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astrogeek 07-01-2013 08:25 PM

Hard drive recomendations...
I have just had a HD failure on a recently installed Slackware current system, and am asking for comments about replacements.

The system is Intel Core2 1.8GHz, 2GB RAM, SATA, my daughter uses for graphic work.

The failed drive is Seagate Barracuda 7200 - 750GB. The failed drive is "new" (never before formatted, but has been on a shelf for a few years). It has been in used for <2 months, just long enough for her to get it into heavy use, lost some good work, bummer.

It has been a long time since I bought a HD but have seen several recent mentions in threads here about brands and colors... my own experience with failed drives, although limited, have all been Seagate.

I'll probably go for a 1TB or greater, considering a WD Caviar black at the moment.

Does anyone feel strongly pro or con about Seagate vs. WD vs... ? Same for WD colors?

All comments appreciated.

My purchase criteria in order of importance are:

1. Overall reliability
2. Cost/capacity
3. Absolute capacity in ~1T+ range

pressman57 07-01-2013 08:39 PM

I've had bad luck with Seagates as well. I think that's why they're so cheap. Two have failed.

TobiSGD 07-01-2013 08:56 PM

Having worked in the RMA for several OEMs I have never seen that a specific brand has a higher failure rate than others. Based on this experience I just buy my disks with regards to needed features and price, I don't prefer or reject any manufacturer.

Kallaste 07-01-2013 09:21 PM

My personal criteria for choosing a hard drive are precisely those you have stated. A couple of years ago my research led me to the WD Caviar Black, which I thought would be the best bet in terms of reliability. Stupid thing failed after a couple of months.

After reading many, many reviews on HDDs, I have begun to fear that manufacturers have concluded it is cheaper to allow customers to do their quality control for them by sending back flawed drives than to rigorously test their own in house to ensure reliability. So when you buy a top model drive from any decent manufacturer, you either get a drive that lasts a really long time or fails after a month or two. I think this is pretty consistent across brands.

That said, I would definitely stay away from the Western Digital Reds. I think they are marketed mostly for RAID, but even so, the failure rate of those belonging to people I know has been close to 20 percent. The reviews on Newegg are scary.

ReaperX7 07-01-2013 09:50 PM

I've had good luck with Western Digital drives. Other than Western Digital, I'd recommend Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and maybe Toshiba. I've used those brands with good successes in the past and still use some of them to this day.

I use Western Digital Green drives. Been using my 500GB Caviar Green drive for about a year and it works great.

STDOUBT 07-01-2013 09:51 PM


If you haven't thrown the drive out, there may be hope yet.
I have seen several "dead" drives in my time, and have rarely given up on them. I've saved
a good bit of data for folks who would have otherwise "lost everything".

The method I use is dead simple. Replace the PCB (you'll need a TORX driver). The only thing you need to make sure of is
getting one from a known good drive (older models tend to be "cheap" on ebay) and to match
not only the model but the firmware revision as well.
As long as there's no grinding/clacking/screaming/thumping noise when you apply power to it,
the drive might just be salvageable!!!

As for recommendations, I have come to the conclusion that it's a crap shoot these days.
I tend to look at newegg reviews, and lean towards underdogs like Fujitsu and Samsung.

Gerard Lally 07-01-2013 09:55 PM

Over the years I've had to deal with quite a number of disk failures. Most of the disks which failed at a young age were Seagates. Western Digital were generally reliable, but the disks I trusted the most were Samsungs.

Until Seagate took over the Samsung HDD business.


Now I would probably go for a Western Digital Black RE4, which is marketed as an enterprise-class disk. The 10,000 rpm WD Raptors are an excellent disk but pricey.

At the very least make sure you choose a disk which has a three- or five-year warranty. That is generally a reliable indicator of how much the manufacturer trusts the model.

astrogeek 07-01-2013 11:01 PM

Thanks to all, I'll add a few comments later.

At the moment I am down to the WD Caviar Black 1TB, or a Toshiba 2T.

I too have had good luck with Toshiba products and their price is right...

astrogeek 07-01-2013 11:56 PM

@pressman57 - I have only ever had 3 HD failures, but they were all Seagate. On the other hand, I have also had a lot of Seagate drives so my failures would be weighted that way. Thanks for your comment!

@TobiSGD - I tend to be that way myself, although I have a few strong preferences/prejudices. But I just never really thought much about brand with regard to hard drives. Thanks!

@BloomingNutria - I found some similar comments about WD Green - I did read a lot of reviews today! In the end, WD Caviar Black came out as the best WD choice IMHO. Thanks!

@ReaperX7 - WD again, but thanks for including Toshiba in the list. Your comments on WD Green were among the few good ones I found on the Green drives, but I give them better weight considering the source. ;)

@STDOUBT - Thanks, yes I intend to try to recover it. I will have a look on eBay for the same drive as the best option for that. Thanks.

@gezley - WD Black again, top of my list for most of the day! I looked at the VelociRaptors, I could buy that just for the name, nice specs too - but too pricey I am afraid! I agree on the weighting due to warranty, mostly (although BloomingNutria's comments have a ring of truth too).

In the end it came down to WD Caviar Black 1TB ~$88, or the surprise Toshiba HDKPC09 2TB ~$96.

I looked at too many reviews for each on Newegg, Tigerdirect and others and found that The WD had really good reviews, a few negatives, but overall very good and had all but decided on that.

But the more I looked at the Toshiba, I found no bad reviews at all, and plenty of good reviews. I also considered that the Toshiba laptop I am typing from is 8 years old with the original Toshiba drive still going strong... another plus. And I have had good luck with Toshiba products...

So I decided on the Toshiba based on lack of negative reviews, 3 yr warranty and 1TB more for $8. The Toshiba is now on the way.

Thanks for all comments.

dugan 07-02-2013 12:04 AM

I bought a Caviar Red a few days ago. So far I've been happy with its speed, quietness, and minimizing of heat.

* touch wood

Kallaste 07-02-2013 01:20 AM

Hmm. You have just convinced me to buy the Toshiba. I too need a 2 TB drive, and since it has been almost a year since I bought my last internal, I was gearing up for another bout of research in the next few weeks. But why do that, when you have done it for me?

Thanks for the thread. :)

propofol 07-02-2013 01:34 AM

My 2 cents:

I have had a two failed Seagate drives, one Hitachi and one WD green.
WD Green have a power saving feature where the drive would go into a sleep state (park head idle timeout) after a few seconds but at the cost of increased wear. There is a program available to fix this 'wdidle'. I am not sure if this is still an issue.
WD Black have working well for me & they have a 5 year warranty. The power usage is a bit high & they tend to get hot.


PS to my surprise I have also had a failed SSD drive - they seem to not be that reliable either.

astrogeek 07-02-2013 01:54 AM


Originally Posted by BloomingNutria (Post 4982194)
Hmm. You have just convinced me to buy the Toshiba. I too need a 2 TB drive, and since it has been almost a year since I bought my last internal, I was gearing up for another bout of research in the next few weeks. But why do that, when you have done it for me?

Thanks for the thread. :)

Good luck to both of us then!

Looks like a good product, definitely a good deal if holds up well!

Let's meet back here in a couple of years and compare notes... ;)

Kallaste 07-02-2013 02:19 AM


Originally Posted by astrogeek (Post 4982213)

Let's meet back here in a couple of years and compare notes... ;)

Ha, sounds like a plan. I'll be here!

bassplayer69 07-02-2013 07:30 AM

I've had the opposite - Have a Seagate 1TB drive that has performed beautifully for the past three years, but a Western Digital Blue 250GB that crashed 1 month after installing it.

I believe its just a crap shoot as to if you get a dependable drive or not no matter the brand.

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