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Most reliable external hard drive

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September 22, 2010 1:35:12 PM

which is the most reliable external hard drive
a b G Storage
September 22, 2010 2:01:25 PM

I suspect that any more, it's a crapshoot, luck of the draw, or any other gambling metaphor you choose to use.

Since the turn of the century (I love that phrase), I have been buying WD drives almost exclusively. Haven't been disappointed. There have been other brands that were a little faster or a little less expensive. But I trust WD drives - well, as much as I trust anything built with moving parts. And in the process, I have avoided things like the Seagate 7200.11 debacle.

I have 750 GB and 1.5 TB WD MyBooks that have been trouble free.
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September 22, 2010 4:21:23 PM

I can't for sure say it's not just all hype, but I know a decent amount of people swear by glyph and G-drive hard drives. I do know that glyph uses a special version of the seagate barracuda (seagate barracuda IV). However this might not be any different than a normal barracuda. it could be that glyph wants some extra characters at the end to make us think it's "better" than what is available. if anyone knows if the glyph drives are anything special I'd be very interested to know. they sure do cost a lot! ;) 

also i think there is some merit in saying that keeping your hard drive cool extends its life, so If stability was of the utmost importance I'd get one with an aluminum chassis and a fan.

manufacture links:
www.glyphtech.com
www.g-technology.com
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January 13, 2011 2:29:40 PM

jsc said:
I suspect that any more, it's a crapshoot, luck of the draw, or any other gambling metaphor you choose to use.

Since the turn of the century (I love that phrase), I have been buying WD drives almost exclusively. Haven't been disappointed. There have been other brands that were a little faster or a little less expensive. But I trust WD drives - well, as much as I trust anything built with moving parts. And in the process, I have avoided things like the Seagate 7200.11 debacle.

I have 750 GB and 1.5 TB WD MyBooks that have been trouble free.



Just for the record, although WD seems to be held in very high regard by most computer geeks and IT professionals alike, I just had a 250GB 2 1/2 year old WD My Book die on me. It was not abused or heavily used in any way. I used it to store downloaded music. I kept adding files and folders, rarely deleting anything, rarely overwriting anything, once in a while playing the music back - about as gentle a use of an active hard drive there can be, IMO. Yet it died - I lost at least 500 albums; not devastating - more annoying than anything else.
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September 20, 2011 2:52:42 PM

Hi, since the year 2000 I bought a lot of brands of hard drive for my personal use. Most of them operated 12-14 hours per day everyday. I had some good brands and bad brands and things I swore I would never touch again with a 12 foot pole.

To consider:

- ANY and ALL hard drives are bound to fail
- Always keep a backup, even if it's a backup of your backup (once a month) :)  (unless you don't care that much)
- Some brand WILL be less reliable than others....
- ... but within brands, even the most reliable ones, some models or lines will be lemons and will fail. Those are the ones that people will write reviews on and give ANY brand a bad reputation. Just go ahead in Google and type "(BRAND) problem" and I'm sure you'll find lots of scary things for all brands

My experience:

I've had Maxtor, Hitachi, IBM, Western Digital, Seagate, Quantum, LaCie, Iomega, Samsung, and a couple more which I don't remember. I mostly stuck with reputable brands. I had, most of the time between 2 and 4 hard drives running in a computer but with adequate number of fans.

So on *my experience*, the worst brands I would never buy again are Maxtor & Western Digital. I had 5+ of each of different models and years and quality and they all failed miserably. I hate those drives. I still have nightmares of these "clicks of death". Although I'm sure that many people will argue "that they have 100 and never had a problem with them" I steer aways from these...

Right now, I have 6 Seagate drives of Enterprise level (sidenote: if you worry about quality, no matter the brand, ALWAYS buy the ENTERPRISE or PRO version of the drives, NOT the consumer, cheaper $ ones. For a 10-15% more cash, you get a BIG increase in reliability and functions). Those Seagates have been flawless for 3 years, no problems of any sorts, just perfect. I also still have one external LaCie 750 gb hard drive. Although it's my first drive from that company, I've heard a lot of good things from them, and of yet did not have any problem. One of the reasons I bought Seagate drives is that they are one of the only brand with a 5 years waranty. This TELLS A LOT.

So there you go. Just to make sure, let's answer your question; buy :

- any brands, as long as you DO NOT buy the CHEAP CONSUMER MODELS: AIM for enterprise grade, for a little 15% premium, it's MORE than worth it
- buy the mainstream, popular model, they usually have less defects
- stay clear of one brand: Maxtor. All others are "OK"
- keep proper case ventilation to keep drives cool.
- keep backups. Even the best drives WILL fail

Hope this helps!


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a c 116 G Storage
September 20, 2011 11:30:54 PM

I put together my own. Here are the parts:

External enclosure: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... (USB 2.0 and eSATA)

Hard drive: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

There is also a USB 3.0 version of enclosure should you prefer that.

Sabrent also makes an identical enclosure, probably private labeled: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I have three of these for my use and one for a friend. They have been in operation for 14 months (latest one) to 22 months (earliest).

The enclosures are very well built. Used primarily for backups and for transferring data from one computer to another (I am aware that this can be done on a network).
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December 8, 2011 1:54:55 PM

droderick175 said:
Just for the record, although WD seems to be held in very high regard by most computer geeks and IT professionals alike, I just had a 250GB 2 1/2 year old WD My Book die on me. It was not abused or heavily used in any way. I used it to store downloaded music. I kept adding files and folders, rarely deleting anything, rarely overwriting anything, once in a while playing the music back - about as gentle a use of an active hard drive there can be, IMO. Yet it died - I lost at least 500 albums; not devastating - more annoying than anything else.


I have now lost 2 WD external hard drives. Each one holding hundreds of photo's. While some were wildlife (not a big loss) most were family photos and sports photos of my kids. I will never have those times again to be able to replace those shots. I too do not use them heavily. I have never over written files, and compared to the size of the hard drives I was not even close to using even half of the space. I read try shorter USB cables, try downloadable software, none of them worked. I tried multiple pc's. This latest drive will "install" but then is not listed to access the drive. Tried drive manager and it doesn't show up. Am I stuck with having to burn pictures to God knows how many cd's to save my pictures?
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January 3, 2012 7:08:23 PM

I had a WD My Book Premium die recently too. I should have been more alert. The darn thing has been flakey from day one. Backup software included is next-to useless. Occasionally the drive would just disappear but then powering the thing down and then up would restore it. Finally it just disappeared from the list of drives in WE altogether. It shows up under Device Manager, as functional, but it won't show up in explorer as a drive letter. Western Digital's own webpage has forums for customer use and feedback and the forums contain THOUSANDS of users who have had this same problem, or variation of it. Especially on the MyBook series. Customer response is dismal from what I can see. "Test your usb cords, try another computer, replace the device". I'm staying clear of WD for the rest of my life. Who cares about saving a couple of dollars on a hard drive when all your family photos or work documents disappeared.

In my case, all I really lost was a large library of video, but I no longer have backup files of everything on my PC's hard-drive so I need to get a new External Hard Drive ASAP. And yes, I've started backing up all valuable data and photos to DVDs.
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February 23, 2012 7:21:55 AM

jsc said:
I suspect that any more, it's a crapshoot, luck of the draw, or any other gambling metaphor you choose to use.

Since the turn of the century (I love that phrase), I have been buying WD drives almost exclusively. Haven't been disappointed. There have been other brands that were a little faster or a little less expensive. But I trust WD drives - well, as much as I trust anything built with moving parts. And in the process, I have avoided things like the Seagate 7200.11 debacle.

I have 750 GB and 1.5 TB WD MyBooks that have been trouble free.



For all of you out there I would Never buy WD, I had repaired over 30 of these stupid hard drives, The Most RELIABLE HDD are: (1) Seagate (2) Hitachi (3) Toshiba Now the Toshiba drives are OK I still work on them every now and then. Mac, uses them a good bit, you buy a MAC you get what you pay far, a cheap intel board and graphics go along with them too. Now Back to the Seagate, I had one in my desktop since 2004, it STILL WORKS and I put it through TONS of abuse! The computer used to aggravate the Sh** out of me, so i kicked it and everything, and through it outside! Still to this day that dang 160 GB 7.2k Rpm drive Still works, it amazes me. Now compare that to a External WD drive that fell once and the Needle broke, four months later after I fixed that SAME drive, the person bought it back to me and the Logic board had overheated. (The Lovely CLICKS OF DEATH!!!!). So what ever you do NEVER NEVER NEVER buy a WD one day you will regret it when you loose over 1TB of documents, and files, like my client lost and had to pay just to get them recovered! Yes he Did get his stuff back after spend 90 dollars on the logic board and 49.00 in Labor and File transferring.
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February 26, 2012 8:40:05 PM

Drake919: I have a home office & do engineering/CAD work full time. I've had 5 new Seagate Enterprise ES.2 1TB drives fail. I send them in and they send me a "refurb". I use the refurbs for backup only as I cannot trust them. I thought that by spending an extra $75/drive I'd be buying great reliability, but I was very wrong.
On the other hand I have a WD Velociraptor that has been running for 2 years with no problems. This is a small sample, but I'll never buy another Seagate "enterprise" drive again.
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a b G Storage
August 16, 2012 6:16:42 AM

IMO, there are no reliable hard drives out there. There is no way to tell which ones will last forever (and they won't) or ones that might die within weeks of purchase. Your best bet is to just buy whichever brand appeals to you more or what you can afford. Back up any data to another hard drive and only use that hard drive for backups.

For me personally i use Western Digital.. I went through 4 1TB Seagate hard drives, 3 of them i returned and the 3rd time i went with a 2TB Western Digital which still works. Not only you might run into a lemon but you also will run into a bad batch of hard drives. I had the same issue with a certain movie that the sound would not work right. Finally after buying it from somewhere else it worked just fine.

Hard drives are pretty much the same thing. Maxtor i have a few that work fine and several others that have failed. But all brands hard drives fail at some point. I would avoid the refurbished drives though. Everyone i have talked to and even reviews are almost all negative. You would have better luck buying one that works on eBay. The two oldest drives i have that still work is a '99 Maxtor 20GB drive & a '06 WD drive (although it has some seek errors, but works fine).
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December 1, 2012 5:03:50 AM

Never buy WD. its the least reliable one. I bought 1 TB just 6 months back and losed all the data. I was managing it very well and just using once in a week without any overwriting.
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March 17, 2013 3:33:16 PM

Bodri said:
droderick175 said:
Just for the record, although WD seems to be held in very high regard by most computer geeks and IT professionals alike, I just had a 250GB 2 1/2 year old WD My Book die on me. It was not abused or heavily used in any way. I used it to store downloaded music. I kept adding files and folders, rarely deleting anything, rarely overwriting anything, once in a while playing the music back - about as gentle a use of an active hard drive there can be, IMO. Yet it died - I lost at least 500 albums; not devastating - more annoying than anything else.


I have now lost 2 WD external hard drives. Each one holding hundreds of photo's. While some were wildlife (not a big loss) most were family photos and sports photos of my kids. I will never have those times again to be able to replace those shots. I too do not use them heavily. I have never over written files, and compared to the size of the hard drives I was not even close to using even half of the space. I read try shorter USB cables, try downloadable software, none of them worked. I tried multiple pc's. This latest drive will "install" but then is not listed to access the drive. Tried drive manager and it doesn't show up. Am I stuck with having to burn pictures to God knows how many cd's to save my pictures?


I'm affraid burning data to CD's is just as reliable as using Hard Disks, since they too will cease to function eventually.
The only real way of being safe, is to store all your important data to several different mediums. Sure it will cost more,
but at least that way you can be relatively sure that you will never ever lose your data again. It is also wise to store those
mediums at seperate physical locations for maximum security (in case of eventual fire and whatnot).

I'd say, keeping a backup of a backup of your original data would suffice. But like I said, more backups equals more
security.
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April 11, 2013 6:18:23 AM

Everyone has had different experiences, it's a total crapshoot. I had a portable Seagate 500GB drive that started to malfunction under warranty, I paid extra to receive the replacement before returning the dodgy drive so I could transfer the files over. The replacement drive failed completely within a couple of months, I lost everything and the replacements don't come with a warranty. Never again.

I've had a 1TB Western Digital Passport for about 2 years with no signs of trouble whatsoever, so I'm buying another one now to back this one up.


rcknroll35 said:
Hi, since the year 2000 I bought a lot of brands of hard drive for my personal use. Most of them operated 12-14 hours per day everyday. I had some good brands and bad brands and things I swore I would never touch again with a 12 foot pole.

To consider:

- ANY and ALL hard drives are bound to fail
- Always keep a backup, even if it's a backup of your backup (once a month) :)  (unless you don't care that much)
- Some brand WILL be less reliable than others....
- ... but within brands, even the most reliable ones, some models or lines will be lemons and will fail. Those are the ones that people will write reviews on and give ANY brand a bad reputation. Just go ahead in Google and type "(BRAND) problem" and I'm sure you'll find lots of scary things for all brands

My experience:

I've had Maxtor, Hitachi, IBM, Western Digital, Seagate, Quantum, LaCie, Iomega, Samsung, and a couple more which I don't remember. I mostly stuck with reputable brands. I had, most of the time between 2 and 4 hard drives running in a computer but with adequate number of fans.

So on *my experience*, the worst brands I would never buy again are Maxtor & Western Digital. I had 5+ of each of different models and years and quality and they all failed miserably. I hate those drives. I still have nightmares of these "clicks of death". Although I'm sure that many people will argue "that they have 100 and never had a problem with them" I steer aways from these...

Right now, I have 6 Seagate drives of Enterprise level (sidenote: if you worry about quality, no matter the brand, ALWAYS buy the ENTERPRISE or PRO version of the drives, NOT the consumer, cheaper $ ones. For a 10-15% more cash, you get a BIG increase in reliability and functions). Those Seagates have been flawless for 3 years, no problems of any sorts, just perfect. I also still have one external LaCie 750 gb hard drive. Although it's my first drive from that company, I've heard a lot of good things from them, and of yet did not have any problem. One of the reasons I bought Seagate drives is that they are one of the only brand with a 5 years waranty. This TELLS A LOT.

So there you go. Just to make sure, let's answer your question; buy :

- any brands, as long as you DO NOT buy the CHEAP CONSUMER MODELS: AIM for enterprise grade, for a little 15% premium, it's MORE than worth it
- buy the mainstream, popular model, they usually have less defects
- stay clear of one brand: Maxtor. All others are "OK"
- keep proper case ventilation to keep drives cool.
- keep backups. Even the best drives WILL fail

Hope this helps!



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April 28, 2013 6:52:24 PM

My experience has been nearly identical, except my main drives usually run 24/7/365. And, I had great luck with Maxtor drives for years. I have a couple that still will boot running Win95 or 98.

Seagate is my preferred brand. I repair & build computers for people as a side job. I see more failed WD drives than any other brand, but don't get too excited about that. I think there's a larger number of WD drives in name-brand computer builds than any other HD too. I remember when the Hitachi DeskStar line earned the nickname DeathStar for their particular click o'death problem. They got over it.
That said, has anyone here had a look at the 2013 external drive reviews at toptenreviews.com? Neither Seagate nor WD cracked the top 5, in drives up to 1TB...wonder what's up with that. What criteria...
http://external-hard-drive-review.toptenreviews.com/

rcknroll35 said:
Hi, since the year 2000 I bought a lot of brands of hard drive for my personal use. Most of them operated 12-14 hours per day everyday. I had some good brands and bad brands and things I swore I would never touch again with a 12 foot pole.

To consider:

- ANY and ALL hard drives are bound to fail
- Always keep a backup, even if it's a backup of your backup (once a month) :)  (unless you don't care that much)
- Some brand WILL be less reliable than others....
- ... but within brands, even the most reliable ones, some models or lines will be lemons and will fail. Those are the ones that people will write reviews on and give ANY brand a bad reputation. Just go ahead in Google and type "(BRAND) problem" and I'm sure you'll find lots of scary things for all brands

My experience:

I've had Maxtor, Hitachi, IBM, Western Digital, Seagate, Quantum, LaCie, Iomega, Samsung, and a couple more which I don't remember. I mostly stuck with reputable brands. I had, most of the time between 2 and 4 hard drives running in a computer but with adequate number of fans.

So on *my experience*, the worst brands I would never buy again are Maxtor & Western Digital. I had 5+ of each of different models and years and quality and they all failed miserably. I hate those drives. I still have nightmares of these "clicks of death". Although I'm sure that many people will argue "that they have 100 and never had a problem with them" I steer aways from these...

Right now, I have 6 Seagate drives of Enterprise level (sidenote: if you worry about quality, no matter the brand, ALWAYS buy the ENTERPRISE or PRO version of the drives, NOT the consumer, cheaper $ ones. For a 10-15% more cash, you get a BIG increase in reliability and functions). Those Seagates have been flawless for 3 years, no problems of any sorts, just perfect. I also still have one external LaCie 750 gb hard drive. Although it's my first drive from that company, I've heard a lot of good things from them, and of yet did not have any problem. One of the reasons I bought Seagate drives is that they are one of the only brand with a 5 years waranty. This TELLS A LOT.

So there you go. Just to make sure, let's answer your question; buy :

- any brands, as long as you DO NOT buy the CHEAP CONSUMER MODELS: AIM for enterprise grade, for a little 15% premium, it's MORE than worth it
- buy the mainstream, popular model, they usually have less defects
- stay clear of one brand: Maxtor. All others are "OK"
- keep proper case ventilation to keep drives cool.
- keep backups. Even the best drives WILL fail

Hope this helps!




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a c 812 G Storage
April 29, 2013 4:56:25 PM

no matter what you get please remember that external drives are for COPIES of your data, not for main storage. Backups are still highly recommended no matter what you get. Its never 'IF" a drive will fail - its "When". and itsd almost always sooner than you thought or when you cant afford to have it break.
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July 23, 2013 5:14:20 AM

In my experience, a disk drive will last longer if it's never turned off. Leave it on 24/7, keep it cool, don't move it.

I've had good luck with WD and Seagate. The worst disks I ever had were Quantum.
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October 19, 2013 1:39:31 PM

Funny that the entire reason I am looking for External HDD reviews is that I have had such BAD luck with Western Digital Elements drives. Out of the 3 that I've purchased in the last 18 months, all have died. Two had bad disks, one a bad controller, and all died within 2 months of the expiration of the warranty.
I hate that this is a crapshoot, but it definitely seems like it is.
jsc said:
I suspect that any more, it's a crapshoot, luck of the draw, or any other gambling metaphor you choose to use.

Since the turn of the century (I love that phrase), I have been buying WD drives almost exclusively. Haven't been disappointed. There have been other brands that were a little faster or a little less expensive. But I trust WD drives - well, as much as I trust anything built with moving parts. And in the process, I have avoided things like the Seagate 7200.11 debacle.

I have 750 GB and 1.5 TB WD MyBooks that have been trouble free.


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October 19, 2013 1:41:30 PM

Exactly right. I keep a copy of this stuff for portability but the main repository for this data is on a 7 TB RAID 6 Server 2012 box in the basement. A bit of overkill, I agree, but if you lose all your data once, you'll never do it again.
popatim said:
no matter what you get please remember that external drives are for COPIES of your data, not for main storage. Backups are still highly recommended no matter what you get. Its never 'IF" a drive will fail - its "When". and itsd almost always sooner than you thought or when you cant afford to have it break.


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January 17, 2014 9:25:57 AM

I have had two WD My Book Live units fail. WD replaced both even though one was technically out of warranty. That, the second, unit failed within 12 months of my getting it but more than 12 months after the original purchase of the unit it replaced. I notice that they never shut down automatically despite the selection of that auto power option.

There should be a manufacturer recommended replacement cycle for particular makes and models of hard drives. Data loss is a horrible thing especially for devices used for back-up storage.

J. Isitt
Victoria, BC Canada

================

I suspect that any more, it's a crapshoot, luck of the draw, or any other gambling metaphor you choose to use.

Since the turn of the century (I love that phrase), I have been buying WD drives almost exclusively. Haven't been disappointed. There have been other brands that were a little faster or a little less expensive. But I trust WD drives - well, as much as I trust anything built with moving parts. And in the process, I have avoided things like the Seagate 7200.11 debacle.

I have 750 GB and 1.5 TB WD MyBooks that have been trouble free.


Just for the record, although WD seems to be held in very high regard by most computer geeks and IT professionals alike, I just had a 250GB 2 1/2 year old WD My Book die on me. It was not abused or heavily used in any way. I used it to store downloaded music. I kept adding files and folders, rarely deleting anything, rarely overwriting anything, once in a while playing the music back - about as gentle a use of an active hard drive there can be, IMO. Yet it died - I lost at least 500 albums; not devastating - more annoying than anything else.

[/quotemsg][/quotemsg]
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April 18, 2014 8:18:51 AM

my WD500 went to shite real fast.. toshiba 500 even faster. obviously we're not intended to hold on to any information for too long



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May 22, 2014 10:40:01 PM

Prakash_43 said:
Never buy WD. its the least reliable one. I bought 1 TB just 6 months back and losed all the data. I was managing it very well and just using once in a week without any overwriting.


buttears said:
my WD500 went to shite real fast.. toshiba 500 even faster. obviously we're not intended to hold on to any information for too long





i had a bad experience with WD drives(both desktop and external) i used it with care but after a year it stopped working...i switched back to seagate and tried buffalo. up to this date it is still working the drives are both 1 yr plus...i haven't tried toshiba,hitachi and samsung
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