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View Full Version : *RELIABLE* external hard drives NEEDED


ballsdeep
2012-01-27, 05:40 PM
any suggestions?

after 3 WD drives basically crapping out (or showing signs of doing so soon) in a 2 year period, is there ANY other brands out there that you folks would recommend...I believe they were the 2 TB models.

LeifH12345
2012-01-27, 05:50 PM
I've found my Seagate 1.5 TB to be very reliable, its 3 years old and has no signs of crapping out, still going strong and fast with zero power or mechanical issues. Only thing I don't like is there's no power switch, but that's not really a big deal

The WD are good for cheap portability, but I've had the same problem with them. I'm trying out a Cavalry right now, seems really sturdy, but we'll see.

lintoni
2012-01-27, 07:30 PM
I have a few external hds connected to my home pc. If I remember correctly, the linux disc utility reports that the only one that is 100% is the Maxtor, which coincidentally is the oldest. I'll double check this when I get home. (the others are a mixture of WD and Seagate). The Maxtor is a 500GB, the others are a mixture of 1 and 2 TB drives. Dunno if the increased capacity makes them less reliable, if the linux disc utility is reporting bullshit, or if there are any other effects in play. Thinking about it, the Maxtor is probably used the least - it has my video files and a few other bits and bobs on it, but I listen to music on my PC much more than I watch videos. I have a 2TB WD Elements drive that is not used for reading files from, only for backing up (some of) the other drives and that one is not 100%. So...

I'll double-check this, and confirm in a day or two.

Btw, all of the discs are greater than 90% full.

cicada
2012-01-27, 07:54 PM
Having a replacement warranty on hd's is like eating in a restaurant and finding a cockroach in your food. I love it when they say, "here is a coupon - your next meal here is free"! By the way, if this happens you should reply that you have called the health department and they will arrive shortly to inspect the food... never let them take that plate away. I did this once and got the restaurant shut down! Next meal my @<hidden> oops I kinda got sidetracked - sorry. I just lost a 500G WD drive last night (end of rant).

My solution - RAID

lintoni
2012-01-27, 07:59 PM
^^^
Always back up, no storage method is 100% safe. Btw, I thought I'd lost a drive completely, only to discover that is was the power supply that had died.

LeifH12345
2012-01-27, 08:54 PM
Data discs last longer than most external hard drives, imo

ballsdeep
2012-01-27, 09:57 PM
bump...hoping for as many replies as possible.

germain
2012-01-28, 08:56 AM
I would avoid using store bought externals unless it is strictly for back up. The biggest problems reported are with the power supply. Use to be most of the time you could pull the drive out of the defective case and put it in another and be good to go. Now manufactures are putting proprietary power connections in their cases. If & when it goes, the drive is useless.

I would recommend purchasing a bare internal and an external case with a fan. Really simple to install. The fan keeps the drive cool even with continuous usage. If something goes wrong with the case, just throw the drive in another one. This Rosewill is a good one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817173042

I like the Western Digtal blacks. I look for drives with the longest warranty. Not that the warranty matters a whole lot if the drive fails, but hopefully those with several years worth of warranty are better builds.

With all that said, every drive will eventually fail. Back up everything.

direwolf-pgh
2012-01-28, 09:06 AM
its more your backup strategy than which hard drive
if you have a big pipe consider iDrive Unlimited (https://www.idrive.com/idrivee/jsp/ide_ULSignup.jsp)($49/yr)

lintoni
2012-01-28, 12:55 PM
I have a few external hds connected to my home pc. If I remember correctly, the linux disc utility reports that the only one that is 100% is the Maxtor, which coincidentally is the oldest. I'll double check this when I get home. (the others are a mixture of WD and Seagate). The Maxtor is a 500GB, the others are a mixture of 1 and 2 TB drives. Dunno if the increased capacity makes them less reliable, if the linux disc utility is reporting bullshit, or if there are any other effects in play. Thinking about it, the Maxtor is probably used the least - it has my video files and a few other bits and bobs on it, but I listen to music on my PC much more than I watch videos. I have a 2TB WD Elements drive that is not used for reading files from, only for backing up (some of) the other drives and that one is not 100%. So...

I'll double-check this, and confirm in a day or two.

Btw, all of the discs are greater than 90% full.

I was wrong, the only one reported as being 100% is a WD 1TB. I have a WD 2TB that reportedly has a few dodgy sectors, the Maxtor has a few dodgy sectors and so does the Seagate, so...

re germain's answer above - btw - I found a suitable power supply in the UK at Maplins - it has adjustable output voltage and a range of interchangeable plugs that match to any of the drives I have. Obviously, you have to set the correct voltage and choose the correct adaptor plug to suit, otherwise you do risk causing further damage (if it was only a p/s failure that rendered the hard drive u/s). Try an electronics store for suitable replacement wall warts, is Radio Shack/Tandy still going?

Homebrew101
2012-01-28, 06:05 PM
I've good luck (so far) with WD black and external cases like the Rosewill (thanks donohuer :wave:)

rherron
2012-01-29, 05:40 AM
I've had a lot of lucky with Western Digital so I cannot recommend another brand from first-hand experience (I have 2, 1 TB drives and 1, 2 TB drive). But I can recommend to you first-hand that if you don't have a USB 3.0 card you ought to get one for your computer, and whatever external drive you get, get one that connects via USB 3.0. It's so much faster than USB 2.0 Well worth the money. Pop the case open. Pop the card in. Easy, easy, easy. And very, very fast. I got a Buffalo Technology DriveStation SuperSpeed USB 3.0 PCI Express 2-Port Interface Card IFC-PCIE2U3 (link below) from Amazon for $32. My 2 TB WD drive is hooked up to it.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0030CHI14/ref=oh_o00_s00_i00_details

Limulus
2012-01-29, 02:40 PM
i've had lots of trouble with external harddiscs, however the newer WD portable ones do a good job for me since about 1 year now.

for important files (like shows, family,...) just do "multiple" back-ups on harddiscs, data discs, internet etc.
yes, it can get some ugly time consuming, but in the end you dont really wanna ever loose original data when there is no copy from.

daddyray
2012-01-29, 02:43 PM
I have maxtor ones which have been fine...I have also double backed up everything (I hope) and use some drives while the others are never fired up. and I rely on some of the stuff just remaining to float around out here on the inter webs

jamroom
2012-01-29, 03:00 PM
I have a bunch of different 500GB and 1TB HDs, including WD. (touch wood) I have never had a problem with any of them. I guess all brands have their failures, but you seem to be having a worse time of it than usual.

However, I have just bought a couple of Toshiba 2.5" drives and was surprised how small they were. How reliable is another question. Everything I put on a HD is mirrored on another, so at least I get a chance to back up again, if one fails.

ballsdeep
2012-01-30, 12:29 AM
thanks for the feedback, though it makes it harder to make a decision, it's totally appreciated.

keep it coming...

AAR.oner
2012-01-30, 07:13 AM
all my Lacie drives have done well [except one, but i think its a connector issue], the one Maxtor has been chuggin along since the beginning of TTD...the newest was a WD drive, have had major issues with it

i've heard from a few editors their preferred exts are the GTech drives

Ghostwheel
2012-01-30, 08:38 AM
The Maxtor is a 500GB

i got the same drive and it's been going strong for about 2 years or so. i forget exactly when i got it.

i just recently picked up a 2tb WD My Book and it seems to be working great so far. i need to get a couple more just for back up and not reading from.

co9ol
2012-01-30, 08:11 PM
i've heard from a few editors their preferred exts are the GTech drives

I got a 500GB one about 4 years a go and it's still my best drive. I use it to daisy chain a bunch of other drives through its Firewire 800 connection. You get what you pay for.

Limulus
2012-02-01, 11:55 AM
a friend just reminded me in this:

high capacity Optical/FLASH drive media might be the preferred back up medium of the future. as we know drives with moving parts are at far greater risk of failing.

xc52
2012-02-22, 02:41 PM
You might want to consider waiting til the summer/autumn, when prices should begin dropping again as inventory supply finally catches up with demand. They're ridic high right now.

Fwiw, following is a somewhat technical explanation but... kinda fun in a geeky way! Cheers.

hxxp://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9222871/Hard_drive_prices_slide_as_Thai_flood_aftermath_subsides

[Summary: inventories still short at major manufacturers like SG & WD, and will continue to be so well into 2012.]

spidergawd
2012-02-22, 03:04 PM
I've never really liked external drives, since I've had problems with the OS recognizing them. However, since my case only holds 6 internal drives I bought a cable/adaptor with its own power supply and just use extra internal drives, only plugging them in when necessary. Very cheap alternative and you can use whatever drive you want.