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I need a new Hard Drive-Brand?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a desktop that came with 2 360gb Seagate drives. One failed a while back and I have been using a 160gb as my secondary since. It's just not big enought to get all my files though...

I have akways gone with Seagate and their 5-year warranties (the 160gb drive still goes strong) but when the 360gb in the PC went I heard from numerous peole that seagate quality has gone downhill. So I started looking at Western Digitals this morning, but quite a few of them have bad reviews for random failures too.

What do you guys think? I eventually want to have either dual boot with Vista and Windows 7 (or back to XP), the only reason for the dual boot is I don't know how I would restore Vista if i ever had a problem (this is an HP refurb desktop). I need the storage space for music, movies and probably most important a growing library of 3d CAD files.
post #2 of 9
My understanding is that after a seris of mergers there are only 2 consumer disk drive  makers left.  The turmoil in the industry means that relying on past reputations or "brand" loyalty is probably a false comfort.  There is no guarantee that "the same" model continues to be built in the same factory (or even the same continent).  

My own rule of thumb is to never buy the largest capacity available in a given technology, since they are probably pushing the performance envelope, and are (almost by definition) built on a new assembly line.  (Several years ago when 1 TB drives were new, we bought several and they all failed, but the same family in 500 GB size had no problems.)
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
That's pretty much my understanding too, so it basically comes down to Seagate vs. WD.

It seems (from reviews on NewEgg) that each brand has there share of bad models. I guess I'll just wait for a good deal...

I'm probably going to buy a 500gb, maybe drop down to a 320gb.

EDIT: See Bold

Edited by krp8128 - 7/16/2009 at 02:42 pm GMT
post #4 of 9
Hitachi and Western Digital are the other 2 large mfgs
post #5 of 9

Oh yeah, forgot about Fujitsu.

If storage and failures are your biggest concerns your best bet is mirrored drives or RAID. There are several mfg's making external drive units that are dual drive configuration with RAID1 built in.

All I can say is BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP..

One thing most if not all IT people say is.. "it's not a matter of if a drive will fail, It's a matter of when" Hard drives are almost always the first thing to fail in a PC (now that floppy's are pretty much no more). It's just that most people don't keep their computers long enough for them to fail.

Heat, Vibration and power surges are often the triggers for failures.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by dchan View Post

Hitachi and Western Digital are the other 2 large mfgs



I made an edit to my post above. I beleive Seagate and Maxtor are the same company, so I guess that leaves Seagate, WD and Hitachi?

As you say, backup is important, and that is exactly what I am trying to do here. I have everything on a primary 320gb drive right now, and have been backing this up to a 160gb drive. Problem is, it only ran for 2 days before it was full...

My motherboard is capable of RAID 0, not sure if it will go RAID 1 too. Does this offer effective backup, or would I be better served to go for a utility? What about the OS, on the primary drive, if that drive goes? Right now, from HP, Vista is installed on C:\, and there is a partition specified as FACTORY_IMAGE (D:\) with the only contents being A Recovery File and a .dll. I don't have any discs, although I do have downloaded copies of Vista, 7 and XP from my universities acces to the MSDN...
post #7 of 9
Harddrives die so don't expect one that will last a life time. As for brand, I don't think it matters as much as the actual model, pick one that you'd like then do some research online.

Like everyone said, backup your files and often. Even archives and/or backups of backup aren't a bad idea. For backup, get either a network drive or an external drive for convenience.

Sizewise, with the prices of HDD constantly dropping, get the biggest one you'd like to get without paying through your nose for the latest and greatest. For example, 1TB has dropped to $100 or less now. Go even bigger if you can with the backup drive(s).
post #8 of 9
Raid is not a substitute for backups but in addition. Raid will usually get you working faster and has the advantage of continuing to run even in the event of a hardware failure. Corruption can happen on both drives at the same time (such as a virus, Spyware, power failures) so backups are still important. RAID = R-edundant A-rray of I-nexpensive D-rives

Raid 0 just spans 2 drives with data and assists in speed but not safety.
Raid 1, Mirroring gives you 2 identical drives being written to at the same time. One fails, you break the mirroring and continue to run on a single drive. If you have hot swappable drives you can pull the failing drive and have the system rebuild the drive from the working one to get back the redundancy.
Other forms of raid give more speed or more safety.

I like putting an OS on a primary drive along with a dedicated "swap drive" partition. Then all the Data goes on a second physical drive. (just my preference). Backups become more "targeted" and an OS rebuild can be done with full format, without loosing the data.

post #9 of 9
I've been happy with the Samsungs I put in my Mac Pro.  750s originally last year, and a 1tb this year.  I have 4 bays.  I'm doing heavy duty video editing.  I don't run RAID, but rely on Time Machine for first level backup, then manual project backup as secondary protection. 
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