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Most Reliable Hard Drive (external)
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rids
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#1
2nd January 2010
Old 2nd January 2010
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Most Reliable Hard Drive (external)

I know these topics come up quite a bit, but wanted to see what most external drive users feel has been proven to be the most stable.

My problem is that I've forgotten a number of times to eject my external hd and it has bit the dust. It's actually my 2nd OWC drive that has done this (but I bought both of these used). Luckily it's nothing major, mainly samples that I still have on dvds.

I actually need to get 2 drives for audio (2nd for backup). I was reading that Western Digital and Seagate seem to be the most proven drives out there. Don't want to try OWC again and actually I should sell the one I have (that's working) and replace it too. I know I need to learn to eject my drives, but when making music, it doesn't always cross my mind when I shut everything off.

Was also wondering if a Firewire or USB drive would be better. I only have one firewire port on my Macbook and have my Metric Halo interface hooked to it. So if I got a firewire hard drive then I would have to buy a firewire splitter or 4 port hub. Wondering if these will lead to power struggle issues between the drive and my Metric Halo.

Any opinions on what someone as careless as me should shoot for?
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#2
2nd January 2010
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For external, I've had good experience with the LaCie D2 Quadra (LaCie - LaCie d2 Quadra Hard Disk). I have 4 of them. I daisy chain it, via Firewire, with my MOTU interface without problems in Logic 9. I've only recorded at 44.1k so far, not sure if daisy chaining will still be reliable at 96k.

For internal, I've had good experience with Seagate Barracudas. I understand the Western Digital Caviar Black is also good.
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2nd January 2010
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2nd January 2010
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SOLID STATE DRIVES FOR WORKING ON PROJECTS AND DISK DRIVES FOR STORAGE...talk to salesman bob.
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2nd January 2010
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AFAIK OWC use the Western Digital drives in their externall HDDs, they just make the enclosure and stick it in.

I've got one of the OWC rackmount 3TB units for overall backup, hasn't failed me yet.
#6
2nd January 2010
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I like the Lacie Quadra,s but you better have an equipment closet/room because they are noisy.
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2nd January 2010
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why don't you want to use owc again? My mercury elite al pro hasn't messed up yet.
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2nd January 2010
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Have had 2 LaCie drives die on me - the actual drives are always fine, but the build quality / connectors and chip sets used by Lacie have always been to blame. Will never trust them with my data again.

So, now I've got a Glyph GT050Q and an Avastor HDX - both are quad interfaces, have internal power supplies (praise the Lord! ) and are built like tanks. Yes, they're more expensive than everything else. Yes, they use the same hard disks as everyone else. But in the case of Glyph, you're getting the peace of mind of their free data retrieval service should everything go tits up, and with Avastor....er, they look nice and come in a sexy black case.

Seriously though, the Glyph has been used almost everyday, 12 hours + for the last 5 years, without a hiccup. The Avastor is into year two, same story. I'd recommend either without reservation.
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2nd January 2010
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+1 on the Glyph GT050Q

I love mine, functions absolutely perfect.

Fast, reliable, silent, rackmountable, free data recovery, advance replacement, ...
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2nd January 2010
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I have two Lacie D2 (FW 800), and they have been working very well for the last couple of years. They are fanless and nearly completely silent.

However, I had to replace the external power supplies on both drives recently, as they refused to mount properly. Now with the new power supplies, all is well again.
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2nd January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Holmes View Post
+1 on the Glyph GT050Q

I love mine, functions absolutely perfect.

Fast, reliable, silent, rackmountable, free data recovery, advance replacement, ...
I also have the Glyph and love it. But I think you pay more just for warranty support.
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2nd January 2010
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I have two Glyphs rackmounted in my mobile rig and I've never had issues with them.

Worth the $ in my opinion.
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I personally haven't had positive experiences with lacie and owc products, and one should never buy Seagate or WD off-the-shelf external drives, as they put lower-quality drives (same model #, but from a different, lower-tiered bin) in their packaged external sets. I buy western digital caviar-black or re-series drives and use an oxford chipset case, such as the rosewill 81-series.
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2nd January 2010
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Watch out for some of those new WDs.

FWIW, I bought two of the WD MyBook Essentials 1TB model over the past couple weeks and have pretty much decided on returning them for something else.

I had the same data archived to both of them. The first lost a huge 20Gig directory, where I could see the folder, but if I tried to open it, it would stall and eventually give me a "would you like to format this disk...." message. This was after using it for about 3 days. XP's fixmbr and chkdsk managed to repair that, but I've been running a slew of external USB2 drives for years without that happening on any of them. On the second, I've already run across a directory which it won't let me write to. It acts as if the folder is read-only and throws up some confusing CRC error box. Same folder is fine on the first drive. Fortunately, I've still got all the original data on all my old externals. I don't trust these two WD drives at all.

From all I've experienced and read, I'm suspecting it may actually be the boxes they're putting these things in, rather than the SATA drive inside. The box uses some sort of "smart" controller which keeps track of free space or something and requires its own driver. On top of that, WD screwed up and used some "virtual CD" crap where a chunk of the drive is partitioned off for some sort of "restore" disk which is a slight PITA to remove. You have to change the firmware, then run some WD utility to turn it off. After doing that and reformatting as a single NTFS, I still felt like it wasn't a 100% normal config.

On reading all the comments online, I'm pretty sure WD knows they screwed up with all that virtual drive partition crap and won't be doing it again. There are also supposedly models without the restore thing and possibly with normal driverless enclosure chipsets. If I can find one like that, that's probably what I'll be swapping for.

Just something to consider for anyone looking at those.

Take Care
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2nd January 2010
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enterprise-grade drive...
#16
2nd January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oudplayer View Post
and one should never buy Seagate or WD off-the-shelf external drives, as they put lower-quality drives (same model #, but from a different, lower-tiered bin) in their packaged external sets.
Not disputing what you say, because I simply don't know, but I would be VERY interested in a verifiable source for your assertion - perhaps an article, citation, link, etc. I imagine that others may be interested as well.

Thanks!
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2nd January 2010
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GLYPH or G-TECH!
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2nd January 2010
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I've been using the Seagate Freeagent externals for about 3yrs now. Not one of them has failed or given me any trouble. I've only used the 250-500g models so far. Have read that the first generation of 1TB drives are problimatic??. For use with PC's it couldn't be simpler....just plug it in, and go!. Mac's are a little more involved, but still a pretty simple setup.
Would like to move up to Glyphs at some point.
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2nd January 2010
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internal drives in an external enclosure

You can even turn your old PATA drives into externals using the same method
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#20
2nd January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbam View Post
Not disputing what you say, because I simply don't know, but I would be VERY interested in a verifiable source for your assertion - perhaps and article, citation, link, etc. I imagine that others may be interested as well.
Yes, definitely myself!

HDs are one of the things I prefer to get locally for their failure potential. Returning my two WDs (if it works out) will be a simple matter of driving about ten minutes and coming home with something else.

Are you saying that non-enclosed internal versions of these drives would be safer, even if they come from Best Buy type chain stores?

Thanks!
AB3
#21
2nd January 2010
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Bought two seagate externals at Best Buy. Both died. One was more than 30 days after purchase BUT Best Buy gave me full credit back. Bought WD instead. No problems yet on those.
To date - the only drives I have had die on me are seagates and this goes all the way back to their scsi drives when I used scsi almost 10 years ago.
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2nd January 2010
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seagates are the best.
Glyph?Lacie? how do you know whats even inside it?
they don't make hard drives. they sell you a powersupply for $300 and $markup$ an after market drive

I have a scsi setup ( I know you don't really need one.... lol) Anyway I need 15k drives fro my setup. But I have seagate SCSI drives
that are 15 years old they run everyday 24/7. Keep them cool and they run for ever. What shortens the life of a harddisk
is turning it on and off frequently and changes in temp. Never shut it off and keep a consistent temp and they will run for years
Keep dust from building up near any the cooling fans etc... Sure if you keep it on all the time and its overheating its going to fail


but as always backup regularly and make sure everything is on a UPS. we know you knew this ............
and why anyone buys an aftermarket re-packaged drive is a mystery to me? I'm going to re-package mice and keyboards
and market them for audio. I'll call them 'the DAW input device series' I will make millions
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#23
2nd January 2010
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The initial post was about external drives. Have you tried seagate externals? I have bought 4. Two died within 35 days. The other two have lots of problems.
WD - no problems yet on a variety of them. I can only relate to my own experience.

On the SCSI Seagates I had fail, I doubt I went through all the precautions you did.

Bottom line - no matter what drive - back up on AT LEAST two other sources.

Have a good one. My experience may be unique.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
seagates are the best.
#24
2nd January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
The initial post was about external drives. Have you tried seagate externals? I have bought 4. Two died within 35 days. The other two have lots of problems.
WD - no problems yet on a variety of them. I can only relate to my own experience.

On the SCSI Seagates I had fail, I doubt I went through all the precautions you did.

Bottom line - no matter what drive - back up on AT LEAST two other sources.

Have a good one. My experience may be unique.
Too be honest using an external usb drive for audio would be your first problem. Those external seagates are cheap and slow. I'm talking about seagate Savvio series etc.... I use the old Cheetah series. Wouldn't surprise me if the new usb seagates really have maxtors inside which is a disaster in itself. If it says 'made in china'? that should be a deterrent and that's prolly what happened?

I guess I'm talking about proaudio/video drives like 10k - 15krpm speeds. Which in that scenario you spec out a nice 10k+ drive and a nice external chassis and assemble yourself. All highend seagates have a 5 year warranty. I have some WDs, Quantums, Fujitsus they are all good. Other than maxtor or the chinese made drives like Samsung you'rr going to be all set. Also you don't buy a harddrive from walmart they prolly toss those boxes around. When you buy components you buy them from a professional dealer who knows how to store and handle the items properly. If you had 2 break in 35 days there is a rational explanation.
AB3
#25
2nd January 2010
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I do not use my USB drives for audio recording or playback- just extra backup drives. I am not familiar with the Savvio series. I will check that out.
Thanks for your posts.
I am sure you agree that backing up is essential as any drive can fail, if it is accidental owner misuse.
Kind regards,
AB

Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
Too be honest using an external usb drive for audio would be your first problem. Those external seagates are cheap and slow. I'm talking about seagate Savvio series etc.... I use the old Cheetah series. Wouldn't surprise me if the new usb seagates really have maxtors inside which is a disaster in itself. If it says 'made in china'? that should be a deterrent and that's prolly what happened?

I guess I'm talking about audio/video drives like 10k - 15krpm speeds. Which in that scenario you spec out a nice 10k+ drive and a nice external chassis and assemble yourself.
#26
2nd January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robertshaw View Post
Too be honest using an external usb drive for audio would be your first problem.
I use an external Glyph drive for recording and it's hooked up through USB and I have no problems whatsoever. Of course I don't place heavy demands on my system during the recording process but they certainly work fine. I could hook it up through e-sata or firewire if I wanted to but there is simply no real need to.
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2nd January 2010
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i have seven external HDs, some since 2004, and none have ever failed(touch wood).
all Seagate Barracuda drives inside OWC enclosures.

i've watched D2s drop like flies...no one else?
#28
2nd January 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AB3 View Post
I am sure you agree that backing up is essential as any drive can fail, if it is accidental owner misuse.
Kind regards,
AB
I backup on usb HDD and now blueray. I never insinuated it was owner misuse don't take me the wrong way

I think in general seagate has always been regarded as the, or one of the most reliable/quality drive mfgs. But like all computer/semi companies it seems when then start building fabs in china quality suffers. Maybe this is what is happening (no disrespect to china)

I just think (from my personal use) Seagate Barracuda, cheatahs and now Savvio are some of the beefiest hard drives I've used/seen.
They are built like tanks and I can honestly say I have never seen one fail. I've installed 100's over the years back when I did
I.T. work into present day doing audio. But maybe the newer usb series aren't as robust? It looks like they are made in china.

That's why it's best to buy a raw drive U.S., UK, german or Ireland made drive and spec out a nice enclosure and go that route. All the higend seagates have the 5 year warranty like I said. Its a no brainer with that behind it. But like you said you can never be safe enough. You have to backup after every session. I do and always have. Even though I have never lost a drive or data. But Like all of us we have heard horror stories so you have to be prepared and respect possible drive failure.
Tui
#29
2nd January 2010
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Anybody here using Buffalo drives? I recently got a USB powered 500 GB model, mostly for backups. It's not terribly fast, but totally silent and the enclosure is *tiny*. It was cheap too. I even found I can use it for streaming samples to the EXS24. In fact, I'm so impressed I might get another one.

XJR
#30
2nd January 2010
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I'm using a solid state drive for mobile recording, no problems tracking 32 channels at once via USB
For mixing and overdubs and storage I've filled up about 12 IDE and Sata drives, all various makes and none have failed in the last 5 years. I have seen drives go bad before but it's often due to shock \ being mishandled, especially in laptops
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