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Are 3.5" HD's more reliable than 2.5" drives?

Last response: in Storage
April 6, 2010 4:07:36 AM

I need to buy an external HD and I've been looking at user reviews in various places like Newegg and Amazon. It seems like there are more complaints about failures of the smaller portable devices than there are about the larger desktop variety. Should this be a concern?

I would like to get a portable USB drive but reliability is important to me. More specifically, I'm attracted to the Toshiba 500 or 640GB model, but there are quite a few complaints of failures, which surprises me because Toshiba has such a good reputation for their laptops and it seems that the HD would be a critical component for reliability.

Or am I being too paranoid about the negative user reviews? I try not to be, these seem to be a bit disproportional. Any other recommendations?

BTW, I'm willing to buy a separate HD and case and backup software. Any suggestions on that front?


More about : reliable drives

a c 415 G Storage
April 6, 2010 4:20:08 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
2.5" drives seem to find their way more into server farms than anywhere else.

To be fair, the Enterprise-class 2.5" drives used in most servers are built to a different design standard than consumer laptop drives, so I'm not sure it's valid to draw any conclusions.

If I was seriously concerned about this I'd go the the manufacturer's spec sheets and have a look at the MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) and Unrecoverable Read Error rates for the various drives.
a c 122 G Storage
April 9, 2010 3:08:39 AM

Again, simple physics....tip velocities, bearing loads, bearing wobble, rotational inertia, etc are all lower on the smaller dimension drives.