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Best Sata HD for RELIABILITY and LONGEVITY?

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November 18, 2008 2:11:03 AM

I have two identical systems, except one has a Seagate 250 gb SATA h/d and the other one has a MAXTOR 160 gb SATA.

The Maxtor quit after about 6 months now and does not respond to FDISK (abort, retry, cancel).


The Seagate is still going strong, but, when I went to NEWEGG to order one, I see several "cons" about this model failing after a few months also. They are all OEM's on Newegg, and, the one I bought was at FRY's, and was not an oem but a genuine Seagate.

So, before I rush over to Fry's and purchase another Seagate 250 gb SATA harddrive, I am asking others if there is any consensus as to what brands/models are consistently longer lasting and more reliable.

This is not for gaming, but general PC usage (internet, word processor, data storage, etc.) Not a power user, but, I don't relish having to recover from a failed h/d - that is a real bumer.

Thanks for any advice or experiences with SATA h/d's as per reliability and longevity.
November 18, 2008 2:23:13 AM

leatherbury said:
I have two identical systems, except one has a Seagate 250 gb SATA h/d and the other one has a MAXTOR 160 gb SATA.

The Maxtor quit after about 6 months now and does not respond to FDISK (abort, retry, cancel).


The Seagate is still going strong, but, when I went to NEWEGG to order one, I see several "cons" about this model failing after a few months also. They are all OEM's on Newegg, and, the one I bought was at FRY's, and was not an oem but a genuine Seagate.

So, before I rush over to Fry's and purchase another Seagate 250 gb SATA harddrive, I am asking others if there is any consensus as to what brands/models are consistently longer lasting and more reliable.

This is not for gaming, but general PC usage (internet, word processor, data storage, etc.) Not a power user, but, I don't relish having to recover from a failed h/d - that is a real bumer.

Thanks for any advice or experiences with SATA h/d's as per reliability and longevity.

i have had my seagate barracuda 500gb for about a year now, and its still going strong, my hard drive brand of choice is indeed seagate
November 18, 2008 4:24:44 PM

all the hard drive makers are running either 3 or 5 years warranty coverage period. Usually, with normal operation parameters, you're not expecting your HDD to fail before the rest of your machine ;) 

To be super-sure that your stuff will be fine, there's only 1 solution: backup, backup and backup.

optical medias tend to degrade if not kept in dark and dry storage.
hdd tend to fail if used 24/7 for long.
tape backup is expensive.

You might want to store dvd's with your most important data at an off-site location and replicate them every other year for maximum safety. A high density usb stick can also be an interesting option but it is even more sensitive to EM fields. There really is no perfect solution ;) 
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a b G Storage
November 18, 2008 4:38:12 PM

Maxtor is the worst brand. Seagate and Western Digital are good brands.
For Seagate:

The AS drive is the Barracuda 7200.11, desktop version.

The NS drive is the near-line storage/server version.

The NS drive is more reliable, with 1.2M hours MTBF and 0.73% AFR @ 24/7 operation. The AS drive is 750K hours MTBF and 0.34% AFR @ 8/5 operation.

The NS drive also has a few server-tuned tweaks to the firmware.

The newer version of the near-line storage/server version (NS) is called ES.2.
November 18, 2008 5:01:53 PM

Quick note to the original poster, on newegg OEM just means its the product without the box, accessories, manual, etc. there isn't any difference in the actual item.

If you are looking for reliability I believe the RE2 versions of Western Digital drives are designed for continuous running (same as the NS seagate drives I see someone just mentioned) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for example. If its worth the price is your decision, I personally am just a fan of frequent backups to dvd/external drive.
November 21, 2008 5:34:39 AM

I went ahead and purchased another Seagate 250 gb just like my other one, but, I notice that there is a jumper setting which can restrict it to 1.5 g/sec data rate if inserted, or, default to 3.0 g/sec when no jumper is present. My previous Seagate had this jumper inserted form the factory, and I hadn't noticed it was there. My new one does NOT have this jumper inserted, and, so, I am wondering if this jumper will have any effect on the lifetime and reliability of the drive? I have been happy with the speed of my original drive so far, so, I am thinking to insert a jumper on my new drive also, but, if it really doesn't make any difference to the reliability nor longevity, then, I'll just leave it go without any jumper. Any ideas about that?
a b G Storage
November 21, 2008 5:59:52 AM

It won't make any difference in reliability, and I would actually remove it on the drive that has it, as it will run slightly faster (not hugely though) without the jumper.
November 21, 2008 1:43:44 PM

WD > Seagate > Hitachi. I don't even consider Maxtors anymore after a slew of drive failures.

That said, I had a brand new 7200.11 fail on me a couple of months ago after just a couple of days of use. i attributing that to a bad batch. It's replacement works fine.


Anonymous
a b G Storage
December 29, 2008 1:50:30 AM

It appears that "rezolution" is ranking WD as the best, and Hitachi in third place. Over here (I'm in Taiwan), Hitachi is definitely considered the best. When you walk into the stores to buy a hard disk, it is frequently out of stock, and the manager will try to coax you to just get the WD or the Seagate. The prices are all about the same, btw, so it's only the brand name that is selling out.

In practice, I have yet to see a Hitachi drive fail. We have seen Seagate and WD both fail--and definitely Maxtor will let you down. I'm sure that Hitachi drives can and do fail (all drives will fail eventually), but we have had multiple first-year failures on Seagate and WD drives, whereas the Hitachi disks have not yet failed once in two years.

One piece of advice: if you use WD or Seagate in a RAID setup, start off properly by doing a low-level format on the drives before creating the RAID with them. This is a preventive measure to save having to wait for the RAID to rebuild when one of those drives under-performs and "fails." We had one drive in our SATA RAID 5 that "failed" and discovered that it had one or more blocks that were simply reading too slowly (500+ microseconds, as opposed to about 15-18 ms for all other blocks). A LLF fixed it, but that took us a few DAYS to do on the large drive, and meanwhile, our RAID was sidelined. Later, we had went through the same thing with a second drive in the same array. Hindsight says we should have just done the LLF on all of them before building the array.
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