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I'm looking for an extremely reliable drive (could be SSD)

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December 4, 2011 11:32:39 PM

I'm looking for an extremely reliable hard drive, about 1 TiB in capacity. Though if that increases the cost significantly, 500 GB would be helpful too. Not a tape drive, this isn't for backups, but for daily usage. I have a WD My Passport 500 GB, and it is nothing if not extremely unreliable. It seems to get corrupted whenever there is a loud noise in the room. I have another usb drive, which is bigger, gets corrupted less often, but has also dissuaded me from pursuing magnetic external drives - they all seem unreliable. I would prefer an external drive so I could connect it to my laptop (acer Aspire 5050) and use it on different computers (with ide drives) without having to modify them, but I encourage any suggestions as long as you explain how to make it work. I think going with a solid state drive is the way to go when seeking reliability, but I also read that currently they're kind of experimental, so I'm looking for someone who has used extensively the drive that they would recommend.

These are my priorities in order of importance:
1. Reliability
2. Operability (suitable for daily use, easy to interface with)
3. Cost (I should be able to afford it; no more than a couple of hundred for a tebibyte)

Your answers would mean very much to me.

Thank you.
a b G Storage
December 4, 2011 11:49:06 PM

WD Caviar Black 1TB. Put it in an USB HDD enclosure of your choice (USB 3.0 if you have it).

Always have back up and use safe remove external storage device.
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December 5, 2011 12:01:39 AM

Thanks for being my first replier!

Could you tell me about your experience with it? Did you ever have any problems?

I try to backup as much as possible, but given the cost of the drives I can only backup the most important info to dvd's, because backup devices I've seen cost as much the main drive (and I can only afford to buy one), and backing up to dvd's is practical only for a limited number of discs. I'd like to keep the focus of this thread on reliable drives, so I'll ask in another thread if there is a inexpensive backup solution.
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a b G Storage
December 5, 2011 12:07:53 AM

Yeah, HDD is expensive now due to the Thailand flood. But it was really cheap before that.

I have to say I have more problem with Seagate than with WD drives.

And what do you mean by the drives are corrupted? As in corrupted but usable after format (you just lose data) or you can not get the drive to work at all?



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December 5, 2011 12:18:49 AM

When they get corrupted, I cannot access the data, trying to dir g: results in cyclic redundancy check error. I perform chkdsk (by now I've done at least ten), but these days, sometimes even chkdsk fails with an unknown error (but the drive does become accessible). Afterward, some data is lost. Some files end up in found.### directories, others get wrong bits. I'd like to move my data, but I haven't picked a drive yet.
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a b G Storage
December 5, 2011 12:28:02 AM

Is G:\ an external drive?
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December 5, 2011 12:39:58 AM

Yes, it's My Passport.
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a b G Storage
December 5, 2011 12:51:20 AM

If possible, take the HDD out of the enclosure and plug HDD directly to the computer.

Just to test whether the error is due to the cabling/enclosure casing, not HDD itself.
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December 5, 2011 1:07:40 AM

My Passport doesn't have an enclosure, it's really small and connects via usb. The other external drive is significantly bigger, but it also connects straight via usb and doesn't have an enclosure.
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a b G Storage
December 5, 2011 1:50:24 AM

If it is an external drive, then it is either in an enclosure, on a docking station or connected via an adaptor cable. Your My Passport is a 2.5 inch HDD in a 2.5 inch enclosure. Take the bare drive out and put it in a computer. Delete volume and make a new one, then full format the HDD. Use it for a while and see if error persist. If error persist, replace HDD. If error free, then it is most likely a problem with the enclosure. Buy a new enclosure and put HDD in it.
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December 5, 2011 3:08:57 AM

How would I take it out? The instruction manual doesn't say anything about this, and the drive doesn't look like it can be easily opened.

I would try reformatting if I had a drive to which I could move my data. I currently don't have enough free space for this on any of my drives.

I was, however, planning on trying to use spinrite and HDD regenerator. What do you think about this?
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a b G Storage
December 5, 2011 3:23:21 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ITObQxytdH4

But I would recommend backup the drive before opening it up. So you really do need a new HDD.

My 1st recommendation of Caviar Black is 3.5 inch HDD. But if it is a replacement for My Passport, then you want a 2.5 inch drive.

Put the 2.5 inch drive into the computer and put your data from external drive to the new HDD. Take out the HDD from the enclosure and put it also to the computer and test if HDD is faulty or enclosure.
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December 12, 2011 4:21:19 AM

Once I get a new drive, should I stress test it before copying data it, so in case there is a fault it can be returned? Also, if you know how to make sure the return shipping costs would be minimal, please tell me.

If so, what is the best stress test?

I'm not buying the drive right now, maybe in a month.
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a b G Storage
December 12, 2011 4:30:12 AM

I am quite sure if the new HDD is faulty, you will know at the moment you copy stuff into it. Check the S.M.A.R.T and it should be ok.

You are being very paranoid because of your bad fortune with HDD. But HDD are really quite ok in reliability. I hope your have better luck with them in the future.

Just make sure the HDD is running in a low dust area and avoid vibration and shock to the HDD.
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