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Some hard drive failure rates are rising, according to Backblaze

By Scorpus ยท 21 replies
Sep 25, 2014
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  1. The first hard drive reliability report was released by Backblaze in January of this year, revealing that Hitachi and Seagate drives are the most and least reliable respectively. Since then, the team at Backblaze has been testing more and more drives,...

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  2. Seventh Reign

    Seventh Reign TS Booster Posts: 131   +65

    This research is so obviously tainted it is sickening. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that these people are funded by Hitachi.
  3. I actually find their report to be pretty accurate

    having used all 3, I concur that seagate is garbage, back in 2003 I bought a 120gb seagate hdd and it was outstanding, still alive today. after they bought maxtor(garbage) their drive's reliability went down the drain

    I worked at geeksquad and just about every bad hardrive was maxtor, we rarely saw a bad hitachi drive, and western digital were allright
    Auth3ntic0 and darkgtx like this.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    So can we safely assume you use Seagate drives or have ties with them?
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,389   +5,016

    The 7200.11 has been a problematic drive since the beginning. And certainly one I have avoided buying. As long as this series drive is included in the charts, I will ignore the findings.
    9Nails likes this.
  6. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,534   +421

    I have worked many Dell OEM computers, of which they have had Seagate and WD drives. Computers with build dates of older than 2007 (say, 2004-2007) had mostly older style WD Caviar drives (all 80GB drives). Computers from 2007-2011 was mostly Seagate Barracuda drives (mostly 80GB, a few 160GB and 250GB), and 2011-current are largely WD Caviar Blues, ranging from 160GB to 500GB. Of all these subsets, I have the highest infant mortality on the Caviar Blues, and long term failure rates are fairly distributed between the older Caviars and Barracudas, though I think there have been slightly more seagate failures than WD.

    I'm not actually trying to make a point here, just an observation. At home I use real Samsung Spinpoints, as well as Toshiba. I've considered getting Hitachi, maybe in my next build I'll get a couple for storage drives, just to see how they are.
  7. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    And this is why I don't recommend Seagate :D.

    Sorry but please elaborate. The findings seem legit to me.
    Auth3ntic0 likes this.
  8. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    I didn't know who Backblaze was. Turns out that they're an on-line backup company. If you're backing up data, it's not a bad idea to track which drives fail the most. I'd like to know if these drives reported are their customer's or ones they privately own in their data centers.
    Jad Chaar likes this.
  9. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,694   +438

    I have Seagate Barracudas from early 2007, 2008 and yet they are still working to this date. I had a Samsung Spinpoint which has failed on me and a Hitachi or two which also have failed on me (all 1TBs other than Seagate which is 250GB).
  10. I've worked as a computer repair tech for the past 10 years. Currently I own my own repair business and am in the process of moving offices so I have a stack of 30-40 SATA hard drives of various capacities that I have replaced in the last year on both laptops and desktops that are slated for destruction.

    I would say that of the ones in the pile both Western Digital and Seagate make up about 40% each with Toshiba drives making up the remainder. I also have a couple of Hitachi laptop hard drives in the pile that came out of Lenovo ThinkPads and ground to a halt after years of use.

    In my experience I replace more Seagate drives on destops and more Western Digital and Toshiba drives on laptops. It seems that Seagate drives are more prone to heat issues while Western Digital drives are more prone to mechanical failure and almost all the Toshiba drives have bad controllers that cause them to overheat or have power related issues. Only occasionally do I replace Hitachi drives, but they are also a smaller share of the market and in far less computers that I work on.
  11. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Maniac Posts: 294   +124

    Maybe Seagate drives are dying so much because of the infamous massive head parking power saving "feature". I use hdparm on windows to fix it.
  12. darkgtx

    darkgtx TS Rookie

    I agree, bought a seagate barracuda 7200rpm 500gb drive some years ago. 2 weeks later BSOD! BAD SECTORS reported by hard disk sentinel. Replaced it with a western digital 1tb drive. Since then my corsair SSD and two WD drives have been working flawlessly.
  13. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,482   +978

    Yeah knowing the companies origin is huge. Thanks for sharing this.
  14. Hitachi bought IBM's hard drive division eleven years ago, and sold it to Western Digital two years ago. One of the reasons IBM sold it was they were having issues with their drives reliability. Namely their Deskstar series which was renamed Deathstar by the people who bought them, myself included. They were terrible drives with a really high failure rate.

    I used to buy only Seagate drives since they used to make quality product. In the past few years quality has dipped quite a bit. I'm not sure what their latest drives are like. I now buy Western Digital but might give Hitachi a chance since their quality seems to be much better than it used to be.

    I currently have 2x1TB Seagate drives in mirror RAID in my PC just in case of drive failure. I also have 2x2TB Western Digital Red drives in mirror RAID in my NAS. Drives are so cheap and I'd rather not lose data when one of them inevitably dies a fantastic death.
  15. Pinkie Pie

    Pinkie Pie TS Booster Posts: 79   +41

    Nonsense, it is pretty well known that Seagate drives have been garbage for years. This company has nothing to do with Hitachi either.

    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 1,720   +808

    I have similar results in my home and work servers. I used only Hitachi 1 TB drives at home, of the 8 only 1 failed in the five years that server was running. In 5 almost duplicate systems at work we have 20 Seagate 1 TB drives, of those 8 have failed. This includes 3 failures of "refurbished" drives that Seagate sent me for in-warranty replacement. We are now running a bunch of 3 TB Seagates at work, so we will see how that goes. I now have 6 of the Western Digital 3 TB drives in my home server. No failures on any of the new drives yet. I left Hitachi because they were harder to find, and I wanted to give Western Digital a chance again. But I definitely feel Hitachi is the more reliable drive manufacture. However... didn't WD buy Hitachi recently? I can't remember, everyone is buying everyone up.

    Interesting statistics though... take it with a grain of salt though.
  17. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,541   +918

    If Seagates are so unreliable, why are they testing 5 Seagates vs 2 WD's, and not even the Blacks. This test is weird and racist! jk.
  18. Radient

    Radient TS Rookie Posts: 43

    Its not like scott molton of mhdd told this five years ago o wait he did.
  19. I have used Seagate drives all my life, SATA and SAS, and not one has failed. It's the older drives though; I haven't used beyond 500GB drives. Maybe I am just lucky, or maybe because I take care of them - I make sure they have active cooling. I also have 3 newer Hitachi SAS drives in RAID 0 in my workbench PC (programming with dual-boot Linux), feels good they are the most reliable.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,960   +3,998

    This article is an extension of an earlier, "study" by "Backblaze". The drives are in their own data centers. Which means that the environment all the drives mentioned run in, would be substantially harsher than that of the typical home.

    Seagate hasn't fully recovered it's reputation from the "big drive bricking scandal" of a few years back.

    And while I'm a bit skeptical of Backblaze as an impartial testing agent, I have to say that Seagate HDDs are the lowest priced around. This gives me pause to wonder where they cull the savings to offer their drives at such low prices. I suppose it could be the, production / distribution / advertising / QA / shortened warranty /or manufacturing tolerances. So, it's pretty much anybody's guess on this topic.

    Here's the former quite contentious article on Backblaze, and their findings of HDD mortality rates: https://www.techspot.com/community/...ast-reliable-hard-drives-respectively.199538/
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  21. Blackblaze stores these drives in their own custom designed racks which they had big issues with in regards to vibration on their first iteration of the racks. If they were all or mostly seagates then this data is garbage but we don't know. There was a good article on this somewhere. Sounds like blackblaze just their name out.
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,960   +3,998

    You know, there is a certain self serving tediousness to Backblaze setting themselves up as, "the foremost authority on HDD longevity"

    I'd kind of like to know if the Seagate 1.5TB drives are so God awful, why do these fools keep buying them? Unless they like losing peoples data.

    Or, since Backblaze is claiming that Hitachi drives far outstrip all others with respect to reliability, why don't they simply buy all Hitachis, and shut up.:mad:

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