Choosing a new SATA hard drive : Hitachi or Western Digital (or even Maxtor?)?


C

CFran

I want to buy a new 250 GB SATA hard drive, but I still hesitate
between a Hitachi 250 GB 7K250 Serial ATA, and a Western Digital 250 GB
Serial ATA, and i'm even wondering if a Maxtor 250 GB Serial ATA 16 MB
wouldnt be better.. mostly since it has 16 MB of cache...

which do you guys think I should buy? (provided that they all have the
same price except the maxtor since it has 16 MB of cache)
 
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R

RBM

Sorry, I couldn't resist. My personal experience for what it's worth. I've
had hard drives go bad on four separate occasions. My machines are all used
non commercially by my family members but still, what a disaster. Each time
one went bad, I replaced it with a Seagate and at this point we have ten of
em running in seven machines and never had a problem. They're very quiet as
well.
 
C

CFran

funny, last year I put my sister's brand new Seagate on my computer,
and after booting it, i had to reset it, and when restartin the hard
drive was dead (dead is in not even recognized by the BIOS)
 
M

mellowtones

To be honest a 250g hd is not worth it is because if the hard drive
goes bad thats 250g down the drain. The best thing to do is use
multiple hard drives like the other guy did. That way if one goes bad
you could easly replace it, and at a decent cost.
 
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J

John

funny, last year I put my sister's brand new Seagate on my computer,
and after booting it, i had to reset it, and when restartin the hard
drive was dead (dead is in not even recognized by the BIOS)

Every brand is praised and bashed. In the US though Seagates have a
loyal following because they are sold with usually with a 5 year
warranty and have been discounted really low. The usual in low rebate
sales is 1 year ! People have been bashing Maxtors for having 1 year
warranties but I noticed my WDs have all had 1 yr and my recent
purchase a 200 gig WD a few months ago still 1 year which surprised
me. They have a card inside that offer an upgrade to 3 yrs I think
for another $15.

Ive posted it before but there actually is a devastating thread of
reviews or was a thread at Amazon where not just one or two but
review after review was posted talking about massive failure with the
300 and I think 400 gig Seagates in external cases. They mention they
ran too hot etc. So they arent immune too but I havent seen any
horrible posts about the 200-250 gigs if they have such sizes.

I actually have a 200 gig , since it was on sale for $29-39 with
rebate.
 
G

General Schvantzkoph

I want to buy a new 250 GB SATA hard drive, but I still hesitate
between a Hitachi 250 GB 7K250 Serial ATA, and a Western Digital 250 GB
Serial ATA, and i'm even wondering if a Maxtor 250 GB Serial ATA 16 MB
wouldnt be better.. mostly since it has 16 MB of cache...

which do you guys think I should buy? (provided that they all have the
same price except the maxtor since it has 16 MB of cache)

Stay away from Maxtor, they are the least reliable brand. I prefer
Seagates but I've had good luck with Wester Digital also. Haven't used an
Hitachi/IBM drive in a long time after being burned by the notorious
75GXPs (otherwise know as deathstars). However the 75GXPs were a long time
ago and the preceding generations were very reliable so I'm guessing their
current product is decent.
 
M

MikeG

After many hard drive failures over the years, I have the best luck with
Maxtors. I have four running now with no problems, the oldest one is 4
years old. ??
 
C

CFran

um yeah that's not a bad idea... but exconomically speaking, which is
best :

-selling a 120GB Hitachi 7K250 UDMA drive and buying a 250GB SATA drive
or,
-keeping that 120GB Hitachi 7K250 UDMA drive and buying a 120GB SATA
drive?

in a way, having a second drive also has the advantage of you not
having to copy ur system and files to the new drive...

by the way, what is "Serial ATA II"??
 
C

CFran

Every brand is praised and bashed.

yeah, people who've had bad experiences with a brand like to bash it,
that's how you hear every band being hated by some people and being
considered as the least reliable one. by the way, how do you avoid a
disk failure? (or if you cant, how can you tell when a disk is gonna
fail?)
 
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R

Random Person

Get a Seagate. Unless they've changed their policies:

Seagate warranties last 5 years.

Maxtor, WD, IBM/Hitachi warranties last 3 years.

I think that is self explanatory...
 
K

kony

Get a Seagate. Unless they've changed their policies:

Seagate warranties last 5 years.

Maxtor, WD, IBM/Hitachi warranties last 3 years.

I think that is self explanatory...

No, WD Caviar (typical consumer-grade WDnnn series) are only
1 year in retail boxed versions. So are Maxtor's.
 
J

John

yeah, people who've had bad experiences with a brand like to bash it,
that's how you hear every band being hated by some people and being
considered as the least reliable one. by the way, how do you avoid a
disk failure? (or if you cant, how can you tell when a disk is gonna
fail?)

The obvious ones everyone mentions are weird noises - loud bearing
type noises , intermittent problems booting up , clicking, etc. That
may be signaling its about to go anytime though. The other is stuff
like SpeedFan I think it was - free software. It monitors temps the
usual thing but it also has SMART monitoring - parameters about your
HD that supposedly predict failure but its kind of cryptic. Frankly I
used it once and it had various numbers which were confusing so I
never bothered to dig deeper. I'm not even sure how relevant it is.
If I remember right they have some description at the speed fan site.
It also showed HD temps too as I recall. I always thought that was one
of the main ones - heat. I never thought about it until the 7200 rpms
came out and I felt an HD right after I turned it off and it was
surprisingly hot. Some get REALLY hot.

Since then Ive been using a full tower case, a fan in the hard disk
fan in front of the cage that holds it. Antec full tower cases the one
I have -- has this feature, a mounting ring for an 80mm fan in the
front of the HD cage. The HD I have in 5.25 slot I use a belly pan
with tiny fans - the usual thing you find for 10 bucks everywhere.

I once saw the temps climb like crazy on one HD when I was doing some
compression/uncompressiing stuff. It scared the heck out of me -- that
made me even more paranoid about cooling.
 
C

CFran

The obvious ones everyone mentions are weird noises - loud bearing
type noises , intermittent problems booting up , clicking, etc. That
may be signaling its about to go anytime though.

um.. sometimes my hard disk just locks (it stops spinning and does the
same sound as when you're computer shuts down, except that the system
is just locked), is it a sign that it may fail anytime? if so, should i
replace it by a 120 GB drive and by one more 120 GB, or just buy a
250GB?
 
C

CFran

The other is stuff
like SpeedFan I think it was - free software. It monitors temps the
usual thing but it also has SMART monitoring - parameters about your
HD that supposedly predict failure but its kind of cryptic.

i downloaded it, and showed tht while using the hard disk normally i'm
at 45° C, and now i'm runnin defrag (don't know a better way to make
the disk more stressed, my disk is 96% full and quite "red" by its end)
and temp gets up no higher than 54° C
 
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K

kony

um.. sometimes my hard disk just locks (it stops spinning and does the
same sound as when you're computer shuts down, except that the system
is just locked), is it a sign that it may fail anytime? if so, should i
replace it by a 120 GB drive and by one more 120 GB, or just buy a
250GB?

Check your power management settings for disk spin-down
interval, it could simply be going to sleep after a period
of disk inactivity. If that is not the problem then yes it
could be a drive problem, or something a bit simplier like a
loose-fitting drive power connector.
 
C

CBFalconer

kony said:
Check your power management settings for disk spin-down
interval, it could simply be going to sleep after a period
of disk inactivity. If that is not the problem then yes it
could be a drive problem, or something a bit simplier like a
loose-fitting drive power connector.

That 2 second or so pause can be disconcerting. Maybe he just got
rid of some virii which were accessing his disks regularly? I am
set to spindown after 5 minutes, so I often get the pause.
 
J

John

um yeah that's not a bad idea... but exconomically speaking, which is
best :

-selling a 120GB Hitachi 7K250 UDMA drive and buying a 250GB SATA drive
or,
-keeping that 120GB Hitachi 7K250 UDMA drive and buying a 120GB SATA
drive?

in a way, having a second drive also has the advantage of you not
having to copy ur system and files to the new drive...

by the way, what is "Serial ATA II"??


http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1828411,00.asp

Kind of depends on the prices of the HDs in your area whether its a
good deal or not. Where I am its always a good deal to trade up though
it doesnt hurt to keep - either way because there are these ridiculous
rebate deals.

Example I had a 120 Maxtor which was 1.5 years old. It worked fine
but I sold it for $20 and got a 200 gig WD for $30 after rebates. The
80 gig upgrade only cost me $10 and I end up with a new HD less wear
and tear which I can keep for several years without worrying about it.
I do this all the time cause prices on HDs have been so low and
getting lower since the late 90s.

The one thing I havent done though is get any SATA drives cause they
cost much more up unitl recently. They dont give you any real big
advantage except that they have SATA connectors which most new MBs
come with so its convenient but thats it. Its not worth paying a
80-100 differential in cost for that.

However SATA prices at least the old ones are slipping a lot now. The
SATA II drives with NCQ as I mentioned before Anandtech did an upbeat
review on the NCQ feature which he claimed actually had a noticeable
advantag on SOME multitasking tests he did which seemed to surprise
him. However the new disks of course will once again sell for a lot
more so I dont think it worth it. Id only buy the old SATA disks if
they were rebated down to 29-49 too.

The last 6 months I got a 160 seagate for I think 29, WD 200 for 29
and a 160 gig WD I think for 29. Ive got one older 200 gig Maxtor.

Maybe some of the features claimed for SATA II may make it worth it
for some people.
 
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J

John

i downloaded it, and showed tht while using the hard disk normally i'm
at 45° C, and now i'm runnin defrag (don't know a better way to make
the disk more stressed, my disk is 96% full and quite "red" by its end)
and temp gets up no higher than 54° C

Its hard to say. In general you should look at the operational temp
limits given by the manufacturer for your HD. The problem is as usual
you hear all kinds of wild things in posts at sites. For instance you
get the --- those temp probes are BOGUS ! They are way off ! Dont ever
go by those HD temps ! Just put your hand on your HDs and see if they
are uncomfortably hot. If they are then you have a problem.

Ive actually seen these type of posts at several posts. Its true Ive
felt many HDs and they get HOTTTT ! Storage review seems to suggest
as many others do it wasnt that much of a problem with the older HDs
but now the 7200 rpm and faster HDs need active cooling and keeping
temps cool are critical for longevity of your hard drive.

Others say the temps given are relatively useful. I would certainly be
worried if it was really high. To play it safe you might want to get a
belly pan - those pans you screw below your HD that have two mini fans
inside. They sell here for $7-10. OR the front 5 inch drive bay plate
that has vents and two small fans. These are also around 10 bucks
here. It doesnt hurt and it might help if you see a temp drop though
there might be someone here who may chime in THEY ARE USELESS ! The
temps inside the case arent affected by the fans and the probes are
inaccurate. I dont know about that but , if there is such a post Im
willing to listen just in case they might be right.

Yeah I figured that too but I also didnt notice a big jump with
defragging. I noticed a big one , at one time with certain types of
compression and decompression --- WINRAR etc for some reason.
I havent noticed it since then with my extra HD cooling stuff. I also
try to keep space around my HDs dont cram them on top one another or
another drive like a DVD burner. And I like large cases - full towers.

In fact I have a new extra full tower ANTEC. Its still in the box. For
some reason some stores here were clearing them out. I think they are
either redesigning them maybe making them deeper or BTX or something.
Or maybe they are falling for the general trend away from full towers
which has been going on for a while now. Everyone hates full towers
nowadays.
 

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