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Windows 7: RELIABLE hard drives?? where's the QA

25 Aug 2013   #1
zapp22

Windows XP Pro SP3, Windows 7 Pro 32-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Windows XP Home SP3
 
 
RELIABLE hard drives?? where's the QA

gang I have been reading up on the current crop of new/unused hard drives - the spinning kind - and am bummed to see the high levels of negative feedback on so many of the 'top ranked' hdd's. I have been sorting the rankings by user/owner feedback to find one that first of all has a lot of users/owners extant, and secondly gets at least above-average marks. then I look for the DOA's etc. It seems to me that the incidence of outright failures within a short period is a good bit higher than, say, 2 years ago.
even the much-marketed "uber reliable" 'Red' drives that seem to have sold well have, to my thinking, an unacceptably high rate of negative feedback.

has something happened in the industry that manufacturers are now accepting a higher sample fallout rate than previous?
also 2.5"'s seem a little worse than 3.5's, and I don't recall that being the case a few years back.

If you've been through this exercise and picked a winner, pls let me know what that drive is?


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25 Aug 2013   #2
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

I share your observation of dropping in drive quality. Years ago, I bought WD drives but then last year, I had three fail me in a few months, and one was only a few months old.

Since then, I have been using Seagate -- without any problems.

But then, I've also seen folks refer to them as "Sleazegate" -- and I've seen bad comments on all other major drive makers, as well.

Years ago, any hard drive you bought came with a three year warrant. Today, you're more likely to find only a 12 month warranty.

My guess is that the major reduction in drive prices forced manufacturers to respond with shorter warranties and lower quality drives.
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25 Aug 2013   #3
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Sleazegate. LOL! I hadn't heard that one before although I can see how they would have earned that one after the 7200.11 firmware fiasco several years ago. They seem to have cleaned up their act since then. The Hitachi Deskstars had issues several years ago that got them the name Deathstar. They also seem to run better now although many people have reported that they run hot.

One reason I use 2TB WD Blacks in my desktop is, besides never having a Black fail me, is they still have a five year warranty. I've had two 160GB WD Blues for several years that are still working and they still get decent reviews. The newer 1TB Western Digital WD Blue WD10EZEX HDDs are supposed to be faster the WD 1TB Blacks although the warranty is only two years.

The only WD Green I've had fail was one of the first ones that came out and probably had the head parking issue the early ones were plagued with. It was also used as a boot and storage drive, something the computer shop that installed it should have known better than to do. I still use the Greens for backup drives since I don't care if they are slower and they don't run fulltime so they should still last me a long time. I also make redundant backups so I'm not worried by a slightly increased chance for failure. Although the user reviews are still being skewed by the earlier drive issues, the newer ones seem to be doing much better.

One thing that has hurt current HDD review ratings is the first batches of HDDs that came out after the Thai floods had a lot of problems but that seems to have been resolved.
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25 Aug 2013   #4
zapp22

Windows XP Pro SP3, Windows 7 Pro 32-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Windows XP Home SP3
 
 

i think this is the only salve.
you pay for the warranty [the 5 year warranty drives are 10 to ### bucks higher] but what else are we to do? I favored seagate 7200rpm's in the past also, but in the last couple of years have bought [for others] WD blacks of one shape or another; but with reservations.
I'm seeing 20-25% of the buyers puking up for one reason or other...

all reasons why I, with fingers and toes crossed, am only using RAID 1 for server on small LANs... and buying 5 year warranty drives.
I've spent time in the industry dealing with storage subsystems and knew from those years that MTBF "ratings" are meaningless. ONLY real field experience is helpful, and one needs a good bit of data by which to judge. even the 'better' drives could suddenly go south via switching of suppliers [sub component suppliers to the drive makers] unless the mftr deliberately beefed up sampling whenever such a switch occurs. it takes humans and time to run effective QA... the process does not lend itself full automation

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lady Fitzgerald View Post
Sleazegate. LOL! I hadn't heard that one before although I can see how they would have earned that one after the 7200.11 firmware fiasco several years ago. They seem to have cleaned up their act since then. The Hitachi Deskstars had issues several years ago that got them the name Deathstar. They also seem to run better now although many people have reported that they run hot.

One reason I use WD Blacks in my desktop is, besides never having a Black fail me, is they still have a five year warranty.
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25 Aug 2013   #5
msalton1

windows 7 Pro 64 Bit
 
 

My experience has been that every brand goes through it's "slump period". I have a mix of seagate and WD, Hitachi and Samsung in my systems. I haven't had a maxtor in awhile, but they were part of the "up & down" syndrome too.

When I'm ready to buy, I check user reviews at Newegg. This generally gives me an overview of what drive is reliable at the given time. It's worked for me, as I don't often have drive failures (I have around 15 HDs in various machines).

I try to find the best price for the most reliable drive in the capacity I need. Budget, while a consideration, is not the prevailing criteria.
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25 Aug 2013   #6
OvenMaster

Win7 Pro 32bit; Zorin OS 9 Core (in VM)
 
 

It seems to me that you get what you pay for. Drives cost a bunch of money not too long ago, and they lasted a good long time. Now, drives are relatively cheap, and they crap out early. Coincidence? I think not.

In over 12 years of heavy daily 24/7 PC use, I have only had one hard drive fail, a Seagate that died six months after the five year warranty ended. I have drives from 2001 that still work fine. One of my storage drives in use today is from 2004. My C drive? It's a SATA WD 160GB Blue that came out in 2007, and I bought it used in 2009. SMART says 0 errors and it just keeps on spinnin'.

I'll be honest. I'm afraid to buy a new drive, after seeing the lousy reports of failures and DOAs on new drives, I am seriously considering buying used ones when i need to expand or replace a drive.
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25 Aug 2013   #7
Victor S

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I haven't has drive issue since I bought one of those IBM "Deathstars." Long time ago.
I loved the Maxtors when that was a vital company, but most recently have had only WD Blacks, and before that Blues.

Here's something to consider when looking at reviews. You don't know how many were sold, so those with complaints can be an extremely small minority. An "unlucky" minority.
When I put together my current rig, I felt much like the OP. Everything was getting hammered in reviews.
It was like I had no choice but to go with flawed stuff.
The ASUS P6T was hammered, the Corsair PS was hammered.

Can't remember exactly how that showed in the reviews totality, but it was something like "3 of 4 stars."
There was no "4 Star" gear available. Nothing.
Anyway, the P6T and Corsair have been flawless after close to 4 years. Same with the WD Blacks.

Bad reviews will really stick out, and are usually valid. But they're not really a representative sample.
I suggested to Newegg that they include a "units sold" on their items. Ignored of course.

So you have to ask yourself a question.
"Do I feel lucky today?" That's really what it gets down to, even buying "quality."
The great majority are "lucky."
There's exceptions, like the Deathstars. The main defense against that is not buying something "hot on the market." Time always weeds out the junk soon enough.
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