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Most reliable HDD?

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March 11, 2006 9:38:25 PM

I bought a 120Gig Maxtor about 2 years ago. Everything was going fine and suddenly I lost a 20 Gig partition and Windows (installed on another partition) got corrupted (BSOD, etc...)
After scanning the whole drive I realised it was full of bad sectors! And I tought Maxtor was a good brand!!

At the store I was told that the quality of Maxtor and Western Digital HDD dropped dratically in the last few years and that the best ones were from IBM.

Is that true? Which HDDs are less likely to die on me aftera year or 2? I want reliability! :( 

More about : reliable hdd

March 11, 2006 9:56:25 PM

Untrue, in the last few years, quality of technology has increased, including hard drives. BTW, WD makes the best drives, IMO... Raptor!
Maxtors build good drives too, as well as Seagate and others...

Basically, most companys have several product lines and markets for drives, I like to select the ones with at least a 3 yr warranty, for generally the 1 yr warranty drives are prone to more problems...
March 11, 2006 9:56:53 PM

I just got a Western Digital Caviar SE 16 WD2500KS 250 gb SATA 2 w 16mb Buffer for 94.30 ZIPZOOMFLY. This unit was given BEST BUY at PC WORLD and between the 16mb buffer and SATA2 data transfer, It seemed a better deal than comparable Maxtor. Plus I heard Maxtor was being bought out by Plextor???
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March 11, 2006 10:03:50 PM

I also got a pair of those WD SE16 250gig drives...
Very good...
March 11, 2006 11:48:53 PM

I doubt whether you'll get agreement on this question, as people all have their favorites, based on their experiences. I'd opt for something with a longer warranty, say 5 years. Maxtor was purchased by Seagate.
March 12, 2006 2:07:16 AM

I still have some of every brand running (including a few quantums and a 500meg maxtor). I've been very happy with wd lately though, just got another two 320's to add to the two I already have in my htpc, used VERY heavily and haven't had a single problem.

IBM drives seem to be getting worse, I don't think I'd buy them right now, might just be my bad luck but I've had two die in the last year.
March 12, 2006 2:38:04 AM

yea my 420MB quantum hard drive is still running, no problem what so ever.
March 12, 2006 2:45:48 AM

I got yet another of the WD2500KS drives and also a WD740GD for the / drive :D  WD makes good drives. I have also had good luck with Hitachi as I bought a Travelstar 5K100 as a replacement for a dead-after-three-years Toshiba drive. (Hitachi GST bought IBM's drive division BTW.)

Two of my friends have identical 120GB WD Caviars that have been running for a long time, and we have had Maxtor, Seagate, and IBM drives running well. Some of those IBM drives are OLD- 30MB (no typo) is the oldest and it ran from 1990 to about 1998 when we sold the computer without a hiccup.

The ones that I have had that sucked are Quantum. Quantum Fireballs are awful POS that I have had three die on me. Two were old Macintosh SCSI models of 40MB and about 500MB and the last was a 10-gig IDE model. The Toshiba in my old laptop uttered the squeal of death after about exactly 3 years, but my brother and mom have the same model in their computers and they have been doing fine, so maybe I just got a bad one.
March 12, 2006 2:54:54 AM

Quote:


IBM drives seem to be getting worse, I don't think I'd buy them right now, might just be my bad luck but I've had two die in the last year.



IBM doesn't make HDD's anymore they sold it to Hitachi
March 12, 2006 3:18:48 AM

For several years I've been using WD hd. My old one still works but have no use now since I got Raptor and I used the Caviar for extra storage. Both are pretty reliable and all performs just like new. I haven't got any problem of any of my hd or maybe I'm just lucky.
March 12, 2006 3:53:24 AM

my old computer has a 80gig seagate IDE and has been running fine for about 2 or 3 years.

i built a new computer about 4 months ago with a 160gig sata seagate and that thing is working great to.
March 12, 2006 4:06:43 AM

In my personal experience, Maxtor has been my choice... my last purchase before my 160GB SATA Maxtor was a 30GB, both of which are still kicking. The 30GB wasn't really a Maxtor, it was right after they aquired Quantum, and my drive was (as I'd hoped when I ordered it) a remarked Fireball with Quantum's brand spanking new fluid bearings. I was lucky with the earlier IBM "Deathstars" also. I've had WD drives under 1GB outlast most all modern WD drives I've run across, except for a used 40GB in one of my boxes, though I don't keep important data on it for fear of the inevitable.

Professionally the story is a little different. I've seen high failure rates from all IDE vendors, MUCH more from larger OEMs in recent years than ever before, it seems. Especially in laptops.

Big Blue/Hitatchi. The Deskstars (aka Deathstars as I like to call them) went through a few bad years of insanely high failure rates, though not quite as bad as JTS drives ;)  Also note that though they are Hitatchi's now they have been made by Hitatchi for some time (probably since they started their rebound from being real DEATHstars.) Though I'm not sure when (if ever) they were actually made by IBM, they definitely haven't always been made by IBM or Hitatchi. I heard rumor that WD made them for some time (likely during the crappy years?) Whoever did, I blame poor manufacturing and QA, since it seems like almost half of their drives failed that I ever saw, but the ones that didn't are probably still going strong.

Their Travelstars in laptops seem to be fond of all sorts of problems as well, lately they are dropping like flies, then again, all laptop hard drives are. My last purchase (Nov/05 I think) was a Toshiba (I don't even remember size it's been a few months) but it was 7200rpm/16MB cache! It ARRIVED with bad sectors. I didn't bother with a replacement since my laptop mobo died. :

WD used to be solid but they always have some highly questionable models in their ranks even on the higher end, and I just avoid them personally and professionally, except for the Raptors in years past due to the speed, but I have seen several of them die out in the 2nd year.

Seagate IDE drives I have little experience with except the white label OEMs I've seen in some of the big boy's super cheap computers, which are just as prone to failure as any WD or Maxtor that I see in the big boy's super cheap computers. Now, Seagate SCSI can't be beat for any reason! I have no info on SAS yet but when the time comes to start using them, I'll assume the same.

Maxtor has seen some problems in my shop a lot in the last few years but personally I've always had good luck. The big brand cheap-o's include Maxtor models that don't seem to live much past a year if that, just like WD's from what I see. My shop is predominately pro-Deskstar and anti-Maxtor, though a friend of mine who owns a shop in another town sells only Maxtor's except for special request, and he's only had a few come back in the last few years unlike his special requests! But the customer is always right!

My advice is to get a big warranty on that drive, and buy an "Enterprise" classified model. With SATA, finally drive OEMs are starting to build non-SCSI drives for longevity, and classify then as "Enterprise." There isn't an Enterprise SATA drive offering from Hitatchi yet, and I ignore WD by default, but Seagate and Maxtor have several models. Speaking of a SCSI idea coming to SATA, think Native Command Queuing.

Personally, for my next drive, my sights were set on a Maxline III SATAII with NCQ, 1 million hours MTTF, and 5 year warranty. After I wrote this, I've read some pretty bad reviews on that drive on a retail website, though I rather believe people were just complaining about Maxtor in general, since the DiamondMax drives all seem to have high failure rates these days.

Regardless, I think I'm going to instead go with a Seagate Enterprise class drive, the NL35 series, which would be my professional recommendation to someone buying a SATA drive for reliability, based on brand and specs alone (no personal experience.) 3Gb/s, 5 year warranty, NCQ, 16MB cache, 1 million hours MTTF, high rotational vibration tolerance and supposedly Seagate proprietary "Workload Management" tech for reliability.

It's also amazing to see so many WD supporters here. I see the most WD's, FAR MORE THAN ANY OTHER BRAND, that have failed inside warranty coming into my shop, even over DiamondMax and Deathstars. Of course, it's also the most common drive I've seen in big brand PC's that are super cheap... so perhaps the failure rates aren't as bad as they appear to be...
March 12, 2006 4:24:42 AM

I've been using the WD WD2500KS SE16 250GB for 4 months now in addition to the Raptor which i put the OS on ... WD rips ... very fast, noiseless and more durable than Maxtor IMO ... i've had bad experience with Maxtor and will never buy a maxtor again
March 12, 2006 8:40:59 AM

I have had all brands fail on me over the years.

In addition all manufactures have had notoriously BAD batches of drives like the IBM deathstar line, early 400GB HDDs from all mfg's, etc

IBMs storage division was purchased by Hitachi by the way.

I would rate HDD MFGs as follows:

SCSI:

0. Seagate

1. WD

2. Fujitsu

3. Hitachi

.
.
.

8. Maxtor

IDE / PATA / SATA:

0. WD

1. Seagate

2. Hitachi

3. Samsung

4. other

.
.
.

255. maxtor

This is of course subjective.
March 12, 2006 9:27:04 AM

Quote:
The single most important factor which causes HDD failure is heat.
Keep the drives under 40C and you can be sure they'll last over 5yrs(90% of the time on common brand HDDs).



Very true :D 

Heat, mechanical vibration, shock and manufacturing defects are some of the most important factors that affect HDD longevity.
March 12, 2006 9:49:23 AM

I would agree with linux_0's ratings, except for one, fujitsu before wd, out of all the scsi drives I've used never has a seagate failed, all the others have at one point or another.

On the IDE front, IBM (uses same technology they always have regarless of hitachi buying them far as I'm aware) where getting real bad before the buyout, haven't bought a hitachi/ibm since. I have had good luck with samsung, though not as good as seagate or wd.

I've had every make and model of laptop drive fail (generally a lot) except the momentus series, haven't seen a lot of them though. I've got a stack of dead wd's and hitachi's right in front of me in fact....
March 12, 2006 10:10:23 AM

Quote:
I would agree with linux_0's ratings, except for one, fujitsu before wd, out of all the scsi drives I've used never has a seagate failed, all the others have at one point or another.

On the IDE front, IBM (uses same technology they always have regarless of hitachi buying them far as I'm aware) where getting real bad before the buyout, haven't bought a hitachi/ibm since. I have had good luck with samsung, though not as good as seagate or wd.

I've had every make and model of laptop drive fail (generally a lot) except the momentus series, haven't seen a lot of them though. I've got a stack of dead wd's and hitachi's right in front of me in fact....


I've had HDDs from the following MFGs fail:

Quantum (IDE and SCSI)

WD (IDE)

Seagate (IDE and SCSI)

IBM (IDE and SCSI)

Hitachi [formerly IBM] (IDE)

Maxtor (IDE and SCSI)

Toshiba (IDE)

Samsung (IDE)

Miniscribe - IIRC

Micropolis - I think

Apple drives (SCSI) - I forget who the OEM was

HP drives (SCSI) - I forget who the OEM was - they were using various MFGs including Seagate and others IIRC

Fuji - IIRC

Conner (IDE and SCSI)
March 12, 2006 10:33:05 AM

In my opinion, IBMs don't seem to have got any better since the sh***y years. Maxtor used to be the budget range that offered large capacities compared to other manufacturers and at a better price. Maxtor are now going through the same sort of failure rates as IBM did. I have friends who have had maxtor drives recently and none have lasted out the warranty period (in fact, not even the 1st year). I personally rate Seagate and WDig. these days, whom don't seem to be having these kinds of problems.
March 12, 2006 12:09:00 PM

I've had 5 brands of Hard Drive over the past decade

IBM/Hitatchi (ATA only) (120gb)
Maxtor (ATA and SATA) (40/80+160Gb)
WD (Raptor + USB) (37 Gb
Seagate (ATA)
Samsung (SATA)

I can only speak with experience of these.

My IBM/Hitachi drives have lasted 3+ years without fault. I've since sold these to go SATA and the current owner has experienced no problems.

Maxtor. Both my younger brother and I have experienced drive failures, well within th warranty period. Drives were replaced but the trust in th brand lost. Drives sold on, and still working correctly.

WD Raptor. 2 urchased to make a raid 0 array. When I changed my motherboard, I was unable to get the drives to work. I HAVE SINCE LEARNT THAT THE DRIVES NEED TO HAVE THEIR BOOT SECTORS CORRECTD WHEN CHANGING PLATFORMS TO WORK PROPERLY. The drives worked fine on the purchasers PC's (thank god I got my money back..... God bless Ebay!)

Seagate. Still working!

Samsung - Apart from needing a low level format when I changed motherboards, both drives working fine and dandy after 18 months of heavy useage.

What does this tell you? Hard drives are usually reliable WHEN LOOKED AFTER. I've found that the only reason I've lost data APART FROM ON 1 FAULTY DRIVE is because I have installed alternative defragmentation software or Windows has crashed in the middle of an operation. The drives are usually, in my experience, fine.

someone else mentioned it, but go for a drive with 3 years warranty and make sure you keep it cool. Modern drives get fairly hot, so keep that in mind when laying out your system. SATA cables and round ATA ones are invaluable at improving your air movement.

Sorry about the lecture....

Tatty
March 12, 2006 1:37:41 PM

I've had 3 Maxtor's fail in the past 10months. Each lasting about 90days.
Got last rma'd one back, gave it to a friend, with a warning. I've been
quite happy with my 2 other Samsung and WD sata drives. The Samsung
is very quiet. It's all a roll of the dice, but I will be avoiding Maxtor for the
time being. It's seems I'm not the only one having problems with them as
of late.

(I have a 80mm fan blowing over my HD's with a space between them)
March 12, 2006 2:57:22 PM

I agree that Maxtor is the brand to avoid nowadays
my Maxtor DiamondPlus80gb lasted for 1 yr 2 mos only,,
im very unfortunate to have bought that one, Ive also tried Seagate and it also failed it lasted for 2 yrs, and the unexpected surivor is my old Quantum Hard disk 9 yrs n still running. I'm willing to try other brands but not maxtor and seagate, but thats just me.

Based on My exPerience...

Most Reliable HDD
QUANTUM

Unreliable HDD
MAXTOR
March 12, 2006 4:04:35 PM

Quote:
I bought a 120Gig Maxtor about 2 years ago. Everything was going fine and suddenly I lost a 20 Gig partition and Windows (installed on another partition) got corrupted (BSOD, etc...)
After scanning the whole drive I realised it was full of bad sectors! And I tought Maxtor was a good brand!!

At the store I was told that the quality of Maxtor and Western Digital HDD dropped dratically in the last few years and that the best ones were from IBM.

Is that true? Which HDDs are less likely to die on me aftera year or 2? I want reliability! :( 


It all depends what you want from the hard drive. If you want a hard drive that will work and be reliable then I would recommend a Seagate hard drive. They are not as fast as the WD drives but very reliable. I have sold many hard drives and by far the most reliable drives are Seagate.

:(  IBM - I would not recommend at all.

:lol:  WD Raptor drives are fast and somewhat reliable.

8O Maxtor - Maxtor was just sold to Seagate pending final approval. Once this merger is completed I would expect to see more speed offerings from Seagate.

Here is how I rank the manufactures (All based from sales and failure rates).
:arrow: 1 - Seagate - Reliable, 5 Year Warranty on ALL Drives
:arrow: 2 - WD - Fast, 5 Year Warranty on some drives
:arrow: 3 - Maxtor - Pending merger with Seagate
:arrow: 4 - IMB - Based from our usage, testing and failure rates - one the most unreliable drives on the market today.

Note: The above ranking is solely from our own testing results. In no way are our results scientific but based on real-world findings. We have sold, and worked on over 3000+ hard drives from many manufactures. Hard drives ranging from new drives to drives over 6 years old. By far Seagate is our most reliable drive. :wink:
March 12, 2006 5:50:17 PM

Seagate is known for its reliability. All my drives are seagates.
I have a 4 year old Seagate Barracuda ATA IV 80GB 7200RPM
still running strong.
As soon as Maxtor joins Seagate, faster disks are to be expected, but i hope not in place of reliability and longetivity. (don't ruin em maxtor! :twisted: )
March 12, 2006 5:58:14 PM

Quote:
As soon as Maxtor joins Seagate, faster disks are to be expected, but i hope not in place of reliability and longetivity. (don't ruin em maxtor! :twisted: )


Concur :wink:
March 12, 2006 6:16:24 PM

Most old apple drives are quantums, I've got 30 or so old macs in storage (I collect them) and I think all of them that have hd's are quantums. (I don't think I'm going to go check though :)  )
March 12, 2006 7:20:34 PM

Quote:
Most old apple drives are quantums, I've got 30 or so old macs in storage (I collect them) and I think all of them that have hd's are quantums. (I don't think I'm going to go check though :)  )


Ya they were Quantum 50pin Fast SCSI-2 full height. I think I may still have a couple laying around somewhere.
a b G Storage
March 12, 2006 8:48:41 PM

Quote:
I bought a 120Gig Maxtor about 2 years ago. Everything was going fine and suddenly I lost a 20 Gig partition and Windows (installed on another partition) got corrupted (BSOD, etc...)
After scanning the whole drive I realised it was full of bad sectors! And I tought Maxtor was a good brand!!

At the store I was told that the quality of Maxtor and Western Digital HDD dropped dratically in the last few years and that the best ones were from IBM.

Is that true? Which HDDs are less likely to die on me aftera year or 2? I want reliability! :( 


im always hearing Maxtor issues on the forum so im kinda put off by that so i dont buy em, but also cause Seagate has been good for me, i bought 2x250gb WD's and there rumbly and noisy - thats the last time i buy a hdd brand other then seagate!
March 12, 2006 9:26:31 PM

You really should buy some 7200.8's I hear they are GREAT!
March 12, 2006 11:47:50 PM

Quote:
The single most important factor which causes HDD failure is heat.
Keep the drives under 40C and you can be sure they'll last over 5yrs(90% of the time on common brand HDDs).

Interesting. So, a hard drive cooler is worth buying I presume? Also, how does shaking/movement effect hard drives? My laptop hard drives always seems to die when I beat the living sh*t out of it.
March 13, 2006 5:46:08 AM

Quote:
The single most important factor which causes HDD failure is heat.
Keep the drives under 40C and you can be sure they'll last over 5yrs(90% of the time on common brand HDDs).

Interesting. So, a hard drive cooler is worth buying I presume? Also, how does shaking/movement effect hard drives? My laptop hard drives always seems to die when I beat the living sh*t out of it.

Not well.

Heat, mechanical vibration, shock and manufacturing defects are some of the most important factors that affect HDD longevity.

You should always try to protect your drives from Heat, mechanical vibration and shock.

Notebook drives are designed to take more abuse but that does not always work as intended -- they tend to die a lot.
March 13, 2006 6:33:42 AM

Quote:
In my opinion, IBMs don't seem to have got any better since the sh***y years. Maxtor used to be the budget range that offered large capacities compared to other manufacturers and at a better price. Maxtor are now going through the same sort of failure rates as IBM did. I have friends who have had maxtor drives recently and none have lasted out the warranty period (in fact, not even the 1st year). I personally rate Seagate and WDig. these days, whom don't seem to be having these kinds of problems.

IBM HDDs doesn't exist anymore. Ever since Hitachi aquired IBM, the fail rate of their drives has dropped in par with Seagates, WD...etc now.

I'm aware that IBMs drive division is now Hitachi's responsibility, I would have thought they might have wanted to make a bit more of an impact (taking over from "big blue" and all). They've not done anythig to improve the reliability that I can see. I'm sorry but in my book, once a "deathstar", always a "deathstar".
!