OT: Is any hard disk brand better/worse than the others?

D. Hugh Redelmeier hugh-pmF8o41NoarQT0dZR+AlfA at public.gmane.org
Mon Dec 1 17:17:49 UTC 2008

| From: Evan Leibovitch <evan-ieNeDk6JonTYtjvyW6yDsg at public.gmane.org>

| I haven't been in the hardware market for a while so I'm wondering if
| there are any real winners or losers amongst hard drive makers.

Lots of people have opinions.  Only a few have a large enough sample
size to do a rigorous study (eg. Google) and they aren't talking.

The people willing to express definite opinions are probably the ones
who jump to conclusions.


IBM was a very good builder of hard drives.  They blew one generation
("Deathstar") and they didn't know until a *lot* were in the field.
Their reputation was hurt so badly that they sold the business to
Hitachi (remember: IBM invented the disk drive!).  Even in Hitachi's
hand's, the reputation sticks.  (BTW, the second last drive I bought
was a Hitachi to upgrade my ThinkPad; one reason I chose Hitachi was
that the drive was replacing a Hitachi.)

Henry gave me a couple of the bad Deskstar drives, unused.  Apparently
there is no recourse at this late date.

I think that each generation from each manufacturer is a crap shoot.
By the time you have a feeling about a drive, the news is obsolete.

Having said that, I am leaning towards the Spinpoint 1T drives at the
moment.  My basis is chit-chat that I'd not put any stock in if I had
real data.

The most recent hard drive that I bought was a WD 1T drive in an
external package, sold by Dell at a very good sale price.  Price was
one reason.  I needed eSata, and cheap boxes often don't do that.
This was a GP disk, using less power (5400RPM, a detail they try to
hide) -- the right tradeoff for my particular application (expand a
Rogers HD PVR).

I've heard bad things about the 1.5T Seagate drives but I don't trust
those reports.  Apparently there is yet another limit on disk sizes: 2T for
SATA, but a common Windows driver bug (signed vs unsigned?) drives
that limit down to 1T.  I've not done the research to know if those
limits are real or come from people who just make stuff up.

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