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Old 2010-04-20, 23:06   #1
petrw1
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Default Any thoughts on large hard drives...

I want to purchase a large (probably 2Tb) mostly for media storage.

I look through NewEgg and can spend anywhere fom $160 - $360;
but everyone has several comments from readers saying they are unreliable or a high percentage are DOA.

Is that a symptom of:
A. Large drives are too new to be reliable
B. You can't please everyone

I come from the school of thought that HardDrive technology is mature (and by now simple) enought that all known players are equally capable of making one that works well.
Is that too naive?
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Old 2010-04-20, 23:33   #2
nucleon
 
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Funny you mention it, I'm hearing a lot of comments to say 1TB and up hdds are having high failures.

From personal experience, I had to get 13HDDs (1TB & 1.5TB) before I found 7 to be reliable*. Some of those 13 are warranty replacements. This was for a NAS here at home.

*Reliable definition for me was that it had to pass the S.M.A.R.T. inbuilt "extended offline" test.

There's something about the 1TB densities and up that's having troubles. Hence why the HDD manufacturers are going towards 4kB sectors.

-- Craig
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Old 2010-04-21, 02:30   #3
CADavis
 
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Well I have two Wester Digital 2TB green drives, the "EADS" versions not "EARS" versions. One is several months old working 24/7 fine, other is a couple weeks working fine as well. I don't use them very hard as they are mostly just storage in my "file server" machine and they get shut down pretty often.

But I did boot into the Western Digital Diagnostics tool and do the full extended test on both of them when they arrived, before I formatted them and put data on them. Took over 6 hours each, but they both passed. That's AFAIK the best test you can do besides long term using and stressing them.

Also if you wait for a sale you can get 2TB for under $130, I got one of mine for $120 and one for $130, just have to find a good sale.
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Old 2010-04-21, 16:38   #4
enderak
 
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I've used several WD 1TB hard drives over the past few years, and a few months ago switched to WB 2GB drives. No reliability problems so far, but I don't use them intensively, just for backups. I have redundant backups, so if one were to die, I wouldn't lose much sleep over it. If you are concerned about it, maybe get two or three smaller drives and RAID them. 3 1TB drives in RAID 5 will get you 2 TB of storage and protection if one were to die.
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Old 2010-04-21, 16:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enderak View Post
I've used several WD 1TB hard drives over the past few years, and a few months ago switched to WB 2GB drives. No reliability problems so far, but I don't use them intensively, just for backups. I have redundant backups, so if one were to die, I wouldn't lose much sleep over it. If you are concerned about it, maybe get two or three smaller drives and RAID them. 3 1TB drives in RAID 5 will get you 2 TB of storage and protection if one were to die.
RAID is an availability solution, not a backup/protection solution. If one drive dies you are back to no "protection" until you can grab another drive of exactly the same geometry to replace the dead one. IMO if you run a website or DB server then RAID is good for that to provide 100% availability, but you still need a backup on top of that. If you don't run any critical service then RAID is wasted, just go for mirrored backups. If one drive dies just grab any other drive that has enough space to hold your data and you are quickly back to the requisite number of duplicate copies.
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Old 2010-04-21, 17:32   #6
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
RAID is an availability solution, not a backup/protection solution. If one drive dies you are back to no "protection" until you can grab another drive of exactly the same geometry to replace the dead one. IMO if you run a website or DB server then RAID is good for that to provide 100% availability, but you still need a backup on top of that.
Entirely correct! It's amazing how many people think that RAID removes the need for backups.
Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
If you don't run any critical service then RAID is wasted, just go for mirrored backups. If one drive dies just grab any other drive that has enough space to hold your data and you are quickly back to the requisite number of duplicate copies.
Except that Murphy's Law tells you that the critical bit of data you really, really need was written after the last backup was taken.

Paul
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Old 2010-04-21, 17:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xilman View Post
Except that Murphy's Law tells you that the critical bit of data you really, really need was written after the last backup was taken.
I'm not sure who is worse, Murphy or Newton. I sometimes wish that Newton had never invented gravity, the .
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Old 2010-04-21, 19:51   #8
enderak
 
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Quote:
Entirely correct! It's amazing how many people think that RAID removes the need for backups.
Yikes! In my defense, I never said to replace backups with RAID. I have RAID on all my servers, but still make nightly backups, and monthly off-site backups. I agree with retina's suggestions. (I must have glossed over the "media storage" note in the original post.)

If this is just for his personal media in his home, then RAID is probably not necessary, unless he demands 99.999% uptime from his mp3 collection. ;)
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Old 2010-04-21, 21:07   #9
petrw1
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Default Thanks for all the quick replies...

I fully intend to make backups too. Today I backup to DVD quarterly. We don't add photos all that often.

A friend recommended www.mozy.com for backups. It is an EMC offering. They backup for me for $5 per month. Would sure beat me having to buy and babysit the DVD burner and I would get more frequent backups too.
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Old 2010-04-22, 03:07   #10
lfm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrw1 View Post
I want to purchase a large (probably 2Tb) mostly for media storage.

I look through NewEgg and can spend anywhere fom $160 - $360;
Allow me to recommend http://www.memoryexpress.com/ . They're offering free shipping ATM. They have a some WD 2gb drives for $130CDN too. They're local for me but they're not in Sask. yet.
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Old 2010-04-22, 05:53   #11
joblack
 
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With the Samsung 1TB 7.200 RPM you're fine. All harddisks bigger than 1 G have (at least at the moment) a larger risk of failing.
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