Hard Drive Reliability

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by malikk, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. malikk macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2008
    I have a 1TB drive with a bunch of movies/tb on it (not full or anything but a little over half, ripped my collection for my atv). But i'm sick of having to have it plugged in all the time etc. since my laptop moves around.

    I was wondering if 2.5" externals are as reliable as 3.5" externals that need a power cord? Definitely in terms of 500 and 1tb drives. I also want to use one for backup as well for my mba.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    All hard drives are equally unreliable. 2.5" drives just need less power which is why they don't need a separate PSU (power is provided through USB).
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008

    All hard drives will eventually fail, however, there are series that are proven to be more reliable than other series, for example enterprise drives vs. consumer.

    Again, ALL hard drives will fail sooner or later, so please, OP, don't rely on a single drive and backup your data to at least another drive (best choice would be a drive of another series/vendor).
  4. malikk thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 16, 2008
    Well I do have two flash drives that have important info on it (pictures/important documents). But i figured I would have 1 drive with a time machine backup and another drive for the movies and tv shows.

    But yes I do know that it is important to have multiple backups. The tv shows and movies, if the hard drive fails is not a terrible loss (although very sucky).
  5. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    This is simply not true. You may have certain hard drives to fail after a few short years. Others may last much beyond the life of your computer.

    I don't know what you mean by "flash drive." If you mean USB thumb drives, then my experience with them found them to be the least reliable of any storage medium that I have ever used--with the possible exception of DVD-R. To be clear, they are less reliable than 3.5" floppies, ZIP drives, CD-Rs, or hard drives in my experience.

    Word to the Wise: Maintain at least two back-ups.
  6. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    I didn't say they will all die after X amount of time. What I meant is that it's nearly impossible to say what drive is the most reliable (when excluding enterprise HDs), so picking X drive instead of Y does not guarantee that the X will or is supposed to last longer.
  7. MacHamster68, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    there is no such thing any more like reliable , that is past , a time long gone where you could rely 100% on something , so choose at least not to use a seagate, but then there might be some who have a reliable seagate at home , choose western digital, but then there might be someone who just had one that died , so generally speaking they all HAVE to break down sooner or later , its in no manufacturers interest if they last , as they want to sell you new ones
    so its always a good advise to have multiple backups ..hdd...cd..dvd..floppy
    so it does not really matter that much any more from which manufacturer ,if you think you get a HDD that lasts 5years , in most cases now you can be lucky if it lasts 3 years at all ... just be prepared to replace it any time then you are fine

    the WD velociraptor have quiet a good reputation ..but then western digital says the velociraptor are build to enterprise standard,
    generally speaking WD drives are usually a good choice, so pure as backup/storage drive i would get a western digital caviar green
  8. CylonGlitch macrumors 68030


    Jul 7, 2009

    Seagate = Western Digital = Hitatchi

    A few years ago WD purchased Seagate; and now they just purchased Hitatchi; the drives and technology are one in the same (at least for WD/Seagate, give it a few generations for the Hitatchi to become the same).

    On a different note, I purchased a 1/2 dozen enterprise WD drives a few years back from a company that was closing. (500gb at the time) EVERY SINGLE ONE FAILED within the first two years. Enterprise drives are not any better then consumer drives. Typically the only real difference is that the controllers are more advanced to give better performance, and thus, cost a bit more.
  9. RMo macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2007
    Iowa, USA
    You're doin' it wrong. :)

    But multiple backups = good idea. I use an external HD with Time Machine, and particularly critical documents are also backed up to Amazon S3. If I cared just a little more, I'd have another external HD that I keep off-site.
  10. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2011
    yeah, I agree they are all unreliable. That said, touch wood, I haven't had that many fail on me. If they do it's usually the interface of the enclosure rather than the disc itself.

    I have a main working copy that is internal on my Mac Pro. Then two individual copies on bare Sata drives that I write to with FW800 Sata Docks. When they fill up I label and file them away. 1tb bare sata drives are so cheap these days.

    Anything that is updated regularly like Mail, or itunes is covered by Time Machine seperately.

    Forget optical discs for long term backup and storage. Most of my 10 year old discs are unreadable.
  11. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    The technology may be the same, but that doesn't mean the quality is...

    There are plenty of companies that buy each other, but still retain their names and ways of manufacturing. VW owns Audi, but that doesn't mean their cars are the same.

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