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

Christopher Browne cbbrowne-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at public.gmane.org
Mon Dec 1 17:40:35 UTC 2008

On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 12:17 PM, D. Hugh Redelmeier <hugh-pmF8o41NoarQT0dZR+AlfA at public.gmane.org> wrote:
> 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.

Well put.  We've got enough disk drives passing through our disk
arrays that those in the know (I'm not one) might have some opinions
as to whether the particular brands they're using are any good, but
those disk drives are NOT of "desktop grade," so those opinions are
likely to be pretty much useless for the purposes of this

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

Indeed.  I've had deaths of just about every vendor's drives, over the
years, as well as good results from just about every vendor.  And I
haven't got anything even *faintly* resembling statistical usefulness.

> 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 By the time you have a feeling about a drive, the news is obsolete.

I agree.  Each generation is a significant technology change, and the
things that broke with last year's model have almost certainly been
fixed, only to be replaced by the problems that occur with the latest

Remember:  The chemistry *and* the physics of how the surface that
holds data work changes with each successive generation.  They are
using different materials each time, so you can fully expect to see
different kinds of failures each time.

It's a lot like security and military strategy:  Everyone is quite
good at preparing to deal with the *LAST* problem, but that means very
little when trying to deal with the *NEXT* one.  The French Maginot
Line is perhaps the most famous example of this; they did an excellent
job of fortifying against a WW-I-style attack, but it proved
completely irrelevant to the *actual* German invasion.
W. C. Fields  - "I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food."
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