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Poll: Hard disk brand data recoverability

Last response: in Storage
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Which brand of hard disk died on you slowly enough to get your data out

Total: 13 votes (10 blank votes)

  • Seagate
  • 40 %
  • Western Digital
  • 40 %
  • Maxtor
  • 20 %
  • Toshiba
  • 0 %
  • Fujitsu
  • 0 %
  • Samsung
  • 0 %
  • Other brands
  • 0 %
February 29, 2008 12:12:43 AM

My question is, which hard disk brand died on you slowly enough, that you were actually able to copy over your files to another hard disk before it really went dead. I want to ask people who experienced such events, because no amount of online reviews, warranties or technical sheets could show you, how the drive would behave while its dying. I've experienced a fair number of drives that died slowly and others that suddenly stopped working.

Just to reiterate, I AM NOT ASKING:
1. Which brand/model to buy.
2. Which has the highest performance.
3. Which has the highest capacity.
4. Which has the most advance tech.
5. Which is the best brand.


I AM ASKING:

Which hard drive died slowly enough that you were able to get your data off it.
a b G Storage
February 29, 2008 12:41:39 AM

To my knowledge Seagate has the highest MTBF for 7200.xx HDDs so I would assume that you should be able to get the HDD recovered easier, or at least back it up before it dies completely (Check S.M.A.R.T status). Also Seagate's warranty is better than most other manufacturers. HDD Data recovery eventually comes down to the age, RAID,etc. so always keep multiple backup copies of your important data.
February 29, 2008 12:50:17 AM

I dont know about anyone else but this is a ridiculus question

It will depend on how the disk fails , not on what manufacturer... depending on parts, use, environmental conditions, wear and tear and any other number of factors will determine how the disk fails. If the disk starts to get bad sectors then data is going to be more often than not easily recovered. If the head on the disk smashes up against the disk shielding then its going to be wrecked.

The only thing your going to get from this poll is a whole lot of random data that will not serve a purpose.

If you want your data to be safe use a redundant array or make regular backups, dont count on the disk slowly dying so you can still get the data off.
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a b G Storage
February 29, 2008 1:07:27 AM

^Exactly. depending on parts, use, environmental conditions, wear and tear and any other number of factors will determine how the disk fails
February 29, 2008 1:24:55 AM

chookman said:

It will depend on how the disk fails , not on what manufacturer... depending on parts, use, environmental conditions, wear and tear and any other number of factors will determine how the disk fails.



That's why I'm asking on people's experiences. On my experience with Seagate drives, they all died a slow death, slow enought to get data off of it. I've experienced Maxtor drives that died suddenly. As I said, no amount of technical paper, nor review could generate user experience. I want to see if at least somehow the expriences are the same. I know that there are a ton of variables to consider, but if one particular brand was able to hold-up under different conditions, different locations, and have a general consensus on reliability, wouldn't that make a better number rather than MTBF?
February 29, 2008 1:31:23 AM

Shadow703793 said:
To my knowledge Seagate has the highest MTBF for 7200.xx HDDs so I would assume that you should be able to get the HDD recovered easier, or at least back it up before it dies completely (Check S.M.A.R.T status). Also Seagate's warranty is better than most other manufacturers. HDD Data recovery eventually comes down to the age, RAID,etc. so always keep multiple backup copies of your important data.


MTBF for me is actually quite unreliable, even the manufacturers adjust these numbers over time. A MTBF is also only a prediction, and these numbers become reliable only after a few years have passed, a time when you would no longer consider that drive due to its capacity/performance.

Also as much as I would like to backup on a regular basis, there are times when you aren't able to backup a drive. Times such as when you're too busy at work, laziness, out-of-town trips, etc. Also in computer's that are used by the whole family, it is a pain to backup because not all of your family members think that they should keep files organized, delete unused ones, etc. I want to see what user experiences are, not some review on newegg saying that "x is the worst brand ever" without explanation.

Also S.M.A.R.T. is unreliable, I had two drives that failed on me completely that had a SMART grade of PASS. Even at the time that the drive is failing (not booting up to XP), it even says that the SMART passed.
February 29, 2008 1:35:46 AM

Shadow703793 said:
^Exactly. depending on parts, use, environmental conditions, wear and tear and any other number of factors will determine how the disk fails


I ain't asking how the hard drive fails. I'm asking if you were able to get any data off of it before it really went dead.
February 29, 2008 1:42:37 AM

I'm with chookman, I don't think the answers to this question are relevant.

First, most individual user's experiences are invariably completely meaningless due to small sample size. The only exception is those people who work for a medium to large company and have handled dozens or hundreds of hard drives over their career.

I, myself, fall into that category. I've replaced several hundred hard drives over my career in computers. And truthfully, I've been able to recover data off of every manufacturer's hard drive in some circumstances, and in others the drive totally died and I wasn't able to recover anything. No brand, in my user experience, is any more or less recoverable than another.
February 29, 2008 1:47:49 AM

amnotanoobie said:
I ain't asking how the hard drive fails. I'm asking if you were able to get any data off of it before it really went dead.


No your asking us to tell you what manufacturer makes drives, that you can get data off as they are failing. Which as i explained, has little to nothing to do with the manufacturers actions or product.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Monitoring,_Analysis,_and_Reporting_Technology

I hate linking to Wiki pages but there it is anyways "Approximately 30% of failures can be predicted by S.M.A.R.T." So if you have 10 disks fail you might get 3 that report a S.M.A.R.T error. Myself i have seen a number of drives report S.M.A.R.T failures but no where near as many that havent, which supports the 30% figure.
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