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Hard drive 3-year failure rate info?

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October 25, 2002 6:10:58 AM

I've been thinking about trying RAID 0, but I'm worried about the increased failure probability this involves. (Yet I don't want to go to RAID 5.) To make an informed decision, I really need to know something about disk failure rates. There seem to be all kinds of opinions out there on how reliable modern drives are, but those opinions seem to be all over the place. (And the industry seems to be saying, with the recent warranty truncations, "not very reliable at all.") But I really need some useful numbers. Does anyone know of any way to find good numbers on 3-year disk failure rates, by model/brand if possible?
October 25, 2002 6:28:36 AM

Getting a good drive is hard. Getting a good drive that also have proven good failure rate is even harder. My suggestion: Chose your drive based on performance and whatever user opinions available when you buy. Dont worry too much about haddisk failures, since they will fail eventually. Take backup often of your irreplacable data.


<i><b>Artificial intelligence will never be a match for natural stupidity</b></i>
October 25, 2002 7:53:53 AM

I have had awesome reliability with Western Digital, and so have a handful of my friends. My one and only IBM drive (45gb 75GXP) quit after 2 years. If you are willing to spend a few extra $$$, go for a Western Digital drive with 8mb cache, as these still have the 3 year warrany, but hopefully the drive should be good enough that you wont need to use the warranty.

because SCSI really is that much better
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January 5, 2003 3:50:10 PM

I agree with the comment about one-year warranty downgrades from three years on most IDE drives. Me? If I were to build a RAID zero, I'd go SCSI with good three year (some are five year 24/7 operation!) warranty drives.

Everyone is responsible for this mess. We vote with our dollars and the market is fast and efficient at giving you what you asked for, cheap. Reliability didn't sell. So, 7200 RPM with "great" performance and less reliability is now the norm. Buy different, and be willing to pay for it, and three year warranties and more robust drives will return.

My Seagate Cheetah drives were EXPENSIVE, but they won't die during their useful life. My WD 800JB? probably.
January 6, 2003 10:48:02 PM

These HD manufacturer's decision to downgrade the warranties to one year doesn't really inspire confidence that they believe in the quality of their products. But I don't think it's a problem for the sort of HDs that are affected, because they're being sold into a market where many PCs aren't going to live three years anyway. I'd have thought that most HD failures, like any mechanical device, would mostly happen early on e.g. within 6 months - anything that survives beyond that tends to survive quite a while longer. Which makes me even more confused as to why the HD manufacturers bothered to reduce warranties - it's very bad publicity, and they probably won't have many fewer failures to deal with anyway.

--
Grrryphon
January 6, 2003 11:53:36 PM

If your really worried about reliability, why dont you build a RAID 0+1 array?

Speed AND redundancy (need 4 drives though)

<b><i>The Very Hungry Caterpillar</i> - George W. Bush's favorite childhood book.
Note: This book was first published a year after Mr Bush graduated from College.</b>
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