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Windows 7: What is the Best Hard Drive?

22 Jan 2015   #1
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 
What is the Best Hard Drive?

Quote:
It was one year ago that I first blogged about the failure rates of specific models of hard drives, so now is a good time for an update.

At Backblaze, as of December 31, 2014, we had 41,213 disk drives spinning in our data center, storing all of the data for our unlimited backup service. That is up from 27,134 at the end of 2013. This year, most of the new drives are 4 TB drives, and a few are the new 6 TB drives.
Read more: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/best-hard-drive/


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22 Jan 2015   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Very interesting.

The only thing that is in question to me is can the results of the test be verified by other large volume hard drive users?

So my questions to you Shawn.

With all the forums how many hard drives are use and what size and brands?
What is the failure rate of each brand and size?

Or possibly are all the major storage done in a Cloud?

Just curious.

I also wonder what kind of hard drives companies like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon use.
It is hard for me to conceive the amount storage such companies have.

Storage capabilities of such governments agencies as N.S.A. is mind boggling.
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22 Jan 2015   #3
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Hey Jack,

I have two Samsung HD154UI 1TB HDDs that have been extremely reliable for me over the years.

The OCZ Vector SSD has been great for me as well so far over the last 2 years.

John will need to answer about the server drives though.
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22 Jan 2015   #4
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Something to keep in mind is that Backblaze has a business plan that is unique among large volume HDD users so finding another large volume HDD user that is comparable to Backblaze. Instead of using expensive, high quality enterprise grade HDDs like pretty much everyone else in the mass data storage business uses to avoid frequent HDD replacements, Backblaze uses inexpensive (and downright cheap), consumer grade HDDs, including ones cannibalized from external HDDs, the theory being it costs less to use cheaper HDDs and replace them more frequently instead of more expensive HDDs that don't need as frequent replacement. so far, that business plan seems to be working for them.

Even though Backblaze is using consumer drives in a way they were never intended to be used (running 24/7 instead no more than 8 hours a day), it's report on HDD reliability is still useful to consumers since it shows a very general comparison of how well one brand of HDD stacks up to another as far as HDD life is concerned. What the test doesn't show is that some brands of HDDs have changed ownership over the time of the test (HGST, for example), which may or may not have an effect on future HDD reliability, the cost of HDDs over time (an example is Seagates may fail more frequently than WDs but Seagates cost considerably less than WDs), length of warranty (WD is king, followed by HGST, then Seagate), the quality level of customer service when making a warranty claim (WD beats the holy, hairy heck out of Seagate here, and the tier of the HDDs used (Backblaze use the lowest priced HDDs it can lay its hands on so higher tier HDDs aren't being compared), etc.

Because of the factors I just mentioned, the comparisons have to be generalized, meaning the differences between HGST and WD are insignificant since they are so close to each other but, since Seagate is so far more dramatically different from the other two, it is worth noting. What means more to me is warranty length (suggest better reliability) and customer service levels. One can glean that information from customer reviews. One must read the reviews themselves, however, rather than just the number of stars, eggs, or whatever, to weed out the ones from people who are clueless, reporting a HDD is wonderful after a whole day of operation, complaining of DOAs that could be due to poor shipping, etc. I prefer WDs over Seagates based on my personal experience (however, personal experience vary from person to person), warranty length, and customer service levels on warranty claims (WD beats the snot out of Seagate, based mostly on customer reviews and partially on my own experience).
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22 Jan 2015   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Yeah, Seagates are not very reliable. I had 2 drives fail on me. My 4 OCZs (Vertex and Vector) work great too - the oldest since 2008. The spinning external disk I trust the most is my 2.5" Fujitsu. That thing has taken so much beating and never failed - knock on wood.
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22 Jan 2015   #6
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I'm a low end user. Having said that I have never had a problem with Seagate or WD. hard drives.
I don't use hard drives much any more but also haven't had any problems with Intel or Samsung SSD's. Other than the price I don't know why someone using and having the need for hundreds of hard drives wouldn't buy enterprise hard drives.

Backblaze needing that many hard drives indicates they have a lot of data stored that is accessed often. That data has to be valuable to someone. Why would such a company not buy the best enterprise hard drives they could get. Yes I know they cost more but what is all that data worth.
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22 Jan 2015   #7
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

I've never had a 2.5" HDD fail on me and I have both Seagates and WDs. I've had two 3.5" Seagates fail on me (the infamous 7200.11s, the only 3.5" Seagates I've ever owned) and three WDs (I've owned far more WDs than Seagates).

The first WD to fail was one an early Green (1.5TB) a supposedly reputable computer shop installed in an older machine of mine to replace the two Seagates that previously failed (the shop should have known better than to use a green drive for a one drive machine; that experience was the reason why I learned how to build and maintain my own machines). The early Greens had an issue with excessive head parking that caused them to wear out prematurely and has since been corrected.

The second bad WD was a 4TB Black that arrived DOA. I don't really count that one since it could have been damaged in shipping (I worked Shipping and Receiving off and on for 32 years so I know first hand how poorly packages get handled); the vendor promptly replaced it with another new drive that is working just fine now.

The third WD was a 2 TB Green that started throwing SMART errors (over 300 reallocated sectors). While the drive was still working just fine and was receiving extremely light usage (I only use Greens for backups and install only Blacks in my desktop machine), it was approaching the end of its warranty so I contacted WD. They promptly replaced it with no hassle, allowing me to have it cross shipped (I had to provide a credit card number to guarantee I would return the old drive after I received the replacement).

WD's longer warranties and excellent customer service, not to mention the long time between failures (I have 12 of their 3.5" drives right now) has convinced me to stay with WD, even though they are more expensive. That said, the best drive I ever had was a 60GB Maxtor. That little jewel lasted me seven years, running 24/7 about half of the time. I only retired it because I retired the computer it was in, it was too small, and it was IDE.
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22 Jan 2015   #8
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
...Backblaze needing that many hard drives indicates they have a lot of data stored that is accessed often. That data has to be valuable to someone. Why would such a company not buy the best enterprise hard drives they could get. Yes I know they cost more but what is all that data worth.
Keep in mind data farms like Backblaze run their drives in RAIDed servers so, when a drive fails, data isn't lost and all they have to do is pop in another drive and let the RAID rebuild itself. In fact, considering how many failures they do have, I wouldn't doubt that Backblaze uses hot spares in their servers to allow more time to pop in the replacements.

Apparently, Backblaze has found that replacing cheaper drives more frequently is more cost effective than replacing more expensive drives less frequently, especially since they have been doing it for quite a while.
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22 Jan 2015   #9
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

How well documented is the notion that "enterprise" drives are more reliable than "consumer" drives?

Failure rates per se, with no reference to warranty, customer service, total cost of ownership, etc.
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22 Jan 2015   #10
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
How well documented is the notion that "enterprise" drives are more reliable than "consumer" drives?

Failure rates per se, with no reference to warranty, customer service, total cost of ownership, etc.
Just based on customer reviews, I would say they enterprise drives are no better than consumer drives for lifespan, despite costing more. Keep in mind, however, most consumers don't run their consumer drives 24/7 (like someone I know ) and enterprise drives are designed for 24/7 operation.
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