Most reliable hard-drives?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by *LTD*, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. *LTD* macrumors G4

    *LTD*

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    I'm in the market for a 2TB external drive.

    I've been impressed with Fantom (Micronet) and LaCie so far. Any recommendations? I don't care about transfer speed or interface methods, just reliability, durability, dependability. I need a real workhorse that will LAST.

    The one requirement I have aside from that is that it must have an on/off switch. I know WD has a line that is auto-sleep or whatever (I have one of them, a 1TB WD Elements drive) and I'd rather have the ability to turn the thing off.

    I'm of the mind that they're all pretty much the same, but I'd still be interested in opinions, experience, etc.

    Thanks.
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
  3. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    #3
    I've been happy with my two Western Digital My Book Studio II drives.
     
  4. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4

    *LTD*

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    I’m thinking of getting another one of these:

    http://www.fantomdrives.com/products/gf.htm

    or just going for the 4TB model:

    http://www.fantomdrives.com/products/mde.htm

    I'm happy with my Fantom G-Force 1TB so far, but it's only been a year anyway.

    I've been hearing a lot of nice things about the WD MyBook/Studio line. I have a MyBook Essentials 1TB (I think it's a MyBook anyway) and I used it for a few months. I loaned it to a friend back in November and haven't had any complaints from him so far, so it must be doing well.

    Hell, I have so many hard drives kickin around I should be able to answer my own question! But it is only within the past year that I bought a lot of them. I've already got 2 1TB drives and a bunch of smaller ones, but I want to consolidate all my data on a single large drive and then probably back that up.

    I've also got a little 120GB Hammer and a 160GB Fujitsu (both external) that I abuse the hell out of as media server (for my WD HDTV unit) and download drives, and they've been nothing but reliable. Both are only USB-powered and they're working constantly.



    Very useful, thank you! It might not be the brand after all but the usage habits and operating conditions . . .
     
  5. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #6
    Another simple way to gauge reliability is to check the term of the HDDs warranty.

    Used to be drives had a standard 3 year warranty, but then many of the consumer oriented drives started coming out with only 1 year warranties. That's when you know to stay away from a reliability POV.

    If you buy a device with a 3 or 5 year warranty and use it within the manufacturer's parameter space (i.e. usually not more than 8 hours per day) you should be fine.

    Note that most of the non-"elite" WD drives these days only come with a 2 year warranty.

    B
     
  6. GeekOFComedy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Ireland
    #7
    I Have a Toshiba AC 1TB Aluminium HDD USB2.0 that works fine and the design compliments any aluminium Macintosh. I want to get those Western Digital My Books as Now I want to get a new Drive every year and archive my older one so I can look back when I'm older :cool:
     
  7. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #8
    It doesn't matter. MHD drives fail, it just happens. The warranty is more a matter of the manufacturers cutting costs while still matching the competition.

    Only drive I've had fail in years had a 5 year warranty. it's just dumb luck.
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    #9
    I agree that all drives fail, including those with longer warranties and that the cost of the longer warranty is baked in to your purchase. However the HDD companies already factor this in.

    They will only offer a longer warranty on devices which they expect most will last that at least that long. Yes there will be some failures during that time.

    It's kind of like overclocking Intel CPUs. In most cases, the cheaper/slower parts are identical to their more expensive/faster counterparts but they have been simply been branded to be cheaper and locked to a lower multiplier. In other cases screening has found the devices to be out of spec for the higher rating. So some individual die will overclock great, others less so.

    The fact that you bought the cheaper part with the lower rating can be an indication that they know of some defect they know of in their screening.

    B
     
  9. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #10
    OP It isn't really about which drives are more reliable (though i'm partial to hitatchi drives just because thats what i use in the enterprise space), but moreso how good your disaster recovery setup is. I mean, all drives will fail, and i've had traditional, SSD (the coveted x25-m) and regular ol' flash memory fail on me, but it's always the backup that saved me. I've yet to see a drive type or brand that hasn't failed .

    At 2 Tb...is that still considered uncharted waters? I know back in the day reliability was weak on drives of that size.
     
  10. richpjr macrumors 68030

    richpjr

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    May 9, 2006
    #11
    Working at a software company I've seen drives of all manufacturers go bad. Similar to Eddyisgreat, we use Hitachi drives for our enterprise needs.
     
  11. DragonJade macrumors 6502

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    May 2, 2009
    #12
    You're welcome. Certainly makes for interesting reading.
     
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Location:
    Singapore
    #13
    please OP. do not buy LaCie - you have no guarantee of what drive will be in there :( they purchase in bulk (much like apple lol).

    had you considered buying an external (single or dual) caddy and then the hard drives seperately? that way you can benchmark each one, read reviews etc and not have to worry about the cases.

    i would stay away from the WD MyBooks - they use some ridiculous proprietary formatting, so if you wanna take it outa the case and use it in a computer, or put another drive in there, you cant :(
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    New England
    #14
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Format

    Reduces the overhead required for ECC and thus makes more room available for data.

    "bulk" WD drives are also coming in that format, particularly the larger ones. Usually it can be disabled with a jumper.

    B
     
  14. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #15
    ah i was only reading up on that the other day. but that doesnt explain why the controller still cant read the "normal" formatted drives when they are connected to the WD devices, as the jumper settings on the HDD are irrelevant for other device that arent compatible with the format. :\ confusing.
     
  15. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

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    Location:
    Fort Collins Colorado
    #16
    I would agree about the LaCie drives. I bought a 2 Big Triple a few years ago. It came with two Seagate drives in it. Both still work to this day but one sort of crashed one day. Snow Leopard suddenly warned me that the drive disconnected without ejecting it. I was using it only as a Time Machine drive. SL warned me to format it so I did. It still works but I'm afraid to put anything on it now. The drive enclosure still works fine and I have two 1TB WD drives in it.

    These are the oldest drives we own here. Most drives have failed at about 2-2.5 years of use that I have seen.

    Someone mentioned OWC but there could be any kind of drive in those enclosures as well.
     
  16. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #17
    wow 2.5years? thats kind of scary - how often do you turn them on??
     
  17. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Location:
    Fort Collins Colorado
    #18
    We never turn them off.

    For some reason, connected to the MBP, the drives don't shut off when the computer does even though it has a setting to sleep when the computer does.

    I used to have a Mac Pro that turned off the drives enclosures when it went to sleep. Not sure what's so different about the MBP.

    EDIT: I think the Mac Pro cut power to the USB ports when it slept but the MBP doesn't. That's why the drives would turn off when the MP slept. I can keep my phone charging when the MBP sleeps.
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #19
    oh. how odd. some of my drives are beginning to get to that age. scary :(

    were these the same enclosures- yet different experiences on different computers? or they different enclosures? it all depends how they manage the power.

    my software RAID drives never turn off, not sure why - but all my other ones do (irrespective of computer).
     
  19. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

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    #20
    I edited my post above just as you replied.

    It's the same enclosure that was connected to the Mac Pro.
     
  20. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #21
    ahh right sorry. ill be slower next time ;)

    you might be on the money there - but even if power is still being sent to the enclosures the OS is still capable of spinning the drives down. confusing
     
  21. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040

    SpaceKitty

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    Nov 9, 2008
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    Fort Collins Colorado
    #22
    Because of this, it's just more convenient to keep the drives on instead of forgetting to turn them on and getting the warning to eject the drive before removing it stupid warning when turning on the MBP.
     
  22. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    #23
    good thinking. hard drives prefer to be left on anyway. unfortunately our electricity bills do not ;)
     
  23. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4

    *LTD*

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #24
    Well I got one of these:

    http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=730

    The 2TB model.

    I just disabled the VCD and away I went. So far so good. It's got one of the WD Carviar Green drives in it, so it's barely audible, runs very cool, and from what I can tell, has gotten good reviews.

    This drive is for long-term storage, so it'll get used only occasionally, maybe once a month or once every two months. Hopefully under such conditions it'll last. But part of me wants to blow another wad of cash and get a second one to back up this one. I don't really think it's necessary in my case, though.
     
  24. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #25
    ^^ nice one LTD.

    do you mean to say you will only turn it on once a month/few weeks? i wouldnt recommend that for long term storage - as one day it just wont turn on. :(
     

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