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Old January 3rd, 2005, 01:46 PM   #16
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I think Lacie externals have Western Digital drives inside them, don't they?
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 02:01 PM   #17
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Sorry, it may be my fault that I'm spreading FUD. Based on annecdotal reports, they historically haven't been that great. On the other hand, other manufacturers have had bad hard drives too (most notable IBM deathstars). Probably the best thing to do is to pay attention to which model hard drives are doing the best. storagereview.com's reliability database seems to be the best for this, as they are the only place with data on this with reasonable sample sizes. You need to sign up to view the database.

Of current model drives:
Model --- quarter released --- sample size --- percentile (closer to 100 is better)
Hitachi Deskstar 7K250 Third quarter 2003 182 45
Deskstar 180GXP Fourth quarter 2002 209 86

Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 Fourth quarter 2002 523 25
DiamondMax 10 - ???

Samsung SpinPoint P80 Second quarter 2003 133* 45

Seagate Barracuda ATA V Third quarter 2002 142* 93
Barracuda 7200.7 First quarter 2003 349 81

Western Digital Caviar WD2000JB Third quarter 2002 111* 18
Caviar WD1200JB Fourth quarter 2001 695 84
(listings for other capacity WD drives too)
*denotes low sample size.

IBM "Deathstars":
Deskstar 60GXP First quarter 2001 640 7
Deskstar 75GXP First quarter 2000 807 12

Storagereview.com also has lots of information on drive performance, although their benchmarks don't apply too much to video editing.

silentpcreview.com has lots of information on drive noise. (#1 is samsung, #2 is seagate, #3 is hitachi for 7200rpm drives; turn on AAM for lowest noise)

2- Warranties on hard drives isn't that particularly valuable.
A- Drives rarely fail.
B- When they do fail, they take your data along with it. The warranty doesn't cover your data loss, which is a lot more expensive.
C- 2/3 years from now, drives will cost less than half of what they do now. 5 years from now they'll be around a quarter of what they do now.
The warranty does imply that the manufacturer stands behind their product- that still doesn't guarantee their product will be reliable.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 10:11 PM   #18
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Thanks for posting those numbers from storagereview.com.
I had one of those Maxtor Diamond Max Plus9 drives (160GB) die on me the other day; only had a 1 year warranty and I had it for 18 months. I've used Maxtors for years w/o a problem(they all had 3 year warranties) ...go figure. Looks like I'll be replacing it with a Seagate.
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Old January 3rd, 2005, 11:16 PM   #19
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StorageReview.com NOT worth the trouble

I don't find the www.StorageReview.com site to be very useful.

First of all, before you can review any of the Reliability DB results, you have to do two things:
1. Register
2. Enter data for your own drive

Even then, it is NOT easy to get a summary of results from this DB. You can view details of a particular brand/model, but all of you have is model numbers, NO specs like size, external/internal, interface (USB/Firewire) etc. So it would be VERY LABOROUS to compile reliability comparison for, say, 160GB External USB/Firewire drives.

After wasting a lot of time at this site, I went to the FAQ, and found this very interesting Q/A:

Which Brand of Hard Drive is Most Reliable?

With the exception of a few models with outright design problems (the IBM 75GXP for one) or the odd bad batch, most hard drives from all manufacturers are similar in reliability when they leave the factory. There is no point saying Maxtor is more reliable than WD or Seagate is more reliable than Maxtor unless you have used hundreds of hard drives and have a sufficient sample to draw from. Most people drawing on their experience with a dozen drives will come to a completely biased conclusion because their sample is not even remotely representative of the population.
Bottom line -- according to this FAQ, there is no real difference in reliability among the major hard drive manufacturers.

Don't waste your time at this site.
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Old January 5th, 2005, 10:06 PM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by Chris Moore : has anyone had any experience with samsung drives? -->>>

I have an "ancient" (6-year-old) Samsung HDD in my ancient laptop and it still works fine, and is whisper quiet :)

Also, to help further dispel the Maxtor = Bad myth, I have 5-year-old 40 Gig Maxtor HDD that I still use without any probs...
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Old January 5th, 2005, 10:55 PM   #21
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You really need a large sample size to get useful information. Storagereview.com has the largest sample sizes I've seen, although the information may be biased for some reason or other (people may be overreporting deathstars because of the PR surrounding that drive???).
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Old January 6th, 2005, 06:00 PM   #22
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I work part-time as a computer tech. and I've HAVE worked with hundreds of hard drives and I've found the most problematic hard drives are, indeed, Maxtor hard drives. I've had many incidents where they begin to make a clicking noise (a good indication the hard drive is about to crash so backup as soon as you hear suspicious clicking!) and hours or days later the HD was dead. This does not mean there are Maxtor hard drives that can't work well for a long time. All i'm saying is out of the many hard drive related service calls i've made, Maxtor is usually the one at fault.

Western Digital and Seagate are the 2 brands I've really had no problems with at all.
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Old January 7th, 2005, 09:33 AM   #23
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<<<-- Originally posted by Imran Zaidi : I think Lacie externals have Western Digital drives inside them, don't they? -->>>

Yes. I've got 3 external 160gb La Cie drives atm (2mb, 7200rpm, firewire) [branded for Mac] that are WD drives. There are another dozen+ here that are different models but still La Cie that are all also WD.
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