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FORUMS General Gear Talk Computers 
Thread started 30 Oct 2013 (Wednesday) 17:53
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Help me choose which HDD to get

 
Canajun
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Oct 30, 2013 17:53 |  #1

I'm in the market for a 3TB HDD. The main purpose of the drive is to copy the contents (Apple) of an existing drive then store it offsite.

Western Digital 3TB Red SATA III w/ 64MB Cache (external link)
- I am fully aware of issues regarding WD drives on Maverick OS, and hoping that it would be resolved by the time I get the drive.

Seagate 3TB Barracuda SATA III w/ 64MB Cache (external link)
- I am not sure if DiscWizard is relevant to me since I will be using it on an Apple system.
"Free DiscWizard™ software enables 3TB drive use on legacy PC BIOS as well as Windows XP-based systems"
- Reading the reviews on this site (link) and Amazon. Both have reported drive failure therefore I cannot base my decision on that factor alone.

Seagate 3TB NAS HDD SATA III w/ 64MB Cache (external link)
- Can I use this as a stand alone drive?

If it was you. Which one would you choose?


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tim
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Oct 31, 2013 01:57 |  #2

I've had two Seagate disks I used for offsite backups return SMART errors despite being very lightly used - one with only 20 hours use over 2 years. I suggest trying a WD drive - blue.


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aparis99
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Nov 01, 2013 08:31 |  #3

Just go to NewEgg and read reviews on all 3 drives. Since the flooding in Thailand a couple years ago, it seems like they are just pumping out HD's without a lot of QA lately. It seems like there are lots of failures and DOA drives these days. Yes, you can use the WD RED NAS drives by themselves. They have pretty awesome reviews and I just bought a couple 3TB RED's and set them up RAID1 and they were flawlessly.

Something to add about the NAS drives... basically they are smarter drives with TLER which basically means, if a sector goes bad on the drive, it will try to fix it for X seconds, and if it can't fix it, it just marks that sector as bad and doesn't use it again. This will cause a normal consumer drive to throw errors b/c they keep trying to fix it.


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Tony-S
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Nov 01, 2013 08:38 |  #4

I buy Hitachi drives whenever I can. I never buy WD drives - had too many of them fail. I was very happy when WD sold the Hitachi business to Toshiba (which also makes great drives).


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Hen3Ry
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Nov 01, 2013 09:14 |  #5

Tony-S wrote in post #16415755 (external link)
I buy Hitachi drives whenever I can. I never buy WD drives - had too many of them fail. I was very happy when WD sold the Hitachi business to Toshiba (which also makes great drives).

Yup. I used to work for Hitachi Data Systems, and I've visited the factory in Odawara, which used to be the center of Hitachi's disk drive manufacturing business. It's a pretty incredible place. The inner part of the building, where the manufacturing goes on, is actually suspended on huge springs to reduce earthquake tremors.

I've never had a Hitachi drive fail, but then, I use Ultrastars and not Deskstars.


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Canajun
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Nov 01, 2013 10:08 as a reply to  @ Hen3Ry's post |  #6

aparis99 wrote in post #16415737 (external link)
Just go to NewEgg and read reviews on all 3 drives. Since the flooding in Thailand a couple years ago, it seems like they are just pumping out HD's without a lot of QA lately. It seems like there are lots of failures and DOA drives these days. Yes, you can use the WD RED NAS drives by themselves. They have pretty awesome reviews and I just bought a couple 3TB RED's and set them up RAID1 and they were flawlessly.

Something to add about the NAS drives... basically they are smarter drives with TLER which basically means, if a sector goes bad on the drive, it will try to fix it for X seconds, and if it can't fix it, it just marks that sector as bad and doesn't use it again. This will cause a normal consumer drive to throw errors b/c they keep trying to fix it.

I have forgotten all about this. I'm sure they do have QA but it's hard to ignore if they did play a part.

Thanks Tim, Tony-S & Hen3Ry for your input. I'm not much of an online buyer and the local store that I frequent does not carry bare Hitachi drives. But I appreciate the info. If the price are comparable then it's worth considering buying online.


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vapore0n
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Nov 01, 2013 12:13 |  #7

Every Deskstar drive that Ive owned(3) has failed. This from they were labeled IBM to Hitachi.
These were laptop drives though. But that experience put me off for good on that brand.

Ive used WD and Seagate drives. Both reliable, with the upper edge to the WD. I believe Ive only had one SG fail with clicking noises. I replaced the drive but never got rid of it. I decided to try the drive out once more and it worked. Recovered the data and threw it away.

I'm now considering online backups, at least for the photos only. This option removes the probability of what if my house burns down and when I go get that offsite drive it turns to go bad.




  
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Tony-S
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Nov 01, 2013 16:40 |  #8

I just sent a 4 TB Seagate drive back to their California distributor for a replacement. It failed less than a month after I bought it. I also had two of the infamous Seagate 1.5 TB drives that had the firmware bug that caused the catastrophic failures.

I can say this for Seagate, they have a good return policy. Western Digital, not so much. One 3.5" drive started acting up 11 months after I bought it. The WD tech reply was to do a low-level reformatting, which worked great for 2 months then the drive failed completely. They refused to replace it because its warranty expired at 1 year. Never again will I get a WD drive.


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Merlin_AZ
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Nov 06, 2013 23:30 |  #9

I've used WD Black and Hitachi with good luck.




  
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Nov 06, 2013 23:38 |  #10

WD Blacks are still solid. I'm replacing my aging WD Black/Green (photo main/backup) pair with a new pair of Black/Green drives because the green drive has started squealing. Those old drives each have about 1500 days of power on time according to the SMART monitoring in Defraggler. I considered a Red for the backup but decided it wasn't worth the extra $20. We'll see how the new green holds up.


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Nov 07, 2013 00:13 |  #11

For the two computer builds I've only used WD Blacks. Never had a single issue with any of them.

I can't remember what I put in my NAS ... might be a WD Red.


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Nov 07, 2013 00:51 |  #12

Over the past 6 years, I have had 7 WD drives, 5 failed; 4 Seagate drives, 0 failed and 1 Samsung drive which has not failed yet. Also worth mentioning is I have 1 Intel SSD (failed), 2 OCZ (working great) and 1 Samsung SSD which seems to be doing fine.


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devidjohn
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Nov 07, 2013 00:55 |  #13

Seagate 3TB NAS HDD SATA III w/ 64MB Cache , I think this one is the best. Seagate is very nice company and you can also visit amazon.com where you can find some other companies also. but I prefer you should use Seagate. Its nice and I'm using one and its working smooth without any complaint.


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tickerguy
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Nov 07, 2013 06:46 |  #14

Seagate 3TB Barracuda vote here assuming we're talking single drives direct attached, and the OP is.

I own several and none have failed.

The floods caused problems and for a short while (~6 months) there were quality issues. Those are in the past.

I have also had no material problem with MODERN (last 4 years or so) Hitachi drives. However, earlier ones were hit-or-miss with a lot of misses.

WD has been more troublesome. I had a lot of trouble with the 320GB RE-series drives a number of years ago with multiple failures (they're used in RAID10 for performance and redundancy) -- WD started replacing them with 500GB units when I'd send them in and all of those have been ok. Nowdays however they're VERY slow on a comparative basis -- the issue is simply physics and areal density on the platters and these smaller drives in a ganged configuration no longer make sense. The 2TB RE-series units are good and fast when they work but I've had too many failures with them to recommend them nowdays.

Note that shipping damage is extremely common with these things; the good news is that if you get one with that problem it shows up fast. The bad news is that it's a pain in the butt to deal with it when it does occur. Most of this is the seller's problem in that they inadequately pack them with some sellers being especially bad with "bare" drives. The proper way to ship these uses the small boxes with the plastic inserts for shock protection inside a larger box for mechanical protection; bubble-wrapping bare drives and tossing them in a cardboard box is NOT "good enough", especially when there are multiple drives in the carton.

The "NAS" drives are intended for INTELLIGENT controllers that have issues with dropping a drive from a RAID array during error recovery attempts. They also tend to be slower as the manufacturers intentionally limit power consumption (and performance) due to the notorious misfeature of small NAS systems having grossly-inadequate cooling for their drive bays, and since heat is an enemy of longevity this appears to make sense.

However, "smart" controllers are falling out of favor with people like me and ZFS as an underlying file structure is taking its place. The reason is that unlike a smart controller ZFS block-level checksums the data at the time of writing and verifies on a timed basis -- since it has a checksum if an error is detected it knows which is the rotted copy and which is not -- an impossibility otherwise and you get to rely on the drive's ECC detection. That works most of the time but when it fails you're screwed and as storage pools keep getting bigger the numerical odds of being screwed by a bitrot failure goes up. ZFS provides superior protection against this.


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Canajun
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Nov 07, 2013 07:43 as a reply to  @ tickerguy's post |  #15

To be honest. I think I've had more Seagate than WD in the past. From what I've been reading in the past few months tho, there are a lot more people in favour of WD. Reading all your posts makes me aware of what is out there. Since I intend to use it as redundancy device only, I am not even looking at "black" rating due to cost.

Thanks for all of your input.


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