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Who Makes the Best Hard Disk Drives?

Soulskill posted about 10 months ago | from the spoiler:-it's-not-mcdonald's dept.

Data Storage 444

Hamsterdan writes "Backblaze, the cloud backup company who open sourced their Storage Pod a few years ago, is now providing information on drive failure rates. They currently have over 27,000 consumer grade drives spinning in Backblaze storage pods. There are over 12,000 drives each from Seagate and Hitachi, and close to 3,000 from Western Digital (plus a too-small-for-statistical-reporting smattering of Toshiba and Samsung drives). One cool thing: Backblaze buys drives the way you and I do: they get the cheapest consumer-grade drives that will work. Their workload is almost one hundred percent write. Because they spread the incoming writes over several drives, their workload isn't overly performance intensive, either. Their results: Hitachi has the lowest overall failure rate (3.1% over three years). Western Digital has a slightly higher rate (5.2%), but the drives that fail tend to do so very early. Seagate drives fail much more often — 26.5% are dead by the three-year mark."

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More Backblaze slashvertising (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030345)

How do they keep making the front page with this?

Re:More Backblaze slashvertising (2)

Desler (1608317) | about 10 months ago | (#46030415)

They wrote a check to Dice?

Re:More Backblaze slashvertising (1)

Entropy98 (1340659) | about 10 months ago | (#46030651)

Is this a Backblaze ad or a Hitachi ad?

Amazing how times change. (5, Interesting)

t0qer (230538) | about 10 months ago | (#46030353)

I remember when WD caviar drives were the most replaced component on systems I serviced. Seagate was the top contender with their SCSI 10krpm drives.

Re:Amazing how times change. (4, Interesting)

ZenMatrix (1299517) | about 10 months ago | (#46030407)

Seagate drives are terrible drives now. I've had three of there external drives not last more then a year.

Re:Amazing how times change. (4, Insightful)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about 10 months ago | (#46030443)

Seagate drives are terrible drives now. I've had three of there external drives not last more then a year.

Agree, I bought 3 2TB Seagates for my home server a few years back...2 of them failed within a year. Yet another brand name I used to trust, now shot to shit.

Re:Amazing how times change. (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 10 months ago | (#46030627)

Seagate drives are terrible drives now. I've had three of there external drives not last more then a year.

Agree, I bought 3 2TB Seagates for my home server a few years back...2 of them failed within a year. Yet another brand name I used to trust, now shot to shit.

This is why you just buy whatever is cheap and rig up a RAID 5. A drive craps out and you throw another one in and keep on going.

Re:Amazing how times change. (5, Interesting)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about 10 months ago | (#46030851)

This is why you just buy whatever is cheap and rig up a RAID 5. A drive craps out and you throw another one in and keep on going.

That's exactly what I did...note I did not claim to have lost any data when the drives failed. The point is that when you have a 66% failure rate on brand new drives within a year, you start reconsidering your choice of vendor, no?

Re:Amazing how times change. (3, Interesting)

bennomatic (691188) | about 10 months ago | (#46030761)

I'm just kind of amazed that Seagate is still around. I remember some years back, there was a huge fraud scandal where they were claiming huge volumes of unsold inventory to be sold in order to keep their stock price up. They were storing the drives in 18-wheelers and, at night, they were backing the trucks up against each other so that if an investigator wanted to break in, they had to physically move the truck, giving them time to respond. It was crazy.

Re:Amazing how times change. (-1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#46030423)

Have to agree. We used to love SeaGate and despise WD - but now you can get 5 TB WD drives on NewEgg for a couple hundred bucks.

Re:Amazing how times change. (4, Informative)

NormHome (99305) | about 10 months ago | (#46030667)

Are you sure about 5TB drives being available on Amazon for a couple hundred dollars? I didn't think Western Digital had released those yet and their website shows 4TB as the max capacity for their Green, Black and Red series drives and Amazon doesn't have any listings for 5TB drives? If they are available can you share a link?

Re:Amazing how times change. (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 10 months ago | (#46030729)

Probably sold out - bygones

Re:Amazing how times change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030475)

They bought maxtor. The evil was contagious.

Re:Amazing how times change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030523)

I remember when those Hitachi drives (originally IBM drives) were called "death star" (rather than "desk star") because of their incredibly high failure rates.

That's when I bit the bullet (1)

goldcd (587052) | about 10 months ago | (#46030825)

and switched to 'premium Seagate'
I'm just doomed.

Re:Amazing how times change. (0)

_Ludwig (86077) | about 10 months ago | (#46030557)

10krpm SCSI drives aren’t “consumer-grade” though. And last I checked (which was admittedly quite a while ago,) Seagate still has a five-year warranty on even their low-end HDs, while most other manufacturers top out at three years for consumer drives.

Re:Amazing how times change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030685)

" last I checked (which was admittedly quite a while ago,)" - like ten years ago? You idiot. Then you use the word "has" instead of "had", or better still "had about TEN years ago..."

You cretin.

Re:Amazing how times change. (5, Interesting)

gigne (990887) | about 10 months ago | (#46030605)

I only have a couple of home servers with a total of 24 disks, 50% WD, the rest seagate. Never had to send a WD back. Those Seagate drives fail all the damn time. I have replaced 25% of them in 1.5 years. Sometimes the brand new replacement (as in a new retail drive) fails very quickly; 1-4 months.
I also refuse to use any of their RMA replacement drives as they seem to go bad within 6 months. Not a single RMA's drive has lasted more than 1 year.
At this point I am actively migrating data off those RAID arrays onto the new WD drives. I have no faith in seagate.

Re:Amazing how times change. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030633)

I'm not accusing you here, but I just wanted to point out that everyone has anecdotal evidence suggesting that ${company-A}'s drives suck and that ${company-B}'s drives are awesome. The only problem is that everyone has a different opinion on who companyA and companyB are!

This is a perfect case study on consumerism and confirmation bias. People swear by a product until it fails, and then they hate it and love the replacement until it fails...

Re:Amazing how times change. (4, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | about 10 months ago | (#46030733)

It's also a study in the law of large numbers. If 10 million people all say seagate's drives suck, there is a very good possibility that seagate's drives do in fact suck.

Re:Amazing how times change. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030653)

The problem is that seagate took over samsungs hard drive department.
So now I'm afraid of buying 2TB hard drives.

Re:Amazing how times change. (1)

scubamage (727538) | about 10 months ago | (#46030707)

Weird; for the longest time WD was my go-to brand for hard drives, especially considering early on they had an incredible no-questions-asked replacement policy if you got in touch with their support. I had 2 seagate drives those days, and both failed within a few months of purchase. To this day I rarely use them. It wasn't until recently I started picking up hitachi (conventional) and samsung (SSD) drives, and I could not be happier with them. I really only buy WD/Seagate for external data warehousing.

I was shopping for one recently (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030371)

I built a new gaming rig the weekend after Black Friday and had to comparison shop all the consumer hard drives on the market (read: offered by Newegg). From the reviews, Hitachi is a relative unknown, Seagates tend to last just until their three year warranty is up, and Western Digital offers a five year warranty (and a price premium to match). I ended up grabbing the WD Black. Struck by how crap seek times are on 7200 RPM TB+ sized drives.

Re:I was shopping for one recently (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030389)

newegg reviews are only slightly more useful than youtube comments.

Re:I was shopping for one recently (4, Interesting)

Jamu (852752) | about 10 months ago | (#46030547)

I'm currently running a WD Green with an old Samsung SSD 830 as cache. I get the occasional pause if a game loads in something that isn't on the SSD. Overall though it's very fast with that combination and seek times, in particular, aren't an issue except for the first time you play a new game. A WD Black with an SSD as cache should be even better.

My statistical insignificant experience with HDDs: WD: Old WD Caviar died, but the replacement lasted years. Two WD Greens still working. IBM (Now Hitachi): Had one die, two others still work. Samsung: Both still working. Seagate: Never had any.

Re:I was shopping for one recently (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030787)

Hitachi is IBM's old drive division.

Sad to hear (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030385)

Funny how rarely data like this is really available, people are storing more and more these days, and not one of them publishes useful data about environment / workload / failure info.

Glad to see someone is!

Re:Sad to hear (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030425)

They are not legally required to so why would they? This is the major flaw of libertarian thinking. The notion of an informed consumer in a world where the corporations can hide data on the failure rate of their products is ludicrous. But don't dare require it because it's fucking communism!

Re:Sad to hear (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030535)

This is 'Murika! Take your sissy, pissy consumer protection laws back to commie town, you filthy, youre-a-peein scum!

Re:Sad to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030657)

I'm not required to NOT punch a person in the face either. (it's a good idea, but there's nothing STOPPING me) This fact does not prevent it from being a good idea to refrain from doing so.

I understand what you're saying though, it's contrary to their "bottom line" so why would they waste their time on it. The trick being that they already waste their time on it, it's just not "popular" to publish the information unless you're "the best".

Re:Sad to hear (1)

MrNJ (955045) | about 10 months ago | (#46030671)

It's too bad we don't have the consumers of the drives informing other consumers.
we need the greasy, grabby hand of the Big Brother to make things right.
/sarc

Re:Sad to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030803)

So where can I read up on the failure rates of motherboards by manufacturer? Home foundation failure by builder? Failure rate of TVs by type and brand? Failure rates of garage door openers by brand and manufacturer? I could go on and on and on. A handful of sample-biased data points does not disprove my point.

Re:Sad to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030901)

It's too bad we don't have the consumers of the drives informing other consumers.

Unfortunately that is not a scientific sampling of the failure rate of a product. Plenty of consumers will never make any mention of a having had that product failed for them leading to the fact that failure rate may get underreported. Also, quite often you will have a higher percentage of people reporting issues than those who are satisfied and say nothing so you can always have an over reporting of problems that will also skew the apparent failure rates.

we need the greasy, grabby hand of the Big Brother to make things right.

No, we simply need corporations to be honest about the quality of their products. Why should a corporation be allowed to sell a product and not make the consumers of said product fully informed about it? Why do you libertards get so upset over this?

Re:Sad to hear (2)

Z34107 (925136) | about 10 months ago | (#46030713)

Good thing the government forced Blackblaze to publish statistics, then? What fuckwit modded you up?

Re:Sad to hear (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030843)

One group publishing a sample-biased statistic doesn't disprove my point. I would doubt their failure rates truly match what happens in the real world. Thanks for proving my point, though, libertard.

Re:Sad to hear (1)

Z34107 (925136) | about 10 months ago | (#46030881)

I must have missed the part in your political non-sequitur where you had a point. s/libertard/libtard/g, and you'd fit right in with the bastion of intellectuals that comment on Fox News articles.

Ignorant to their own research (5, Interesting)

Dan Askme (2895283) | about 10 months ago | (#46030429)

After all this research, Backblaze still pick the highest failing drive.

"What Drives Is Backblaze Buying Now?
We are focusing on 4TB drives for new pods. For these, our current favorite is the Seagate Desktop HDD.15 (ST4000DM000)"

So what was the point in this advert again?

Re:Ignorant to their own research (5, Insightful)

Derec01 (1668942) | about 10 months ago | (#46030577)

If they are fairly fault tolerant, a reasonable Seagate discount percentage would overcome that higher failure rate, even allowing for installation costs. They can spread that failure out. An individual cannot, therefore I appreciate that they released the statistics.

Re:Ignorant to their own research (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 10 months ago | (#46030683)

Right... if you can get 50 drives from Hitachi with a 5% failure rate or 100 drives from seagate with a 25% failure rate, it's still cheaper to go with seagate. If you're only buying 1 drive and have no backup, clearly steer away from them.

Re:Ignorant to their own research (2)

bennomatic (691188) | about 10 months ago | (#46030807)

Or one seagate and a subscription to Backblaze!

Note: I subscribe to Backblaze, having had two back-up drives fail for me in the last two years. Luckily, it was just the back-up drives...

Re:Ignorant to their own research (2)

ranulf (182665) | about 10 months ago | (#46030889)

A slightly more cynical person might think that by releasing these statistics, people might be less inclined to buy Seagate drives and thus the price they can negotiate becomes even lower when retailers are left with drives that don't shift as well. As the article says, "[they] buy drives the way you and I do: they get the cheapest consumer-grade drives that will work."

Re:Ignorant to their own research (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030591)

Maybe they're testing disaster recovery?

Re:Ignorant to their own research (4, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#46030659)

Maybe it's a canny strategy. Seagate drives are slightly cheaper because they are significantly less reliable, but tend to fail within the warranty period so they can return them for a referb that has at least been fully tested and maybe lasts another year or two.

Re:Ignorant to their own research (5, Informative)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 10 months ago | (#46030663)

After all this research, Backblaze still pick the highest failing drive

They're looking for 4TB models. They only cite two models without any further information.

Seagate ST4000DM000
vs
Hitachi HDS5C4040ALE630

You can look up technical details, benchmarks, etc. but perhaps the decision is simply in the price.
Seagate: $164.99
Hitachi: $295.00

For the Hitachi model to start making sense, price-wise, that Seagate model would have to fail a lot more than their numbers are currently showing,

( And yes, I'd imagine they can squeeze better deals than regular consumer prices out of the companies - but then, they could do that for either brand, and probably through an intermediary anyway. )

Re:Ignorant to their own research (5, Informative)

brianwski (2401184) | about 10 months ago | (#46030669)

After all this research, Backblaze still pick the highest failing drive.

Disclaimer: I work at Backblaze. Every month we ask a list of about 20 suppliers for their best price on a variety of drives. There is a little spreadsheet we have that kicks out which drive to purchase based on those prices and drive failure rates. Even if Hitachi is the very highest reliability in our application, it only justifies a SMALL price premium because when one drive dies, we don't lose any customer data. It saves our datacenter IT team 15 minutes to *NOT* swap a drive, so that's worth 15 minutes of salary to us, but not more.

Re:Ignorant to their own research (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | about 10 months ago | (#46030955)

Commenting to undo moderation. Informative post.

Re:Ignorant to their own research (1)

_merlin (160982) | about 10 months ago | (#46030673)

In a situation where you have that many disks and fully redundant storage, the lower purchase cost may win out over better reliability in terms of total cost to the business. It's a very different equation if you aren't working in the same parameters. No-one is saying that our purchase decisions should be the same as theirs - they are just being kind enough to show stats over thousands of drives, which most of us couldn't afford to gather, so we can use that in making our own decisions.

This is similar to Google running servers above recommended temperature and wearing the cost of higher failure rate because it's cheaper than running cooling to keep the servers cooler and more reliable. The cost in convenience of doing the same with your desktop or gaming rig probably isn't worthwhile when you're going to have it in a room that has to be comfortable for humans anyway. But it's still nice to see Google's stats on reliability vs temperature, and hear how it influences their decisions. Nerds are supposed to love this shit.

The Seagate Squeak (2)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 10 months ago | (#46030433)

I live in mortal terror of the Seagate Squeak. This is an intermittent sound that their 2 and 3 GB Barracudas sometimes start to make after a while, which sounds a little like a bird chirp. It's apparently caused by crap power management on the drive.

There's actually very little information out there on whether or not it is a definitive precursor of drive failure, or just something those drives start to do after a while. However, it's so unsettling that I've ended up pre-emptively replacing two drives in my home PC which developed it.

Re:The Seagate Squeak (1)

gigne (990887) | about 10 months ago | (#46030521)

Ohhhhh. I just replaced 3 (yes 3!) dead Seagates that all stoppped working within the last month. The last one to go started chiping about 1 month before it died.

I currently have 5 more Seagates that are either spinning down and then back up, or are power cycling for some reason. At last look, the SMART information told me everything was ok with the drive, but even now I can hear it starting the slow decline to click death.
And no, they are not the "green" models that spin down every 2 seconds.

Re:The Seagate Squeak (1)

ByTor-2112 (313205) | about 10 months ago | (#46030649)

I have a long memory of failing WD drives, so I have been avoiding them like the plague for the last 6 years. It's only 2 data points, but:

- 8x1.5TB array seagates in a RAIDZ2 configuration, ran essentially 24x7 for 2 or 3 years with no failures
- 8x3TB array seagates in same configuration, been running for about 2 years with no failures.

Seems my experience is not the norm... Or maybe I need to cross that 3-year barrier. Shame I fill them up too fast to make it 3 years so far.

Re:The Seagate Squeak (1)

gigne (990887) | about 10 months ago | (#46030727)

Indeed, it is all very subjective. I think the thing we can all agree on is that drives fail. Often.

Re:The Seagate Squeak (2)

BestNicksRTaken (582194) | about 10 months ago | (#46030877)

in my experience smart ain't worth a wank. had tens of drives fail, only ever had any headsup from smart on one.

heard from a data recovery service that the main probelm with the baraccuda's is the power supply board, they stock loads of them as most of their business is solved by replacing it.

Must have been the maxtor acquisition (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030447)

I've gone through many hard drives in my personal computers but only ever had two ever die on me, it was a 80GB and 120GB Maxtor hard drives. I even had an IBM deathstar last me a number of years before I decided to upgrade it to a newer drive. Sure it's a sample size of me but I've been avoiding Seagate drives ever since they acquired maxtor.

100% write? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 10 months ago | (#46030449)

What's the use case for any more than 50% write?

Re:100% write? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030483)

Long term backup.

Re:100% write? (2)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 10 months ago | (#46030489)

What's the use case for any more than 50% write?

Backup. I have two raid 6 arrays. One is backup for the other. One is 100% write, the other isn't.

Re:100% write? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030505)

RTFS.. backup storage?

Re:100% write? (2)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about 10 months ago | (#46030515)

Archiving and backups springs to mind.

Re:100% write? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030531)

Back-ups. For example, at my company we have thousands of DLT tapes and fill about a dozen of them a week. Every Monday, they're moved offsite to a bank safe deposit box. Other than for testing, not a single time in the seven years I've worked here have we read a tape after it was written. We have 100% write. A friend works for Backblaze, and he just confirmed that they have basically the same situation. The vast majority of their users write data that they never read back.

Re:100% write? (1)

camperdave (969942) | about 10 months ago | (#46030839)

If you never read it back, you have no clue if you've written it properly. Thus you have no idea if renting that safe deposit box is a waste of money or a wise investment.

Do a bare metal restore on a cold system every once in a while.

Re:100% write? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030909)

> If you never read it back

Wow, nearly every day I'm stunned by the stupid posts by registered users. The ACs here post such better content. The GP wrote:

> Other than for testing,

Testing? Get it? He clearly said they do test reads of the tapes. I don't get why you registered users can't comprehend that fact.

Proud AC since Oct '98

Re:100% write? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030925)

How was my post that said we did reads to test the tapes unclear? You non-ACs are pretty damn annoying, and this site has only gone downhill since registration was added.

Re:100% write? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 10 months ago | (#46030883)

I was working on a project with a large bank, and during one of my calls, the bank's project manager told me a comical story about their back-up procedures. They had switched from tapes to hard drives, and every day, when the truck drove up for that office's data back-ups (not actual banking data, but backups of all the administrative systems in that office), due to contracts which were still in force after years, it was a huge trailer truck with nothing to put into it but a single 3.5" hard drive. The contracts apparently specified a vehicle that could handle peak data activity with old-school tapes, and hadn't been amended.

Beyond cost, it just amazed me that they were putting a huge empty truck on the streets of Manhattan every day, and I wondered how many times that got repeated each day.

Re:100% write? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030545)

Backup.

Re:100% write? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 10 months ago | (#46030573)

Backups. You have a cronjob run the backup every night, or even every week. Maybe once a year your own system fails and you have to restore from backup - that gives a ~50:1 write/read ratio, or 98%, for the weekly, and ~360:1 write/read ratio (99.8%) for a daily backup.

Coincidentally, TFS begins with "Backblaze, the cloud backup company".

Re:100% write? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030579)

Given that they are an online backup company, that is indeed rather worrying. One would have hoped that they at least read the backups to verify them. Apparently not!

Re:100% write? (1)

fisted (2295862) | about 10 months ago | (#46030611)

With only four people having pointed it out so far, I'm not sure you got it yet.
The answer is backups. Duh.

Re:100% write? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030619)

I've done stuff like network captures and such that definitely need a 100% write cycle. A saturated 10gigE pipe is a good example of this. Even worse are multiple writes which mean everything gets tossed on randomly.

The best drives I've found are from Intel. I don't know how fast they spin, but they seem to have very low rotational latency.

Re:100% write? (1)

shikaisi (1816846) | about 10 months ago | (#46030665)

What's the use case for any more than 50% write?

WOM

Re:100% write? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030709)

Beating a dead horse. Oh wait, I mean backups.

And what about... (4, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | about 10 months ago | (#46030457)

Enterprise grade disks? The cheapest disk is not always the cheapest disk in the long run. I can buy consumer disks for my disk servers, but when they fail I have to spend time replacing them and paying for them myself. When my enterprise grade disks fail, they're under warranty and are replaced "free".

Re:And what about... (5, Informative)

brianwski (2401184) | about 10 months ago | (#46030537)

Disclaimer: I work at Backblaze. I object to the marketing term "Enterprise grade", it is confusing, and I'm not even sure they have the attributes you think they have. There is a completely different blog post Backblaze did about "Enterprise vs Consumer Drives" which comes to the conclusion Enterprise isn't better: http://blog.backblaze.com/2013... [backblaze.com]

Re:And what about... (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 10 months ago | (#46030891)

I object to the marketing term "Enterprise grade", it is confusing, and I'm not even sure they have the attributes you think they have.

Obviously, they're designed to work on the Enterprise. Now whether that's the aircraft carrier, space shuttle, or star ship is unclear.

Re:And what about... (1)

Desler (1608317) | about 10 months ago | (#46030635)

What about them? This is like asking why story about a baseball game didn't talk about the Pro Bowl.

Re:And what about... (1)

gman003 (1693318) | about 10 months ago | (#46030687)

Obviously too expensive. The cheapest Seagate "Enterprise Capacity" 4TB drives cost $320 to $380 depending on where you buy them. Even if they have 100% reliability, not a single failed drive, they're 50-100% more expensive. Unless failure rates are in the 20%+ range, I doubt it would be worthwhile.

And whattya know, their current preferred drive is a 4TB Seagate desktop drive with a 4% annual failure rate. That's actually worse than competing desktop drives that cost only a few bucks more, which means, to Backblaze at least, the cost of the extra replacements is less than a few bucks multiplied over all the drives.

PS: Desktop drives have warranties too.

That's interesting (5, Informative)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | about 10 months ago | (#46030463)

For the past 11 years, I used nothing but Seagate drives in my builds for clients. Over those past 11 years, I built something like 20 systems a month (on average) with occasional large scale orders of 200. The number of failed Seagates I could count *on one hand* YMMV clearly, but I stand behind Seagates.

Re:That's interesting (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030529)

Welcome to basic statistics and having no real idea.

Re:That's interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030583)

YMMV clearly, but I stand behind Seagates.

as compared to what else you have tested and observed?

you don't really even know how close to failure or other problems you are or what your options could be if (WHEN) something happens.

seems mighty self assured. good luck!

Re:That's interesting (5, Funny)

fisted (2295862) | about 10 months ago | (#46030689)

Well I don't know how many fingers your have on one hand, but it can't be possibly be just five.

Re:That's interesting (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 10 months ago | (#46030693)

The problem with this kind of research is that it only really applies to servers. Running 24/7, writing 24/7, probably running quite warm. Maybe Seagate drives are particularly bad in this set up, but fine for typical desktop systems.

Re:That's interesting (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 10 months ago | (#46030793)

The problem with this kind of research is that it only really applies to servers. Running 24/7, writing 24/7, probably running quite warm. Maybe Seagate drives are particularly bad in this set up, but fine for typical desktop systems.

The Seagate ST3250623A 250 GB disk in my MythTV system (used for both system and video storage) has been running 24/7 since Friday January 19th, 2007. I got this drive because, at the time, it was reported as reliable and very quiet (which it is).

MythTV Recording Stats:

  • Number of shows: 909
  • Number of episodes: 8030
  • First recording: Friday January 19th, 2007
  • Last recording: Tuesday January 21st, 2014
  • Total Running Time: 7 years 1 day 12 hrs 48 mins
  • Total Recorded: 10 months 17 days 14 hrs 43 mins
  • Percent of time spent recording: 12%

Re:That's interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030743)

Yeah sure.
Seagate is well known for their infamous hard drive lines with a 70% failure rate.
That's the kind of quality I can get behind.
  My friends and I actually bought some of their hard drives, and two years later they stopped working.
When I went online I found out about their nice failure rate.
No thanks. Never again.

Re:That's interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030831)

i have used nothing but maxtor and seagate drives all my life and i have never EVER had a hard disk fail on me (but my hds always have a fan for temperature releif), i have one particular 80 gigs maxtor drive from 2002/03 that has downloaded basically every single thing i have downloaded from that day up to 2012, and still works to this day and still downloads stuff at nights, I might cry if it ever dies

also, got a friend who only uses wd, he has never ever had an hd fail either

our hds are always the standard hds, 7200 rpm, no amazing black labels or any weird label, just the regular 50 bucks hd

Re:That's interesting (2)

dj245 (732906) | about 10 months ago | (#46030887)

For the past 11 years, I used nothing but Seagate drives in my builds for clients. Over those past 11 years, I built something like 20 systems a month (on average) with occasional large scale orders of 200. The number of failed Seagates I could count *on one hand* YMMV clearly, but I stand behind Seagates.

Some of this may be peculiar to where you are sourcing your drives from and how carefully they ship. The same drive on Amazon vs Newegg usually has dramatically different ratings. I don't think the hard drive vendors are making drives of different quality for different retailers, but the retailers definitely have different packing and shipping standards.

Re:That's interesting (1)

Chemisor (97276) | about 10 months ago | (#46030895)

I'd second that. In my experience, Seagate is more reliable than WD. Of course, I don't go through thousands of drives, but a 26% failure rate just sounds unbelieveable. Something is fishy with the survey, or maybe it is just their specific workload that is particularly bad for Seagate drives.

Matches my experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030485)

I have a server with mixed WD and Seagate drives, plus a couple of NAS units - probably 15 drives total. I can recall a single WD failure in about 5 years. Seagate's drop dead at a rate of about 1 a year. The Seagate Barracuda 1.5 TB seem to be the most likely to fail. Every one of those I have brought has died - the 1TB units and the 3TBs seem to be about as reliable was the WD drives. The only major difference is the WD's are much less like to work in NAS units - in that case it is not a failure, but a compatibility issue - they work fine in a PC.

WD green failure rates (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | about 10 months ago | (#46030519)

I (perhaps stupidly) used a lot of the WD green drives in a RAID file server that doesn't stay on 24/7 or get turned on all that often. Yes I know that WD greens are not designed for RAIDs... but I digress.
It seems that they mostly fail when the hard drive electronics fails on them, and then the drive controller on my mainboard can't detect the drives on power up.
One day the drive is working fine, and the next day the BIOS can't tell that there's a drive there!

I've always suspected that Seagate drives would die sooner than the other drives because I've noticed that they run MUCH hotter than the other two brands.

Re:WD green failure rates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030749)

From what I've read, much of the drive's knowledge of itself is stored on the magnetic media, not in firmware. So if the controller can't read from the drive at powerup, you'll get no BIOS info. There are lots of how-tos and videos of swapping head assemblies, platters, etc. to possibly get your data. No go if the platter is scratched, like from a broken head.

There are utilities which can get the drive's info, like what it _does_ know, but I don't have anything good other than the usual mhdd, or "low level formatters", manufacturer's utilities, etc.

I did salvage a Seagate drive for a recording studio which had hundreds of gigabytes of audio tracks (not backed up!). I used a procedure where you had to make an RS232 connection to the drive controller, command the drive to spin down, hot-swap the controller board onto the drive with the data, give some more commands (through RS232), then power down, replace orig. controller, boot and update firmware, and data was back. The hot-swap was very nerve-wracking! Caffeine is not your friend (steady hands are a must). Seagate took a very long time to admit the problem and offer the firmware update. I have not bought any Seagate drives since that time (4 years ago IIRC) nor has anyone I know.

Hitachi has been really good, Samsung (only have 3 of them), and most WDs have been great.

Bottom line: cost-cutting is more important than our data. I wish each mfgr. would make 1 good line of drives, and warranty our data to prove they are good drives. I'm not holding my breath. I wish I had the $ to invest in a HD factory. I think I could do it well.

Oh, and all of my (much) older drives (15-20 years) still work.

I know humidity kills them if you power-cycle them. When they cool down they draw the humidity in and as I've read it rots the magnetic coating. Also sometimes it makes the heads stick to the platter and they break at next spinup.

Hitachi Deathstar is the most reliable now? (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 10 months ago | (#46030543)

The Deskstar wasn't nicknamed Deathstar for nothing, back in the day...

WD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030551)

My old clunker Pentium 200mhz PC with an almost 20 year old 2.1g WD hard drive still works, the drive is noisy as heck but still chugs along.

I really gotta say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030567)

Ever since that flood in 2010, Drive Failure rates have blown... and blown hard!

Since 2010, I have had more drive fail then I have ever seen before, from DOA, to weeks to a few months... I still have HDD's from BEFORE 2010 that are still running, however I have yet to have a drive MFG after 2010 that has lasted... thats 4 years, longest running one right now is 2 years and its RAID 1 duplicate has just died...

RIP Quality HDD's!

I need new Hard drive Puns now! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030613)

I remember about 7 years ago we used to refer to the Hitachi Deskstar line, as Deathstars. Now what am I to do for silly Hard Drive puns.

The CLOUD will SAVE US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030679)

I just store everything in the CLOUD.
Everything in the CLOUD lasts FOREVER.

moo cow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030691)

I like the anecdote + anecdote = data guys here...
they are so sure of themselves and see themselves as 'data' guys when they are like little old ladies leaning over the fence....

The only thing I know from this set of 'observations' is that there are still lots of little companies that are kind of shitty and not worth doing business with.

Well theres your problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#46030699)

"Backblaze buys drives the way you and I do: they get the cheapest consumer-grade drives that will work."

Most people on Slashdot will not go for cheapest that will work. I go for quality even if its $15.00-$30.00 more so i dont have to worry about failure as much..Cheapest drives = idiot grade, not consumer grade

Depends on model (5, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about 10 months ago | (#46030781)

If you RTFA, they break down the failure rates by model (no pun intended). There's a pretty huge variation between models (or at least the Seagate models). That's also what I saw in the StorageReview reliability database [storagereview.com] back when people were actively updating it (unfortunately you have to add a drive to the database to get access to it, so it was never very popular). The same manufacturer can make a gem and a stinker of a model. e.g. the IBM 75GXP (aka Deathstar) drives had one of the highest failure rates in the database. The drive which replaced it (60GXP I think) had one of the lowest failure rates in the database.

So it's more nuanced than "Seagate stinks, Hitachi rules." (Hitachi is a subsidiary of WD now, operating separately only because that was a condition China placed on them before they'd OK the merger.)

sounds about right to me (1)

BestNicksRTaken (582194) | about 10 months ago | (#46030795)

mirrors my experience too. i'm very impressed with hitachi drives, western digital/samsung are pretty poor and seagate are just plain shite.

Seagate (1)

binaryhat (2494814) | about 10 months ago | (#46030817)

Seagate consumer drives are solid. I have two seagates going 4+ years. Toshiba and Samsung drives are good too.

Seagate failures, RMA replaces with new failures. (2)

urbanriot (924981) | about 10 months ago | (#46030933)

If there's one thing you can credit Seagate for, it's consistency - since the 90's the (R) for refurb on their drives has been the kiss of death, guaranteeing another failure within 3 months of receiving the replacement. While it's great they have a clearly understandable domestic RMA team, they often send you a broken drive to replace your defective drive so you now have to pay to ship two drives back.

If you politely ask them to send you a new drive since they keep sending you bad drives, they'll politely tell you they can't guarantee you a healthy drive. Typically with our servers we're guaranteed a bad Seagate SAS 10k drive with a bank of 10 drives and we're pretty much at a 100% failure rate with RMA drives and many times the RMA drives they send us are broken. Seagate (R) drives should never be installed in a server or anything reliable... heck, I'd keep Seagate drives out of anything you want to remain reliable.

The trick has always been: WARRANTY. (3, Interesting)

ClintJCL (264898) | about 10 months ago | (#46030941)

You are purchasing STORAGE-TIME. Not just storage. Storage that disappears is useless.

1 terabyte of storage that lasts 2 years is twice as useful as 1 terabyte of storage that lasts 1 year.

Always buy whatever drive is warranted for 5 years. I pay 50% more for this! It's worth every penny. My terabyte-years are the cheapest.

I have a 20TB LAN spread out over 3-4 computers (depending on the year). The only major crashes I've had on anything under 5 years old was, ironically, the 2 WD Cavier Green's I accidentally bought (meant to buy black; got a little slaphappy with the shopping cart one afternoon). They both died within 6 months.

The choice now is: Western Digital Cavier Black. The study posted in this article will not acknowledge this as they bought the cheapest drives possible. It may make business sense with redundancy, but i do not RAID. Too expensive. (Ironic?)

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