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Any decent 2TB drives?

By jdmba · 22 replies
Mar 28, 2011
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  1. I have been trying to buy a 2TB hard drive for quite some time. My system is basically an installed hard drive with 3 Kingwin pull-out chassis for data drives (such as media/photos/mp3s, emulators, backups, etc). My goal is to retire some of the data drives with higher capacity drives (keeping the old drives as a sort of snapshot in time backup; since you can't really backup 1TB of data economically).

    BUT ... there are no 2TB drives on NewEgg which don't predominanatly say "CONS: Drive was DOA in 2 weeks; ran very hot". Certainly the WD2TB drives all suffer from this, and the Samsung isn't doing much better.

    Anyone have any insight on a 2TB drive that isn't suffering from severe quality control?

  2. gabox

    gabox TS Rookie


    Any brand can fail man, that's a fact
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    One thing to consider is that when a drive fails on someone they are more likely to complain about it. When it doesn't fail, a far fewer number will leave a positive comment. So the failure rate isn't anything near what it would appear on a place like newegg.
  4. jdmba

    jdmba TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Unfortunately, I am reading the reviews. There are, by my reading, NO acceptable 1.5TB or 2TB drives. I am aware of Green, but even THOSE have awful reviews. Almost every 2TB WD Black review on Newegg is about DOA. While I do realize that people with DOA are more likely to post than those without problems, the state of mechanical HD's is dire; and I can't for the life of me make the purchase. As we all know, its not the $69, its the resulting data loss.

    I suspect I must continue to not buy; which stinks.
  5. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    Buy 2 and RAID them then? It would be interesting to see failure rates of drives released in the last year and a half vs the failure rates of drives less than 1.5 years old throughout the last 15 years. I suspect its not different, but perhaps it is.
  6. jdmba

    jdmba TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks. Unfortunately since I operate the pullout system (as noted in my message), ways of combining drives is not the answer. People's potential knowledge as to a 2TB drive that isn't plagued with DOA is the question at hand. Thanks.
  7. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

  8. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,839   +193

    Seems to be more issues once they move into TB range in HDD technology. GB were more stable. MY 1TB has failed not due to crashes but errors. I had got some 640GB no issues. 2TB or higher you would have to really spend some good cash on better durable type.
  9. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,521   +411

    For what it's worth, I have a couple Samsung F4 2TB drives, and have suggested about a dozen or so other people to get one (all but one did). NONE of these drives have failed yet. The F4 runs cooler than similar WD drives, and spinning at 5400 RPM offers very slightly less wear and tear during normal operation, while three 667GB platters helps keep read/write speeds where they should be as opposed to most other's 4x500GB platter configurations.

    Honestly, if seeing negative reviews impacts THAT dramatically on your choices, then don't shop at newegg; you'll be hard pressed to find anything that you can buy that has more than a few ratings. No matter what, all drives, even in the same batch are not created equally. Since they are a manufactured product that relies on mechanical movement and electrical conduction (SSD's fall into this category), they are bound to fail sooner or later, we just hope much, much later. =p

    Also, your backup concept in my opinion is flawed in this situation. If you have one copy of a piece of data, that does not constitute a backup, but a single point of data loss. Pullout systems work well when trying to separate data into different physical locations or for drive cloning, but do not work as backups unless you have another copy of the data (leaving the data on the main internal hard drives defeats the purpose I think), which means more drives. The last pullout system I remember having a part in where the data was really that important, they had three tape decks with software cloning; two tapes went to separate physical locations and the third was kept local for access.
  10. gabox

    gabox TS Rookie

    I have one HDD 750 GB no issues too.
  11. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,415   +145

    Just reiterating that you're not going to get a usable sample size from this forum, nor newegg.
  12. Eigfrost

    Eigfrost TS Rookie Posts: 20

    If it's not too late now, I don't know if you've seen the Hitachi 2TB Ultrastar A7K2000... there's a review here which notes that the Ultrastar has a "1.2 million hours Mean Time Between Failures", and Hitachi give it a five year warranty....

    The review isn't particularly favourable, actually, but mainly because it isn't as fast as WD Black - and it's expensive. But then again, maybe it's expensive because it's a quality unit which will last...

    The Deskstar, the cheaper Hitachi 2 gig drive, in unrated for MTBF, which sorta tells its own story. I know I'd rather pay more for something which isn't going to cause me grief....!
  13. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,797

    all bets are off with hitachi drives, i don't recommend them.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    MTBF is kind of a tricky thing. 1.2 million hours is ~137 years - no drive will last that long. Might be useful in comparing numbers between drives, but thats about it.
  15. Mizzou

    Mizzou TS Enthusiast Posts: 783

    I've also experienced issues with Hitachi drives and would not recommend. However, there are a number of 2TB drives listed on newegg with four star ratings ... think if you go with Samsung, Western Digital or Seagate it's about the best you going to do at a reasonable price.

    Over the years I've used Seagate and Western Digital, the only outright failure was with a single Seagate 1TB which had a firmware bug that bricked the drive. Haven't owned one yet, but the Samsung SpinPoint seems to get pretty favorable reviews.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,196   +3,489

    "I want to buy a 2TB drive that won't break", is a noble aspriation, one supposes. Just a bit quixotic and self serving.

    1.2 million hours between failures is a claim that should be looked at by the FTC, for any one of a number of reasons.

    Any individual's experience with a limited number of samples borders on worthless.

    A large IT firm, even Google, would be the best place to ask this question, although those institutions don't normally post at Techspot.

    If one brand of drive had an inordinately high failure rate, it would be all over the web. As it was in the case of the bad run of drives that happened to Seagate a couple of years back.
  17. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    I'm sticking with Samsung SpinPoint series hard disks at the moment. I currently have 1x F4 2TB hard disk, but plan on getting a couple more, and maybe some SpinPoint F3 1TB's as well. Price wise they are pretty good, and I'd been happy with it so far.

    Who knows if its an indication of whether its any good or not, but my recent PC flamethrower event only saw one survivor... Yeah you guessed it, my 2TB Samsung SpinPoint F4 disk!! :D

    I would also recommend Hitachi, having owned them, and most Western Digital. In my opinion they're all sufficiently good enough, and its unlikely you'll end up with one out of those 3 names that unexpectedly fails earlier than planned.
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,196   +3,489

    It's possible, but perhaps a bit of a leap to propose that the Samsung survived on it's own. If circuits before the SATA controller shorted out, (or opened up), the voltage spike(s) may have never fully involved the drive's electronics.

    In an unrelated topic, I just returned from the supermarket where a newspaper front page proclaimed, "Bugger Off, Why We're Sick of the Royal Wedding Coverage". This of course accompanied by a picture of what's his name and what's her name, with magic marker moustaches,
  20. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    :haha: Not paid any attention to the wedding footage or its rubbish surrounding it. I plan to be a citizen of a different country well before William rules this country. :haha:

    I did think that, but it wiped out several other SATA disks, including 1 other on the same cable. So not sure really. I'm actually now beginning to wonder if the safest step would be to replace it with a new one, in case it now fails unexpectedly, as I risk losing a lot of valuable, and somewhat unrecoverable data.

    I remember reading the Google report on hard disk reliability and one of the outcomes that became clear was quite a fair few never, ever showed signs of imminent failure - they just worked one minute and had failed the next.

    Given the personal value of the data it contains, I guess another £60-70 is a small price to pay for safe keeping of otherwise unrecoverable data. I've got pictures and other media like documents on dual layer DVDs now though, so thats something.
  21. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,545   +429

    Be a bit careful with optical, I'd reburn at least every 4 years. I had some disks that I burned in 98 that I remember still worked in 2008. But I have some disks I burned in 2004 that you can see the listing of what is on them, but none of the files will open (and yes I've tried many different drives). So while I had some last 10+ (I'll have to find and retry the ones burned in 98) I've also had some die in 7. So, if its real important, keep burning it often :)
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,196   +3,489

    Wow, I have 30 year old VHS tapes that will still play. So I guess DVD isn't as big an improvement in storage as we've been led to believe.

    Plan "B" (for "backup"*), might involve yanking the HDD itself, and storing it in a safe place. After you have, (of course), copied and pasted the contents to the new "1.2 million hours between failures" drive.
  23. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,357   +116

    Thanks for the tips guys, tbh I really need to sort out a server, or a NAS, but been putting it off for too long.

    I must admit I'd be re-burning them quite often for things like pictures, as they're frequently updating, and I always copy everything, so its unlikely that stuff taken several years ago would end up losing me data. Fingers crossed anyway.

    I might just get hold of an old server, through Debian on it without a DE, and run several disks in RAID and use it for file-serving and backups, and be done with it, as its getting so frustrating constantly worrying about it. :haha:

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