterprise" drives:

    http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/index.asp?Cat=2&Language=en

    They don't explain what would make them more reliable, however...
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Rod Speed wrote:

    >chrisv <chrisv@nospam.invalid> wrote
    >
    >> What's the scoop on these?
    >
    >Just PR bullshit.
    >
    >> They cost a bit more than regular WD drives,
    >
    >That's really just the cost of the longer warranty.

    Hmm... It takes the warrantee from 3 years to 5... I wouldn't want
    to pay anything for that.

    >> but have the fluid bearings
    >
    >They all do now.

    Odd. They do say that their cheap "mainstream" line uses the fluid
    bearings

    http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=41

    But there's no mention of it on the "high performance" EIDE line

    http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=117&Language=en
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    chrisv wrote:
    > Iago wrote:
    >
    > >chrisv wrote:
    > >> What's the scoop on these? They cost a bit more than regular WD
    > >> drives, but have the fluid bearings and claims of higher reliability.
    > >
    > >I don't remember a claim of high reliability, but that can be just
    > >semantics. Those drives should work better with a RAID controller.
    >
    > See here for their "regular" drives:
    >
    > http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/index.asp?Cat=3&Language=en
    >
    > Here, for their "enterprise" drives:
    >
    > http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/index.asp?Cat=2&Language=en
    >
    > They don't explain what would make them more reliable, however...

    Actually they do, one click deeper:
    http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=158&Language=en
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Arno Wagner wrote:
    >
    > Complex epelctronics usuelly have 5 years lifetime, mostly because of
    > electrolyte capacitors that do not live too long but are far cheaper
    > than, e.g., long-loved ceramics. Semicondictors run cold (e.g. 40C)
    > have something like 30 years lifetime. It halves every 10C or so,
    > regardless of whether the device is operating or not.

    30 years for a semiconductor at 40C is unbelievably low and is closer
    to the expected lifespan of an electrolytic capacitor. Any semi that
    cool should last more like 100-300 years, but motor and head positioner
    chips often run at 70-90C.
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > > >> What's the scoop on these? They cost a bit more than regular WD
    > > >> drives, but have the fluid bearings and claims of higher reliability.
    > > >
    > > >I don't remember a claim of high reliability, but that can be just
    > > >semantics. Those drives should work better with a RAID controller.
    > >
    > > See here for their "regular" drives:
    > >
    > > http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/index.asp?Cat=3&Language=en
    > >
    > > Here, for their "enterprise" drives:
    > >
    > > http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/index.asp?Cat=2&Language=en
    > >
    > > They don't explain what would make them more reliable, however...
    >
    > Actually they do, one click deeper:
    >
    http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=158&Language=en
    >

    IMPORTANT: Because of the time-limited error recovery feature, this product
    is intended for server applications and is not recommended for use in
    desktop systems.
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously Peter <peterfoxghost@yahoo.ca> wrote:
    >> I was a WD fan, but I've just had my third WD Caviar drive (out of a
    > sample
    >> of 4) fail. The failed drives lasted about 12-18 months. The survivor is
    >> just under three years old. They weren't overheated - Two were used in a
    > PC
    >> fitted with tripple drive fans and one in a big all metal fan equipped
    > 5.25"
    >> external enclosure that was never transported/moved. All three made
    > strange
    >> mechanical noises - typically at startup - anything from a quiet ticking
    > to
    >> a screech. I've decided to replace the latest failure with a Samsung
    >> Spinpoint drive. I've no idea if they are any better - will let you know
    > how
    >> they do in three years time.

    > That is why you should have a reliable backup. Any brand hard disk
    > can fail. Any time. With reliable backup it is just a nuisance to
    > restore systems after replacing failed hard disks. You have a bit
    > less of that hassle if your disks are better quality, thats all. You
    > pay for it.

    Actually for disk failures RAID1 or RAID5 (with not too many disks)
    is fine. Backup is more needed for other sources of destruction like
    system failure (think fire, theft, flooding,...) or user and
    software error. Repairing a disk in a RAID array (other than RAID0
    obviously) is usually quite painless and takes little time.

    Arno
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously larry moe 'n curly <larrymoencurly@my-deja.com> wrote:

    > chrisv wrote:

    >> What's the scoop on these? They cost a bit more than regular WD
    >> drives, but have the fluid bearings and claims of higher reliability.

    > I'd like to know why MTBF ratings keep going up, now over a million
    > hours for some drives, but the expected lifespan remains at five years
    > (and that may be for only eight hours of use per day). Because if
    > drives really are better now, shouldn't their expected lifespans also
    > be higher?

    No. The "component life" is the time the MTBF is valid. The MTBF
    is not a lifetime bat a failure probability:

    1 / <MTBF> = <propapility of failure per hour of operation>

    It is valid as long as the device is younger than the "lifetime".
    After that the device enters a "wear out" period where the
    failure rate per hour increases. Actually a new device also
    has higher failure rate, ofteh called "infant mortality", but
    this is usually not shown today. It can usually be avoided by
    doing a "burn in", e.g. a week of running hot (accelerates ageing)
    under full load.

    Since the components of the drive age, the MTBF eventually rises.
    Complex epelctronics usuelly have 5 years lifetime, mostly because of
    electrolyte capacitors that do not live too long but are far cheaper
    than, e.g., long-loved ceramics. Semicondictors run cold (e.g. 40C)
    have something like 30 years lifetime. It halves every 10C or so,
    regardless of whether the device is operating or not. The base
    temperature may be significantly different for power semiconductors
    (also current PC CPUs). For mechanics it depends. They are usually
    manufactured just well enough that they do not bring the system
    lifetime down.

    > I thought that all new WD drives now use fluid bearings. I know that
    > the 120GB one I bought this Labor Day does.

    The bearings are not the only thing that fails.

    Arno
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    On 14 Sep 2005 20:22:42 GMT, Arno Wagner <me@privacy.net>
    wrote:

    >1 / <MTBF> = <propapility of failure per hour of operation>

    Wouldn't that be <PFHO>? <g>

    MTBF is Mean Time Between Failures, I believe.

    All the best,
    --
    Kenneth

    If you email... Please remove the "SPAMLESS."
  18. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "chrisv" <chrisv@nospam.invalid> wrote in message news:dt0hi15huhakq0bg7e8603espm0topfgam@4ax.com
    > Rod Speed wrote:
    >
    > > chrisv <chrisv@nospam.invalid> wrote
    > >
    > > > What's the scoop on these?
    > >
    > > Just PR bullshit.
    > >
    > > > They cost a bit more than regular WD drives,
    > >
    > > That's really just the cost of the longer warranty.
    >
    > Hmm... It takes the warrantee from 3 years to 5... I wouldn't want
    > to pay anything for that.
    >
    > > > but have the fluid bearings
    > >
    > > They all do now.
    >
    > Odd. They do say that their cheap "mainstream" line uses the fluid bearings
    >
    > http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=41
    >
    > But there's no mention of it on the "high performance" EIDE line

    And that's why they are enterprise, obviously.

    >
    > http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=117&Language=en
  19. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Peter wrote:

    >http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=158&Language=en
    >>
    >
    >IMPORTANT: Because of the time-limited error recovery feature, this product
    >is intended for server applications and is not recommended for use in
    >desktop systems.

    Yeah, it gives up after 7 seconds? In all likelyhood, if it hasn't
    been able to read the data in that amount of time, it never will be
    able to...
  20. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    > >IMPORTANT: Because of the time-limited error recovery feature, this
    product
    > >is intended for server applications and is not recommended for use in
    > >desktop systems.
    >
    > Yeah, it gives up after 7 seconds? In all likelyhood, if it hasn't
    > been able to read the data in that amount of time, it never will be
    > able to...

    So why they (WD) waste time trying to read data longer, on desktop class
    disks?
    Plus, that 7 seconds disqualifies enterprise drives to work in desktop
    systems? Thats hard to believe.
  21. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Folkert Rienstra wrote:

    >> But there's no mention of it on the "high performance" EIDE line
    >
    >And that's why they are enterprise, obviously.

    Enterprise drives don't use fluid bearings?


    >> http://www.westerndigital.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=117&Language=en
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