Does Seagate still make the best hard drives?

Joined
Oct 31, 2008
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New Germany, N.S.
I have been a happy user of various Seagate HDD's, all external ones, they have never died on me - unlike three from their competitors. I see the 5-year warranty is a thing of the past, but there are still 2 and 3-year warranties offered by Seagate, at least in Canada.

I currently have three 500 GB drives that are more or less mirrors of each other and are about 2/3 of the way full - they all have my three-year collection NEF's in them and a combination of JPEG and TIFF files made from those RAW files. I really don't have them as organized as I'd like, I am thinking I could use one of them strictly for JPEG's - they take up little space plus those same JPEG's would be in my laptop, so that covers those files.

It's the RAW files that really need attention - I need at last two different places for these to be, the 500 GB drives are simply not big enough to hold all of my ever-increasing number of NEF's.

I am thinking of getting two identical Seagate 1 TB external drives and only keeping NEF's in them.

Is Seagate still the best choice for my precious files?
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2010
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Atlanta, GA
Hard drives are like cars. Some people will have good experiences with Fords and will swear by them. Other folks will get a lemon and insist that Fords are garbage.

Nothing about Seagate has changed in the last few years that would make their drives better or worse than you thought they were before. So - go for it.
 
Joined
Nov 4, 2005
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Down Yonder Florida
Is Seagate still the best choice for my precious files?

I got stung with a couple of Seagate lemons and switched to WD and have had no issues with the stack of WD drives I have now. I still have two older Seagate 500gb drives that have been fine though.

There are articles about Seagate like this one, but I'm sure there are complaints about specific drives from other manufacturers too.

Certain drive models seem to have problems sometimes, regardless of brand name. I usually go through the reviews on Newegg to see if there's a real pattern of problems before I get anything. You have to really weigh all the reviews fairly, but I think it's worthwhile.

By the way - I had a 1TB External Fantom drive doing video on a HTPC setup for about 16 months. It was on 24x7 and was absolutely flawless. It had a 1TB Western Digital drive in it. I changed it out for a 2TB Fantom drive that has a Seagate ST2000DL (probably not a great choice for video but it was cheap). It's been online for a few months and hasn't had any issues. Remarkably the Newegg reviews for the ST2000DL are pretty bad, while the reviews for the Fantom box are fairly good (apparently they put both Seagate and WD drives in them), but their reviews are still pretty good.
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
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North Carolina
I've owned several of their externals in the past few years, including my last one, a 1 TB.....

....which died about a week ago. My 1st Seagate external failure.:mad:
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
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Toronto Canada
I used to use Maxtors. Bad failure rate. Seagate bought them. I`ve heard of friends` Seagates dying. I stick with WD and have never had a failure with their their Passport drives or their Book drives. I own at least 10. I won`t buy Seagates.

BTW, a warranty on a drive is meaningless if all they do is give you your money back. It`s the loss of the DATA that`s the killer.
 
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Every drive is going to crash - no matter what brand, model, or price. If you aren't planning for that it's your own mistake.
 
Joined
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North of Seattle, South of Canada
Pupator said it all: backup...backup...backup. For example, portable USB drives are so inexpensive and commonplace now there's no reason not to have a current backup. In fact, keep more than one. Online backups/data storage are also commonplace as well.

I'm currently using Western Digital black or enterprise level drives whenever possible but have used them all at one time or another.
 
Joined
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New Germany, N.S.
That's the crux of it all, all hard drives die at some point. It's unavoidable. All you can do is hope you have your back-ups in order. I have no faith in optical media for the long term, so HDD's are the only solution for the moment.

Are there any affordable RAID systems out there with, say, 2 TB capacity? I guess it would be just as cheap to get a pair of 1 TB drives.
 
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North of Seattle, South of Canada
Superbaldguy said:
Are there any affordable RAID systems out there with, say, 2 TB capacity? I guess it would be just as cheap to get a pair of 1 TB drives.

RAID can be free except for the cost of the drives themselves since it's built-in on many motherboards now. Thus, no separate RAID controller card is needed.

That said, I generally advise most people against setting up a RAID array. The added complexity and potential reliablity issues are often not worth the benefits. Even RAID 1 (mirroring) is not really worth it since Terabyte+ external backup drives are now rather inexpensive. For example, a 2 Terabyte external HDD is only about $100.

Even most hardcore gamers and advanced O/Cer's no longer use RAID as often as in the past.
 
Joined
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UK
...That said, I generally advise most people against setting up a RAID array. The added complexity and potential reliablity issues are often not worth the benefits. Even RAID 1 (mirroring) is not really worth it since Terabyte+ external backup drives are now rather inexpensive. For example, a 2 Terabyte external HDD is only about $100.
I agree with this as I do wonder about the value of a RAID array for home use - providing that regular backups are made is there any real advantage for the average user.

My reasoning on this is that RAID protects against data loss in the event of a drive failure while backups perform a similar function by providing a snapshot of your system. Question is how long will it take to restore data if a HDD fails? With a RAID it may be as simple as a hot swap or more complex needing to rebuild data. While a restore from backup may not be as convenient or quick? it may be all you need for average home use.
Final thought on this, all drives will fail at some point the more drives you have e.g. RAID array the more your chances of encountering a HDD failure :smile:

As to the OP question does Seagate still make the best drives I am not sure that they ever actually wore the crown. There are many that will give them a run for their money including WD. Have a look at Hard Drive Market share weighted suck factors :biggrin:
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
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760
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DFW, texas
Certain drive models seem to have problems sometimes, regardless of brand name. I usually go through the reviews on Newegg to see if there's a real pattern of problems before I get anything. You have to really weigh all the reviews fairly, but I think it's worthwhile.

Check this out:

It compares the Seagate Barracuda 7200.12, WD Caviar Black, Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.C, and Samsung SpinPoint F3

http://techreport.com/articles.x/19330/1

In that review they recommend the Samsung Spinpoint F3...

I've been a WD Caviar Black fan and I'll pay extra for them.. I have no problems with them. But with that said, I have the extra fans to keep my rig cool, backup (take unecessary files off my HD and put them on the external), and I dust out my computer when needed.

Also, note all 5400/7200 HD's aren't the same... the store bought computers often use the cheaper ones and they are usually one of the first parts to go out on you...
 
Joined
Jun 3, 2009
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6,227
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Chicago "burbs"
I agree with Scott. I have four hard drives onboard and 2 external 2tb drives, all WD. This is due to their reliability.. My system OS is on a WD 150 gb raptor which is a 10k rpm drive. Not as big a deal as I thought it would be. My short term plan is to switch out the current OS drive with an SSD. Nothing mechanical there so I'm hoping for faster boot times, snappier performance, etc. Next big upgrade will be Ivy Bridge.
 
Joined
Jul 2, 2005
Messages
952
Location
Orange County , CA
I've had nothing but trouble with four WD . Went to Seagate so far so good
I have a Maxtor from 6 years ago sounds weird for the first two minutes but quiets there after.
Costco has the Seagate 2T for $99.00 on coupon. I bought a FW800 base
and working for 5 months. 2T is a huge amount to possibly loose from HD failure. I do have a small external 1.5 with FW800 option at Timemachine maybe I'll get a couple more? I'd like to see the 1T again, store only has 320-500 or 2T Seagate at Costco. 2T is a lot of data to possibly loose :eek:

I do agree all HD will fail, sometime. I keep years overlapping in HD's
 
Joined
Jan 27, 2008
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Location
North Carolina
So the OP asked if Seagate still made the best HDD, and it sorta looks like his question was dealing with externals.

It seems there is a small consensus that Western Digital may have a smaller failure rate?

If so, which Western Digital externals, desk or portable, are the latest and greatest?

And all things being equal, shouldn't we go ahead and buy USB 3.0 drives? So when we upgrade our desktop or laptop computers we'll have the best available?

Thanks for your replies, and Superbaldguy.....good question!
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
3,678
Location
St Louis MO
i have a raid 10 setup for my stuff and my photography stuff now


i have 7X WD BLACK 1.5TB drives
I have one raid controller card

I wouldn't use mobo raid drivers for this, this hareware card require no drivers for the raid it all finds and fixes disk errors by itself and emails me if there is an issue

i have it set up like this

Raid 1 (1)
drives 1 & 2

Raid 1 (2)
drives 3 & 4

Raid 1 (3)
Drives 5 & 6

Raid 0
Raid 1 (1) (2) (3)

Global hot spare
Drive 7

Smart check 1 times per week,

Raid 1 (1-3) integrity check 1 time per-month

4.05 TB usable space

300+ MB/S read and write, it maxs out my 1GB LAN @ 125MB :eek:

whats nice is it is so fast I can work and edit files FROM THE SERVER :biggrin::biggrin: no need to move back and forth.

I run 2 rounds of WD data-life software on all new drives to be sure they will work then I run one round of windows check disk with bad sector error detection on.

if it pass i then dem it good

out of the 8 drive i ordered 1 had to go back to WD and they sent me a 2TB drive back as they where out of stock on the 1.5TB's drives :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:

I <3 WD
 
Joined
Feb 12, 2009
Messages
3,678
Location
St Louis MO
So the OP asked if Seagate still made the best HDD, and it sorta looks like his question was dealing with externals.

It seems there is a small consensus that Western Digital may have a smaller failure rate?

If so, which Western Digital externals, desk or portable, are the latest and greatest?

And all things being equal, shouldn't we go ahead and buy USB 3.0 drives? So when we upgrade our desktop or laptop computers we'll have the best available?

Thanks for your replies, and Superbaldguy.....good question!
USB 3 won't matter to MOST mechanicl HDD as they can not use all the bandwidth anyway ( most max around 50MB/s usb maxes at 60MB/s)

USB 3 iw 4.8Gbps (600MB/s)

as of today only top (high-end) Hard drives can read/write at 100 MB/s (my WD blacks, WD raptor SCIC, and those types from other companies)

As of today the only drive i know that can come close to maxing out a USB 3 is the OCZ Vertex 3 SSD's or

the OCZ Revo drives: next version of these current PCI-e (x8 and x16) SSD will be able to sustain 1GB/s read/write :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
 

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