Question How is reliability of mechanical hard disks these days?

modeonoff

Honorable
Jul 16, 2017
1,336
11
11,285
Hello, 20-30 years ago, hard drives failed suddenly for no reason. Usually I heard strange clicking sound and sooner or later, they suddenly failed to function. The past few years I just use SSD. How is the reliability of hard drives such as the Seagate One Touch Portable External Hard Drive? Do they fail easily and suddenly?
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hello, 20-30 years ago, hard drives failed suddenly for no reason. Usually I heard strange clicking sound and sooner or later, they suddenly failed to function. The past few years I just use SSD. How is the reliability of hard drives such as the Seagate One Touch Portable External Hard Drive? Do they fail easily and suddenly?
Any single instance of a disk drive can still "fail suddenly for no reason". That has not changed. As an aggregate, disk reliability is good. The philosophy of 3 copy backups is still the only way to guarantee survivability of your data.
 
  • Like
Reactions: modeonoff

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Hello, 20-30 years ago, hard drives failed suddenly for no reason. Usually I heard strange clicking sound and sooner or later, they suddenly failed to function. The past few years I just use SSD. How is the reliability of hard drives such as the Seagate One Touch Portable External Hard Drive? Do they fail easily and suddenly?
My last HDD fail was a 16TB Toshiba Enterprise.
Went from seemingly no problem, to 600 bad sectors, to 15,000 bad sectors, in about 4 days.

My previous HDD fail was a 3TB WD Green, Went from no problem, to dead dead dead in about 36 hours.

My only SSD fail went from zero problem to absolutely dead in 5 minutes. Power off, come back 5 minutes later, power on.
(hey, where's the G drive?)

There is no prediction for the single device in your system.
It might die in the next 5 seconds. HDD or SSD.


In each case, comprehensive backups gave me ALL the data back.
 

modeonoff

Honorable
Jul 16, 2017
1,336
11
11,285
Not really. Maybe a little.
But it makes ZERO difference for the specific individual drive on your desk.

For any storage device, operate on the thought that it may die in the next 0.25 sec.
SSD, HDD, flash drive, floppy, DVD, whatever.

OK. Just keep the back up going.

I suppose if we shake the drives, mechanical drives may fail more easily than SSD.
 
I have some 10 + year old HDDs with 100% health all kinds of makes, models and capacity although all but one 2TB WD Blue are for occasional use as backups. This WD Blue is in use 24/7 and also almost 10 year old. Most of my drives are SSd now with one also about 10 year old.
Never had any SSD failed but HDDy aplenty probably because I'm using PCs and HDDs since '80s.
 

WrongRookie

Reputable
Oct 23, 2020
608
40
4,940
Some would say that HDDs are more reliable than SDDs...but atleast with SSD, the software kinda makes it easy to tell when the drive will die and the bios these days show a warning sign on when things do die.

My Seagate drive died and I replaced it with WD blue. Lasted a good 6 years I guess...but still no way to monitor it easily. Luckily I got most of the data backed up.

EDIT: Although you should always backup your stuff, you need good drives to do that and hard drives aren't always the best because they can fail in so many ways. If you can use LTO tapes they are best for archiving and last for years.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Some would say that HDDs are more reliable than SDDs...but atleast with SSD, the software kinda makes it easy to tell when the drive will die and the bios these days show a warning sign on when things do die.

My Seagate drive died and I replaced it with WD blue. Lasted a good 6 years I guess...but still no way to monitor it easily. Luckily I got most of the data backed up.
As said above, my SSD died pretty much instantly.

Power off, come back a few minutes later, power on.....no SSD.
Zero warning.

Backups should happen ALL the time. And not just to ward off a physically dead drive. There are many other ways for your data to go bye bye.
 

WrongRookie

Reputable
Oct 23, 2020
608
40
4,940
As said above, my SSD died pretty much instantly.

Power off, come back a few minutes later, power on.....no SSD.
Zero warning.

Backups should happen ALL the time. And not just to ward off a physically dead drive. There are many other ways for your data to go bye bye.

I mean yeah I mentioned that part edited. I guess yours was unfortunate..Is it under warranty? And what SSD is it? I'm just curious.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
I mean no offense man but that SSD is like waay less reliable than the Samsung ones. I understand if you didn't have choices at the time though.
You're basing this reliability on...what?
It may well be, but do you have some further info on this?

I've been using its replacement (1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D) for 3.5 yrs.
As well as a selection of Samsungs, Intel, and Crucial.
 

WrongRookie

Reputable
Oct 23, 2020
608
40
4,940
You're basing this reliability on...what?
It may well be, but do you have some further info on this?

I've been using its replacement (1TB SanDisk Ultra 3D) for 3.5 yrs.
As well as a selection of Samsungs, Intel, and Crucial.

Well according to what a user here told me , the SSD Samsung drives have a very lower fail rate than the rest

In storage drives, Samsung SSDs show extremely low failure rates in both the shop and in the field, a trend that Puget says has been ongoing for years. Over 1,000 870 EVO and QVO drives were sold during the covered period, with no reported failures. The company notes that it has sold over 35,000 Samsung drives during its entire recorded history, yet fewer than 100 have failed.

https://www.techspot.com/news/92976-puget-reliability-report-shows-samsung-ssds-fail-least.html

And this source is recent
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Well according to what a user here told me , the SSD Samsung drives have a very lower fail rate than the rest



https://www.techspot.com/news/92976-puget-reliability-report-shows-samsung-ssds-fail-least.html

And this source is recent
Well, yes. I've read that report. Long before you saw it.
Samsung drives generally have better reliability.
That does not automatically mean that SanDisk are "like waay less reliable than the Samsung ones "

And this source is recent
Also, remember that my SanDisk purchase was 7 years ago. Long before that TechSPot report came out.
 

WrongRookie

Reputable
Oct 23, 2020
608
40
4,940
Well, yes. I've read that report. Long before you saw it.
Samsung drives generally have better reliability.
That does not automatically mean that SanDisk are "like waay less reliable than the Samsung ones "


Also, remember that my SanDisk purchase was 7 years ago. Long before that TechSPot report came out.

Ok I stand corrected. Still if you want to backup stuff, you need to do it on a drive that's reliable hence my point earlier.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Ok I stand corrected. Still if you want to backup stuff, you need to do it on a drive that's reliable hence my point earlier.
A true "backup" is a second/third/fourth copy.

Having all of those die at once is well beyond the realm of possibility.

Recently, one of my "backup" drives in the NAS died. 16TB Toshiba Enterprise.
So what....
It contained a 2nd or 3rd copy of whatever was on it.
Tosh replaced the drive, 0% of my data was lost.
 

WrongRookie

Reputable
Oct 23, 2020
608
40
4,940
But that still meant you lost it even though you backed the data up and its on the hard drive which failed. Which meant that the drive that you mainly store your data was reliable.

I don't understand this..why would you not want your backup drives to be as reliable as your main drives?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
But that still meant you lost it even though you backed the data up and its on the hard drive which failed. Which meant that the drive that you mainly store your data was reliable.

I don't understand this..why would you not want your backup drives to be as reliable as your main drives?
So by your thoughts, ALL drives, both in use and backups, should be some variant of Samsung SSD?
That brings its own vulnerabilities. You don't want ALL of your devices to be the same make/model. At some point in the future, it may be discovered that there is an underlying fault in those drives.

This is called defense in depth. Spread the wealth across multiple types and makes of device. Unlikely that the reason that Tosh HDD died would also affect a Samsung SSD, or vice versa.

Also, the 12 drives in or attached to my NAS total up to ~80TB. Unlikely that will be replaced by Samsung SSDs anytime soon.

Also, consider that physical drive death is not the only way, or even the most common way, of data loss.