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  #1  
06-05-2021, 01:30 AM
Reading Bug Reading Bug is offline
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Hi all,

I've been saving files to 2TB external HDDs (currently 6 of them – 4 desktop Fantoms and 2 pocket-sized WD My Passports) for most of the last five years. I'm at the point where I may need to go to a 7th. My priority is long term storage of considerable amounts of movies, tv shows, photos, documents, etc. Before I jump for another 2 TB, I wanted to run down some advice I got here years ago and whether it's still the same advice, as I'd like to consider more convenient options if it means no backtracking on protocol. Let me explain.

So what I remember is that reliable capacities are 1, 2, 4 and 8 TBs. Ones to avoid are 3, 5 and 6. And lower capacities are a stronger choice presumably because less data is packed onto the same sized platters. For this reason I've only gone with 2 TBs - even choosing the pocket-sized portable drives over full-sized desktop externals that don't come in 2 TB configurations much anymore.

Here's how I see things. I'm at the point where my data isn't likely to top out a 7th drive anytime soon, so 14 TB total should be enough for a long while. I'm a little concerned about having too much data on the pocket drives because they're so small (everything is backed up so no worries there), and I'm a little tired of swapping out and managing so many external drives – though would absolutely continue doing so if it means I'm maintaining the same level of theoretical protocol. But it would be nice to move to some larger drives if it won't "break protocol." So here are my questions.
  • Is the information I spelled out still true? For that matter, did I remember it all correctly?
  • Is 2 TB still a stronger choice than 4 or 8 for reasons of less data? Or are larger capacities (10, 12, 14 included) just as reliable?
  • Are the pocket drives less trustworthy than full-sized desktop externals, or are they all the same reliability at this point (capacities being equal)?
  • If going with large capacities, should I do one large drive or split into two to reduce the burden of a large amount of loss on one? Or are 2, 8 and 14, for example, basically all the same risk at this point?
Thanks in advance. If I think of other questions I’ll add them.
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  #2  
06-05-2021, 12:28 PM
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Note: As of today, 06/05/21, >4TB hard drives 3.5" drives are commanding a high (up to 2-3X) premium because of Chia cryptocurrency mining (which uses hard drives). 2.5" drives which max out at 5TB are still normally priced for now. It's unknown how long this extreme demand will keep drive prices high, but there have been isolated cases (Costco and Bestbuy) with pre-Chia sale prices.

There is no such thing as guaranteed long term backup. Any storage media can fail at any time, for any reason, with or without notice.

Backup, backup, backup. Ideally 3-2-1 backup. 3 copies of your data, 2 copies on the same or different media (hard drive or optical discs in your case, but not SSDs or flash drives which are not archival), 1 copy kept offsite, physically or cloud. Check, verify and copy your data to new media every few years.


Edit: While there's no reliable metric for how long a hard drive will last, five years is good lifespan. Just because the drive is spinning doesn't mean it's in good condition. Check the SMART status of your drives with a utility like CrystalDiskInfo. If you get a yellow caution or red warning, backup your data immediately! You drive may live another five years or may fail immediately! SMART isn't 100% reliable, but is the best indicator or a drives health that we have. I check my drives every few months at the least and always check my drives if they haven't been used for a while. A drive that is green today, may be yellow or red tomorrow. True experiences.

Quote:
2 pocket-sized WD My Passports
The My Passports, and all WD and Toshiba portable drives have a major drawback. The USB interface and USB port are integrated in the the mainboard unlike Seagate which has a detachable interface. This is important because if/when the interface/port fails, recovering the data requires conversion to a SATA (regular hard drive interface) that's $$-$$$. This can be avoided by have proper backup(s).

Quote:
So what I remember is that reliable capacities are 1, 2, 4 and 8 TBs. Ones to avoid are 3, 5 and 6.
There is a tiny sliver of fact in this statement, but it's long, long past. Years ago, the largest single hard drive platter was 1TB, with multiple platters added to achieve the required capacity. So single platter 1TB drives were quieter and supposedly more reliable. Now, the bigger issue is that all external 2.5" drives and all <10TB WD and <8TB Seagate externals contain SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording) platters which have slower writes/rewrites due to the writing strategy and platter technology. Not a major issue if you're mainly using the drives for read only.*

Back in 2013-14, there was a single 3TB Seagate drive that failed at higher rates than other 3TB drives, including Seagate. This is where the 3TB and Seagate SUX misleading mantras come from. The drives are long off the market and the majority of them are long dead.

There was a slight issue with the initial 5TB drives (I believe Seagate) that used the then fairly new SMR technology to reach that capacity. I had a few 5TB desktop externals that failed relatively quickly, but I don't remember the brand. 5TB is the largest capacity available in 2.5" form factor and has fallen out of favor (both availability and low price) in the 3.5" category. FWIW, lordsmurf uses and recommends 5TB Seagate portables.

Quote:
Is the information I spelled out still true? For that matter, did I remember it all correctly?
Largely no, as stated above.

Quote:
Is 2 TB still a stronger choice than 4 or 8 for reasons of less data? Or are larger capacities (10, 12, 14 included) just as reliable?

Are the pocket drives less trustworthy than full-sized desktop externals, or are they all the same reliability at this point (capacities being equal)?
In general, no. See my statement the necessity of backups. The exception is that portable externals, per their intended use may be more prone to failure because of the shock or physical damage (head crash) while moving the drive while it's still spinning.

Quote:
If going with large capacities, should I do one large drive or split into two to reduce the burden of a large amount of loss on one? Or are 2, 8 and 14, for example, basically all the same risk at this point?
If you have to choose buying two or three smaller capacity drives to ensure you have backup(s), definitely go with the multiple smaller drives. The catch is that price per TB decreases as you go with larger drives. For example, a 2TB portable is ~$55 and a 4TB portable is ~$90. For desktop externals, the best deals, ~$15-20/TB are for 8TB+ drives.

Last edited by lingyi; 06-05-2021 at 12:39 PM.
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  #3  
06-05-2021, 12:44 PM
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There is no good, better, best when it comes to hard drive capacities or brands (WD/HGST, Seagate, Toshiba). Premium priced NAS and Enterprise drives are meant for heavy datacenter and large business use which can't be duplicated or provide an advantage for home use.

Buy on price. Buy two or more for backup(s). Buy often.

If you want more opinions than you may get here, visit reddit.com/r/datahoarder. Warning, if you figure out my nick there, fair warning, I'm very rough and opinionated there because unlike most video topics, I'm very familiar with hard drives. Though as I very often say, my personal experiences with hundreds of drives over the years is meaningless compared to the billions of drives in use today.
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06-05-2021, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
Originally Posted by Reading Bug
If going with large capacities, should I do one large drive or split into two to reduce the burden of a large amount of loss on one? Or are 2, 8 and 14, for example, basically all the same risk at this point?


If you have to choose buying two or three smaller capacity drives to ensure you have backup(s), definitely go with the multiple smaller drives. The catch is that price per TB decreases as you go with larger drives. For example, a 2TB portable is ~$55 and a 4TB portable is ~$90. For desktop externals, the best deals, ~$15-20/TB are for 8TB+ drives.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
There is no good, better, best when it comes to hard drive capacities or brands (WD/HGST, Seagate, Toshiba). Premium priced NAS and Enterprise drives are meant for heavy datacenter and large business use which can't be duplicated or provide an advantage for home use.
Thank you so much, lingyi. This is a big help. So, ultimately, I guess what I’m wanting to know is how you’re defining "smaller" here. Is the 8 small, or is 2 better because it’s even smaller? Why do you advise 8 over 14 (my interpretation) when doing multiple drives, if there’s no good/better/best?
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06-05-2021, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
So, ultimately, I guess what I’m wanting to know is how you’re defining "smaller" here. Is the 8 small, or is 2 better because it’s even smaller? Why do you advise 8 over 14 (my interpretation) when doing multiple drives, if there’s no good/better/best?
Sorry that I confused you. I mean multiple smaller drives vs more capacity if it means one or no backup. Better to have 8TB of storage with at least one 8TB backup, rather than 16TB of un-backed up data.

Edit: In your case, I'd go with a single 14TB+ drive or multiple smaller drives equal to 14TB+ and use your existing drives as backup.

Edit 2: Given the current high prices right now and my recommendation to backup your data immediately if you don't already have it properly backed up, is, assuming you're in the U.S., getting three 5TB portables for ~$90 each. Of if you're lucky, BestBuy will have another sale like last week when a 16TB Seagate external was ~$300. Sold out that day!

With the exception of 8TB Seagate externals and 1TB+ portables, which contain SMR drives, there's no practical* difference between drives of any size.

*At datahoarder there's an ongoing debate about which is better, air or helium filled drives. However this debate is centered around helium drives being slightly louder and possibly being more likely to fail as the helium slowly leaks out. The latter reminds me of stories of the plasma in plasma TVs needing to be refreshed after X number of years because no seal is absolutely gas tight.

Personally, I'm in the less drives = less chance of potential failure, at the risk of more data lost when, not if they eventually fail. Several years ago, I swapped out all my main 4TB drives with 8TB+ drives and am slowly replacing the 8TB drives with larger ones.

Last edited by lingyi; 06-05-2021 at 02:37 PM.
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  #6  
06-05-2021, 02:22 PM
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I see. So if I have this right:
  • Two 8's are better than one 16 – though in my case it'd be 12-14 TBs total spread over two 8's, with one set per physical location.*
  • Two 8's are no different than seven 2's running around making me crazy.
*My backup strategy has been a complete set of data across six 2TB HDDs (with a limited number of data DVD-Rs). One full set of six + discs at home, another full set of six + discs in storage. And I'm hoping to do a third set at another location soon.
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06-05-2021, 02:55 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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Yes.

Glad to hear you have backups. Good going!

I and others at datahoarder cringe and criticize when posters brag about having X amount of data without backups.
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  #8  
06-05-2021, 10:19 PM
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I like those 5tb Seagates, but I've lost 3 in the past 2 years. That's too high. Admittedly, part of it may have been cooling, so I now have them sit flat on chucked Fantom enclosures (chunk of aluminum). If I do anything that causes more than 500gb of read/write sustained, I turned on a fan, blow over the drives. I use my 5tb regularly, not as mere backup or storage.

I recently bought a 8tb QVO, because NAND is supposed to go up. That's my new video editing drive. I know it won't be as fast as my EVO, yet still faster than the HDDs. I need my EVOs for something else now.

(On the plus side, I bought stock in Micron, Seagate and WD last year, when it was at bottoms. So at least my IRA will be happy from the price hikes. All of these stocks have at least doubled now.)

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06-06-2021, 01:17 AM
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If you don't need the portability, have you considered shucking the 5TB drives and putting them into a multi-bay enclosure for better cooling? You may not need it, but I recommend this 2.5" to 3.5" adapter for making sure you drives are secure: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. Note that most adapters are meant for internal PC bays and don't relocate the SATA connectors in the correct position to be used in a 3.5" bay.
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06-13-2021, 01:55 PM
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Hey again all,

Before I dive into another five year cycle of HD backups, I just wanted to see if anyone else wanted to chime in with comments. Here's what I've learned:
  • TB capacity configurations don't matter much anymore (2 ,3, 6, any configuration is equally okay).
  • Even-numbered TBs (2, 4 and 8) are preferrable to 3 or 5 = not really true anymore.
  • Employing larger capacities (and therefore fewer individual drives obviously) is perfectly fine for five-year storage intervals nowadays. So 8 TBs are just as reliable as 2 TBs. One pair of 8's would be accessed throughout the year, another pair of 8's in storage just 2-3 times per year.
  • Brand/manufacturer doesn't really matter. WD, Seagate, Fantom, Lacie, etc. All the big names are pretty much equally reliable. I'm of the mind that I'd like to split into two, across at least two different brands, just in case there's a manufacturing issue with a particular model discovered later on.
Any additional thoughts?

These are the ones I'm considering:

https://www.amazon.com/Book-Desktop-.../dp/B01LQQHLGC

https://www.amazon.com/Fantom-Drives.../dp/B073JF992B

https://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Profess.../dp/B07MK3T28F

https://www.amazon.com/Seagate-Deskt.../dp/B07CQJBSQL

Historically I'm a little leery of Seagate, but thought I'd include it here. The Lacie employs a Seagate Barracuda enterprise drive, so there's that. Does anyone know what Fantom uses nowadays?

Thanks!
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06-13-2021, 02:48 PM
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I don't know that configuration ever mattered at all. The problem was certain configurations had limited drive models that existed, and for whatever reason those were largely bad too fast. For example, all the 3tb drives seemed to massively suck, but I doubt 3 had anything to do with it. It was more than we had few 3tb drives whatsoever. In the case of Seagate 1.5, 3, and 6 were all equally bad, but probably because those drives just had multiple platters/controllers. Again, very few of that size exists, far more common was 500/1/2/4/8. Modern 10/12/14/16 is SMR, and has no relation to older 1.5/3/6. The 1.5/3/6 was a "general rule" because it was easy. I may have even done that, though I probably said "avoid Seagate 1.5/3/6" drives, because it was mostly only Seagate with that issue (or that drive size).

What's always been the case is whether drive lines were found as being good. Not silly anecdotal evidence ("I bought 1 drive, and it was bad, wah, don't buy this drive!"), but vetted advice from somebody like Backblaze. What you'll find is that all drives have a % of fails, and most are low in the 1-2% ranges. And the more drives they test, the lower the % always go. Very rarely does a drive have an excessively high % of fails, and that was mostly those 1.5/3/6 drives almost a decade ago.

A drive is a drive, and I've never seen any evidence that larger drives are worse. That's going back to the 80s. I still remember when people poo-poo'd 1.2mb 5.25" floppies as worse than 360k. They were morons. Those same morons exist. Every new wave of drive sizing gets shunned as "worse", but it's all nonsense. I tend to get more comfortable with newer drives, as they usually lean from past mistakes. I just don't want to be the 1st in line, because the Seagate 1.5/3/6 left a bad taste, I'll let others be the beta testers. I bought Seagate 1.5s early on, and lost all but 1 of them within a few years. The last Seagate went for years before failing, and by then I wasn't even using it anymore. (I did, however, buy the 8tb QVO SSD here recently, and it's barely 6 months old now, but I feel more confident about Samsung SSDs than any HDD.)

There are only 4 drives manufactuers: WD and Seagate (most drives), and HGST and Toshiba (less drives). Everything else is 3rd-party rebadge/enclosures. LaCie is actually owned by Seagate, and will almost always be Seagate drives inside. Fantom has historically been good, uses any/all drives, but mostly WD.

When it comes to drives, what actually matters most is how well (and easily) data can be recovered. So plan accordingly, research the exact drives a bit closer.

I have
- 2x 8tb Seagate USB
- 1x 16tb Seagate Exos (internal, unplug when not being used)
- multiple 5tb Seagate for both backup, and regular use (for now)
- multiple 2tb Fantom that are being retired, drives reused, USB2 enclosure being shucked

I'm not a data hoarder, but I am serious about backing up data, always have been.

For a few years there, I slipped in my backup diligence, and it cost me $1k to recover it (Kroll Ontrack was used, about 10 years ago). They recovered 99% of my data from a 400gb (WD?) drive that during a backup. Yes, you read that right, I was finally backing up the data, and it failed right then. Back then, SMART didn't work all the well, not reliable, so I'd set my computer to ignore SMART warnings. It's still not perfect, but way better these days, and I have CrystalDisk monitoring all drives all the time now.

Over the many years of owning drives, WD was always the worst and noisiest of drives. So it made noise all the way until failures, what a drive! Hitachi was also mostly noisy, and I avoided those. Seagate has always been quiet, and lasted the longest of all drives. I still have IDE Seagate drives, while everything else has failed.

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  #12  
06-13-2021, 03:37 PM
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Thanks LS!

Do you know if there's a guide anywhere that breaks down what models use what actual drives inside? I've been looking for that for a while.

Also, do you agree with lingyi regarding SMR? I understand it might result in slower write times than CMR, but is there any reason to doubt reliability?
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06-13-2021, 06:51 PM
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It's hard to avoid SMR.

The 5tb are SMR, but mine did fail somewhere after 4tb was used. I think my Exos is the X16 CMR, not SMR.

As stated, if mostly used for read, not an issue. I was using some 5tb for read+write, and it wasn't really slow. But I'm moving all of that to my new QVO, along with cleaning off my pair of EVO. And the 5tb will be entirely for storage and read.

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06-18-2021, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
It's hard to avoid SMR.

The 5tb are SMR, but mine did fail somewhere after 4tb was used. I think my Exos is the X16 CMR, not SMR.

As stated, if mostly used for read, not an issue. I was using some 5tb for read+write, and it wasn't really slow. But I'm moving all of that to my new QVO, along with cleaning off my pair of EVO. And the 5tb will be entirely for storage and read.
Correct, the higher capacity Seagate Exos drives are (probably all) CMR. I have an older 8TB Archive and it's an SMR; it's harder to tell now what is SMR, but I think as new technologies come out that's being phased out.

There was a big scandal too where some WD RED NAS drives were actually SMR, and were getting terrible performance for heavy read/writes, despite being advertised as such
https://nascompares.com/2020/04/16/y...-need-to-know/

The QVOs, are those SSDs? I was looking at some high capacity SSDs but the pricing is too much right now. I don't think they're worth it for very idle data, archival data. Also because the high capacity SSDs 4TB+, some use 4 layer NAND meaning less durability but cheaper cost.

Quote:
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Also, do you agree with lingyi regarding SMR? I understand it might result in slower write times than CMR, but is there any reason to doubt reliability?
Not really any doubt in reliability, like others have shared any drive can fail anytime so if you care about your data, buy two drives, or use a reliable cloud storage provider. My SMR drives are fine, lasting many years, but then again I don't do many writes to them because of the poor speeds.

Hard drives tend to prefer not being turned on and off too much, it stresses the internal components out like anything else.
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06-18-2021, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yumyum8 View Post
The QVOs, are those SSDs? I was looking at some high capacity SSDs but the pricing is too much right now. I don't think they're worth it for very idle data, archival data. Also because the high capacity SSDs 4TB+, some use 4 layer NAND meaning less durability but cheaper cost.
Yes, Samsung 8tb QVO SSD.

It's worth it for heat and noise reduction. It writes at least as fast as any HDD, and I'm not using mine for archiving. It's for video editing large lossless files. Write is about 150-250 MB/s for tandem copying (a 115 MB/s USB drives, and a 4tb Samsung EVO, as the source with lossless files). That's the most aggressive I'll ever really use it, in terms of the data flow. It beats any HDD, even in a RAID.

When prices fall, then I'll add 1-2 more for archive. But it could be years before that happens.

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06-18-2021, 09:45 AM
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HGST (Hitachi) is owned by WD and so there's only really only WD/HGST, Seagate and Toshiba. Some of the WD externals have HGST drives in them.

As I recall, the issue with 1.5, 3 and 6TB drives was the new 1.5TB platters, which I believe were used in the notoriously bad 3TB Seagates.

All current 500GB+, 2.5" drives are SMR. With the exception of the 1TB WD Red NAS drive.

Here's a list of all the SMR drives, which came out after WD and Seagate were caught "submarining" SMR platters into models that were previously CMR>

https://blog.westerndigital.com/wd-red-nas-drives/

https://www.seagate.com/internal-har.../cmr-smr-list/

WD just settled a class action suit for $2.7mil in damages for using SMR in drives without notice.

Note that SMR isn't inherently bad, it's [fine] for its intended use, write few, read many and for typical home use where fast write/rewrite times aren't critical. The issue came about because when used in RAID setups, the slow rewrite times when rebuilding the RAID [,to check for and correct bad files, the SMR drives] would cause the operation to fail [because of the slow rewrite time]. This is how it was discovered the WD Red NAS drives that were previously CMR were now SMR.

Significantly, in the settlement, WD acknowledges that the [SMR NAS] drives are not suitable for use in NAS setups using RAID, despite their being sold as NAS drives.

Note: NAS and RAID are [not] the same thing. NAS is for network accessibility. RAID is for data redundancy (and speed in certain configurations*), but not a backup.** You can have one without the other. RAID was introduced a decade (1987) before NAS, late '90's.

*Striped RAID writes/reads from two or more drives simultaneously, splitting the data stream between them and increasing the write/read speed. This is largely obsolete because of SSDs today. Though it's possible to Stripe RAID SSDs for increased speed.

**RAID is not a backup. RAID helps protect the data within it by checking (resilvering) the array and correcting any errors within the files using data from the additional (if any) parity drives. It's not a backup because if you overwrite or delete any file or format the drive, those files are gone just like a single drive, same as with a format.

SMR isn't going away. It's a necessary step (and a cost savings to the manufacturer) to larger platter drive sizes. While WD and Seagate have disclosed which drives use SMR, all <10TB WD and <8TB Seagate consumer line drives, SMR is used in the largest 3.5" drive, the 20TB WD which is currently not available to home consumers.

Even HAMR (Heat Assisted Magnetic Recording) and variants of the technology use SMR to achieve the greater storage capacity. Currently 20TB now, currently available only to Enterprise users and estimated up to 50TB by 2026.0

https://blog.seagate.com/craftsman-s...p-forward-now/

And here's a site that lists the size and type of platters used, though it's not complete:

https://rml527.blogspot.com/

As I stated above, if you want more extensive, usually but not always good discussions about anything hard drive or SSD related, visit reddit.com/r/datahoarder

-- merged --

As for what drives are in externals, it could be any drive from the manufacturer's line.* Highly speculated to usually be binned drives that didn't meet the full specs to be sold as retail internal. These drives may have their firmware changed or cache reduced. They're still good drives, just not up to the full specs of those sold as internal. They may also be production overruns or drives from cancelled orders because hard drives are a commodity, with a short sell shelf life. Unless it's been sitting in the seller's stock for a long time, you'll never a manufactured date of more than a few month before you bought the drive. The manufacture cost and retail margin is too small to keep them in storage.

*As of right now, there are reports of Seagate enterprise Exos drives being found in their 16TB externals. And in 2017-mid 2018, 8TB WD externals had original and white label NAS drives, which AFAIK were full spec. On the other hand, in the past, some found Purple Seagate Surveillance drives (not meant for typical home use) in their externals. Bottom line you never know what drive will be inside a manufacturers or third party external. What someone gets today, may be different from what you get tomorrow.

Sometimes you'll get White Label drives. White Label drives are either drives binned drives or drives meant for OEM or third party resellers. They could be full spec drives that the buyer cancelled or drives that are customized for the buyer, different PCB, firmware or cache size. Again, fine for typical home use**, but may not be for datacenter and enterprise use where known quality is critical.

**At the Datahoarder Reddit, I was corrected by a member when I said that Enterprise drives are meant for use in datacenter conditions that no home user could duplcate. He/she said that at Datahoarder, some members may well have a sophisticated setup that rivals a datacenter! I humbly corrected myself. LOL!
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06-18-2021, 10:13 AM
yumyum8 yumyum8 is offline
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Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
*As of right now, there are reports of Seagate enterprise Exos drives being found in their 16TB externals. And in 2017-mid 2018, 8TB WD externals had original and white label NAS drives, which AFAIK were full spec.
I have an WD EasyStore 18TB, purchased December 2020, I removed the drive from (shucking). Here is SMART data (smartctl -a output):
Quote:
Device Model: WDC WD180EDFZ-11AFWA0
Firmware Version: 81.00A81
User Capacity: 18,000,207,937,536 bytes [18.0 TB]
Sector Sizes: 512 bytes logical, 4096 bytes physical
Rotation Rate: 5400 rpm
Form Factor: 3.5 inches
Device is: Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
ATA Version is: ACS-4 (unknown minor revision code: 0x009c)
SATA Version is: SATA 3.3, 6.0 Gb/s (current: 6.0 Gb/s)
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled
So far so good, drive is fast and can eat writes easily. No slowdowns that I've seen.
Can't comment on the Seagates, I haven't found good HDD deals ever since that stupid chia crypto-nonsense came around...

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Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Yes, Samsung 8tb QVO SSD.

And you have an excellent use case for it, big files that need fast access. Excellent! I was thinking to replace some 8TB HDDs that have WORM data (write once, read many) but until prices drop I'll sit as you are doing.
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  #18  
06-18-2021, 10:34 AM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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My SMR drives are fine, lasting many years, but then again I don't do many writes to them because of the poor speeds.
This is relative to what you're writing and how.

All drives write speeds slow down with smaller files and are faster with larger multi-GB files. I get constant ~130-150MB/s writes when I'm transferring my videos.

Also, writes will always be slower as the drive gets fuller, as hard drives write from the outside in.

It's on rewrites of existing files that SMR really shows. Because of the shingling, blocks before and after the data to be overwritten must be erased and rewritten. Just like having to replace shingles on a roof. If you're working on the edge, you're overlapping only one set of existing shingles. If you're working in the middle of the roof, you have to remove and replace X number of surrounding shingles.

The drive cache also has a part to play in slowdowns. I've never bothered with it. But reports are that if you're experiencing a slowdown, if you let the drive slowly clear the internal cache, which can take a day or so, your write speeds will return to normal.

Bottom line is that for many (most users), including myself, the slower write/rewrite speeds of SMR isn't an issue. Yes, it takes longer to write/rewrite files large files, but I'm usually not in a rush. If I am, I use a SSD. And when I transfer a large amount of files, hundreds of GB or multiple TB for backups, I just set it up and walk away.

And the fact is, you can't get away from SMR with current 2.5" drives (except for the single WD NAS drive) and if speed is a concern, you're better off using faster, larger cache 3.5" CMR drives or SSDs.

As I said above, SMR is here to stay as larger capacity drives require it.
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  #19  
06-18-2021, 12:47 PM
Reading Bug Reading Bug is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
As for what drives are in externals, it could be any drive from the manufacturer's line.* Highly speculated to usually be binned drives that didn't meet the full specs to be sold as retail internal. These drives may have their firmware changed or cache reduced. They're still good drives, just not up to the full specs of those sold as internal. They may also be production overruns or drives from cancelled orders because hard drives are a commodity, with a short sell shelf life. Unless it's been sitting in the seller's stock for a long time, you'll never a manufactured date of more than a few month before you bought the drive. The manufacture cost and retail margin is too small to keep them in storage.
THANK YOU. I forgot to ask about this when I started the thread. I had concerns because the manufacturers don't like to tell you the manufacturing date on the packaging anymore, and my past experience getting it thru customer service was successful but so onerous I gave up even though I really cared. I assumed drives couldn't be sitting for too long but never had a reason why beyond the nature of merch moving quickly off the shelf.
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  #20  
06-18-2021, 10:16 PM
lingyi lingyi is offline
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The manufacture date in on the label of the drive. For external drives use the below. The manufacture date is the default for the start of your warranty. Note that this may not be actual manufacture date. They sometimes as a month or two to allow for the full warrant. Another reason they usually don't sit on the shelf. If your purchase date is a few months after the manufacture date, you can usually use that for your warranty start if you present your receipt and/or register the drive with proof of purchase.

https://support-en.wd.com/app/warrantystatus

https://www1.hgst.com/warranty/index_gtech_serial.do

https://www.seagate.com/support/warr...-replacements/

https://toshiba.semicon-storage.com/...y-support.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by yumyum8 View Post
Not really any doubt in reliability, like others have shared any drive can fail anytime so if you care about your data, buy two drives, or use a reliable cloud storage provider.
3-2-1 Backup. Local and cloud or physical offsite. 3 copies of your data, including your main drive, 2 on the same or different media and 1 kept physically offsite or cloud. The reason for the offsite copy is in case of catastrophic events such a s fire, flood, hurricane/tornado, power surge, theft, etc.
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The following users thank lingyi for this useful post: Reading Bug (06-18-2021)
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