Mocorongo

Anything wrong with High-capacity drives?

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Pros: Good capacity....

Cons: High capacity...

Other Thoughts: High capacity drives come at the cost of volatility. When seagate released the 1.5 TB drive, I was skeptical. As a physicist, I know that capacity is limited by technology, and while miniaturization is moving quite quickly, there is still a physical capacity, regardless. with magnetic storage this dense, one slight error by the head will corrupt the file, and repeated events - all of your files.

While the storage, and other perks from reviews already posted, are pretty good, I don't see these drives having a long lifetime, and most definitely wouldn't use them in high volume and mission critical environments. I'll stick with my 1TB drives until these have been on the market for a good amount of time. Call me a skeptic, but I'd like to think that I didn't spend an obscene amount of time in school for nothing.

While this is a single comment on the 2 TB drive page (Newegg), a long time before I read what the guy said I was thinking about the same thing.

First, the Samsung 1 TB drive (HD103UJ) received a high number of complaints from people stating those drives were faulty, so many critics that I decided to purchase the 750 GB model (also the 1 TB drive was expensive that time, so two enough reasons for me). Some people stated the drives worked for months before they eventually died... which is real bad when it's something unpredictable. In that case, we can't say for sure how those things are build and if they will last the same time as the old and low-capacity models.

Well, I haven't seen any HDD dying yet (not even from old age), and mine have years of usage, but they were probably build in 2002, 2003 (Samsung 160 GB and Seagate 300 GB). So I can't say anything about younger and high-capacity drives (currently I own 2 Samsung 750 GB drives, but they are months old). And my system is used 24h/day.

And then, as you might probably know, the massive failure from Seagate 1.5 TB drives (and probably a plenty more from the same company, I believe they are known as 7200.11).

Google did a research about this:

http://storagemojo.com/2007/02/19/googles-...lure-experience

But what I am really concerned about is not why or how the drives might die. It's the expectations we can have with these kinds of drives. Are they really so much complex, build to have a long lifetime, or the companies are investing in something that is not meant to have that capacity?

I mean, I always wondered why fast drives (with 10K or 15K RPM) have a very low capacity, and why someone haven't build a 500 GB SCSI drive for example, making the same commercially viable for most people. Then someone said to me it was impossible due to limits of technology.

Aren't we doing the same thing with normal internal drives? Do you see a resemblance with them and the tower of Pisa (the design was flawed from the beginning)? :P

HDDs are old technology, perhaps a single drive was not supposed to have so much storage capacity, without those side effects, or at least a shorter (or probably risky?) lifetime.

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Typically, with SCSI drives (and the markets they serve), reliability is much more important. With new head technology, you can do accelerated testing to take an educated guess as to reliability, but there's no substitute for actually running parts for that same amount of time, non-accelerated. That's part of the reason why you see lower areal density on SCSI drives.

Another reason is these drives really only come in 10K and 15K flavors, where the seek time is much faster. There is little time to let the heads settle on a particular track, so if you place the tracks closer, it just gets that much harder, both for reading and writing.

Compound this with physically smaller diameter disks and you cannot store as much on a SCSI hard drive's platters as you could on a comparable SATA drive.

So yes, there are technical limitations, but not because of the SCSI interface. It's more an indirect result of it, since the markets served by using SCSI (and SAS) drives demand different things. And they're willing to pay the higher prices to get it. ;)

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http://www.podnutz.com/podnutz/podnutz028

http://www.podnutz.com/podnutz/podnutz029

http://www.techpodcasts.com/computers/7858...ica-0324-hour-1

http://www.techpodcasts.com/computers/7858...ica-0324-hour-2

Interesting comments quoted from the podcast 29 (you can heard in the 30 minutes/half of the MP3 file) regarding bigger drives:

Q: Is there any particular brand that you think is better than any other on hard drives?

A: I would say that all of the drives are, at least today, not great drives. They are all made, and they are all going to die, a fairly quick death, pretty much the drives that are 500 GB and larger, are dying on a daily-basis for everybody. Terabyte drives, things like that. My preference would be to buy Seagate, only because of the warranty.

So, in my opinion, at least (because the drive is going to die) I can get a replacement based on the warranty, that's my hope.

Q: But why are the bigger drives failing?

A: The thing that has happened since 2006 is that everybody is going to a perpendicular format. And what that means is before, pretty much before 2006 every drive was written in what is called longitudinal format.

And that meant the north and south poles that you used to seem on a platter when you actually think about "how my data is written, it's laying down on a platter, north and south poles, and the head reads in that direction".

Well, since 2006 perpendicular basically means it's no longer laying down on the drive, now we are going to store it up and down. It's the difference between, you know, let's instead of burying [?????] in the ground, laying down, let's bury standing up right, because they will save a lot more space.

That's exactly what's happening with the bits and data stored on the platters now. So, at least from a stand point of sensitivity, the heads are much more sensitive to the amount of space and density that they got to read the content, and everybody is saying "let's get the biggest drive we can possibly get now", so, you know, one of the consequences of that is going to be: heat, and less time to test things.

I've know people who bought 500 GB drives, bought 3 or 4 book drives, or something like that, and within a week of each other they are dying.

And it's a fairly consistent inconstant thing now that one of things that you see in for recovery are these 500 GB drives both from Seagate, Western Digital, a few other companies, but, primarly Seagate and WD, the two I see most of.

Q: I see. So, there is no real brand loyalty, they are build not great, but if you are going to put your money on something, you might wanna put on Seagate because of the warranty?

A: That's my opinion, because they tipically they back the 5-year warranty before, I am pretty sure that's what it is now, still, but, tipically some other vendors, only either add 1-year or 3-years.

It also depends if either you are buying in the external case or not, or OEM drive, cause if you are buying a Lacie, the drives inside them are not made by them, but Maxtor, Seagate, or somebody, and tipically, they only give you a 1-year warranty, you'll have to read the box to be sure, but versus what the manufacturer might offer, so you might not get the 5-year warranty when it's inside the case.

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P.S. Funny thing I said that I bought the 750 GB Samsung instead of the 1 TB drive because of the many complaints. Take a look into the Newegg page here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductRevie...1&Keywords=

And you will see lots of reviews from people saying things like that about the 750 GB drive:

*****************

Pros: Especially quiet now that it is dead.

Cons: Purchased at the $109 price point from Newegg.com back on 13/5/2008. Drive is dead now and will now attempt to RMA.

Other Thoughts: DO NOT BUY THIS DRIVE OR ANY OTHER MADE BY SAMSUNG UNTIL THEY HAVE PROVEN RELIABLE.

*****************

*****************

Cons: Bad compatibility. I was running it on XP and kept getting write failures. Switched it to an external enclosure via USB and it worked ok. I imagine because the connection was slower. Drive failed after 2 months. Lost 600GB of data which was always destined to be backed up tomorrow. I'm not sure if I even want to try to RMA it because of all the horror stories on this drive.

*****************

*****************

Pros: None!!! Should have the ability to list as ZERO EGGS!

Cons: Drive Failure After 5 Months. Take A Close Look At The Reviews. 1 day to 1 week, All Happy. 1 month to 1 Year, Huge Amount Of Failures. Just Know That Samsung Makes It Impossible To RMA!!! Thay Staste A 3 Year Warrany, But That Is Only As Good As The Company Behind It. Samsung Sucks. Thank New Egg For Posting All These Reviews, Maybee YOU WONT SUFFER LIKE ALL THE REST OF US!!! And To You Reviewers That Are Happy, JUST WAIT. YOUR TIME WILL COME! GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR RMA!!!

Other Thoughts: Waited For A Week Now, And I Still Have No Return Corrispondance With Samsung. And If You Think They Make It Easy For Returns, Your Dreamin! They Know This Drive Sucks And Dont Want To Have To Pay To Cover There "Warranty". Shop Elseware. I paid $109.00 in Aug '08. Now Its $79.00. Wonder Why?! Thanks Samsung, Lost Customer For Life On All Products. Hope To See Where You Land In This Recession.

*****************

This is really bad...

Edited by Mocorongo

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There is nothing inherently wrong with high capacity, from a physics standpoint, if you have the technology. (From that standpoint, I believe we have already surpassed the "superparamagnetic limit" that most physicists thought existed just a decade or two ago for limiting magnetic storage density.)

There are always phenomena that cause problems for data retention in high-density data storage, whether the storage mechanism be magnetic, optical, flash, etc. (For example, thermal decay is a problem for high-density magnetic storage, electron drift for flash.) Solutions to these problems are continually being enhanced and refined.

There is probably a limit as to how dense magnetic storage can be (perhaps no one knows what the limit is today), but I think we are nowhere near it. I suspect we can look for more magnetic storage tricks in the future (thermally-assisted recording, nano-patterned media, etc.)

Q: But why are the bigger drives failing?

I don't think the details you quoted from the video are technically significant, or even logically correct. It's like saying world pollution (necessarily) increases as world population increases. Well, that might be your observation, but it simply doesn't have to be that way, unless of course technology stagnates (which it never has).

Perpendicular recording can be much more reliable than horizontal recording.

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From what I know, perpendicular recording isn't inherently less reliable than longitudinal. However, the industry doesn't have as much experience with it as with longitudinal. The failure mechanisms aren't as well understood, so there's an inherent learning curve. It's a bigger jump than the transition from inductive to MR heads was.

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There's nothing wrong with large capacity drives per se. Mechanical drives are always going to fail at some point. It's just a case of when.

There are lots of other factors that could cause a drive to fail prematurely e.g. mishandling by the shipping company (FedEx/UPS etc.), poor case ventilation and so on.

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I've know people who bought 500 GB drives, bought 3 or 4 book drives, or something like that, and within a week of each other they are dying.
ahhh anecdotal data.. totally useless.

Anymore useless comments? ;) Nothing quoted in that article is a hard dealbreaker... the perceived limitations of magnetic media keep getting pushed back, although there IS eventually a hard limit where we're flipping too few electrons. We're just not there yet.

P.S. Funny thing I said that I bought the 750 GB Samsung instead of the 1 TB drive because of the many complaints. Take a look into the Newegg page here:
did you check the dates on those comments? Those are all old-- early production drives.

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P.S. Funny thing I said that I bought the 750 GB Samsung instead of the 1 TB drive because of the many complaints. Take a look into the Newegg page here:
did you check the dates on those comments? Those are all old-- early production drives.
Always the same excuse for "earlier production drives"... are you kidding? The 750 GB drive was not released yesterday. And even if that was the case, it's no excuse for so many defective and unreliable units. Haven't you heard about the Seagate 7200.11 problems?

If we were talking about any other product, I would be skeptical about the few bunch of negative reviews. Because all piece of equipment is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. :P

But we are talking about a product that already have hundreds of people complaining about defective units! This isn't something you will see everyday. Isn't that scary enough for you to reconsider purchasing, spending a lot of money on these drives? Saying this is nothing but bad luck is blissful ignorance of the facts.

Take a look at this comment from the Newegg bad reviews page. Will you say the guy was reading this thread before he posted it?!!!! :P

Pros: NONE!

Cons: Was $130 when I bought it around March '08. Failed on October '08. Lost 600+ gigs worth of data including music and by music I mean my own music. I'm a musician and lost 2 albums worth of music sessions. Sure some people would say "durr back up your data durr". I do that from time to time IT'S JUST THAT THERE IS NO REASON OR AN EXCUSE FOR A HARD DRIVE TO FAIL AFTER 8 MONTHS OF USE especially when you buy something from a reputable brand like Samsung.

There are also serious compatibility problems with this drive and Nforce controllers. Google it around. Plenty of people cant get their computers to register this drive. Others would have to wait 10-15 extra seconds to POST every reboot.

Other Thoughts: I've been using a Western Digital 80 gig SATA drive as my main drive for 3 years now. I've dropped it twice. I've installed, re-installed so many different OS on it. I've formatted and reformatted it dozens of times. And it still works. SMART tells me fitness is 99% and performance is 100%!!! I have another similar WD drive but IDE form and 120 gigs that I use in a VERY old Dell computer. That drive is now at least 5 years old and it still works without any problems. I have a 5 year old 3200 RPM (!!!) Maxtor external USB drive and guess what??? NO PROBLEMS!

I still try to fix this hard drive from time to time by attempting to use an external enclosure or even SpinRite but nothing has worked. No software can possibly fix a shoddy manufacturing job.

Thanks for clicking noises and loss of important data Samsung. I really appreciate it.

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One more thing I forgot to say in my previous post:

And even if the guy purchased one earlier unit, how can you be sure you are not doing the same thing with all other brands? I mean, is there any massive recall happening right now for all of them, any quality control, removing those units from all stores and all that stuff? All RMAs were done without problems?

We will never be 100% safe, we will never know if we are purchasing a drive produced in 2007 that is on the back of the store just waiting for the next victim.

Of course we should always make backups of every sensitive data stored in Hard drives, no one is dumb enough to forgot the most basic thing. But like I said, this is not my primary concern. I would like to know how my money is invested.

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We use far more drives where I am in an hour than the average person will use with a lifetime. Some of our customers we support for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or more years.

If there were systematic problems continuing as people on Newegg are bitching about, we would see the trends in our data. And we don't.

Also, drives that are shipped and handled properly avoid considerable failures. We retrain regularly because, yes, we see failure rates increase measurably after a certain period of time. If you're buying a bulk pack drive from just about any major internet retailer, that two layers of bubble wrap is not necessarily proper packing and that was done at the end of the drive's handling in the warehouse, not the beginning. People seeing elevated failure rates as a result are very possibly as great as 50% or more due to improper handling.

I am not implying that RMA'ed drives are all coming back properly or that bad drives are limited to these reviews-- not at all. I am saying that our failure rates are well within expectation. We deal directly with WD, Maxtor, Seagate, Samsung, and Hitachi at times, including specific firmwares for our customers. Believe me, we are very aware of what is going on as far as what is affecting our production.

The Samsung drives you single out are known to have had high failure rates in early production due to overly ambitious goals from Samsung for their suppliers. You have an exception, not the rule, as your example. Seagate's 7200.11 firmware is a much more interesting failure of a harddisk company's product...

Take a look at this comment from the Newegg bad reviews page. Will you say the guy was reading this thread before he posted it?!!!
He's a moron or he's demand lucky. He dropped it and he expected it to work? He's damned lucky, that's for sure. And his sample size of three is statistically useless.
no one is dumb enough to forgot the most basic thing.
Tell that to some 90% or more of users out there... ;)

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Pros: Good capacity....

Cons: High capacity...

Other Thoughts: High capacity drives come at the cost of volatility. When seagate released the 1.5 TB drive, I was skeptical. As a physicist, I know that capacity is limited by technology, and while miniaturization is moving quite quickly, there is still a physical capacity, regardless. with magnetic storage this dense, one slight error by the head will corrupt the file, and repeated events - all of your files.

While the storage, and other perks from reviews already posted, are pretty good, I don't see these drives having a long lifetime, and most definitely wouldn't use them in high volume and mission critical environments. I'll stick with my 1TB drives until these have been on the market for a good amount of time. Call me a skeptic, but I'd like to think that I didn't spend an obscene amount of time in school for nothing.

The quoted text you copied is dumb stupid. The Seagate 1.5TB has (or had?) design/firmware problems which has not much to do with platter density. Also Samsung's HD103UJ was a leap in the dark by Samsung who had no previous experience in top edge (market leader) technology of this kind (in field of making HDDs, I mean), so no one was really surprised when it turned out that the first products weren't so flawless. As for general medium quality of today's drives - let me disagree. In the past the ratio of broken HDDs was not lower in general mass market regarding what I saw and read (I started to use HDDs in 1990 and have tried to follow trends in storage since mid 90's). So far I had 3 drive failures (a 15 GB IBM years ago - BTW top quality in that time, a 300 GB Maxtor - no surprise here and a 40 GB Samsung - which I dropped from 1.5 m, uh-oh), and have no problem with my 4 1TB drives I use (2 of them in 24/7) - two is WD, one is Hitachi and one is a Samsung HD103UJ :). So much for individual experience and showing it as general knowledge.

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And his sample size of three is statistically useless.
Wow, even you must say this can't be a fracking coincidence! :D

Taken from the Samsung 1 TB page:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductRevie...1&Keywords=

I hope I am not seeing my 2 750 GB Samsung drives dying very soon. They were shipped from US to south america, from one ebay buyer... from what you said about improper handling, I might have a good chance of seeing those drives dying in a near future...

Pros: Works great for a small while...

Get used to seeing this page:

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/repairpo...dOddExchange.do

Cons: I have purchased over 20 of these drives and about 40 of the Spinpoint 750's within the last year. Of the 750's, over 24 of them have failed, 10 of them before data recovery was possible. Like other reviews have said, they work great for about 8-14 months, then the bad sectors creep in, the click of death occurs and good luck getting your data back. A chkdsk /r will help find and repair (put in bad addressing space) bad sectors, but only temporarily as it will continue to fail.

HDD scan or some other hard drive utilities constantly reported bad sector count, bad ram, or some amount of pending sector reallocation. Doing a full zero wipe (multiple passes) does not fix the problem. On several drives I would do one chkdsk, it would fix errors, only to turn around, run it again and find more, that's how fast they die.

Other Thoughts: I personally had 5 of these in a RAID 5 on a P5K Deluxe board and three died within a month. I have also had to RMA 8 out of 10 of their 500GB drives. I really did love the drives, and in fact had switched all of my purchasing of hard drives over to Samsung. Now I have to decide who is better out of WD or Seagate, because I cannot afford such a high failure rate on these drives. They have cost me more time in one year recovering customer's data than any other brand failures for the 10 years I've been building computers and servers. I am a server administrator over a few dozen servers and would never consider putting these drives in even a non-critical server. I love some of Samsung's other products, but these drives are a joke. I am also contacting Samsung Corporate to see about some sort of lemon law, as I have sent back recently RMA'd drives (refurbs) three times.

Edited by Mocorongo

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You have to buy and try and/or read reviews.

I have had numerous problems over 6-12mos with Velociraptors.

I moved to RE3s (1TB) and have not had any problems yet.

I recommend RE3s (currently) for this reason.

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When you have a sufficiently large random sample size to qualify as data, let us know. We haven't seen huge numbers of recent issues here, nothing that would surprise us, at least.

However, we do have much more tight control over our products and supply chain here. We have extensive revision control in place per customer demands, so doubtless there are events we may not see. We also have much more extensive control over drive handling and continued training of such. But that kind of failure rate in such drives? Again, we haven't seen anything here that is beyond expectation.

The Newegg reviewer you're talking about isn't even choosing to put properly enterprise-qualified disks into his servers so he's clearly making a conscious decision to do what he's doing there, especially by buying them through Newegg or other retailers who we already know do not necessarily have sufficient control of their drive handling procedures in the warehouse... eeek.

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