Seagate HDD failure

Discussion in 'Technology' started by alterego, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. Oof...had a 3TB Seagate internal drive die on me yesterday, and it was only in use for about two years. I had back-ups for at least 50% of it, and didn't really lose anything that's irreplaceable (not the main drive, not the Time Machine back-up drive)...but I'm not buying Seagate again anytime soon.
  2. I had a Seagate 1.5TB that failed and was replaced multiple times. Also had a Seagate 750GB that failed. According to Backblaze, the Seagates have very high failure rates, especially the 1.5TB drives.


    Hitachi/HGST NAS and enterprise drives have the lowest failure rates. The Hitachis are usually significantly more expensive than equivalent Seagate or WD drives, but it seems like you get what you pay for. These drives are supposed to be excellent:

    Buying a good drive is no substitute for backing up, but it does help to start with something that doesn't have a ridiculous failure rate.
  3. What does that mean? Where would you back it up than onto other HDD's that can also fail...

    I'm not a fan of Seagate, I bought 3 identical drives on a slickdeal once and 2 failed within a year. But they are priced to move, so I keep on buying...
  4. Thanks for posting that. I'll try one of the Hitachi HDDs when I replace the internal. That's not a bad price at all for something that is more reliable. My first move is getting a 5TB external from OWC that also has a read/write Blu-Ray drive built-in. I've been blowing off physical copies, but I need to start doing that for the critical items. I feel like I lucked out that I hadn't been using the Seagate for anything that important.
  5. Oh wow. Physical copies seem antiquated in 2015. Is BR-RW as easy as CD used to be?

    There must be a better way. I had been looking into FreeNAS solutions, but have read some horror stories too.
  6. It means keep backups. Don't think that just because you bought a reliable drive with a statistically low failure rate that it won't die at some point. Even if you're using something like a RAID array or drivepool software for redundancy, bad shit can happen and you should keep backups of important files.
  7. Physical copies are tedious, but are better than just having multiple HDD or SSD backups. I think the larger drive sizes and lower prices kind of lulled me into complacency the past few years.
  8. Me too... I bought the Newegg 5TB + 4TB Seagate external drive deal around Black Friday. I just copy my stuff to it and then unplug them. Hopefully running only a couple hours a year (during backups) means they will outlive me.
  9. I don't know man, I've seen several seagates fail right out of the box as soon as you put any data on them. The 1.5TB Green drives in the backblaze study had something like a 120% failure rate, meaning all of the original drives failed and the replacements were failing. Buy another brand.
  10. All Hard drives will fail. All SSDs will fail. All flash drives will fail. All will eventually fail.
  11. That's an annual failure rate though. Drives shouldn't be failing that quickly unless they're very poorly made. Well made SSDs can theoretically last for several decades. You should get at least 5 years out of a good mechanical hard drive. Imagine if a car had 120% annual failure rate, where all the cars and 1/5 of the replacements had their engines burst into flames in under a year. That car company would no longer be making cars. I'm amazed Seagate hasn't faced a class action lawsuit over the poor quality of their drives. Depending on the model, their 1.5TB drives have a 120%, 25%, or 10% annual failure rate. Even 10% is disastrous. That's probably why they only warranty their drives for a year now. 2+ years out, it's unlikely you'll still have a working Seagate. Who would trust their data to something like that when you can spend a few bucks more and get a Hitachi with a 1% annual failure and a 3 or 5 year warranty depending on the model? By all means keep backups. All drives do fail eventually. But buying a Seagate is playing Russian Roulette with your data.

  12. I just put myself in the state of mind that all data is disposable. i've been yoloing since 2004 with this mentality. saves yourself from a lot of stress.
  13. I use Amazon Glacier. $0.01/GB.
  14. I never really had much trouble with hard drives until very recently, and even then it's been almost entirely Seagate drives.

    All my important stuff gets backed up to dropbox. But switching to Hitachi as my go to brand for me and people I help out has also helped. I haven't seen any of the Hitachis fail.
  15. $0.09/GB when retrieving the data after a drive about $100 per TB. It's not really a better price than buying your own drives and/or making hard copies.
  16. I didn't even realize that utilities like SMARTReporter existed: it runs in the background and constantly checks certain aspects of the drives installed/connected to your desktop and can potentially give you early warning on drives that have problems that could lead to failures. Not foolproof of course, but it's at least a moderate level of extra protection.
  17. Glacier is like a 401k. You keep putting stuff in but you really shouldn't be pulling from it until your almost dead. I only keep critical stuff on there and with luck I'll never even pull from it. Most of my stuff is spread across multiple drives and PCs. It would take something like a house fire to really destroy everything. I've come to the same conclusion as khaid. I can lose almost everything on my PC and it wouldn't bother me. Pretty much everything on my PC aside from my private pictures can be downloaded again from the Internet.
  18. True…as a natural disaster back-up, that type of service makes sense.
  19. I stopped buying seagates years ago and switched to WD which I've had no problems with for 3 drives now. However, this backblaze useage does not represent real world use for actual consumers. The reason the Hitachi's do so well is that these drives never really park the heads properly. Backblaze buy desktop drives and use them in ways that desktop drives should not be used. In their particular use scenario head parking will only reduce the life of the drive. WD likely have a smarter head parking algorithm that works for a wider range of workloads, but apparently Hitachi drives hardly ever park their heads, which is why they look so good here.

    Backblaze find it cheaper to replace the failed drives than to buy enterprise class drives - especially now that they would avoid seagates, I'm sure.

    Basically, the failure rates on desktop drives used in regular desktop conditions should not be quite as lop sided as this study suggests.

    If I were to buy a drive today? It would be a Hitachi, and I did just that for a 2bay Raid1 NAS that I setup at my work recently. However, I just wanted to point out that Seagate aren't necessarily worth completely disregarding when making a purchase. Unfortunately there isn't enough real data out there for drive failure rates under 'normal' desktop use.
  20. Update from Backblaze on hard drive failure rates. Seriously folks, stop buying Seagate.