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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:30 pm 
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I archive my photos on two 4TB 3.5" HDDs I bought several years ago. I went with Western Digital Greens. People had negative comments about them but the topics didn't seem to relate as much to the way I was going to use the drives which is basically put on a docking station, attach to my computer, copy 10 GB or so of data, then come back an hour later to check on it. Then do the same for the other drive. Put back in my firesafe and a hiding spot for the next month or so.

I'm getting down to the last TB of the drive and need to look for another set of archive drives. I know I hate it when I see others post this question, but any recommendations? I'm talking bare drives here, for a docking station. Greens seem to have disappeared. Sure, I could go for WD Enterprise but that's a bit pricey and these drives don't see much actual use. I don't need speed.

I know Toshiba is cheap, but the last time I checked, Toshiba also wasn't particularly reliable.

Stick with WD? Go for blues?

I have a HGST 2.5" I've been running 24/7 for the past 4 years or so and it seems pretty good but I haven't priced a 4 TB 3.5" (if they do it). The WD Greens were affordable and okay for my needs.

I may also need a third one to act as a Time Machine backup drive, maybe for a dual drive setup with a 750 GB boot drive and a 1TB data drive. I've been using a 2TB blue for my present 1 TB drive but with two drives I should have a bit more.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 11:45 pm 
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I've been buying HGST 3.5's from Amazon for backups. I got like 8 of them
over the years and none of them have failed.

They are noisy, but other than that, they are pretty much bulletproof.

I run 2 WD server drives in my Mac pro running in Raid 0 that I put thousands of hours on
a year. No doubt they are reliable, but they are not cheap. I would not even consider
using such a high priced drive for backups that see very few hours in comparison.
Before I bought those I was using HGST in my Mac Pro. They did not fail, I just
retired them to backups use. They aren't boot drives, they just hold the bulk
of my data. I use SSD's for booting running in Raid 0 on an Areca Raid Card.
Only the OS lives there. My data lives on the WD Server drives.
It's a good thing that SSD's have gotten cheaper because that Areca Raid card
deals out misery to those SSD's. If I get 1 1/2 - 2 years out of 'em They have
done good. So you see why I don't keep any critical data on them.

I got a whole stack of Failed WD drives consumer drives through the years. The WD
1TB drives being the worst failing ones out of the bunch.

The toughest drive I think that WD makes is the velociraptor drive. Before the SSD
revolution, I used those exclusively for boot drives. I've given some of those away
to friends that are still in service as boot drives. Of course they aren't practical for
large data backup backup for they are too small. I still use them as external "scratch"
drives for ripping movies and stuff. You can abuse 'em, but you can't tear 'em up.

I bought some Seagate Barracuda pros the other day at microcenter. I guess I'll
see how they perform for backups. They made me an offer I couldn't refuse on price.
;)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:08 am 
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Been browsing drives this morning.

Not much 4TB by HGST on Amazon except what seem to be "renewed" (=refurbished) drives. Good prices but sometimes dealers who strike me as uncertain and I don't know that I trust Amazon's list of trusted renewers. Okay, you can renew a drive that's been running 24/7 for the past 5 years but that's not one I want to buy. :| I think I saw a few other HGST drives but they were NAS class.

OWC only has two HGST 3.5" drives. 8TB but not sure I can afford two of those, and certainly not 3 at almost $300 each.

Newegg (and Amazon?) has 4TB WD blues at reasonable price ($85). However, even though they are advertised as having a 2 year warranty, WD does not warranty OEM drives, only retail. So you get Amazon's 30 day return policy and that's it. The alternative is to buy from OWC but the same drive is $150. I don't understand the price difference unless OWC supplies retail version. I thought the last time I bought a drive from them it was bare in a generic cardboard box so I'm guessing that was OEM.

BestBuy has the 4TB WD blue online for $104. I think they only sell retail versions. At least that's all I have ever seen in their stores. From what I can tell they don't actually stock them in their stores. I could call and ask about the version but I find often when I do that the person in the store just ends up looking on line like I just did, wastes my time, and I still don't have an answer. MicroCenter also stocks these in their stores for $6 more. Their online picture has the actual box and if they have them in the store I could check in person. They also have the red version for $15 more each.

One reviewer on Amazon said the WD Blues are now the old Greens. They merged the line. Not sure what they did about the over-frequent head parking annoyance but that doesn't really affect me in how I use these drives.

OWC has for several years been selling Toshiba. Maybe they just need something cheap to put inside their enclosures. Haven't checked Toshiba reviews recently but the last time I did they were noisy and low on reliability.

Time to look at Seagate again? I remember their drives being great at the turn of the century and still have some 160 GB IDE drives around, but when I shopped for drives 4-5 years ago Seagate was in the pits.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:14 am 
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I'm in fear everytime I don't buy a WD Black, but do have 2 Toshibas in Mercury elite cases. 6TB & 2TB, 2 TB is too new, 6 TB is just over 2 yrs old.

In my Mac Pro I have 3 Toshibas, 2 2 TB & 1 WD Black 2 TB.

Last Seagate I bought is fine, 2 TB.

No problem with any so far.
Quote:
Over the past year or so we’ve covered the virtues and vices of nearly all the different hard drives we use in our Backblaze Storage Pods. From HGST to Seagate to Western Digital hard drives, we’ve charted drive hours, plotted failure rates, reported on drive temperature and more. The one missing brand: Toshiba. We’ve had one Storage Pod filled with Toshiba 3TB drives deployed for 2 years and we recently deployed pods with 4TB and 5TB Toshiba drives. In our experience with Toshiba drives, here’s what we’ve learned so far.

backblaze.com/blog/a-look-at-backblazes-toshiba-hard-drives/


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:23 am 
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I've had fairly good luck with ST4000DM000 drives. Last I checked they were still selling new 000s on Amazon.

I may end up buying an 8TB or larger drive in a couple weeks now that I have a streaming server that works again, I only have a 4 in it, it's mostly full, and I have a whole mess of data to copy over there from my G5. If I can figure out why its media drive isn't mounting. Probably an eSATA cabling issue.

I'm scared to death that I'll end up with a shingled drive, the ST4000DM004 & ST4000DM005 use SMR and will literally start timing out on reads and writes once it gets to a certain point. It's supposed to, during idle periods, shuffle data around so the data is all packed together and the empty blocks are of the easily written variety but... the 4s and 5s were in a backup drive that runs for 8-9 hours a day then sits idle for the remainder annnnnnd they would get to the point they started timing out before the end of the week. I think if I avoid Seagate for >4TB I'll be okay? Maybe?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:41 am 
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I've got two HGST HUH721010ALE600 drives, one as data and the other as backup. They're 10 TB drives, and won't cheat at $350 each. But these are also enterprise drives that aren't going to fail for a longass time either. The downside to these drives, and it must be pointed out, is that if you're going to use them internally, they must be connected to an SATA power connector that is first connected to a molex 4-pin connector. Why? Because like a growing number of modern drives, they make use of the SATA 3.3 spec, which means pin #3 on the power connector is now reserved for the PWDIS, or Power Disable feture. This feature lets the drive's electronics reset in case of a hard lockup situation. It's meant to prevent "frozen drive" syndrome. The downside is that you have to have a modern PSU to run them, meaning only the latest Macs could do so (assuming they could take 3.5" drives, which they can't).

This means that if you're drive shopping these days, you need to check for SATA 3.3 specs on it. If it states that it has the Power Disable/PWDIS feature, you must have the required hardware setup, and that also means dealing with external cases that have the same as well. Most mainstream consumer drives won't have this yet, but some do and the number is growing as time goes on. This means my next hackintosh build will need a new PSU, which won't come cheap as I use a 1200W PSU for efficiency and headroom.

FWIW, if you put a drive utilizing the PWDIS feature onto a pre-SATA 3.3 power connector it will never even spin up. It'll act like it's dead because pre-SATA 3.3 connectors/PSUs have pin #3 in an always on/high power state, which is the signal on the new spec to shut off the drive's electronics so it can reset itself. Only the signal never goes away because the old SATA spec didn't have that feature. That's why a molex -> SATA adapter setup is required. It bypasses the 3.3v lines altogether and powers only the +5v/+12v lines, though this means the drive can never use the PWDIS feature in such a setup (not an issue as no drive has ever been able to before either and we've done well enough without it this long, so...).

Yet another monkey wrench to throw into the mix, but it had to be mentioned as more drives are appearing with SATA 3.3 requirements.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:27 pm 
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Interesting, that sounds like a prime opportunity for someone to built a female to male adapter or extension cable with pin 3 disconnected.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:36 pm 
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I am going to use these drives with a Voyager docking station. It's one I bought perhaps 3 years ago. The less expensive model with USB output. I believe it is USB 3 but Id don't have a computer that has anything USB3 yet.

I have two of these docking station and I am in the planning stages for getting a 2011 Mini up and running. It has an internal 750 GB HDD which is smaller than the 1 TB drive I currently use as an external boot so I am thinking of taking the 1 TB drive and use it as a data drive and keep the 750 drive that's in the Mini (I read about swapping these and it involves gutting the entire Mini :-( ). I know I should think about getting a SSD instead, and I might in the long run, but I don't want too much going on at once. Anyway, right now I have a 2 TB drive backing up my 1 TB external, but if I go with my dual drive setup I need something bigger for 1 TB + 750 GB. So a 4 TB for backup on one dock and my 1 TB in the other. I guess I could also see about getting a 3 TB for backup instead. I might be able to get one at an attractive price since 3 TB is relatively small for a drive these days.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:13 pm 
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The HGST 4TB I bought on amazon were from HGST with 5 year warranty for $99:

https://www.amazon.com/HGST-Ultrastar-7K4000-Internal-Enterprise/dp/B00E7LTBBW/ref=sr_1_129?crid=17Y6CXOLWI9U6&keywords=hgst+4tb&qid=1565593094&s=gateway&sprefix=HGST%2Caps%2C368&sr=8-129

Hadn't had to use the warranty on any of them yet. The all run silky smooth and so far
are doing a flawless job. If they are rebuilt, they are rebuilt right. They are good enough
for me for sure, especially for backups.

Microcenter had new Seagate Barracuda Pro's 4TB on sale the other day for $99.
I couldn't resist the temptation and took a couple of them home with me.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:40 am 
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MonkeyBoy wrote:
Interesting, that sounds like a prime opportunity for someone to built a female to male adapter or extension cable with pin 3 disconnected.


No need. If you're going to do an adapter, just plug a Molex > SATA adapter into a molex port and be done with it. No need to make things confusing, and adapters with pin 3 missing would be out of spec and thus highly unlikely to be allowed to sell.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:48 am 
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People were writing in Amazon reviews that you had to register WD drives on WD's web site and were then encountering problems with bare drives. I believe HGST is part of Western Digital and I was wondering if you have had to do this and if there were problems getting those drives accepted? That's a good price for HGST drives so it just makes me hesitate.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:23 pm 
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Limnos wrote:
People were writing in Amazon reviews that you had to register WD drives on WD's web site and were then encountering problems with bare drives. I believe HGST is part of Western Digital and I was wondering if you have had to do this and if there were problems getting those drives accepted? That's a good price for HGST drives so it just makes me hesitate.


You register the drive(s) for warranty purposes, nothing more. Registering does not affect functionality of said drive(s). If they encounter problems, odds are they encountered a PEBKAC issue, especially if it was a new drive and not a refurb.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:01 am 
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The issue is Western Digital does not warranty bare OEM drive, but many vendors claim there is a WD warranty on the drives. Usually what happens is the purchaser tries to register the drive and is told it is not eligible. If you notice that immediately you can try to return the drive to the vendor, or keep it if you do not care about a warranty. If a drive fails after a few months it is then too late to return to the vendor but WD won't accept for warranty replacement.

If you are at all concerned about warranty coverage it can be very tricky to buy online. Many vendors who go through Amazon claim there is WD warranty but if you read the reviews you see people discovering there isn't any on OEM. WD clearly states this on their web site. These drives are intended to be installed in hardware where the entire hardware package is supposed to be covered by a warranty for that package by the company doing the assembly.

It can often be difficult to find out if a drive is "bare" or not. You'd think Best Buy would sell retail boxes, but the 4 TB Western Digital I was looking at on its site is only available as an online order. When I read a question asked by one person, people were replying they had received bare drives, bubble wrapped in plain brown boxes.

So I guess it depends upon how much you want a warranty. The bare drives are cheaper but if you get a lemon that doesn't show for a month or two then you're out completely, or at the very best involved in a long battle with some vendor refusing to replace it and referring you to WD who refers you to the vendor with maybe occasional visits to Amazon or Newegg or whoever. Or you buy from a place which offers their own extra cost warranties on products and you factor that into the cost and end up paying retail box store prices in the end after all.


Last edited by Limnos on Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:24 am 
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Whew, interesting, thanks Limnos! :coffee:


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:42 am 
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I suppose it is a matter of statistics and personal reaction. To a company buying 100 drives @$100 OEM vs. $135 retail for their server farm, that's a savings of $3,500. If they accept the risk that 1% of those drives may fail prematurely, well, that's a loss of one hundred dollars over the thousands initially saved. On the other hand if I buy a single drive and it's that one in a hundred I will be mightily pissed off at my perceived 100% failure rate!


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:51 am 
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8-)


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