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Should I Trust This Drive?

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a b G Storage
October 7, 2009 10:33:16 PM

Hey all,

Currently my OS (W7 RC) is installed on an "old" Western Digital (7200RPM, 16MB cache, etc...) that I got with a Dell in mid 2007. I recently purchased a Velociraptor for when I get W7 pro and have already installed Vista on it in preparation for the upgrade. I'm going to wipe this current drive when the time comes and use it for multimedia storage, i.e. TV shows and such, DVD rips, etc... Obviously, I don't want to lose any of my files that I put on that drive. So the question is: Should I still see a fair amount of time left on the drive's lifespan? According to Windows and Sandra, it's still in good shape, but as some know, an HDD can fail just like that. It runs at a cool temperature, i.e. roughly 30-35*C with a 120mm fan blowing on it and my other drives. When it was in the Dell it was on alot, as typically never shut the computer off. I know that drives usually have an hour life expectancy statistic, but that can be a bit inflated in most cases. Just seeing if I should maybe pick up another drive and scrap this one or let it alone.

Thanks for the input.

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a b G Storage
October 8, 2009 12:47:42 AM

buwish said:
. . . it's still in good shape, but as some know, an HDD can fail just like that . . . I know that drives usually have an hour life expectancy statistic, but that can be a bit inflated in most cases
There's your answer. I don't think anyone here is going to give you any assurances. If your well backed-up, it shouldn't matter much. If you are not, every day is a bigger risk.

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a c 102 G Storage
October 8, 2009 1:40:16 AM

If you use it for storage, it should last longer.

Consider putting it in something like the BlacX external USB/eSATA device. You can turn the device off when not needed. I did this at first, but got tired of turning it on as I use it a lot. I saw the BlacX at NCIX on sale recently.

I have mine connected with a SATA->eSATA connector as I don't have eSATA on my PC. eSATA adds power and will auto detect the drive. The adapter provides the power (I suppose you wouldn't need the adapter with eSATA->eSATA). If I shut it off I don't have to reboot to detect it if I bring up the Device Manager and scan for new hardware. Another reason to just leave it on though.

BACKUP:
It's always recommended you have your data in at least two spots. Personally, I made an IMAGE of Windows (with all tweaks and programs) and put it on my WD 1TB Green which may be one of the most reliable drives around. I used Acronis True Image and if I ever needed to I could restore an EXACT image of Windows complete with validation in a short time (30 minutes or so).

If you're worried get a 1TB WD Green drive for as low as $80.
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October 8, 2009 6:47:44 AM

In my rather unscientific research I've found that there is no correlation between the age of the drive and it's likelihood of failure. I have client's drives [and my own drives] that are new/relatively new and failed within a couple of weeks of purchase. :( 

As long as we have backup of data tucked away in a safe place we need not worry at all. With falling prices of bigger capacity hard drives there is no excuse for not backing up.....

Frequency of backups:

Frequency of backups should correspond directly to the value we assign to the data that is stored on any particular drive. I also believe that scheduled testing of backups should be an integral part of any backup process.

All of the above will enable us to enjoy a digital lifestyle [aka gadgets] more :) 


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a b G Storage
October 8, 2009 8:30:33 AM

Indeed. Back up isn't an issue, as I figure I have roughly 2.5TB of combined space (i.e. several drives, including the one in question). I guess the best way to describe my set up is as follows:

-WD 500GB: The one in question; current OS and potential media storage
-WD 300GB: The Velociraptor; Vista is installed on it awaiting W7 Pro and general apps, i.e. Office and such.
-Seagate Barracuda 500GB: Currently used for my music (I'm a bit of an audiophile) and standard def TV shows
-Seagate Free Agent 1TB: Used for high def movies and TV- about 200GB left, but I'll be adding to it as time goes by.

The Raptor and Barracuda are new, while the FreeAgent Drive is internal, as I removed it from it's external case for faster speeds and minimal hang ups watching HD media.

I'd like to have separate HDDs for music and TV stuff. However, it seems like I should use one of the 500 gigs for backup. I'm not worried about the HD movies and such, as I really don't want to fiddle with another TB drive right now. Maybe an external when I feel like spending the cash.

But yeah, there it is. As you can see, I'm kind of peculiar when it comes to my storage. I can't wait for 10TB SSD's to be $100!
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October 8, 2009 2:21:59 PM

Hmmm.I use norton Ghost and it restores my primary partition 15g in less than 2 minutes on average ,sometimes even a little faster..:) 
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