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Looking for input on 2TB drives

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April 26, 2011 8:00:07 AM

Hi all,

Here's my situation...

I run 2 home servers, one is basically the backup for the other and not always turned on, each has an OS drive and 5 storage drives (6 physical disks) The disks are different sizes and used for different things i.e. disk 3 holds all my roaming profile data. Anyways Disks 1 and 2 are both 1TB drives at around 80% full one of these disks is starting to show signs of death (I have all it's data backed up to the secondary server) I need to replace it and thought I'd update to a 2TB drive, I'll probably be buying from overclockers.co.uk as collecting additional hardware from there at the same time.

So here's what I'm looking at right now...

http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...
http://www.overclockers.co.uk/showproduct.php?prodid=HD...


Any comments or advice will be well received.

V

More about : input 2tb drives

April 26, 2011 9:56:29 AM

Western Digital Green 2TB is exactly what I'm looking to buy for my machine (as I've almost filled my 640GB boot and two 500GB backup drives lol).

WD are very good and the best HDD brand in my opinion.

Get it while they've got a good price on them!
a b G Storage
April 26, 2011 1:53:02 PM

i'd take that with a grain of salt.

any of the larger sized hard drives (1.5tb and above) seem to have a much greater failure rate then lower sized units. i've had 1.5tb WD drives die after 8mo, 1mo, and 1 week! the smaller sized (1tb & below) WD drives seem to be as stable as rocks.

from what i've read this seems to be a fairly common phenomenon.

if you want to use a large drive make sure regular backups are done or you have a raid array.
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acer: why a green drive? aren't all the green drives 5400rpm? the reduced power consumption isn't worth the reduced performance. also read above (or better yet, do your own research) on the recent problems with large drives.
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April 26, 2011 4:32:40 PM

Well yes, I'd be using a 2TB drive for SECONDARY backup only. If it was my main storage drive, I'd run two 1TB or several 640GB for sure. I've always said more drives is better if you can afford them (and keep them powered / cool!) as several posts on this forum will confirm.

Regarding the 5400RPM - most laptop drives are 5400RPM without anyone noticing the difference, and looking on several reviews of these drives I've read the following: "Transfer speeds are around 60mb/s to 80mb/s approximately" which is about what I get on my external Caviar blue drives anyway.

The power consumption doesn't bother me, but the green drives run cooler which is a big plus for me being an air-cooler.
April 26, 2011 5:41:31 PM

I'm not much of a RAID fan I'd rather run the 2 systems with cron data syncs for backup as I've had more problems with RAID controlers in my years then I have HDs.

I'll look more in to the stability of 2TB drives before going any further, thanks for the input.
a b G Storage
April 26, 2011 7:05:46 PM

ssddx said:
any of the larger sized hard drives (1.5tb and above) seem to have a much greater failure rate then lower sized units. i've had 1.5tb WD drives die after 8mo, 1mo, and 1 week! the smaller sized (1tb & below) WD drives seem to be as stable as rocks.


I'd like to know where your getting this from because frankly I can't find anything about it on google, nor have I had personally any problems with my 2TB drives. I run a mix of hitachi and WD drives, all of which have worked without fault. These drives have mixed ages of 3years-2 months. Regardless of size, batch or make, all mechanical drives are prone to failure so adequate backups should be in place. I've also had new drives fail within months, but none of that leads me to conclude large drive are more prone to failure than smaller ones.

In fact the only real source of a good quantifiable study, was "Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population" by Eduardo Pinheiro, Wolf-Dietrich Weber and Luiz Andr´e Barros which was published in 2007.

Here:
"One of our key findings has been the lack of a consistent pattern of higher failure rates for higher temperature drives or for those drives at higher utilization levels. Such correlations have been repeatedly highlighted by previous studies, but we are unable to confirm them by observing our population. Although our data do not allow us to conclude that there is no such correlation, it provides strong evidence to suggest that other effects may be more prominent in affecting disk drive reliability in the context of a professionally managed data center deployment."

More prominently, their study showed power cycles to affect drives , "But for drives 3 years and older, higher power cycle counts can increase the absolute failure rate by over 2%" and showing the annualized failure rates broken down by age groups whereby the highest % of failures occurred after 2 years.

Paper can be found here http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/un...

I have a bunch of disks in varying sizes, most of which get swapped on regular basis in hot-swap trays and moved from one machine to the other. The only drives I would stay away from for the moment are the 3TB drives, because of compatibility issues. Especially if you move large data drives from one machine to another, compatibility becomes a real issue, especially with older XP systems which will not accept 3TB drives without special drivers or raid cards.

OP: Sorry this went a bit off topic but I wanted to just bring in my point of view, which is, I haven't noticed a higher failure rate in larger drives. I have also not noticed any real performance gains by going from a 32mb cache drive to a 64mb drives. Much like VRAM, there seems to be diminishing returns once certain levels are reached(in this case 32mb cache).

More interesting when considering the drives is in my opinion the platter amounts and sizes used. I like to go with the mantra: the less moving parts, the less can go wrong. WD being 3 platters @ 667gb each, Seagate uses 4@ 500gb platters, Samsung 3 platters @667 gb.

Conclusion: I would buy either the WD or the Samsung.

a c 415 G Storage
April 26, 2011 8:23:47 PM

According to this report the 2TB WD Black drives seem to have a pretty high failure rate, but their green drives look to better.

The reality is that ANY hard drive can fail, and if YOURs fails it doesn't really matter to you if it's the only one out of 100 just like it...
a b G Storage
April 26, 2011 9:01:03 PM

I had all three of these drives for a RAID 5 array. However I've not had the disks long enough to comment. That being said the WD Green 2TB drive failed after a few days. It's rather unjustified to say it but I can't say I recommend this drive.

I once had a Seagate drive fail - after 5+ years of use. So I trust Seagate far more.

a b G Storage
April 27, 2011 12:13:36 PM

if i remember correctly then this was actually discussed in the past in this particular forum. i've also heard it in person from people who work with pc repair and the general tech populace. i also remember seeing mentions of it on product reviews on various retail sites. i don't remember an actual article on the subject but there may have been one.

i'm not sure about any reasons why the large drives seem to fail more often. i think it has something to do with having such a large platter and how the drives are manufactured but this is just a guess. yes, hard drive failure is inconsistant but there does seem to be a trend compared with the same drive in a smaller platter size. or perhaps hdd manufacturer quality has just bottomed out over the past few years. though, i find this hard to believe as other small drives purchased seem to be working fine.

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even if every single person claiming that large platter hard drives are more risky is wrong... i'd still suggest some form of backups. in fact, even with a smaller drive i'd suggest raid or regular backups. a failure can happen at any moment on any drive, do you really want to lose data?
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