Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Looking for reliable brand of HDD. Suggestions?

Last response: in Storage
Share
September 6, 2011 2:15:54 PM

Hey everyone,

I am a new poster on the forums, but long time reader. I have a bit of a perdicament so I was hoping that maybe some people here could help me with a particular ongoing issue I have been having.

Several months ago, I came to the conclusion that the 500GB WD HDD I was using (one of the older mainstream models from about 3 years ago) was not going to suffice in handling all my games, music, movies etc (pretty much all my media). I ended up picking up a WD Caviar Black 2TB because of the large amount of storage and the larger cache compared to other drives. While I only picked up the drive recently (about 3 months ago), the drive appears to be already failing on me (bad sectors), meaning that I will probably have to RMA it.

I will admit, this is not the first WD drive to come up with issues. Due to bad experiences with Maxtor and Seagate in the past, I took the recommendation of friends many years ago and started to put my faith into WD. However, out of the 6-7 drives I have gotten that are WD, all but one have eventually failed in a short period of time (1-2 years, sometimes less), my 150gb Raptor being the only exception.

My question(s) is/are; has anybody else had substantial problems with WD drives, or am I just REALLY unlucky with my drives? Secondly, what would you guys suggest for a secondary drive which I can run all of my media off of? (my current setup is the Raptor being the OS drive, and I store and run everything else off of a second drive(recently, the 2TB Caviar Black)). I have heard that the Caviar Black's are supposed to be one of the best performance drives out there but after this particular problem, I am beginning to lose faith in WD, although dont know who else to turn to.

Any advice that you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
a b G Storage
September 6, 2011 2:33:20 PM

I may be one of the fortunate few, but it has been years since I had a drive fail on me, perhaps not since IDE days. I have been buying mostly 500GB Seagate 7200.12 and 500GB Samsung Spinpoint F3, but have one 1TB WD Black and a couple of 2TB Seagate LP drives in my current primary (built in June).
m
0
l
September 6, 2011 3:12:25 PM

I'm a fan of Western Digital, but I'm willing to bet you'll find a lot of support for Seagate and Samsung too. I have some Western Digital drives that have been in a server at my parents house on 24hr/day for probably a decade and they still run. I also recently built a file server for my own house and put a 1.5 & 2.0TB WD Green drives in and have no problems. I put a Seagate 1.5TB green drive in my parents server back in May, and while it is running fine has reported a few bad sectors in the SMART status.

I've seen various HDDs fail from various manufacturers, and generally if you really care about reliability you'll have a second HDD in a separate location backing up your data.

Really, you can't go wrong with any one of the three.
m
0
l
Related resources

Best solution

September 6, 2011 3:17:14 PM

darien42 said:
Hey everyone,

I am a new poster on the forums, but long time reader. I have a bit of a perdicament so I was hoping that maybe some people here could help me with a particular ongoing issue I have been having.

Several months ago, I came to the conclusion that the 500GB WD HDD I was using (one of the older mainstream models from about 3 years ago) was not going to suffice in handling all my games, music, movies etc (pretty much all my media). I ended up picking up a WD Caviar Black 2TB because of the large amount of storage and the larger cache compared to other drives. While I only picked up the drive recently (about 3 months ago), the drive appears to be already failing on me (bad sectors), meaning that I will probably have to RMA it.

I will admit, this is not the first WD drive to come up with issues. Due to bad experiences with Maxtor and Seagate in the past, I took the recommendation of friends many years ago and started to put my faith into WD. However, out of the 6-7 drives I have gotten that are WD, all but one have eventually failed in a short period of time (1-2 years, sometimes less), my 150gb Raptor being the only exception.

My question(s) is/are; has anybody else had substantial problems with WD drives, or am I just REALLY unlucky with my drives? Secondly, what would you guys suggest for a secondary drive which I can run all of my media off of? (my current setup is the Raptor being the OS drive, and I store and run everything else off of a second drive(recently, the 2TB Caviar Black)). I have heard that the Caviar Black's are supposed to be one of the best performance drives out there but after this particular problem, I am beginning to lose faith in WD, although dont know who else to turn to.

Any advice that you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!


I have been working in a retail shop for several year and I can tell you first hand that Hard drives in general are getting less reliable, regardless of brand. That being said if reliability is your primary focus I would point you in the direction of using a enterprise class drive, such as http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... These are great drives that are built to last, the next best thing would be a Black drive but you already had issues with those. Also I have found Seagate to be more reliable than WD in general but would take a Black drive or RE4 drive anyday.
Share
September 6, 2011 9:36:48 PM

I have had four 500GB WD drives that have failed on me about the same time after a couple of years of operation. They click-o'-died on me by the end of 2009/beginning of 2010.

After that I built a raidz2 storage pool (OSOL/OI) consisting of 8 1.5TB Samsung EcoGreen (HD154UI) drives on an LSI1608 SAS HBA. It has been in operation since January 2010 and during that time two Samsung drives have failed on me and one showed "odd" behavior during resilvering of the pool. This odd behavior means that some (correctable) errors occurred during the resilvering process but has showed no malfunction during normal operation. The first faulty Samsung drive was replaced with a 1.5TB WD Caviar Green (WD15EARS) drive and it also showed some odd behavior during the resilvering process after I replaced the second corrupted Samsung drive.

The system drive which is a 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 (HD103SJ) has corrupted sectors which has seriously affected one of my virtual machines on the system. It needs to be RMAed but I'm not willing to go through the hassle of reinstalling the entire system. The motherboard is really fishy too and probably need to be RMA'd as well....

So far so good, two drives RMA'd, one in need to be RMA'd and an additional two drives that are destined to fail eventually, that is my experience with my current setup. Otherwise the RAIDZ2 pool is still going strong since the past 6 months and there are no signs of instabilities in the hard drives. The best part of it all is that even though some drives have failed, I have suffered no data loss on the RAIDZ2 pool. The system drive is a different story though, but I don't have any vital data on it anyway...

After this experience I'm actually considering buying some Hitachi DeskStars for my next storage pool. I've heard a lot of good things about them and the large ones (2TB+) don't have that weird 4K sector setup that the WD drives have which causes some compatibility issues on Linux/Unix systems. They come with 3 years of warranty. If I have the money I might consider buying some UltraStars. It's not that they would be considerably more reliable than the DeskStars but they come with 5 years of warranty and maybe that might be worth the extra price premium...

If you consider building a RAID pool it is recommended to have at least two drive redundancy simply because when a drive fails and you replace it with a new one, the pool needs to be rebuilt (or "resilvered" as it is called in the Solaris/ZFS world, ya know mirrors... smoke'n'mirrors ;) ). The rebuild process may take several days and put severe strain on the other drives as data is copied onto the new drive. This strain may cause an additional drive to fail during the rebuild process. If that happens and you don't have an additional redundant drive that can take care of the problem than you are literally smoked. This is an admin's nightmare and there is a whole hate website against RAID5 because of this (I think it is on baarf.org you can google it. It means "Battle Against Any Raid Five", and the website has research papers on why RAID5 is bad ...).
m
0
l
September 6, 2011 10:04:52 PM

Personal Opinion - I have stuck by Seagate for a long time. Their ES drives are highly recomended and can run for a loooong time.

I have had 4x 1TB Seagate ES.2 drives running in RAID5 for over 3 years (on a DVR Camera system) - Not a single issue and have NEVER have turned off the machine besides for simple maintenance. They are beast mode ;) 

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

plus, Seagates Warranty service is great.
m
0
l
October 21, 2011 2:49:21 PM

Best answer selected by darien42.
m
0
l
October 21, 2011 2:50:51 PM

Thanks to all for the recommendations and help. I ended up just RMA'ing my Black Caviar and deciding to give WD one last chance. In the event that I have problems again, I will probably switch companies. Thanks again!

- Darien42
m
0
l
a c 120 G Storage
October 21, 2011 4:32:45 PM

Good decision! In comparison, the WD Caviar Blacks are good! I have them on my Black Friday list!
m
0
l
October 21, 2011 5:21:51 PM

But still, a better option is to not rely on the drives and have some redundancy in the storage. Using at least 2 drives for redundancy is recommended.
m
0
l
a c 120 G Storage
October 21, 2011 9:23:33 PM

g00ey said:
But still, a better option is to not rely on the drives and have some redundancy in the storage. Using at least 2 drives for redundancy is recommended.

Your thoughts mirror mine!

My 1 TB RAID 1 drives are copied on to another internal 1 TB drive on a regular basis. In addition, I do complete backups of my entire computer. Backups are an absolute must; not an option!
m
0
l
October 22, 2011 4:05:22 PM

It sounds like a reasonable solution Ubrales if the copy process is on the fly. My system uses a software based RAID6 (aka RAIDZ2) and replacing a failing drive is pretty easy.

The reason for using at least 2 disks is that when a drive has failed and data is copied onto a new drive, the copy process put a lot of strain on the other drives in the RAID pool. So there is a considerable risk that another drive fails during the copy process because of this extra strain. If that happens on a pool with 1 disk redundancy you are smoked.

As much as I would really want a good backup solution there is no cheap solution that I know of to backup 10TB data. It isn't convenient to use BluRay-R media and their reliability is questionable. The alternative is to use LTO-4 or LTO-5 but they don't come cheap.
m
0
l
!