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Are there any good HDD's left?

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User avatar Shivaxi
Gilded Claw Gilded Claw
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Subject: Are there any good HDD's left?

Post Posted: 17 May 2015, 09:56

Long story short, I had a main hard drive failure, resulting in me pretty much losing everything I ever cared about. I had some things backed up but not the hard drive that failed was the youngest of all my hard drives, and therefore I expected that one to fail LAST. But oh well...I lost everything Unreal related, all my games were on that drive and I never bothered backing up say goodbye to any Unreal projects I was working on =P

Anyway...I'm now in the market for a new hard drive obviously, and I don't want to get an SSD. SSD's are not in my budget, especially ones that are 1tb or more...which is what I need. The hard drive that failed on me was a 1tb. I need at least that, or maybe something bigger...dunno. My question is though, what HDD's are even good? I know WD and Seagate basically bought out everyone and they're the only 2 companies left...both of which practically suck. So it's like...I'm screwed either way. Either buy an SSD which would cost more than I have now, or buy a HDD which will just break down in a couple years anyway...

At least HDD's are still recoverable when they crash. It's possible my data is still intact, but I can't power the drive. All I know is that before catastrophic failure happened, I heard a scraping sound coming from the disc inside the drive spinning, as if it was scraping on something every rotation. After that I can't power the drive at all to get data off, BIOS doesn't even see it. However I COULD send it to a company that would take it into a Clean Room, disassemble the drive, remove the discs inside, and get the data off manually that way. It's a really meticulous process and those companies charge a LOT. Talking anywhere from 500 bucks to 4000 dollars. and obviously I don't have that kind of money.

So lemme know what you guys think I guess or what HDD's you'd think are good...etc. I'm still unsure what I'm going to do at this point.

P.S. RAID configs starting to sound nice... Image

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User avatar Sat42
Skaarj Warlord Skaarj Warlord
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Subject: Re: Are there any good HDD's left?

Post Posted: 17 May 2015, 13:12

I'm really sorry to hear about this. I hope you can still somehow recover the lost data.

I cannot recommend anything in particular, I'm no expert. But in my view the choice doesn't really matter: the only real failsafe for this kind of issue are backups. Trite but true. The more the better. Online storage, hard drives, USB mass storage devices... anything.
If you spend more than a couple of hours on something, it deserves at least one backup. OK maybe not a game's save file, though it can't hurt :P but certainly anything you produce. And photos and such. For something that really matters to me, I have at least three backups.
Even hardware with good reputation is not foolproof.

Anyway, I'm sorry this happened to you, it definitely sucks. :/
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
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User avatar Raven
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Subject: Re: Are there any good HDD's left?

Post Posted: 17 May 2015, 13:34

Sorry to hear about this. I lost HDD myself long time ago, ever since I'm a bit paranoid about data loss and keep multiple HDD's only as backups (which I make like twice a month). In my main PC I have two WD Red (one is like 2 years old, second brand new) and I'm very happy about them. You can also refer to this article where You can find statistics about failure rate of HDD's.
Madness, as you know, is like gravity…all it takes is a little push!

User avatar salsaSkaarj
Gilded Claw Gilded Claw
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Subject: Re: Are there any good HDD's left?

Post Posted: 17 May 2015, 16:45

Shivaxi wrote:Long story short, I had a main hard drive failure, resulting in me pretty much losing everything I ever cared about...

Of course it's back luck and a pity but ... an investment in an external HD is absolutely worth the (little) money. about 6 months ago I bought a 3 TB external for 100 euro (making my total backup space now 3 + 3 +2TB - not including older external HDs of 500 and 320 GB). So I now have double backups of almost everything.
As for paying a specialised company > I wouldn't recommend it, there's no guarantee whatsoever anything can be recuperated and the prices are ridiculous. The only reasonable thing you could still try is testing the HD in an external casing (you don't know yet whether it's only the power unit which is roasted).
Good luck!

User avatar ebd
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Joined: 05 Apr 2008, 19:08

Subject: Re: Are there any good HDD's left?

Post Posted: 17 May 2015, 20:29

Look for drives with a higher "mean time between failure." That of course doesn't guarantee your drive will fail or won't have many bad spots, but it is less likely. You can also buy multiple disks and set up some flavor of RAID if you are really worried about securing your data.

I've had this single "st2000dm001-1ch164" (Seagate 2TB) bought for a round 120 USD (if memory serves) for a few years now. I've not had any issues with it and it is a lot faster than my old disks were.

User avatar Dr.Flay
Skaarj Lord Skaarj Lord
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Joined: 23 Aug 2012, 06:24
Location: Kernow, UK

Subject: Re: Are there any good HDD's left?

Post Posted: 22 May 2015, 08:34

Sounds like the heads stuck to the platters. did it run hot ?

If it has worn a groove into the disc you will have lost some data :(
At least you didn't hear a bang.
At this stage it may be you opening it for inspection. Even if you get it working, it is consigned to the bin.

It could be that the head is stuck against the platter. You may be able to free it.
There are decent vids on youtube covering how to unstick the heads.

Some drive disasters are unforeseeable, but using a decent disk monitor can warn of impending doom.
Always use them, even with new drives as the variance in the long-term readings rather than the max value reached, can indicate failure.
A good SMART monitor can report ATA errors and info that shows you have a cabling or configuration problem.

It is worth noting that I have noticed that many drives have some of the SMART features disabled.
Drives have the ability to automatically run the quick scan periodically, and to keep a history of the logs.
You can see these options in GSmart Control, HDD Guardian, or other front-end for "Smartctl"
Enabling these is useful so if you are not using any software, the drive self-checks and you can analyse the data when you do run some software.

Even when you buy a new drive it is worth doing a full scan or format.
Due to the long time it takes, they no longer pre-scan for defects :(
Compaq used to use Spinrite to scan them before the capacities got into the TB.

Check here for a selection of recovery and monitoring tools
...hmmm I may have to copy some of this back to my page :D

User avatar Carbon
Skaarj Warrior Skaarj Warrior
Posts: 88
Joined: 18 May 2013, 09:54

Subject: Re: Are there any good HDD's left?

Post Posted: 25 May 2015, 11:22

HGST NAS drives. I have 2 3TB drives and they seem fine. The Hitachis - although owned by Western Digital - had the lowest failure rates, that's why I bought 2; one active, one backup.

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