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Reliable brand of PATA HD for backups?

by Rob10 / January 9, 2010 11:39 PM PST

The 10 year old WD PATA HD that I moved from my PC to an external enclosure for backups just started making a loud clacking noise and shuts down, so I figure it's probably toast. The drive that replaced it as my PC's HD is a Seagate, and has been giving me 3 or so years of trouble-free service, so I looked into Seagate. Man, are there a lot of unhappy campers out there who post reviews of drive failures. But there seems to be problems with WD too, the only other brand New Egg sells. I know nothing's perfect, and most reviews were positive, but is one brand of PATA drive any more reliable than the other? The drive is "only" for backups, so it won't get a lot of heavy use, but I would hope I can find something reliable, or is that too much to ask nowadays?

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Sorry no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 9, 2010 11:43 PM PST

Such are mechanical devices with 5 year design life spans. This is why so much is written about backups. To date the lesson is clear.

We only lose what we don't backup.

I get more than 3 years but when I build a desktop I make sure the hard drive has space above and below for air flow. I too get too many years (five plus) from these drives. But then again, I have a backup plan.

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by Rob10 / January 10, 2010 12:18 AM PST
In reply to: Sorry no.

Using an external HD is the primary piece in my backup plan. I do use DVDs as well, but the HD is so much easier and faster. I'm not looking for something that's going to last 10 years, but the failures I've been reading about are withing months.

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I agree.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 10, 2010 12:24 AM PST
In reply to: re

I've see months till failure but most of these turn out to be corrupted volumes. Let's share the most common reason.

Take a new USB drive and begin a file copy to then unplug the power or USB cable.

Since most of these come in FAT32 format after a few times you should find the drive in a failed mode or state. Most owners don't know what to do next so this is why there is apparently such a high failure rate.

How do we get the lowest price without scaring these folk with books about file systems and big tech support?

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by Rob10 / January 10, 2010 1:02 AM PST
In reply to: I agree.

Not quite sure I understand what you mean.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 10, 2010 7:04 AM PST
In reply to: ??

It's just above entry level users that one could corrupt a drive by doing that. And said drives arrive in FAT32 and could fail for the owners very quickly.

Since most of them STORE files on the devices the cries for data recovery are ready daily in the forums.

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by Rob10 / January 10, 2010 12:05 PM PST
In reply to: Exactly.

I'm guessing that you mean that people don't format their new drives to NTSF before adding data?

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Ask why they don't do that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 10, 2010 10:50 PM PST
In reply to: Formatting?

It's really simple. The drive arrives and they plug it in and works. People are scared of formatting since right or wrong they think formatting on a PC wipes out their OS and data.

So they use the drive in the form or format it arrives in. And since people store files there without backup the pleas for help are found in forums daily.

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HD makers, IMHO
by Willy / January 10, 2010 7:36 PM PST

These are the main HD makers, pick and choose:


I exclude any other brand as only these maybe more of OEM installs and whatever deals they cut to have them.

Pick whichever makes you feel right. For now, I pick Seagate only because of the warranty. There seems to be a flexible contract as it changes from vender to vender/maker. While, so far all makers have honored their warranty within reason, you still have to go and apply, etc., to get a replacement, AND no they won't fix your data. For any complaints that seem to arise, there are two reasons for such. (1)Peculiar HD model series is usually expanded to gain more storage and what happens it reaches a breaking point from the user side(real world) but past models of lower storage tend to run great, like 250gb vs 500gb. (2)Then there's the plain bad manufacturing issues that crop-up from time to time and until a lawsuit is rewarded expect that the model series is kaput or sold-out/stopped. Last, as explained by Robert, these HDs are mech. devices and while what they do is critical they do fail sooner or later. If you want your system PC to have better operation, then pay attention to PC cooling, as that will greatly help, for a hot HD is a prone bad HD.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Think I'll go with...
by Rob10 / January 11, 2010 1:01 AM PST
In reply to: HD makers, IMHO

the Seagate with the 5 year warranty as you mentioned. There seems to be praise and complaints no matter the brand. It has a smaller cache than the WD, but longer guaranty. BTW, I'm only looking at the 160GB, not high capacity.

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5 year warranty on Seagate HDDs ??
by VAPCMD / January 18, 2010 6:47 AM PST
In reply to: Think I'll go with...

Please show me where it says that.


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Good references ...nonetheless my memory tells me Seagate
by VAPCMD / January 19, 2010 12:40 PM PST
In reply to: Here...

went from a 3 year warranty to a 1 year warranty then to a 5 year warranty for most drives and a few years later went back to 3 years on drives on all but special purpose AV and SCSI HDDs. It would be great if they had the 5 year warranty but my guess is the drive you referenced would fall into a category below. While I usually rely on product info I see on Newegg, I'd contact the mfg as that looks to be in error to me. That drive may have been produced during the 5 year warranty period but if bought today would only be 3 years.


"How Long Does The Coverage Last? Our warranty periods are 1 year, 2 years, 3 years or 5 years from the documented date of purchase, depending on the type of product and where it was purchased."


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Cache size
by Rob10 / January 18, 2010 5:27 AM PST
In reply to: HD makers, IMHO

I think I'll go with the Seagate, but cache size is the smallest I've seen (2MB). Most are at least 8, as is the cache on my desktop's main HD. Since this is for backups, is the access speed going to be that noticeably slower. Some files are just documents, but a lot are photos and some video.

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brand after 10 years
by goldilocks20 / January 19, 2010 3:16 AM PST
In reply to: Cache size

I find it hard to trust but WD has been kind to me for a decade already since. Back then the norm was PATA - Enhanced integrated drive electronics (EIDE), also called Parallel ATA (PATA). But times change and if I'm going to find a brand for a backup, I wont go wrong by trusting WD again.

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