Time for a new HD

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It's time for me to perform a full clone of my 2TB main drive.

I'm thinking of HGST

just wondering if WD is pretty much as good    perhaps the "black" series

That said, since I mostly work with large folders full of photos, if I  
should go for 128mg cache?

Re: Time for a new HD

philo wrote:
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First there was IBM. After the DeathStar fiasco, IBM sold their
disk manufacturing to Hitachi (as HGST). Recently, Western Digital
bought HGST, so as far as I know, that's now a division of WD.

For any particular drive, you still need to have a quick look
at the Newegg reviews. Just to see if quality for any one
drive is an issue.

I've bought two Seagates (3TB) recently (not at the same time),
and initial indications are they're better than the 500GB drive
generation which drove me away from Seagate. On the 500GB drives,
even when they were new, they were flaky (inconsistent write rate
over the surface of the drive, and no, not a function
of diameter - I was getting 40MB/sec down near the
end sometimes). The new drives just aren't flaky like
that. But that still doesn't tell me whether the drive
will last or not. Evidence is, drives "wear" now,
and the flying height isn't all that high. So while I
did "buy Seagate recently", I don't buy them as boot drives.
They're backup drives, and with not a lot of service
hours on them.

Only my venerable ST3500418AS (28,419 power on hours) is
worthy of being a boot drive. Which is a standout amongst
the rest of my 500GB Seagate crap generation. There isn't
a mark on that thing, and the transfer rate curve looks
like the drive is new. I just don't understand
whats up with that drive.

Most of my purchases over the last three years have
been WD drives. No signs of trouble so far. A bit noisy,
and a tendency to "thrash" or "buzz". Not as quiet as
a Seagate drive, in terms of acoustic noise. Even when
the access pattern should make a thrashing noise, I can't
hear that on the Seagate drive.

On the WD, there are "Black" drives and "RE" drives.
For people like me, with legacy OSes, the "RE" drives
are sometimes better, because they're 512n drives.
That means the sectors are still 512 byte native.
No 4KB sectors with 512 byte emulation (512e). The
Black at one time (three years ago) was 512n. It's
switched to 512e. The RE as of the end of
last year was 512n, but it may eventually switch
to 512e as well. I could use the "RE" drive on
WinXP, without worrying about partition alignment
for best performance.

People normally buy "RE" drives for TLER (time limited
error recovery). Normal drives can retry a sector
for up to 15 seconds. TLER drives only try for
a shorter period of time, a behavior suited to
usage in RAID arrays. I couldn't give a rats ass
about that, and my reason for buying a couple RE
drives, is they were the last of the 512n drives
I could find.

And it can be pretty hard to get that info. The
drive type (512n, 512e, 4Kn) is not on the spec
sheet. You have to look elsewhere.

Even their own marketing documents try to be as
deceptive as possible. If you look on the page 3,
there are RE drives in 512n, 512e, and 4Kn. If you
look at the Black drives, they're "Advanced Format
yes or no". They couldn't even use the same
terminology in the same document.


Using Linux, I can list some examples from my WDC
collection. The first is a WD RE, and still 512n.
The other two are WD Black. The more modern 500GB
is 512e. The older FAEX (no longer for sale) is 512n.
So the 512e is "Advanced Format Yes"
while  512n is "Advanced Format No" in that PDF.

ata2.00: ATA-8: WDC WD2000FYYZ-01UL1B2, 01.01K03, max UDMA/133
ata4.00: ATA-9: WDC WD5003AZEX-00MK2A0, 01.01A01, max UDMA/133
ata6.00: ATA-8: WDC WD3001FAEX-00MJRA0, 01.01L01, max UDMA/133

Disk /dev/sda: 1.8 TiB, 2000398934016 bytes, 3907029168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Disk /dev/sdb: 465.8 GiB, 500107862016 bytes, 976773168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes

Disk /dev/sdc: 2.7 TiB, 3000592982016 bytes, 5860533168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes

Whether this makes a difference, would depend on whether
the drive will be spending any time connected to WinXP.
I've tried to select drives so I can use them anywhere,
with no concern about alignment. But I can't always buy
the item I want.

I don't have *any* 4Kn. At least I hope not. They could
be used on recent OSes, but not on older stuff. I presume
in Linux, the 4Kn would return something like...

Sector size (logical/physical): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes

In other words, you cannot write 512 bytes to those. There
is a 4K minimum, at the controller level. (Read modify write
makes it possible to write smaller portions of a sector with
programs like "dd".)

I've not purchased any HGST, so cannot comment on their
quirks. HGST probably don't have the jumper block
on the end (a Seagate has four pins, two pins for
Force150 for example).

These are some rules of thumb, of no particular merit.

HGST    - no jumpers, use Feature Tool
Seagate - 4 pin, Force150 (old Via chipset), Spread Spectrum (old Macintosh)
WDC     - 8 pin block, no idea what functions are on it
         - haven't needed to look it up


Re: Time for a new HD

On 03/15/2016 09:58 AM, Paul wrote:
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Thank you very much.

This drive will be for my Linux machine.

I am currently using a Seagate hybrid, have had no problems with it and  
in general have not experienced problems with any of my former  
drives...but think I'm overdue for a complete clone

Re: Time for a new HD

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"Cloud backup provider Backblaze has published more of its hard drive
reliability data, giving a look at the company's experiences with its
56,224 hard disks in 2015"


Re: Time for a new HD

On 03/15/2016 12:36 PM, Yrrah wrote:
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Even though I have my data backed up in several places, I think I should  
still try to get the most reliable drive I and find...and that sure does  
look like HGST

Re: Time for a new HD

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"a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital"

My experience with Samsung hard drives was very positive, at least
until recently. But now, with its HD business taken over by Seagate
(which in my experience produces bad HDs)?  
WD hard disks are reliable in my experience. I own two, of which one
is an ancient 320 GB IDE drive which I now use for streaming media


Re: Time for a new HD

On 15/03/16 18:31, Yrrah wrote:

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Just be thankful the only hardware supply that Microsoft got involved in  
was just mice, keyboards, tablets and mobile phones ...

IBM was a hard drive manufacturer. Imagine instead if MS had bought into  
hard drives? Imagine, equally if Apple had done? Back then, Woz  
certainly was one for hacking about with drive physics.

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WD. My last stand.

Adrian C

Re: Time for a new HD

On 03/16/2016 06:25 AM, Adrian Caspersz wrote:
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After doing as much reading-up as possible, I decided to order a WD  
Black series today

Re: Time for a new HD

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Whatever you choose, remember:
;-) ;-) ;-)


Re: Time for a new HD

On 03/16/2016 09:24 AM, Yrrah wrote:
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I've tried the freezer trick many times and never did get it to work.

I once had a drive with a stuck armature and was able to open it up and  
get it working long enough to recover the data.

On another occasion I got a non-functioning MFM drive to work simply by  
putting the entire computer on it's side.

If the drive is semi-functional due to read/write errors I usually  
manage to save most of the data. I may have to stop and let the drive  
cool down, then try again.

Should the drive be so bad that the BIOS does not detect it, I tell the  
folks to send it to a lab. One guy paid $600 and they did save his data.

I told him that was a damn good price and now he backs his stuff up!

Re: Time for a new HD

Once upon a time on usenet Yrrah wrote:
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That explains it!

The 'freezer trick' has worked twice for me in the past as a last-ditch  
attempt to recover data - in fact it had never failed until last year. The  
last time it worked was three years ago on a drive a couple of years old.

However I was given a fairly new drive towards the end of last year by a  
friend. It had simply stopped being seen by the OS (it was being used solely  
for data). After a few days of trying various things I decided that it was  
time for the freezer trick. It didn't work, the HDD never started and  
ultimately the drive was trashed.

I'll not bother trying it again then unless it's a very old HDD.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long way when religious belief has a cozy  
little classification in the DSM*."
David Melville (in r.a.s.f1)
(*Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)  

Re: Time for a new HD

On 04/08/2016 07:18 PM, ~misfit~ wrote:
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I've "sort of" had the freezer trick work.

Occasionally I'll get a drive with read/write errors that semi-functions  
until it gets too hot.

If I keep the drive cool by first putting it in a static proof bag, then  
keeping is surrounded by a few bags of ice...I can extend the recovery  
time a bit.

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