Are hard drives not reliable anymore?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by cwright, Jul 24, 2005.

  1. cwright macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    #1
    Maybe I just have bad luck, but I've had lots of problems with hard drives in the last 5 or 6 years. It started when I bought my first new iMac and got an 80gb 5400rpm external Maxtor drive (what a waste back then at $400...) and it barely lasted a year before it crashed and had to be reformatted. Then after that it worked for a few months and crashed again. Hasn't worked at all since. Then when I got my quicksilver G4 I bought an additional Western Digital internal drive that died after a year or so.

    And now my 250GB Hitachi SATA drive is failing in my G5... and it's a royal pain trying to back up all that data before the drive dies. Well I bought the drive last October, so it hasn't even been a year yet! I've been through 3 different manufacturers (maxtor, hitachi, WD) that all sold me a bad drive... and now I just bought a 400GB Seagate SATA from newegg as a replacement.

    So I guess what I'm asking is, what brands of hard drives had you had good luck with, or lots of problems? Is Seagate a reliable brand?
     
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #2
    first off, your maxtor was under warranty you could have gotten a new one. most hard drives have 1 year warranty (maxtor used to be 3 yrs). first let me say, i am using right now maxtor, hitachi, and western digital. I have also used IBM and Seagate drives in the past as well. I have the least problems with western digital, but i usually prefered buying maxtor because the 3 yr warranty, but they changed that. might i ask how much you use your drives daily. perhaps your just one of those people with extremely high use. in the field, i have replaced a lot of different brand drives that have failed. i never really see a pattern. high dust enviroment will shorten the drive life though (i.e. in a work a shop).

    are you using a raid 1 (mirroring) array in your G5? Doesn't sound like it, if you have a raid 1 array it would save you the trouble of backing up the data because you would have two copies of the data on two seperate hard drives.
     
  3. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #3
    Buy the server versions of the drives, while they may sacrifice some quiet -- they should last a bit longer, since they generally aren't built as cheap/quiet as possible.

    But they aren't typically drives sitting on retail shelves.

    While you may think the Maxtor drives suck, their MaXLine (with a 5 year warranty) should be a lot more reliable.

    You have to research drives and look at warranties and million hour or more MTTF, instead of buying on price.
     
  4. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #4
    i never believed server drives lasted longer, expect scsi drives. that just my expierence though.
     
  5. cwright thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri
    #5
    Well I do use my computer ALOT every day...so maybe that's it. I'm not sure... but I'd think they would still last longer. And no, I never really bought on price...when I got the maxtor I was young and too stupid to really research anything. The WD drive my dad bought for me... and now I'm buying the Seagate because my Hitachi failed (don't really want to trust another Hitachi) and even though the Seagate is a little more expensive, it has a 5 year warranty, not the 3 year the Hitachi offers.

    Actually, buying the Hitachi 250gb drive was another stupid move on my part. I bought it from www.foxtec.com because they had a good price (like someone said...lol) and it was an OEM drive. I thought OEM drives just meant that there was no retail packaging (like newegg does) but I just found out that Foxtec purchases the right to the warranties too. So I don't have a warranty from Hitachi... just through the store. And when I called them, I got a message saying the 'cell phone subscriber you dialed is not available'. :rolleyes: I'll try their online RMA procedure, but I doubt I'll get much luck.

    Anyway... I'm storing lots of data that takes a LONG time to collect on these hard drives (huge, organized music collection, lots of ripped movies, and soon I'll get a TV tuner card and store some TV shows). I guess I'm just worried that I'll lose all of that data and I will definitely be pissed off. Since I'm off to college soon, It would be a big strain on the budge to get a RAID1 setup and still have all the storage space I want/need... so I'm not sure what to do.

    My goal right now was to use the 400gb Seagate for my main storage drive, and then eventually get another one so I can have my 160gb drive for the system and apps, one 400gb drive for my work files (photoshop, final cut pro) and another 400gb drive for all my media.

    Wow, that was a long post.... :)
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    The mechanism may last longer, but some of the boxes we put them in still push even those drives into an early thermal death. :(

    Sort of hard to avoid cooking drive after drive.
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
    External drives from Maxtor, Seagate, Western Digital all have one year warranty.. As far a s retail drives go, Most Maxtor and Western Digital internals have 3 years, the Maxtor MaxLine Server drives, WD Raptor and WD "enterprise" drives have 5 years, and the Seagate internals have 5 years, which is why it is often better to buy a case and install the internal mechanism of your choice.

    As the OP noted, make sure you are getting the full warranty when you purchase, and not "pull" or "OEM" drives with no manufacturer's warranty. There's a reason why the cheapest sellers are cheap...
     
  8. Neuro macrumors regular

    Neuro

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #8
    I had a Maxtor SATA drive fail recently at work, the second in 1 year. I had to use a data recovery company and they said that Maxtor are generally the least reliable of all the big name drives.

    I only use Seagate Barracudas at home and have yet to have a problem.
     
  9. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Location:
    Gah! Plymouth
    #9
    I have yet to have a problem with a Maxtor 120GB external HD
     

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