Who Makes The Most Reliable Hard Drives?

Trimlock

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Enterprise SSD.... Intel & Samsung seem to do the best so far

Micropolis 9GB SCSI... So long as THAT never happens again, I'll never complain about hard drive reliability.

Intel isn't bad at all, they develop new ideas but always wait for competitors to implement first. Samsung on the other hand has a huge grip here, there's the competition and then there is Samsung sitting on their own level. We need something to drive these 850s down!
 

rsaotome

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Hitachi for notebook storage, WD Black's for desktop & WD Green's for external storage.

None of my Hitachi's have ever failed, but it's only a matter of time, the WD drives have been very reliable, with only 2 ever outright dying without notice.
 

c0mad0r

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Intel isn't bad at all, they develop new ideas but always wait for competitors to implement first. Samsung on the other hand has a huge grip here, there's the competition and then there is Samsung sitting on their own level. We need something to drive these 850s down!

I administrate both EMC & NetApp SAN Storage at work... For FastCache/SSD & FlashCache/SSD respectively, they use either HGST SSD (EMC) and Intel SSD (NetApp).

I have seen Samsung SSD in everything from Dell/HP server OS mirrors to Corporate Dell/HP Desktops (same with Intel actually), but never in SAN storage arrays.

I think there is enough competition to bring SSD prices down... they are already pretty low as it is imo.
 

bigdogchris

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Wow the failure rate on the Seagate desktop drives is horrible.

I'm going to start looking at Hitachi.
 

EODetroit

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Not to jinx myself, but I haven't had a drive failure in a long long time of any brand.
 

ep0x73

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Actually, WD sold the Chinese part of their Hitachi purchase to Toshiba. HGST 3.5" drives come from the Hitachi Thailand factory that WD got as part of the deal; that factory was retooled after the flooding, and what is coming out of there since then is the really reliable stuff we're seeing now.

zero2dash and Dekoth-E-, the Deathstar moniker doesn't apply to HGST. It's a high-quality WD subsidiary now.

Exactly, that is how I read it. I have 4 HGST NAS drives, all Thailand and so far issue free with over 1K hours on them.

Out of the 25+ drives I've bought going back to a 40GB Seagate PATA I've had only one drive act up, a Seagate 7200.10 320GB drive. I bought two, the other one currently has 65K hours on it and the recirt is working fine.

I have some ES.3 drives, various black drives, Samsung F3, raptors and even some 7200.11's all working great.

So 1 failure out of almost 25 drives is not bad at all.
 

Trimlock

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I administrate both EMC & NetApp SAN Storage at work... For FastCache/SSD & FlashCache/SSD respectively, they use either HGST SSD (EMC) and Intel SSD (NetApp).

I have seen Samsung SSD in everything from Dell/HP server OS mirrors to Corporate Dell/HP Desktops (same with Intel actually), but never in SAN storage arrays.

I think there is enough competition to bring SSD prices down... they are already pretty low as it is imo.

Respectively I'm talking about the 3D NAND 850pro. As a consumer/HEDT hard drive it is king.
 

prime2515102

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I have never had a drive fail with the exception of an 80GB Caviar that magically died while sitting on a shelf. You guys should take better care of your drives. :p
 

blazemonkey

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Off the top of my head, here are the drives that I have personally owned:

1 x 1GB Seagate (circa 1996): developed a loud high pitch whine after a week (normal according to support) and died 1 year later.

(drawing a blank here)

1 x 20GB Quantum Fireball: used for 5 years, sold with a parts machine.

2 x 40GB Matrox drives: Bought used, both started accumulating bad sectors after a few months.

1 x 80GB WD caviar: 9 years old, near 24/7 operation for 5 years, working fine a few months ago.

1 x 160GB WD caviar: 7 years old,near 24/7 operation for 5 years, working fine a few months ago.

1 x 320GB WD caviar:6 years old, near 24/7 operation for 3 years, working fine a few months ago.

1 x 1TB WD Green: 5 years old, near 24/7 operation still, working fine.

2 x 1TB WD Blacks: 5 years old, near 24/7 operation still, working fine.

1 x 1TB Seagate Barricuda: MBR failed once, drive died after a year.

2 x 2TB WD Greens: 3 years old. Both dead after a cross country move. I suspect physical damage because both were working 100% before, and they both failed after the move.

2 x 500GB WD Black RE's: 1 year old, 24/7 operation still, HW RAID1, working fine

1 x 4TB Seagate Barricuda: 1 year old, GPT failed twice, hard drive appears to be working fine besides the partition table spontaneously corrupting twice.

7 x 3TB WD Reds: 1 year old, 24/7 operation still, RAID-Z2+1, all working fine

1 x 1TB WD (passport?) USB 3 Drive: 3 years old, used and still moved constantly: working fine.

1 x 2TB WD (Passport Ultra) USB 3 Drive: 1 years old, used and still moved constantly: working fine.

I also have several Crucial, Kingston, and Samsung SSD's that all work great

Needless to say I'm not a fan of Seagate, all of mine have shit the bed within warranty. But, I seem to have had amazing luck with WD's.

I'm extremely gentle with my drives, during transport and installation. All of these drives have been installed with rubber grommet mounts, have good air flow, and are never moved, tipped or budged while spinning.

I've also supported several hundred users over the last decade with various HP, Dell, and Toshiba laptops. HDD failures were nearly non-existent, they were a mix of Seagate and WD drives.
 

nutzo

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I've had several drive failures in our servers the past couple months (more than I had the past 2 years).
I've had 1 Hitachi fail and 5 Seagates (actually Dell supplied drives).

I have almost as many WD drives as Seagate, but no failures.

I'll only buy WD or Hitachi drives for the servers due the high failure rate I see with Seagate.

Same with desktops/laptops. Almost every drive that has failed over the past few years has been a Seagate.
 

nutzo

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zero2dash and Dekoth-E-, the Deathstar moniker doesn't apply to HGST. It's a high-quality WD subsidiary now.

I still have an 18GB IBM Deskstar drive at home. Was my main drive many years ago.
Still worked fine the last time I used it for a test server. Just really slow compared to modern drives.
 

husker4life

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My Seagate 3tb failed and im in the RMA process right now awaiting the replacement, luckily its still under warranty since its only 2 years, never again Seagate.
 

True

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Roughly 7-8 years ago, had a Seagate fail. OCZ SSD failed as well after 10 months.

Since then, several Seagates, Western Digitals, Samsungs & a Crucial SSD are all still running and have been rock solid.

Due to the Deathstar nonsense back in the day, I'll never purchase anything Hitachi.

So some oversensationalized nonsense notion amplified to extremes some 15 years ago regarding one specific line of drives from a manufacturer will stop you from buying a brand, whereas the under-reported massive WD failures of the early 2000s did no such thing for you, the Seagate firmware issues with the 7200.11 series did no such thing for you, the Samsung SMART IDENTIFY data loss bug did so such thing for you, ...

I'll assume "never purchase anything Hitachi" doesn't mean other products they sell like tools, but hey, maybe an IBM product from over a decade ago will affect you buying another brand of unrelated products, I don't know.

What other media hype and sensationalism are you going to buy into next? Because it looks very effective for you, and I would like to make some money.

Betaboy1983 said:
I've had nothing but problems with WD in the 90's and thought I'd never buy one again. Well, there was a good deal on a 512 gig in... 2001 if I remember and, of course it failed pissing me off something fierce.
Yes, WD was terrible at this time. Seagates have always been around 5-20% at our shops until recent times but WD then was >50% failure rate. They always serviced us quickly but it still cost money...

The product has been pretty good for the last 5 years that I can reference right now though. I don't like their various models and firmware differentiations that can be implemented as drive option settings but meh.
 

Concillian

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I think it's pretty clear by the immediate issues with both Greens and LP drives that this is not a typical use environment.

For whatever reason the Seagates seem to be susceptible to their servers, but the other brands less so. However, I don't think it's reasonable to draw conclusions based on this data for what you put in your PC. I mean if Seagate really had a 12+% return rate we'd know...

There's something about the way they're using these drives that is making the low power drives fail, and whatever it is seems to affect the brands differently, but this doesn't tell us about typical use.
 

ep0x73

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I can actually say I have a real "deathstar" drive, 60GB still working with 20K hours on it, albeit around 5 reallocated sectors [glass platters for ya].

I avoided all Hitachi drives until recently with their NAS line which appears to be a grounds up hybrid between their deskstar and ultrastar line.
Not the fastest drives by any means but so far they run fairly cool and have been reliable.

I still say keeping drive as cool as possible and also when they run 24/7 even if idle is easier on them then having constant start/stops.

On the flipside I built my dad a computer 6 years ago with RE3 drives in raid1 which are now out of warranty and his computer is put to sleep constantly and they have been rock solid.
Only around 20K hours but many stop/starts and no issues.
 

Farkle

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The "Deathstar" nonsense is just as overblown as the Seagate Barracuda tick of death nonsense. That happened a very long time ago, and hasn't really returned. Though, 7200.x drives are still pretty unreliable "in my experience". I still have two "Deathstar" 120GXP 60GB disks in a Coppermine box that was retired after years of abuse, that I'd bet still work if I yanked it out of the garage and threw a CMOS battery in.

I don't trust new HGST drives, the manufacturing process change is too new to trust. I swore by Hitachi drives in production for multiple dual ZFS storage server iterations. After they were acquired, I moved to WD RE2 and had 3 failures in 48 disks in the first month at my scrub interval, then I moved to Samsung SpinPoint because I had them in desktops without issue, then after Samsung was acquired, I moved to Western Digital Red. It is important to me to be able to be to go to nearly any vendor and buy the same drive if I have to, years down the road. No surprises that way about geometry or weird firmware issues with my controllers.

Today? Starting over, I'd use nothing but Seagate Constellations for long term storage. It's the last refuge for consistent drive quality, really. Next years drive replacements are going to cost me a lot, but I might actually extend my paranoia of replacing long hour uptime disks to 4 years instead of 2 if I go that route...

Things I've learned about cycling two 24 disk raidz3 arrays every two years in bulk:

1. Don't trust OEM drives, always buy retail packaging. NewEgg and Amazon have given me the best shipping containers out of all of the vendors I've ordered from online (with the exception of NewEgg screwing up, years ago, but they've cleaned up their act)
2. Don't buy drives from Fry's in Renton -- they drop the boxes from the damned stair ladders if you ask them to check their stock because you need more disks than are on their shelf
3. Always keep your parity worth of storage for each vdev in cold spares near-by, unopened, because crap always goes down at 3 in the morning it seems like, and more failures can happen if it wasn't just bad luck
4. When a drive fails, RMA it, but never put the "refurbished" replacement back into your array -- give it to a family member or put it in a non-mission critical system and use it until it dies. Warranty is mostly irrelevant with drives, because once it dies, you CANNOT trust the replacement. Make the hard drive manufacturer send you a prepaid shipping label, too. (as this failure in warranty period just upped the drive TCO)
5. Always mount drives in something metal, don't rely on plastic rails -- direct heat dissipation is more important than airflow, even though airflow is good
6. Throw your power supply on a bench and scope it if you hear coil whine, or even if you don't, don't trust these enthusiast forums about power supply quality blindly. You will run into a bad sample, or the person reviewing it will be wrong. Even on the jonnyguru community.
7. Scrub every week, it will early fail weak drives well in advance to prevent worn "good" drives to fail at the same time as the weaker units
8. Hot spares are only useful in smaller arrays you can sacrifice, as a power supply issue may affect the hot spare the same time it does the rest of your drives...

Oh yeah, and finally... hard drives are going to die no matter what, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when, hence #3 :D
 

nusse

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i've had frequent issues with WD drives, but never any with seagate (it's now the same company anyway i think?). i know it's vice versa for a lot of people... just my experience. like everything MSI was complete garbage in my case, badly manufactured, broken, buggy bios... others love MSI. i have no idea, must be bad luck.

I'm in the same boat. I've had nothing but terrible experiences with WD yet my barracuda drives are still going strong. I still have an old 500 mb one that still performs like a champ.
 

Entilza

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It has to be random honestly, luck of draw, temperatures, physical impacts, planet alignments.

Had an enterprise seagate cheetah 15.6K RPM (SAS) Drive go bad just after 1 year use. In a RAID 5 environment but no harm done. Seagates RMA process was fantastic got a new drive in like 1 day here in Canada.

Yet, I have 2 green seagates (raid 1) running fine 24/7 for 3 years now. I bought these when they were $39 (2TB) for a test and it was the best money spent.
 
M

mls1995

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Seagate nas drives have been more reliable than wd reds for me
 

Nexillus

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The blackblaze article is excellent but it is using consumer grade and not enterprise drives. From most of the info I have seen I ended up going HGST 4TB NAS drives for my server storage. Initial setup and performance is excellent but I guess we will see over time.
 

njenabnit

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I have been running WD Blacks almost exclusively, but with my new FreeNas setup, I went with 2 WD RE4 drives and 4 cheap Toshiba drives. For 2TB it was like $65 each for the Toshibas. Crucial is a name I trust for memory, so I went with them for the SSD.
 

tikiman2012

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WD Green drives. Never had a problem with any of them. I just reset the head park time for them before they are put into use.
 

bigstusexy

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Wow!

Funny, I use to love Seagate but then they went south, I'd have clinched butt syndrome while one of my drives in an array would click every now and then. I'd walk near the closet and think "... was that a click?"

Bough WDs for my desktop, I put 3 green in RAID and while I had an issue I think it was the controller. had a few years of work and a few replacements, many raid rebuilds. I bought two Red's for the DVR and they were fine. So I got a third for a portable gaming box, it would experience shock (while off) and pressure changes ETC. Worked, then it slowed and died on me taking a little data with it that I didn't have else where. Other things were games from steam so no big deal.

Went to redo my raid in the main gaming box and I was thinking of Reds again so I compared prices on Newegg and found 4TB HGST (Hitachi) for the same price or about 5 bucks more than Reds. I thought how could I be considering deathstars again! However I've never had that issue and I've heard they've gotten better. So far they are running mirrored just fine with no complaints, I've lost a little speed form the Greens in raid5 but meh.

Funny thing is that HGST is a WD company! I'd also like WD to stop playing games with their drives. If the only thing different from the drives is the firmware and the color on the label, why are you changing prices? I think HGST also had a longer warranty period.
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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I don't really care too much about drive branding. If one is gonna fail, it will and I'm okay with that because I always keep copies of my important cat pics and the stuff I write. In the near future I'm getting a new drive for a netbook and I'm buying based on price so it'll probably be a 500GB something or other from who cares what brand. :)
 

mikefxu

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Western Digital is so prolific. I don't think in the past 10+ year of the hundreds of Dell desktop computers that have crossed my desk I have seen anything other than a Western Digital until this week, they have Toshiba in them now. So all the failed drives I have had come across my desk were Western Digital.
 

sobe88

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Over the years I've had 10+ dead Seagates and only 1 dead WD, of course, if you purchased a drive from the factory WD switched to after the tsunami. We all already know those drives were unreliable; others, as Backblaze has shown, has WD as rather reliable, twice as reliable as Seagate for that matter which sums up personal experience as well.

Only had a single Samsung Spinpoint F1 and 2 Hitachi drives, so can't say much there, but I've had great luck with WD Blacks, although Hitachi I've had my eye on.
 

JeffDC

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The plural of anecdote is not data.
Very true and well said imo, but at this point stats (and even specs) don't mean much.. e.g. MTBFs are usually determined by marketing hype and/or voodoo. The drives regardless of manufacturer fall into just two categories, cheap crap for home use (all drives with <5 yr. warranty) and not cheap crap for business use (5> yr. warranty). WD definitely wins in that first category ime, Seagate not only wins but R&D wise is several years ahead of everyone else in the second. Their 10+ year-old server drives are still technically superior in many respects to current drives from other mfrs.
 

NeghVar

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I used to be on the fence between Seagate and WD. But ever since Seaget bought Maxtor, their quality seems to be dropping. I am all WD now.
 

Phoenix333

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Am I the only one who didn't have any broken Seagate HDDs but a broken WD HDD?

In the late 90's I had several WD drives fail. That's what made me switch over to Seagate, and I've had almost no problems with Seagate drives over the last 14 years. I'm not just leaving the computer doing nothing either. I'm usually manipulating graphics files, compiling program code, playing games, and the computer gets turned on and off at least once a day and usually is running for several hours at a time. I also have a server that runs constantly. The old 40GB drive that I had in it finally wore out earlier this year. It took 11 years of near constant use to finally do that.

Maybe I've not had drive problems because I keep nice big fans in front of my hard drives and don't cram them so close together that they can't dissipate the heat? Come to think of it, with the exception of the above drive, all the drive failures I had with the WD's occurred in fairly small and cramped cases without very good ventilation. I wonder how hot those drives get at Backblaze. They look pretty closely stacked, and despite having fans on the sides there's not much room for air to get between the drives. I always leave at least one drive bay space between drives for airflow.
 

Dekoth-E-

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Actually, WD sold the Chinese part of their Hitachi purchase to Toshiba. HGST 3.5" drives come from the Hitachi Thailand factory that WD got as part of the deal; that factory was retooled after the flooding, and what is coming out of there since then is the really reliable stuff we're seeing now.

zero2dash and Dekoth-E-, the Deathstar moniker doesn't apply to HGST. It's a high-quality WD subsidiary now.

Just stating my experience with them. I had 3 of those drives when it was IBM and 3 since it moved to Hitachi..All 6 of them committed suicide in a spectacular (You aren't recovering Shit off these drives) manner in less than a year. I usually have always been able to recover data off just about anything else, including a few seagates where I had multiple drives from the same batch and swapped boards around. Though to be fair I was pretty surprised I got anything off the one board swap, so often that fails miserably.
 

rat

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The old 40GB drive that I had in it finally wore out earlier this year. It took 11 years of near constant use to finally do that..

Because things never change in 11 years?

Seagate's drives started going to shit after they purchased Maxtor. Failure trends reflect this.
 

DejaWiz

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I used to be on the fence between Seagate and WD. But ever since Seagate bought Maxtor, their quality seems to be dropping. I am all WD now.

I remember thinking of hard drives like this way back in the day (these are only a few familiar brands for each category):

LOW END
Matsushita, Wang, Teac, Mitsubishi, JVC, Fuji

MID-RANGE
Maxtor, Connor, Quantum, Samsung, Hitachi, Fujitsu

HIGH-END
Seagate, Western Digital, IBM, Toshiba



And today, the list looks like this:

LOW END
...

MID-RANGE
Western Digital, Toshiba, Seagate

HIGH-END
...
 

Entilza

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I remember thinking of hard drives like this way back in the day (these are only a few familiar brands for each category):

LOW END
Matsushita, Wang, Teac, Mitsubishi, JVC, Fuji

MID-RANGE
Maxtor, Connor, Quantum, Samsung, Hitachi, Fujitsu

HIGH-END
Seagate, Western Digital, IBM, Toshiba



And today, the list looks like this:

LOW END
...

MID-RANGE
Western Digital, Toshiba, Seagate

HIGH-END
...


Good old days...
 

dandragonrage

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The "Deathstar" nonsense is just as overblown as the Seagate Barracuda tick of death nonsense. That happened a very long time ago, and hasn't really returned. Though, 7200.x drives are still pretty unreliable "in my experience". I still have two "Deathstar" 120GXP 60GB disks in a Coppermine box that was retired after years of abuse, that I'd bet still work if I yanked it out of the garage and threw a CMOS battery in.

...

4. When a drive fails, RMA it, but never put the "refurbished" replacement back into your array -- give it to a family member or put it in a non-mission critical system and use it until it dies. Warranty is mostly irrelevant with drives, because once it dies, you CANNOT trust the replacement. Make the hard drive manufacturer send you a prepaid shipping label, too. (as this failure in warranty period just upped the drive TCO)

...


^ I agree with all of what this guy said (some cut out of the quote since it's long). Never trust a refurb drive (which is what you get back from warranty). And I still hear tons of idiots talk about the 60GXP/75GXP as if that shit is still relevent. They fixed that issue while they were still IBM, damnit.
 
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