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Windows 7: Which WD External HD To Purchase ?

17 May 2015   #1

Windows 7 64bit
Which WD External HD To Purchase ?

Hi Folks.

Thanks for all the previous help.

Will purchase a new External HD, and per your advice will get a WD.
Need 1 TB, or perhaps 1.5 TB.

Read all the reviews for their various models, and one can really go nuts trying to figure out
which would be the most reliable.

I don't need portability, slimness, super-small size, super speed, etc.
My sole concern, after losing what was on a Seagate, is reliability.
Am also quite happy to live with a wall wart.
Must be USB 2.0 compatible.

Reading the reviews of a bunch of their models, it seems, for all of them, that
20 -25 % of users have had problems.
Thousands that don't, but a goodly number, for all I looked at, did after a short time or right out of the box. Luck of the draw, perhaps.

So, might anyone recommend a WD model or two that they feel is a cut above the rest re reliability ?

And, please:

Should I seriously also consider Hitachi ?
Do they actually make their own, or are they repackaged WD or Seagate's ?

BTW: Are the ones with wall warts more reliable than the USB powered ones ?

Much thanks, as always,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Western Digital bought Hitachi's hard drive business 3 or 4 years ago, but both brand names are still in use. I don't know if Hitachi is possibly semi-independent within WD and has hard drive designs that are noticeably different from WD. That's possible, but I don't know how to confirm it.

If you don't need portability, you might consider an internal rather than an external. You'd gain speed since your data would not have to negotiate the USB interface at all, you'd avoid issues related to the enclosure, and you wouldn't have any worries about a wall wart.

I have a second internal that is purely for backup purposes. I've never even owned an external. I additionally make occasional backups to a third internal in an external dock, but the second internal is my workhorse backup drive. Completely backs up about 95,000 files and rarely takes more than 70 seconds to do so.

You're never going to avoid the issue of being sickened by the number of negative reviews you see for whatever drive strikes your fancy. Try to avert your eyes. Otherwise, take into consideration that some of that is user error and that those who have a poor experience with a particular brand/model are much more likely to make a review than those who were satisfied.

I chased my tail on this issue for several months last year when I was shopping for a new second internal drive. All of it pointless although I was emotionally incapable of doing otherwise. Eventually, you have to hold your nose and take the plunge. Try to avoid the idea that you can get worthwhile "reliability" info. Instead, think about price and customer service.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #3

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)

Using an internal drive for backup is not generally recommended. It's better than no backup at all but prone to many issues that make it less desirable than an external for backups.

Unfortunately, with disk drives, internal or external, their reliability is a crapshoot. Any particular drive may fail tomorrow or may last for 10 more years.

An external drive's reliability is very much tied to how it is handled and stored. Temperature, vibration, bumps and drops are a hard drive's enemy.

It would seem to me that for an external drive, one using an ssd would be most reliable since ssds have no moving parts and are pretty much immune to vibration, bumps and drops. Unfortunately, a ssd is the most expensive in regard to $ per GB of storage.

I don't believe USB vs wall wart power really figures into reliability but I have seen where the wall wart failed or someone lost their wall wart which made it difficult to get at their backup data.

I don't have any specific brand recommendations.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 May 2015   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I do daily scheduled backups to my internal backup dedicated drive. But also copy them to an external WD Passport 1TB every other day or so.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Which WD External HD To Purchase ?

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