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Old 05-02-12, 09:33 AM   #1
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Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

I'm in the market for a 1TB external backup drive. I see that Western Digital has the lowest prices, but that makes me nervous.

Also, do all these drives nowadays come with software? Will a reformat get rid of it?
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Old 05-02-12, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Western Digital is superior, imho, to Seagate, Hitachi and Toshiba. I haven't had much experience with Samsung HDDs (I own a Samsung Story and it has lasted me, but I haven't used it extensively). Seagate has been on a steady decline since they purchased Maxtor.

They all come with software which can be quickly formatted from existence.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:39 AM   #3
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Might I suggest something a little different for backups?

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SE-506.../dp/B006B7R9QE

You can permanently store 25GB for under $1 a disc and you don't have to worry about the drive going bad.
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Old 05-02-12, 12:09 PM   #4
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Have you thought about online storage services like Skydrive or G drive?
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Old 05-02-12, 12:38 PM   #5
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Iomega externals have worked the best for me so far. i had two WDs, both had the firewire 800 ports die; one still works via USB but the other died. So i avoid WD now. The Seagate external started clicking and i found out about the "seagate click of death" so i avoid those.
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Old 05-02-12, 02:47 PM   #6
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Quote:
Originally Posted by X View Post
Might I suggest something a little different for backups?

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-SE-506.../dp/B006B7R9QE

You can permanently store 25GB for under $1 a disc and you don't have to worry about the drive going bad.
I have 7 WD external HD's (10TB). And so far (knock on wood) no failures. But I have been thinking about how to back up all the Korean Dramas, Music Videos, Concerts, Live Performances, & Variety Shows. So I am thinking about going this route and getting a external Blu-ray burner.
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Old 05-02-12, 02:53 PM   #7
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

I've been using BD-R for a while now and it's a really nice backup method. I make Ghost images and store them on 25GB BD-R that keep coming down in price. Even if you had to backup 1TB, 40 BD-R discs are cheaper than a 1 TB hard drive.

You can use the erasable BD-RE for rotating backups. There are 50GB versions of that as well.
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Old 05-02-12, 03:03 PM   #8
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

To that point, they're cheap-ish now as well. I bought a bd/dvd/cd burner for $59 last month (Internal model) and a 25 pack of BD-Rs for $20.
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Old 05-02-12, 03:17 PM   #9
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Is Blu-ray media more reliable for long term archiving them CD media?
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Old 05-02-12, 04:04 PM   #10
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

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Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
Is Blu-ray media more reliable for long term archiving them CD media?
I think this is a YMMV

I can't even count the long term losses I have had with CD rom and DVD rom media over the years.

Sure, everything is fine for a couple years, but after 5 or so, your chances of reading the disc drops significantly IMO

I can't speak for Blu Ray discs, I have no 5 year + old backups on that media to test.

I can tell you that I easily have 5 year old USB hard drives that were used ONLY for backup purposes (meaning low power on hours) and they still work great


As for which brand of drive is more reliable, you take your chances. Most of what you will find on the internet are anecdotal stories (like mine above with the CDs older than 5 years). There will be exceptions with specific model drives, that is a worthwhile search, but a wide search like brand name is pretty worthless.

I still like Western Digital "BLACK" series drives, they have never let me down. Buy your own external case and put your own drive in it over buying a pre-built one.

I picked up a couple of these (prior to the flood) for $60 or so after rebates, so far so good

http://www.amazon.com/Fantom-GreenDr...ref=pd_sim_e_2

I have not used enough of them to say if they have issues or not, but for the money and strictly for backups, I could not argue.
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Old 05-02-12, 04:18 PM   #11
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
I think this is a YMMV

I can't even count the long term losses I have had with CD rom and DVD rom media over the years.

Sure, everything is fine for a couple years, but after 5 or so, your chances of reading the disc drops significantly IMO

I can't speak for Blu Ray discs, I have no 5 year + old backups on that media to test.
Yeah, that's what I meant as the reliability of other optical media over time has not been particularly great.
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Old 05-02-12, 05:07 PM   #12
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Funny, I've rarely had any media, even CDs, go bad and I started burning CDs not long after CD burners first came out. My HP drive cost around $1000. The burner died, but the CDs didn't.

I use good media.
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Old 05-02-12, 07:34 PM   #13
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

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Funny, I've rarely had any media, even CDs, go bad and I started burning CDs not long after CD burners first came out. My HP drive cost around $1000. The burner died, but the CDs didn't.
Yep, I had a few of those old HPs, even built a machine dedicated to doing nothing but burning discs as there was sometimes issues with burning them on a machine loaded up with a bunch of crap (win 95 days).

Quote:

I use good media.
That must be it

I have never purchased 'crap media' that I am aware of. Taiyo Yuden was always well respected back in the day (before they started making a cheaper line of discs)

I also used Verbatim and TDK (yes I know the TDK OEM changed over the years) at various times

I stayed away from Memorex and brands that were known re-branded CMC

Maybe I just didn't store them in satin lined cases in perfect temperature and humidity controlled environment?

The one mistake I know I made was writing on them with a sharpie, but man, if they can't take that, then fuck'em as 'reliable media'

I only use optical for short term backups.


Don't get me started on tape. I have had more tapes fuck me than anything else over the years (and I am sure you never have )


I am jinxed have a pity party for my data.
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Old 05-02-12, 07:51 PM   #14
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Read and write speeds are much faster with hard drives vs. optical media. That would be my main reason for not going the optical route. Plus hard hard drives are cheap these days. Even after the flooding in Thailand.
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Old 05-02-12, 07:59 PM   #15
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

I feel most hard drives suck. Seagate especially. Lately, I've been picking up those tiny My Passport drives from Western Digital. I just ordered another 1 TB earlier today. The don't need to be plugged into a wall socket. Just plug them into your USB port and you're good to go. Disconnect and put them in a drawer.
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Old 05-02-12, 08:50 PM   #16
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
I am jinxed have a pity party for my data.
I have amazingly good luck with data. I just threw in a 1.44MB VB for Windows PE floppy from 1993 and it copied perfectly. I have a friend who can't keep a floppy for more than a year.

I think I'm in the opposite of the Bermuda Triangle for data.

Update: I just threw in a 4.7GB DVD that I burned in 2003 and it copied perfectly. I really don't understand why people have problems with optical media.
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Old 05-02-12, 08:54 PM   #17
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
Don't get me started on tape. I have had more tapes fuck me than anything else over the years (and I am sure you never have )
I have hundreds of tapes. I'd test them out but I don't have a convenient SCSI card to use for my old tape drive. I do have a web/email dual PIII server with a SCSI interface that I've been running continuously from 2001 that has one, but it would take some work to hook the tape drive up to it and I don't want to interrupt my email and websites.
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Old 05-02-12, 09:50 PM   #18
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
I have never purchased 'crap media' that I am aware of. Taiyo Yuden was always well respected back in the day (before they started making a cheaper line of discs)

I also used Verbatim and TDK (yes I know the TDK OEM changed over the years) at various times

I stayed away from Memorex and brands that were known re-branded CMC

Maybe I just didn't store them in satin lined cases in perfect temperature and humidity controlled environment?

The one mistake I know I made was writing on them with a sharpie, but man, if they can't take that, then fuck'em as 'reliable media'.
Same experience here, I remember trying to hunt down FujiFilm Taiyo Yuden media. Optical media was never particularly reliable for long term, which is why I wonder if BD media is better. I know the retail stuff has scratch resistant coating or whatever.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:33 PM   #19
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

It must be that clean west coast living

Here on the east coast, media doesn't live a long and happy life


I have great luck with hard drives though. I have only ever had one hard drive in my personal machines die on me since the early 1990's - I had no problems getting the data off of it even after part of it physically failed. (personal machines range from 4 to 12 depending on the day)

Part of that could be because I use to be on the 12-16 month upgrade plan, so I never really ran a hard drive 'full time' longer than that until recently (I have slowed my roll on upgrades and now run 3-4 years on a PC) Some I turn off and some I don't.
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Old 05-02-12, 10:36 PM   #20
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

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Update: I just threw in a 4.7GB DVD that I burned in 2003 and it copied perfectly. I really don't understand why people have problems with optical media.

Because I have more than one?

Let's say I had 600 backup CD / DVDs hanging around. I am sure if I pulled out a random one, it would read fine.

I am also sure that if I really really needed a specific one to read RIGHT NOW because it was URGENT, it wouldn't read

I don't have a ratio or a percentage, for all I know it could be 3 or 4 out of 600 that fail in 10 years. What I do know is THE ONE I NEED never seems to work
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Old 05-02-12, 10:54 PM   #21
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

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Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
Because I have more than one?

Let's say I had 600 backup CD / DVDs hanging around. I am sure if I pulled out a random one, it would read fine.I am also sure that if I really really needed a specific one to read RIGHT NOW because it was URGENT, it wouldn't read

I don't have a ratio or a percentage, for all I know it could be 3 or 4 out of 600 that fail in 10 years. What I do know is THE ONE I NEED never seems to work
I don't think I've ever found one that I burned and couldn't read.

I don't have hard drive problems either, but I would feel a lot more confident pulling out a 4.7GB DVD burned a decade ago than I would a 1TB drive I stored that long. Not to say I don't backup onto hard drives, but I don't think they have the shelf life of optical media. (I'm getting curious as to how my 8" floppies are doing from the early '80s. If it weren't some effort to fire up the old CompuPro, I'd check them out.)

I'm currently running WSH that distributes your data to multiple drives and backs up your computers as well. I feel ok with that but realize the data is still onsite.
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Old 05-03-12, 12:10 AM   #22
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

I've had good luck with WD. I just got a Seagate GoFlex Desk because it was on sale and it doesn't appear to have much ventilation and it heats up quickly. I'm planning on either using only for short periods to backup or maybe ripping the drive out and using it internally. I haven't done that yet because I don't want to void the warranty right away.

Based on my experience stay away from Hitachi. I've only bought 2 drives from them, both in the last 18 months. The first arrived with bad clusters and had to be exchanged. The second is being returned now because of bad clusters after a year. Both drives were bought before the floods, so that wasn't an issue. WD bought them last year, but I don't know what their plans are for the brand.
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Old 05-03-12, 12:15 AM   #23
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

I used WD 1TB Caviar Black 32MB cache WD1001FALS SATA drives in my 2008 PC build, and they are running fine today (knock on wood).

I just picked up all the parts I'll need to build a Win7 PC (going Ivy Bridge this time around), and I picked up an Intel 330 180GB SSD for the boot drive, but for my data drives, I started with ordering a WD 1TB Caviar Black 64MB cache WD1002FAEX SATA III hard drive (heard they are a little louder nowadays), and hope for the same type of performance history as the previous WD Caviar Black drives I've been using.
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Old 05-03-12, 12:48 AM   #24
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

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Based on my experience stay away from Hitachi. I've only bought 2 drives from them, both in the last 18 months. The first arrived with bad clusters and had to be exchanged. The second is being returned now because of bad clusters after a year. Both drives were bought before the floods, so that wasn't an issue. WD bought them last year, but I don't know what their plans are for the brand.
I have 6 2TB Hitachi drives and they've been great. They are my primary backup drives.

One was essentially DOA within a day, I think due to bad packaging, but I test all hard drives out pretty rigourously when I get them and haven't had any other problems with them since.

I would highly recommend Hitachi. But I guess that goes to show everyone has different experiences. I wouldn't touch WD 2TB Green drives anymore. Total junk in my opinion. But I like their 1.5TB drives. Of course their 1TB Black drives are great, but I also mirror them to minimize downtime.
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Old 05-03-12, 07:35 AM   #25
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Re: Who makes good hard drives nowadays?

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Originally Posted by X View Post
I have amazingly good luck with data. I just threw in a 1.44MB VB for Windows PE floppy from 1993 and it copied perfectly. I have a friend who can't keep a floppy for more than a year...... I really don't understand why people have problems with optical media.
I agree, I haven't had the problems that I often read about. My first burned cd's are from a friends burner in 1994 ($1000 drive and 2x media that took 37 minutes to burn) when we used to record and burn a dance music radio show in Dallas. Every one of those cd's still plays fine.

Speaking of floppies, I still have my C128 and Amiga 500 and all the disks work perfectly. This past Xmas, my bro and I broke them out and were playing them on the tv with wireless atari joysticks in "surround sound", it was great! My Ivory BBS from 1987 still works, anyone want to dial in?
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