Hard drive questions

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Rikos87, Oct 7, 2008.

  1. Rikos87 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Right now I'm in the midst of replacing my HD (Fried) on my Macbook. Couple of questions:

    1. What are some good ones to use? Would Seagate be a good way to go?

    2. Are most laptop hard drives universal meaning that they can work on a mac?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #2
    #1 - You will receive many personal opinions on this. First decide on the HD speed and capacity then look for options that meet your criteria.

    Personally, I have a 500GB Samsung (5400 rpm) in my MBP. Love it. :)

    #2 - As long as they are SATA and are 9.5mm thick they will work in all Apple laptops. Some, such as the MBP17, will allow the thicker models.
     
  3. Rikos87 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Cool, I'm just hoping that I don't have to go to the Apple Store to get said hard drive.
     
  4. DeusInvictus7 macrumors 68020

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    #4
    no, you dont have to go to the apple store :)

    heres a link to probably the most recommended ones by most of us here...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...E&N=2010150380 50001306 1309733643&name=320GB

    although, you would want to consider how much space you really need/want, and then the speed of the drive...

    P.S. I do have a question though for anyone else here, does a 7200RPM drive take away that much battery life? Im considering putting one in my Macbook, but im not sure if the speed is more worth the battery life...
     
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #5
    Here's the Samsung 500GB model that I have.

    For me, capacity was the primary consideration. Works fine for my needs.
     
  6. verozov macrumors regular

    verozov

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    #6
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #7
    yes capacity was a large choice for me too, thus why i also have what you have. i am not having any problem with it currently, even though it is only 5400RPM it is about the same speed as my odler 7200RPM drive. you can notice a bit of lag when doing very intense work though.

    OP you need to figure out what speeds your after, and whether you are after capacity or not. for brands i would recommend hitachi as the number one, then samsung, then western digital, then seagate. some might argue with me though... its a matter of opinion!

    goodluck
     
  8. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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  9. Winter Charm macrumors 6502a

    Winter Charm

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    #10
    i agree :D
     
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #11
    Agree with Hitachi.

    Samsung is questionable. I backup regularly. I really wanted the space.

    Keeping my fingers crossed hoping that the Samsung will last a while.
     
  11. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #12
    yes i never have trusted samsumg that much. i was always unsure about them but i asked around and a lot of people recommeneded them for the laptop drive, so im checking it out and we'll see how it goes!
     
  12. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #13
    I've had many Samsung HDs fail in our desktop computers. They last a couple of years then go. A far the HDs of old that would last many years.

    Guess the key is to back up important data on a regular basis to be on the safe side. :)
     
  13. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #14
    oh youve had many fails with older drives? how old are we talking? 3 years, 4 years, 5+ years??

    thats very interesting to know! but i guess if a HD lasts 5 years then thats pretty darn good, it would be time to upgrade to a 1TB SSD by then anyway.

    thank you for the warning, i will be backing up EVEN more now :)
     
  14. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #15
    Maybe we've received a bad batch.

    About 2 years is when some started to fail.

    On a personal level, I had three HDs mechanically fail in one year. The first one went on New Years morning. :eek:

    I've attached the recording for your listening pleasure. :p

    IMHO, older drives seem to last longer than newer drives.

    I've 3.5 inch HDs (Maxtor & Samsung) and 2.5 inch HDs (Hitachi & Toshiba) that have failed in well under 5 years.

    Samsung 3.5 inch HD seem to be the most popular to fail of the ones that we have so I steer clear of them now.

    I am looking to upgrade to the 1TB laptop drives as well when they come out.

    Always a good policy. :)
     

    Attached Files:

  15. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #16
    two years isnt a very good life for a hard drive. i have had many laptops/desktops with hard drives over 5 and even 10 years old.

    what brand were the mechanical fails that you had??


    it would seem like it! i would never ever use maxtor personally, because they are unreliable IMO. after your troubles with samsung life-wise i am somewhat regretting buying this 500gb samsung instead of a 320 hitachi, but ah well you get that sometimes!

    im not that fond of toshiba either. i haven't had one problem with hitachi, my over 10 year old beige mac still runs perfectly with it, my iMac G3 graphite hitachi HD works too.

    i am hoping that the laptop sammy's are more reliable, they're a pretty new generation of HD's so hopefully (fingers crossed) they will be very successful for me.

    thanks so much for your help/notice :)

    DoFoT9
     
  16. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #17
    In that year, the one the audio clip came from, I had three personal HD failures. The audio came from my TAM which has a 2.5 inch HD. If memory serves it was a Toshiba.

    The replacement Hitachi HD failed about 2 years later.

    Of the other two HDs that failed that year, both were 3.5 inch HDs. One was a Seagate and the other a Maxtor.

    Maxtor used to be good. I preferred them for my personal drives.

    Now their quality is questionable, and has definitely gone down hill.

    We had Samsung drives in our lab computers. They were crap. Our failure rate with these have been over 10%

    What is really funny, is that I have some old Samsung drives, by old I mean about 10 years, that still work fine. You can definitely see a quality difference IMHO.

    Likewise with Toshiba. I've had a few of them (2.5 inch) fail as well.

    Me too!

    The 500GB storage capacity of the Samsung was enough for me to go for it. I did this against the advice of many computer friends who have also had bad experiences with Samsung drives (3.5 inch types).

    I ran SpinRite on the drive a couple of times before installing it. SpinRite gave it a good review and conditioned the platters. So I think it will work okay. Just need to remember to back up each week. :)

    These days as capacity grows it is easy to forget how much valuable information one can place on one HD. So a failure becomes even a greater issue now.
     
  17. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #18
    that audio is terrible!!! that sounds like my old backup drive after i dropped it! if that happened without any real movement then that is quite sad.

    so you're pretty experienced with HD failures, i hope you didn't loose much data. :(


    i can't remember maxtor ever having a good name, im only young though so i guess i wasn't around when they were making sound, quality products. i have read many a report on users buying external LaCie's/Maxtors etc only to have them fail quite quickly, ive never touched them!


    that is quite an impressive failure rate. clearly samsung HD's do not like being used day in day out!

    yes i can understand how the products have de-gradated so much, the world has become a place where cheap is the best way to go. but i must say that it isnt! you cant have cheap hard drives. we depend so much on them these days mainly because computers run our world so yea....


    icky :cool:


    yup i got sucked in by the massiveness of the drive! i did get some referrals about the drive being "really reliable" and "tops", we'll see!

    can spin rite be run on the drive when it has stuff on it?? what exactly does it do?? might have to check it out!

    very good point about the capacities on one drive, perhaps a new technology should be bought out where there are two drives on the computer, but one is mirrored so that if one dies the data can still be revived (im talking using the one hard drive space, not using two hard drives, because that consumes space!).
     
  18. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #19
    It was New Year's Day and we were sitting watching the TV and relaxing.

    Then boom, it just started making that noise. So I jumped up and did a quick shut down by throwing my surge protector switch.

    Then I tried starting it up again, and heard what you heard. When I figured there was nothing that I could do to fix it, I decided it was worth recording. Glad I did. :)

    BTW, I was lucky as I had just backed up that computer because I was in the process of moving data to another computer. Lucky! :D

    I think my middle name is "Murphy" so if you want to test something, give it to me. ;)

    SpinRite is awesome.

    Unfortunately, it only runs on a PC. So I had to connect my Samsung drive to my PC to run the test. I have heard where some folks have figured out a way to boot into SpinRite on an Intel Mac, but don't know how yet. So for me, I just remove the HD and run SpinRite from my PC.

    SpinRite is awesome at recovering data, checking the HD, and conditioning the HD. You can see SpinRite here.

    I'll let the web site speak for itself. Here is an extract:

    Here is a quick testimonial. I had a Maxtor drive get corrupted. Nothing that I had for the Mac would work to fix the drive nor recover the files. I had been using SpinRite on the PC side, but said what the heck, let me try it with a Mac formatted HD. I forget how long it took. It was a large HD so probably a day or so. When SpinRite was done, I put it into my Mac and viola all was perfect. Unreal.

    Testimonial 2. I had a Sharp MM20 laptop which has a 1.8 inch HD. It was making clicking sounds from incorrect reads and writes (reads and writes that generate errors). So I ran SpinRite. Unbelievable improvement. So I ran SpinRite again and the drive was like new. No more errors like I was receiving before, and of course this speeded up my system because there were no read/write errors to correct. Awesome.

    I've used SpinRite on many questionable drives and it has worked in Spades for me. Best money I ever spent on HD maintenance and recover software by far. The only negative for us Mac folks is that you need to launch it from a PC. Hopefully someday there will be a work around with Intel Macs that is easy to do.
     
  19. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #20
    That noise was terrible!! Absolutely the worst thing that I have ever heard coming from a HD. Did you try the fridge method to see if that fixed it at all? :p

    You were extremely lucky that you did backup, you can never be safe enough these days... Everything seems to be not lasting as long as they used to.


    Haha! I will keep that in mind for when I get a bad HD failure. Expect a PM asking for your address :p.


    Wow. SpinRite does sound pretty good! Its good that it can check HFS+ as well, I am guessing that is because it doesn't need to be able to read any data, it just checks if the data can actually be accessed and written to.

    By conditioning, it means that it eliminates (by marking) all bad sectors, etc. as inaccessible? I doubt that it can fix any physical conditions because it is a software program!! (Unless it is VERY good technology haha).

    I did a quick google search for the Mac version you described, it gave a MR response so i started reading it. Got about half way down the page and realised that it was this very thread!! I'm an idiot! Didn't have any success finding anything else though, I will try again when I get home tonight (It's Friday YAY).

    SpinRite is getting very good comments! I may have to invest in it! I have other recovery software such as Norton, WinClone and a few others and they have been pretty good to me, but I daresay that SpinRite will be the best for when a drive dies.
     
  20. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #21
    It does have a nice grating sound! :D

    :)

    That's why I do complete clones and do not do incremental backups.

    And after I make a clone, I test to see that it works. I repair permissions and the HD each time as well.

    BTW, I've had so many incremental backups fail over the years, I no longer even entertain them.

    He he! I hope that time never comes.

    I don't know how the actual program works, but it was written in Assembly language and works at a very low level.

    Each bit on a hard drive is composed of magnetic particles. Simplistically speaking, say there are 10 of these particles per bit. If the threshold for a "1" bit is 60%, then there could be 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 magnetic particles aligned to create the "1" bit. As you can see, there is quite a variance or fluctuation. Also when there are 4, 5, 6 or 7 magnetic particles, each read and write may need to be verified more times to ensure correct data reading and writing. This slows down the hard drive performance.

    As I understand, SpinRite exercises these bit areas to ensure that the magnetic particles are move fluid and can change. So instead of bit particle levels around the decision point (4, 5, 6 and 7) the bit particle levels are closer to 1 for "0" and 10 for "1". This improves read/write performance and data integrity.

    SpinRite does a bunch of other things as well because it can recover corrupted directors. I'm not sure how it scans and searches for the B-Tree. But it works well.

    Jess. That's never happened to me ... NOT! :)

    BTW, I have some lake front land to sell you in Florida. :p

    SpinRite is fantastic!

    I now use it about once every year on all my HDs to condition them. The drives work so much better. :)

    I'm trying to remember what tools that I specifically used to try to recover the HD that I mentioned before. I think that I tried 3-4 different Mac apps but none worked. Enter SpinRite and voila, problem solved.
     
  21. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #22
     
  22. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #23
    Normally, I have external HD at twice the capacity of the Internal that I am backing (cloning).

    So my MBP15 has a 500GB HD. I have an external inclosure that contains two 500GB HDs. I alternate cloning using Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) between the two on a weekly basis.

    This is my main workhorse so files change a lot on it

    Close.

    You are correct in stating that bits (1's and 0's) are written to the HD. However, we must look deeper at the situation.

    The bits take space. Let's say a bit takes the space of a piece of Letter sized paper. So 8 sheets would represent 8 bits, or a typical byte.

    On the sheet of Letter sized paper, you place 100 pennies. Some are heads and some are tails. These pennies represent the magnetic particles within the bit area. In the real world, the number of magnetic particles are much higher and vary slightly in number. I'm just using 100 for this example.

    The magnetic particles provide a readable response to the reading head of the HD.

    If the number of heads showing is 60 or more, then the bit is considered "1". Where as if the number of heads showing 59 or less, then the bit is considered a "0".

    So Between 55 to 65, you might need to count twice to make sure. Between 58 and 61, you may need to count three times to make sure.

    When a HD needs to do this, it slows down data reading (or verifying after writing).

    So if I could exercise, if you will, the magnetic particles within the bit, so that if I wanted a "1" there would be say 90-100 heads or if I wanted a "0" then 0-10 heads. This would make counting much easier.

    This is what SpinRite attempts to do in exercising the magnetic particles within each bit. SpinRite has a cool display showing this process in action, and you can see the improvement on screen.

    On a side note, a couple years ago, HDs jumped in capacity since they went to perpendicular storage. Here is a fun animation of the change.
     
  23. 199708 macrumors 6502

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    #24
    hey sushi i guess you live in japan?
    i just ordered that samsung drive as well, it was the cheapest 500gig drive here.
    i should have it tomorrow i hope.
    anyway if i get 3 years out of it. i'll be wrapped. by then i'll be needing a new drive. hopefully 1tb :)
     
  24. wallstreetcrash macrumors regular

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    #25
    If you install the HD yourself, you void your warranty right?
    How much is it for Apple to install it for you at the store?
     

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