Do you have a good external hard drive ?

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As of today I am the not so proud owner of three seagate hard drives that don't work.I just bought a fourth one 1tb that feels cheaper than the other three,1tb,2tb,4tb. I also have a transcend 1tb that is now reading iMac cannot repair transfer to new hard drive asap. Since this transcend lasted about three years I was going to order another one but after reading the reviews ( my original I bought off someone ) they seem about the same as seagate. It would be nice if I could find something reliable for a freakin change, but does that mean I have to go above $500 U.S.? Also I will need two since I need a backup. Opinions and ideas appreciated.
 
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Yikes, my 2TB backup drive is a Seagate. Specifically it's a Game Drive, in Xbox green. I haven't had any problems with it in the few years I've owned it, but thankfully I did just expand my PC with a 1TB SSD and move over a bunch of older images that I only had on the Seagate. Now it's purely for backups and file history.
 

lithprinter

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I’ve just had a Seagate 2tb fail. My main photo drive is a Transcend which seems to be ok. Wondering now what to replace the Seagate with...
 

PeeBee

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Out of the 4 internal hard drive failures I've had, I think at least 4 of them have been Seagate. That said, I've had a Seagate portable drive for about 10 years, used it frequently for work and the only reason that broke is because I dropped it with the cable connected and bent the socket. I've taken the HDD unit out of the enclosure, put it into a 2.5 inch caddy and it lives again.

I have 3 2TB Toshiba drives that have had no issues over 4 years. They had great reviews when I bought them and I recently recommended one to a family member, however after it arrived I noticed they've changed the design, most likely cost cutting, and the later reviews are not as good.
 

ac12

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I've purchased probably a dozen external 2-1/2 inch drives from CostCo.
I think most were Seagate, and so far no problems.
But I use them as backup, so once I backup my files to the drive, they don't get used, until they get rotated in again, or I need data off the drive.

As for why I bought so many drives. Well the early drives were large "at the time," but over time became SMALL, in comparison to what else was available. And I had MORE stuff to backup. So I got larger capacity drives, to replace them. And I went through that capacity upgrade again last year. My current backup drives are 5TB drives.

Do you use it for backup or extra storage.
If backup I recommend the 2-1/2 inch drive, only for ease of storage. They fit into the safety deposit box at the bank.
If external storage, I recommend the 3-1/2 inch drive. For the same drive capacity, the 3-1/2 are usually cheaper than the 2-1/2.

One caution, an external drive may be advertised as a USB-3 drive, BUT . . . if the mfg went cheap, the drive itself may not be able to move data as fast as another drive. This is why some people build their own external drives. They find a drive that will move data FAST, and put it into an enclosure. This is more important for the guys that have a LOT of data to backup.
The key spec "sustained data transfer speed" is often hard to find.
 
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doady

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Even the top of the line Seagate Barracuda drives have only 1 year warranty, which is a red flag right there. The Western Digital Black in my desktop is still working okay after 12 years. The computer takes longer to boot up, and sometimes it requires a second or third attempt, but it is not an emergency yet. I still have time to shop around for a new computer.
 

RichardC

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Even the top of the line Seagate Barracuda drives have only 1 year warranty, which is a red flag right there. The Western Digital Black in my desktop is still working okay after 12 years. The computer takes longer to boot up, and sometimes it requires a second or third attempt, but it is not an emergency yet. I still have time to shop around for a new computer.

I am sure that you must have backed up your photos and documents - but if you haven't, now would be a really good time.

I've only ever had two HDD fails, and they both got slower and slower until eventually....kaput. Lost the lot with the first one, but it taught me a valuable lesson. The second therefore wasn't an issue.
 

Dr3DV

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You can find some interesting stats from a cloud provider (BackBlaze). https://www.backblaze.com/b2/hard-drive-test-data.html .
The message that I take away from the thousands of drives in use is that the failure rate is rather low for most of the smaller drives.

A detail pulled out of the stats for 2021 Q1: "Seagate 6TB and the Toshiba 4TB, have an average age of nearly six years, and lifetime annualized failure rates of less than 1%—very impressive over their lifetime. " (but the number of drives in these categories is pretty small).

Personally, I use a combination of WDC and Seagate drives in my computer and as backup drives. The oldest drives in use are 1 TB and the newest are 4TB. My personal experience is that either WDC or Seagate are equally reliable.

A useful utility to monitor the health of disk drives is CrystalDiskInfo. The portable app version is available at https://portableapps.com/apps/utilities/crystaldiskinfo_portable (no need to install)
CrystalDiskInfo is a HDD/SSD utility which supports S.M.A.R.T. It supports a part of external USB disks, monitoring health status and temperature, graph of S.M.A.R.T. information, control AAM/APM settings and more.​
 

Dr3DV

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Here is a screenshot of a CrystalDiskInfo report when I had a 10 yr old drive that was starting to show some issues. Moved the files to a new Seagate drive and retired this drive.
1625772795815.png
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

ac12

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Even the top of the line Seagate Barracuda drives have only 1 year warranty, which is a red flag right there. The Western Digital Black in my desktop is still working okay after 12 years. The computer takes longer to boot up, and sometimes it requires a second or third attempt, but it is not an emergency yet. I still have time to shop around for a new computer.

RED FLAG.
It IS an emergency.
Because the next time, your computer may NOT start.
Computers should NOT require a 2nd or 3rd attempt to start. Something is wrong; computer itself, drive, or OS.
 

PakkyT

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I generally buy WD external drives and these days you can usually get 4TB+ for $100 usd or less. My external are all used for backup purposes and I typically have my important files backed up several times across several drives, so I am good with common consumer grade drives like these since if any one of them fails it isn't a big deal.

I haven't had any failures with the WD portable externals (I have about 5 or 6 for years now) but I did have a 3TB "MyBook" full sized drive working as a Time Machine backup die on me but a second one of the same model doing the same task on the same computer is still going strong after a couple of years past its brother dying. So over all I have had a pretty good track record with these drives and for me not worth it to spend premium dollars on premium external drives unless maybe if I needed to employ one in a full time use role, then I might consider it.
 

doady

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I am sure that you must have backed up your photos and documents - but if you haven't, now would be a really good time.

I've only ever had two HDD fails, and they both got slower and slower until eventually....kaput. Lost the lot with the first one, but it taught me a valuable lesson. The second therefore wasn't an issue.

Yeah, of course, this startup problem has been going on for over a year now, so I have been preparing for the inevitable failure for awhile now. I've always backed up photos as soon as I transfer them from the camera, and I regularly back up my Capture One catalogs now too, so I won't lose too much of my work.

RED FLAG.
It IS an emergency.
Because the next time, your computer may NOT start.
Computers should NOT require a 2nd or 3rd attempt to start. Something is wrong; computer itself, drive, or OS.

It's a 12 year old computer, so I've already been planning to build a new one, but recently there has been a shortage of CPUs and discrete GPUs. With the video card prices so ridiculous, I will have to get a CPU with a good integrated GPU, and those won't come until August with the Ryzen 5600G and 5700G. I was already planning to build a new machine with Ryzen 3400G, but it became out of stock. If my computer does not start tomorrow, then I will just have to settle for an overpriced pre-built machine with 4600G or 4700G and at least 12GB of 3200GHz RAM, but those aren't easy to find either.

Knowing my computer is about to die is probably part of the reason I bought a Lenovo Tab M8 tablet on Boxing Day, so I don't have to keep the computer on as much and maybe extend its life. Ideally, I would have built a new computer before summer to take advantage of the increased efficiency and lower heat generated by a more up-to-date machine, but I'm just happy the old computer can still start up (sometimes).
 

Replytoken

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I have used more drive brands than I care to count. Anybody remember Maxtor? These days I have mostly settled on WD spinning drives and Samsung SSD's. In general, I h ave never rad a good thing about 3TB drives, especially from Seagate. IIRC, their failure rate was above and beyond most drives. If you need large spinning drives, HGST used to have a good reputation. They are now apart of WD, but still get good marks for reliability from sources like Backblaze. For an affordable 8-12TB drive, some of the WD Easystore and Elemental drives were rebranded WD red drives, which have a good reputation for reliability. I did get one that did not have a Red inside and it ran quite hot, but it is easy enough to see what you have with CDInfo. But in the end, all drives can fail, so it is always best to have a good backup strategy.

--Ken
 

jhawk1000

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I have an old Acomdata HD, a Fantom Design, a Samsung, and a Buffalo that have been with me for over 10 years and have almost always been powered when the computer loads up. No failures there but the Acomdata is getting squeaky. In addition, I have HGST, Seagate, and WD smaller drives and they all are doing well after over 5 years. In fact, the only hard drives that went belly up with no warning were LaCie Porsche Designs. The only SD cards that have failed have been SanDisk and there have been many of them fail.
 

ac12

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I have used more drive brands than I care to count. Anybody remember Maxtor? These days I have mostly settled on WD spinning drives and Samsung SSD's. In general, I h ave never rad a good thing about 3TB drives, especially from Seagate. IIRC, their failure rate was above and beyond most drives. If you need large spinning drives, HGST used to have a good reputation. They are now apart of WD, but still get good marks for reliability from sources like Backblaze. For an affordable 8-12TB drive, some of the WD Easystore and Elemental drives were rebranded WD red drives, which have a good reputation for reliability. I did get one that did not have a Red inside and it ran quite hot, but it is easy enough to see what you have with CDInfo. But in the end, all drives can fail, so it is always best to have a good backup strategy.

--Ken

Yeah, I used to work for Maxtor.
Maxtor's niche was high capacity high performance drives.
I was there when Maxtor made the decision to compete in the commodity drives. That was a bad decision, because it put them in direct competition with Seagate, the 800 pound gorilla. And they went down hill.

My first drive was a Seagate 20 MegaByte full height 5-1/4" drive that costed $1,000.
The last drive that I got was a Seagate 8 TeraByte 3-1/2" drive that costed about $200.
How things have moved.


About backup:

For years, I used to back up to tape. I think I've had 5 or more different tape drives.
But when hard drive capacity went past 200GB, I switched from SCSI tape drives to USB hard drives.

Most of my tape drives had the issue of needing a SCSI controller in the computer and of course the tape drive.
A USB hard drive could be just plugged into any computer that had a USB port, which they all have today.
The interface is is a consideration for disaster recovery. Cuz for a tape drive, you first have to find and buy a compatible tape drive, and controller.

I have a post-it on one of my old DAT drives "30.6MB/min native."
Note, the rate is 30.6MB per MINUTE, not per second. The per second rate is 0.51MB/sec. At 2x compression it was 61.2MB/min or 1.02MB/sec.​
Capacity was 4GB native, 8GB at 2x compression.​
My next tape drive, was a DLT, and it was faster at 1.5MB/sec native and 3MB/sec compressed.
The capacity of the DLT tape was 20GB native, 40GB at 2x compression. That was A HUGE capacity at the time.​
But with drive capacities growing as fast as they were, it eventually required more than one DLT tape to backup a drive. And I was not interested in buying $$$$ the next generation of tape drives and expensive tapes, compared to the price of USB drives.​
Then compare the DLT backup speed to the sustained data transfer speed of a hard drive, where I can do over 100MB/sec.
With the constantly growing amount of stuff on the computer to backup, back up speed became my other reason for switching from tape to HD backup.​
You can do the math and see what the total time difference would be for any large drive.​
So backup speed and capacity were the two primary factors that got me to switch from tape to HD backup.
 

bassman

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I’ve had innumerable external drives fail over the years, of different brands. About two years ago I switched to SSD for my external storage, and use rotating drives only for backups. I have multiple external backups using CCC and Apple Time Machine, plus off-site using CrashPlan. The SSDs are much more expensive, but should be dramatically more reliable.
 
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I am guessing storage refers to something you use all the time and backup you just use in case your storage fails? As you might guess computers are not something I spend a lot of time with, actually just photography. I just use Lr and keep smart previews on my computer and put the raw files on a primary hard drive and make a second copy to another hard drive . I guess I could get a SSD as (storage) but since I am just a occasional shooter speed isn't really a issue.
I appreciate all the responses I just want to get something that is not seagate, after looking at the info provided by Dr3DV I have looked at the toshiba 4tb hd which (surprise !) even amazon is out of but there are some on e-bay and will order two.
While I'm on this, eBay offers a 2 year warranty for $10 which is crazy cheap but it says it doesn't cover software whatever that means but I am wondering if it covers recovering your data, any guesses?
 

ac12

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I am guessing storage refers to something you use all the time and backup you just use in case your storage fails? As you might guess computers are not something I spend a lot of time with, actually just photography. I just use Lr and keep smart previews on my computer and put the raw files on a primary hard drive and make a second copy to another hard drive . I guess I could get a SSD as (storage) but since I am just a occasional shooter speed isn't really a issue.
I appreciate all the responses I just want to get something that is not seagate, after looking at the info provided by Dr3DV I have looked at the toshiba 4tb hd which (surprise !) even amazon is out of but there are some on e-bay and will order two.
While I'm on this, eBay offers a 2 year warranty for $10 which is crazy cheap but it says it doesn't cover software whatever that means but I am wondering if it covers recovering your data, any guesses?

On my computer, I have a SSD as my system and program disk, and a spinning HD as my data disk.

Probably limited to hardware repair or replacement.
Very likely that data recover is NOT part of the plan, as that can be EXPENSIVE. That is what a backup is for.
 

retiredfromlife

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I used to use Seagate 2TB disks, but since they reduced the external size and warranty period they seem to fail often.
My older thicker Seagate 2TB drives are still working.

I am going to try WD next

The price of hard drives seem to be going down, unfortunately so is their life span.
 

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