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Are Today's Hard Drives Failing?

By briwlls ·
I recommend my clients upgrade equipment if older than three years. Client heed my advice an then within two years their drives fail (I always recommend Dell, just to clarify I'm not building cheap systems with bad hardware)

I also recommend Maxtor OneTouch for home based businesses for day to day backup, these drives often fail within year one.

What are your experiences? Are you finding more and more drive failures then say three years ago?

I draw correlation of this thought to manufacturers changing the warranty to just one year.

Your thoughts...

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Drive reliability

by Choppit In reply to Are Today's Hard Drives F ...

I'd tend to agree that desktop class drives are not as reliable as they were 5-8 years ago. But things have changed, drives spin faster, are left on longer and are required to transfer more data in less time. Most ATA drives these days come with a 3 year warranty and I'd estimate that around 50% of the drives I buy (Maxtor, WD, Seagate) are returned inside 2 years. I'm also seeing an increase in the number of people coming to me because their HDD has failed (in systems < 5 years old.)

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Maxtor is the worst offender

by gubbas In reply to Drive reliability

In all my 8 Years of expericence I have noticed that about 70% of the drives that failed in our environment are maxtor drives. Dell uses a mix of different drives and I maxtor drives have the highest failure rate. I would not recommend maxtor drives

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DELL = Cheap Equipment

by BFilmFan In reply to Are Today's Hard Drives F ...

I disagree that Dell doesn't build cheap. I've found their equipment to always be of lower quality than other server manufacturers.

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Dell's model

by JamesRL In reply to DELL = Cheap Equipment

Dell is angling for the low cost market. That means they are willing to compromise on quality for price. The HDs they use are whatever they can source cheaply. Sometimes they source good parts, sometimes not, but its often changing and inconsistent.

On the original posters premise, I have to agree. Other than some bad Connor/Compaq drives in the 286/386 era, and the odd problems here and there, the older drives did seem more reliable. I rarely saw problems with 5 year old drives that didn't relate to power surges or in the case of laptops, abuse. At one employer I noticed a number of 286 that had been running for 10 years without any problems.

HDs are cheaper these days, and as another poster pointed out, spin faster. You don't get something for nothing....


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Actually we're

by TonytheTiger In reply to Are Today's Hard Drives F ...

experiencing fewer failures.

We bought Dell GXa's when they came out and had about 5% of the hard drives fail in the first year.

The GX270s have been less than 1% for hard drives in the first year (but we're starting to see the bad capacitor problems on motherboards. 7 in the last month).

The other thing is the definition of a 'bad hard drive. It used to be that we could tolerate a few bad sectors as long as they were stable, but with more companies using imaging software (Ghost, etc.), we are requiring near perfection.

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More Dell's

by jdmercha In reply to Actually we're

I've been buying Dell's for the past 8 years, and I'm seeing the exact same thing. About 1% failure in 1 year and 5% over 5 years.

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by TonytheTiger In reply to More Dell's

why we buy gold support :)

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Its been said before in this thread

by mjwx In reply to Are Today's Hard Drives F ...

But HDD's are spinning faster, required to transfer faster, and need to store more so, HDD's have more platters which spin faster and drive heads that read more rapidly all this adds to the normal wear of the drive even if they aren?t being produced to a lower quality than 5 or 10 years ago.

Don?t trust a single drive to handle any important backups. IMO don?t event trust a RAIDed drive to handle really important backups. For something that needs to be kept for a while use CD's/DVD's or tape backups.

Manufacturers have changed the warranty to one year because technology is advancing at a phenomenal rate. A drive on a three year warranty has been surpassed twice by Moore?s law. So a three year old drive is about one quarter of a new drive (according to Moore?s law).

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