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Hard Drive Brand Reliability Data

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We occasionally discuss the issue of hard drive reliability on the forum but this it the first time i can remember seeing hard data showing brands with clear differences in reliability..

Hitachi drives crush competing models from Seagate and Western Digital when it comes to reliability, according to data from cloud backup provider Backblaze. Their collection of more than 27,000 consumer-grade drives indicated that the Hitachi drives have a sub-2 percent annualized failure rate, compared to 3-4 percent for Western Digital models, and as high as 25 percent for some Seagate units.

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Interesting. I guess I know where I'm getting my next HD.

That graph matches with my experiences over here in Paraguay, South America. Between 500GByte and 1TByte Seagate drives are really bad, anything between 1 and 3 TByte is bad as well. However, the 500GByte, the 1 TByte and 3 TByte models perform well. Over here it is so bad that I don't even want a Seagate drive with an even number for storage capacity, even if you gave me the drive + money for free. The headache, misery and loss of time just isn't worth it.

Unfortunately, Seagate (and Samsung, if you count portable drives) is the only brand you can buy here directly. All other brands one needs to be ordered online and the extra shipping costs are prohibitive.  

when it comes to laptop drives, my experience has been Hitachi and Toshiba have more problems than the WD drives that I use.

3.5" drives, I find that Samsung and WD are at the top of my list.

One thing to keep in mind though is that these are failure rates under backblaze's usage. They are a backup provider. They may be routinely copying several very large files in parallel meaning higher than average and more random seeking, far more writing, cache thrashing, etc., which just may happen to correlate with Seagate's weak points and not those of WD. So you'd change the access pattern, you'd get a different failure profile by brand.


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