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Hitachi drive for PC

Posted on 2014-04-18
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Last Modified: 2014-04-24
based on the below study
www.extremetech.com/extreme/175089-who-makes-the-most-reliable-hard-drives

would it safe to assume the same for PCs also (as against RAIDs for big servers)
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Question by:25112
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by:dlethe
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I've been writing HDD test software suites for OEMs for over 20 years.  That study is  quite flawed, but your assessment of what to do based on those numbers is worse.

100% of HDDs fail, eventually.  I assume you are  using this to determine which HDD manufacturer to choose for your PC.  If that is the case consider

1. Manufacturers make cheap disks designed for 2400 annual hours, low I/O use to sell at $39 to OEMs which they relabel to go for $69 on sale. They also make premium drives for 24x7x365 at 100% duty cycle.   So choosing a manufacturer doesn't help.  Makes & models is what matter.

2.  The study doesn't look at bad blocks/unrecoverable blocks.  A lot of good it does you if the drive is still running, but it developed bad blocks in the middle of  your outlook or SQL database, so the entire database is corrupted.

So what you should do is pick the best drive you can afford that has highest # of ECC bits.   Then buy TWO of  them and mirror them with your O/S.
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by:Dan Craciun
Dan Craciun earned 101 total points
ID: 40008587
Considering the fact that Backblaze buys consumer drives, yes, it could be extrapolated for PCs under the same usage (24/7 read/writes).

For normal PCs though (8 hours/day usage, light disk activity) I think you would see different results, depending on the firmware.

That being said, I've had lots more failures on Seagate drives than on WD/Samsung, but on a small sample (a few hundreds over the past 5 years) so this could be an anomaly.

HTH,
Dan
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by:aadih
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Answer: No.
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by:Tony Giangreco
Tony Giangreco earned 133 total points
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I've been in the server and pc repair business over 25 years. I've see many layers of technology get hot and many die out. I've probably see every brand of drive fail at one time or another. There is no actual reason for the failure other than parts wearing out due to planned life span by the manufacturers.

One brand I have had the best luck with is Toshiba. The appear to run the longest for me without any special treatment. I'm not saying they are the best, but the do appear to have the longest life.

Hope this helps!
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by:rindi
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ID: 40008715
As Dlethe has already mentioned, the only guarantee you have is that ALL disks will fail.

So my point of view is that rather than waste too much of your resources in deciding what manufacturer's disks to buy, you should worry more on making sure your backups are properly done, and that you backup to more than one backup media, as also that is guaranteed to fail.
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by:Tony Giangreco
Tony Giangreco earned 133 total points
ID: 40008742
If we have a Pc or server that is past 5 years old, either it's on our planned replacement list where we replace the Pc with a new one or we replace the drives so they pc should last longer and run better until we can take it out of service.

Our servers all run a Raid configuration so we know when a raid drive fails and we have time to replace it without losing any data.

If your pc is old, you should consider managing it like we do ours. We have not lost any data at our clients in 15 years. Achieving that takes planning. I agree with Rindi, Backups are a major part of our operations. You should take a regular backup so if your drive dies, you don't lose everything.

Hope this helps!
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by:25112
ID: 40008997
thank you- all the input have been helpful.

from big picture, i'll remember

ECC / raid
and
backups  + regular monitoring.

as being the most reliable and needful things to remember.

what will be a reasonable # of ECC bits to be considered moderate and what count will be consider fairly upscale and robust? i assume all manufacturers have their products in each category of ECC bit range products?
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by:Tony Giangreco
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by:dlethe
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It is a function of drive size because it isn't so much reported as # of ECC errors you will get per X bits read.

The ECC rates on desktop drives are crap. Don't consider them.  As such the short answer is that any drive identified as server/enterprise class disk will be fine.

Any classified as desktop/consumer belongs on a PC used by little old ladies to balance their  checkbooks and surf the web a few hours a day.

Look for ECC error rate in the full specification sheet.   There is more to it than  just that, but I really don't want to complicate things by using any more  jargon because it would be a can of worms.

So "desktop" drives -> BAD
Server/enterprise drives -> GOOD

Leave it at that
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by:Dan Craciun
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There are "intermediate" drives: performance/enthusiast drives.
For ex WD Black series. Backed by a 5 year warranty, they're usually more reliable than normal consumer drives.
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by:dlethe
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The black series is NOT suitable for a RAID controller.  It does not have TLER , so it will time out doing error recovery for 30 seconds or more.  Only safe way to use the WD black drive is solaris ZFS or Windows native software  RAID1 or RAID10 .. and even then, I personally would not do it in anything but Solaris ZFS.

(But it does have higher quality, it is still not an enterprise drive suitable for hardware RAID controllers and servers ... it is a high performance workstation disk)

P.S.  linux software raid is good too, but still keep it to RAID1/10 and I would not use that HDD  period when I had the choice for a true enterprise class server drive for a few dollars more)
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by:Tony Giangreco
Tony Giangreco earned 133 total points
ID: 40009595
On a raid, we always use and suggest the Seagate Enterprise Class drives

SSD, Traditional Hard drives or Hybrid. They stand up to server demands and they come with a 5 year warranty
http://www.seagate.com/www-content/product-content/enterprise-hdd-fam/enterprise-capacity-3-5-hdd/constellation-es-4/en-us/docs/enterprise-capacity-3-5-hdd-v4-ds1791-3-1403us.pdf

http://www.seagate.com/internal-hard-drives/enterprise-hard-drives/
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 199 total points
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SSD drives can be a horrible decision for servers and certain file systems  if you use them as a general substitute for mechanical drives.. Most are tuned for I/O sizes of exactly 4KB or exactly 128KB.  I/Os of different sizes can take longer than mechanical drives.   The offset  must also be the right multiple.

Use SSDs only for file systems tuned for their use, and never a hardware RAID controller unless you have one of the quite expensive LSI  SSDS + their MegaRAID with the SSD firmware add-on.
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by:25112
ID: 40009745
thank you.. these info will help me from investing in a less than ideal choice...


>>I would not use that HDD  period when I had the choice for a true enterprise class server drive for a few dollars more

dlethe, would you see such drives (enterprise class server drive ) sold in newegg.com or amazon to get it for a heavily used critical workstation..

if indeed they are available in newegg or
http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics/1254762011
, can you point out a couple of them for a budget conscious user. (is the "few dollars" mentioned in the above phrase 5$ or 30 or 50 or 100 etc).. let's say for a 1TB space drive.

can you get them in retail stores like Staples, Best Buy, Radio shack etc? (in usa)
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by:25112
ID: 40009876
from your description,
so far i have two:

http://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Enterprise-Capacity-Constellation-ST1000NM0023/dp/B00BV18XIS
http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Cache-Desktop-WD1003FZEX/dp/B00FJRS6FU  

would you consider them fitting your description above as a few bucks more but significantly better?

my local walmart doesn't not have any internal hard drives

staples has only 1
http://www.staples.com/Toshiba-2TB-35-Desktop-Internal-Hard-Drive/product_571926
this is not enterprise category  is it?
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 199 total points
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that WD black is just plain wrong for you on many levels.  (You DO have a SAS controller, right? because that is the interface used by the constellation you chose)

That constellation is just barely enterprise quality, but two of those in software or hardware RAID1 is vastly superior than a quality enterprise SAS drive that will set  you back $300+

So go with two of those, if you value your data.

Plus, in RAID1, if it is software RAID1, and not some cheap motherboard BIOS fakeraid, or a decent RAID controller card with it's own CPU and memory, then you'll get 2X the read performance than if you had a single drive.

You could buy a $1000+  top of the line enterprise drive, with a 7 year warranty and MTBF of 10,000+ hours, but that one drive you bought could still die the first week of use.  Remember that.

100% of disks fail.
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by:25112
ID: 40009960
>>You DO have a SAS controller, right?
no, i don't..  but i am willing to upgrade..

can you give a reco from
http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/electronics/3015424011  

or SW equivalent?
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 199 total points
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NO.  Those are crappy RAID controllers and won't buy you any performance improvement in a RAID1.  They won't do read load balancing.

You don't need a RAID controller with RAID1.  Windows software RAID1 works just fine. Save the money and put it in a NON-RAID controller and with money left over, put it into the disk drives.
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by:25112
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by:dlethe
ID: 40010910
What is your budget and desired usable capacity, and how is this system used?
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by:25112
ID: 40011078
budget - it will be an investmenti ; i can convince user; so not willing to put a limit on it now.

will be used as a trading computer. potential to be running 24/5. right now all it got is a plain 7200 disk, far from ideal.
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Dan Craciun earned 101 total points
ID: 40011120
I do think you're over-complicating things.
I don't bother with RAID on desktops. I keep daily backups and monthly system images.

If the computer can be off for 2 hours, then you're better off investing in a SSD than in any form of RAID.

PS: I know dlethe is against (or not impressed by) SSDs, but for computers that's the best thing since electricity :)
4KB or 128KB tuned or not, try it for a week and you'll find that the overall "snappiness" of the system is well worth the cost.

HTH,
Dan
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by:dlethe
ID: 40020090
No, I am a huge fan of SSDs.  But my problem with them is people generally misuse them. Case in point, you don't put SSDs behind RAID controllers unless the controller is designed to support them.  You risk data loss and take a big performance hit due to write amplification issues.

Other problem is that SSDs do develop bad blocks, so they are not a protection against data loss.  They also lose data over time if the blocks are not read periodically.  SSDs are VOLATILE devices.

Two HDDs in software RAID1 also will generally outperform a low-cost SSD in reads, because software RAID1 does read load balancing.   Also two HDDs in software RAID1 provide protection against data loss, and it will  generally cost  less.
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by:Dan Craciun
ID: 40020121
I don't bother with RAID on desktops.
So the whole "SSDs are bad behind RAID controllers" is not important for my usage.
Keep frequent backups and leave RAID for the servers.
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by:dlethe
ID: 40020266
I do for 100% of  mine, software RAID1.  My concern is not so much backup but as corruption due to unrecovered read errors, especially if the error is in a program under development.
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