HDD quality since the '80's


Now, I am into computer since 1986.
In 1989, I got my hands on a 40mb HDD (Western Digital, WD 384R), and this toy costed me… a whole lot of cents.
In the end, though, the best ever buy I could’ve made as HDD, as the darn thing still runs perfectly (not that I use it… I mean… 40mb…)!

To the point…
Lately, and I speak of the last decade, decade and a half, prices in comparison, stayed the same, somewhat, but the quality… absolutely not!!!

Even though I bought and use(d) (I just had a warning today: another drive is about to fail, OBVIOUSLY just timed when the shops began to close, thus I cannot replace it before Tuesday (@ Mondays the shops are closed here)) “always” 6 HDD’s purely for storage (I have an SSD now as system drive).
But this past 10 to 15 years, my HDD’s do not even get to be 5 years old.
There’s no excessive usage, I keep them tidy, I make sure they ain’t used as say a foot-, rugby- or basket ball, in short, they sit tight and safe.
Yet… not one in the mentioned time, got to get 5 years in age, not one.

But, how is this possible… seeing we get more and more technological aware, how come products like HDD’s are suffering from such precipitate demise?
The data I have lost because of these VERY untimely deaths of a data-carrier… is beyond value.

Who can explain this extreme drop in quality, and why this is done?
Considering, our technological progression… seems not applied on these data carriers…?

Thank you.

BTW: the WD 384R?
After if I remember well, 4 Low Level formats (over a LONG period of operation) and quite a few formats, the HDD has about 80K (slightly less) bad sectors.
To give you an idea of what quality used to be…
Not even Novell Netware could get it to break in it’s ridiculously extensive 24 hour drive test.
And that one was beyond excruciating for any a drive…
Those familiar with Novell can confirm how insane that HDD test was…

Nothing made today lasts a long as it used to … hard drives are no exception.

Welcome to the Disposable society :slight_smile:

Because they can sell more of them when they don’t last as long.

Cha-Ching $

Thank you for responding.

Yes, I am aware of this, but why do customers not stand up against this kind of behaviour?
I fail to grasp why customers allow companies to do things like this, it’s like the Apple phone’s “Kill Battery chip”, that became a scandal, however, we allow it everywhere.

The worst is not so the loss of the drive itself, but the ■■■■ data on it.
This 4TB drive is about 78% filled up, if it dies before I get the chance to get another… I am again very much fu… dged.
Like I have been so many times the past say 13 years!!!

See, a HDD is meant to be a somewhat stable storage, that is reliable.
What on Earth changed in this idea?
Ask a higher price, if absolutely needed, but do not be a greedy @#^^#^, ask much, to have it die immediately after warranty runs out.
I paid for RELIABLE data storage, and that is what I want for the money spent.
As reliability is the idea behind such storage.

Can you, approximately, calculate the money I lost on that data loss?
Not even 5000 drives can make up for that."
Hell, tenfold that could not make up for that.

And I refuse to accept that.
I need a decent storage.
Since… THAT… is what I am paying for.

I do not think, that my reasoning is incorrect, is it?

Imagine: you run, 10, 15 years from now, a data centre.
Every 5 months (seeing how quality is getting worse by the second) all your drives completely fail, without a previous warning.
How would you react?

We, the customers, really need to stand up against these types of “theft”.
Since, it actually is that, a form of theft: getting sold something that does not hold up to it’s expected quality.

Well… Optane just notified me that the drive does not respond.

Opened DOpus… and the 3 drive letters are not shown.
Took a while to load the drive data as well.

I am so sad, so much data gone…

I have not had your experience with Drives.

My desktop drive currently has six versions of TurboTax installed. . .so I am guessing it is at least 6 years old.

I buy one or two external drives a year. . .I do not use them gently. They live in a knapsack. . .until last year, they were on a plane a few times a month. I maybe had one begin to show problems as it got pretty full. . .but generally they get retired as “offline backup” in a drawer between 12 and 24 months.

But I hear you on the disposable society. On one level. . .it makes self repairs really easy. :slight_smile: . . .and your repair experts don’t need the same level of skill they once did.

On another level. . . in the 80’s cars lasted 3-5 years. Today, my NEWEST car is 11 years old. . .and feels like it is just breaking in. :wink: (I do have the choice to get another today if I wanted or needed to. . .) So the replacement culture isn’t universal.

As a final twist. . . .it’s actually not hardware failure that rubs my craw. . .it’s the rogue “software updates” that kill me. I once had a random and mandatory Win10 update crater a machine. I have had to replace more than one expensive program due to a change in software policy/upgrade that forced me to change vendors. (usually - - -it’s conversion to a subscription model that forces me to abandon programs)

Which drives do you use, sir?
Maybe I’ve been picking the wrong ones…
Though, even then, this should not happen…

Why not make a drive that will last 10, 12 years.
Ask more money for it, but ensure a long lifetime.
I would not mind to go that way, if it kept my data safe.

Though, being cripple, my income is… nigh problematic…
Mostly due to the high medical costs that I carry with me.

We can, mechanically, create drives that would last for 50 years.
Naturally, from a corporation/business perspective, a bad idea, but that’s not the point.
It can be done.
So, making a drive with 10 year warranty fir a higher price is possible.

I fail to understand, why we’re not given that option.

On a different note: considering none of my drives make it to 5 years, there must be a reason for it, one would assume.
It is not electrically: my netpower is quite stable, for Belgium.
It is not, as far as I managed to detect, a power issue in the PC, or the PSU.
It is not the way it is used: I tend to be darn careful about my stuff.
Logical conclusion then would be… bad drive… correct?
Or did I miss something?

Besides, I am not the only one with this issue.
I’ve seen plenty similar posts about early deaths of drives.
Now, like my 40MB drive: I think I got lucky with that one.
I know luck is somewhat involved as well.
But THIS kind of bad luck is just hardly possible.

Unless Murphy has his hand in it.

Sorry about your misfortunes. . . . .I lead a relatively easy life. . . . and I still spend more money on Wine, Women and Song than technology.

I buy generally standard stuff. I believe in buying quality. . . but I have learned that high cost does not necessarily buy high quality. My desktop drives have all been WD Blue (the standard crud) and the NAS drives are WD Reds (now Red Plus). My portable drives are the WD passports. IIRC, I think my last two ended up being SMR tech - --and will therefore be my last WD portable drives (They do seem a bit goofy. . . .)

I generally assume any piece of consumer gear will fail at any moment. . . so I am religious on my data backup, and NEVER store data on a operating system drive. I maintain an archive of my running software so a reinstall is relatively quick. (I bought two machines in the last few years - - and had a OS crash on a third. . .so I see benefits of being organized. . . . how I incrementalized myself into four machines at home is short, boring story involving disposable income and a job that requires travel. )

But if I had multiple HDD failures in the SAME machine. . .I would be suspicious. Power supply on the computer would be the first suspect. I have replaced powersupplies in desktop machines.

Misfortunes… no… if you knew what I have been through… it is literally a miracle I am alive.
Though in a wheelchair, i do not complain, au contrair.
I should have been very dead… I mean, that’s what a 30 meter drop does, usually.
Or worse, end up a vegetable…

No, though I am in a wheelchair, I am not complaining.
Upper body functions decently, and far more important… that beautiful brain I have under that ugly mug. grins
So, don’t feel sorry, I am certainly not!

Data-backup: yes, I would be too… if it wasn’t 8TB on data.
Which is the whole issue…
I cannot afford new drives every 2.5 to 4 years, not to mention make backups.
Which is why I am here to address the issue…

Thusfar, I have had not much response though…
A mail with a sorry, then one saying the drives are tested and should run five years, which I find extremely odd seeing not one made 5 years in the past 13 years… and 4 different systems…

Someone said: bring the drives in, have the data restored…
I asked that firm, what that would be costing… nearly got my 5th heart attack right there!!!
So, that option as well I could forget about…

This brings me to: buying AGAIN a drive… but knowing it will fail within 2, 3, MAYBE 4 years?
I cannot have that any more…

so, I need a working solution.
Be it a more expensive drive that will make it for long periods, or another solution…

What I DO have to admit is: I always used the Green ones…
But those, I learned not too long ago, are not the better, but worse ones.
So I partly screwed myself over in that part. :frowning:
But even then, the Black edition, so I am told at least, do not make that much difference…?
this also shows: never just trust a salesman, even if he was a good friend… :frowning:

wait. . . .are these drives in a NAS units?

If so. . .I would not recommend green, blue or black. They are rated for desktop, not NAS continuous use. Go for either Red Plus; Red Pro; or Gold. These drivers are rated for 24/7/365 NAS use.

(Red = SMR, 5400rpm = ■■■■) (There are some CMR drives in the “red” line. . .but just don’t do it)
(Red Plus = CMR, 5400 = fine)
(Red Pro = CMR, 7200rpm =faster and fine)

No, sir.
And every evening, I turn off my system, I see no use in having it run for nothing.

Anything else you need to know?
If so, please do ask.

It’s strange, I had a few replies, but none that addressed the idea of a (much) more expensive but high-quality/longevity alternative…
The industry has similar systems (or used to have), proof is the 40mb HDD I have.
But I cannot like I did then, almost… (let me check in dollars) almost 34’0000 dollar…

At the end of my income, I still have a day over thanks to my med bills.
My savings are long gone as well.
Not that it is a huge issue… until things start to break.

While I get a PC from the company every 4 years, drives I need to cover, as they do not include data storage devices in the package.
Same for my insurance: system is covered… but not the data carriers.
Which I on one hand understand, but what nips me in the butt, and badly so.

As is, I am totally stuck at the moment, and I haven’t got the slightest idea as to what now…
Another drive for 3, maybe 4 years, and lose all data?
This simply is not an option…
It never was, but now it’s really bad…