Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Wed Sep 04, 2013 8:10 pm

keltor wrote:Where I work we physically destroy all drives when they go bad or are decomissioned. Two people have to sign off on the physical destruction.

Same here. Our IT boffins have a hefty cordless drill with a mean-looking bit that drills through all decom drives. Past management made them do it to RAM sticks as well but recent changes in management have acknowledged that that was particularly stupid and expensive.
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:16 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:I feel like there's a lack of appreciation for how modern storage technology (HDD and SSD) are a non-trivial engineering design.

Complexity begets fragility.


You are right that there is a lot of complexity in modern drives, and it's amazing what we can fit on them and how fast they work given the limitations of physics and the price constraints.

The problem is, the user doesn't care about any of that if s/he lost all their stuff on their drive.
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:57 pm

Captain Ned wrote:Same here. Our IT boffins have a hefty cordless drill with a mean-looking bit that drills through all decom drives. Past management made them do it to RAM sticks as well but recent changes in management have acknowledged that that was particularly stupid and expensive.

DoD stuff gets a little surreal sometimes too. Take a device with non-volatile storage into a secure area? It can't come out again intact. I'm not just talking about thumbdrives and the like either; *any* electronic devices with an internal flash memory (e.g. firmware storage for embedded devices) are considered to be potential vectors for security leaks.

It can make testing/debugging of devices which need to interface to classified equipment rather difficult. Even if you're cleared to *look* at the network logs, you're not allowed to take the log files out of the secure area for offline analysis. No cell or Internet connectivity into the secure area either, so it is awkward to have any sort of dialogue with a subject matter expert back at the office if you're stumped. You can't bring in your own laptop with tools to help analyze the logs unless you're willing to give up the laptop (or at least its hard drive) when you leave. If you're lucky (and with a lot of advance planning), maybe you can convince the security overlords to install your analysis tools on an existing system inside the secure area.

Once you see how the DoD operates, you start to understand why military hardware is so much more expensive than consumer hardware. It's not so much a reliability/ruggedness thing (though that definitely comes into play as well); it's the inflated development costs due to all of the additional hoops you need to jump through.
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:19 pm

just brew it! wrote:Once you see how the DoD operates, you start to understand why military hardware is so much more expensive than consumer hardware. It's not so much a reliability/ruggedness thing (though that definitely comes into play as well); it's the inflated development costs due to all of the additional hoops you need to jump through.

Dad spent 26 years between active duty and reserves in the USAF. I've heard each and every security stupid standing in the way of sensible (and secure) progress.
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:40 am

just brew it! wrote:Once you see how the DoD operates, you start to understand why military hardware is so much more expensive than consumer hardware. It's not so much a reliability/ruggedness thing (though that definitely comes into play as well); it's the inflated development costs due to all of the additional hoops you need to jump through.

DoE is the same way...the costs are almost always due to the hoops and very rarely due to the actual hardware.
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:47 am

Captain Ned wrote:Past management made them do it to RAM sticks as well but recent changes in management have acknowledged that that was particularly stupid and expensive.


lawl.

It would have been even better if they forced you to rub them all over a bulk tape demagnetizer first!

JBI wrote:DoD stuff gets a little surreal sometimes too. Take a device with non-volatile storage into a secure area? It can't come out again intact. I'm not just talking about thumbdrives and the like either; *any* electronic devices with an internal flash memory (e.g. firmware storage for embedded devices) are considered to be potential vectors for security leaks.


...Meanwhile near-children are walking out with Lady Gaga CDs full of "secure" information. :roll:

I know, I know, R & P... I'll quiet down.

JBI wrote:Once you see how the DoD operates, you start to understand why military hardware is so much more expensive than consumer hardware. It's not so much a reliability/ruggedness thing (though that definitely comes into play as well); it's the inflated development costs due to all of the additional hoops you need to jump through.


Yup, by far, and not just the security implications either.
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:05 am

just brew it! wrote:I consider the length of warranty to be (very) loosely correlated with how reliable the manufacturer expects the drive to be. All else being equal I'll take the drive with the longer warranty. But I'm not willing to pay much for more warranty.


I most definitely agree with this. Someone on the front page made it just out to be segmentation, but we went from five year warranties before the floods, to two year warranties standard after. It may be coincidence, but that damn well seems like a weird time to implement a tiering scheme when the prices on HDs are already jacked unless there is more to it. Even now old WD Blacks have five year warranties (consumer drives at least).
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Oo paraphase a marketing slogan...

Postposted on Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:38 am

Hard drives have always sucked, you just didn't know it.

"Once you know, you ZFS."
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Sat Sep 07, 2013 5:18 pm

just brew it! wrote:I consider the length of warranty to be (very) loosely correlated with how reliable the manufacturer expects the drive to be. All else being equal I'll take the drive with the longer warranty. But I'm not willing to pay much for more warranty.


In my experience with WD drives the warranty does correlate to the lifespan of the drive. Every Blue or Green drive (3 or 2 year warranties respectively) I've had failed within 4 years, whereas every Black drive (5 year warranty) hasn't ever failed even after 6-8 years. It's anecdotal since my "sample size" is only about 25 drives total but it's hard for me to ignore the fact that I have never had a single WD Black fail.

In the case of WD Blacks I'm not really paying extra "for the warranty". I'm paying extra for the peace of mind and convenience of never having any of them fail. I'd rather spend an extra $20-30 up front than go through the hassle of ordering and replacing drives later, and spending hours copying all of the backed up data again.
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Re: Oo paraphase a marketing slogan...

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:45 am

Bauxite wrote:Hard drives have always sucked, you just didn't know it.

"Once you know, you ZFS."



SSDs suck too. Just ask any of the early-adopters of first-generation of SSDs and their painful firmware issues. SSDs have longevity issues as well and it will get worse as you shrink the cells. Most mainstream units under a casual workload haven't reached their theoretical longevity limits yet. You only see most of the problems with units under extreme 24/7 loads in the enterprise load. Oddly enough, optical media is very durable if you careful and don't go skimpy on media quality (no cheapo discs).
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Re: Oo paraphase a marketing slogan...

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 11:02 am

Krogoth wrote:
Bauxite wrote:Hard drives have always sucked, you just didn't know it.

"Once you know, you ZFS."



SSDs suck too. Just ask any of the early-adopters of first-generation of SSDs and their painful firmware issues. SSDs have longevity issues as well and it will get worse as you shrink the cells. Most mainstream units under a casual workload haven't reached their theoretical longevity limits yet. You only see most of the problems with units under extreme 24/7 loads in the enterprise load. Oddly enough, optical media is very durable if you careful and don't go skimpy on media quality (no cheapo discs).


Here here, I've actually had more issues with SSD's then mechanicals.
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Re: Oo paraphase a marketing slogan...

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:24 pm

Krogoth wrote:Oddly enough, optical media is very durable if you careful and don't go skimpy on media quality (no cheapo discs).

Speaking of media durability... during a recent junk-purge, I found a box filled with 5.25" floppies (360K) which I had used extensively with my first PC (Tandy 1000, 8088 @ 4.77MHz, circa 1986). I also found a 5.25" 1.2MB floppy drive from my second PC (Gateway 486SX @ 25MHz, circa 1992). I managed to find an old floppy cable with edge connectors, hooked it up to my current system, enabled the floppy controller in the BIOS, and voila -- it worked!

After cleaning the drive with a combination of compressed air and an isopropyl-alcohol floppy drive cleaner disk, I was able to read floppies that were over 25 years old. I went through the entire box, and was amazed to find that ALL of them still read perfectly! I found a book report on Moby Dick that I wrote in 10th grade (1989/1990) :o
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Re: Oo paraphase a marketing slogan...

Postposted on Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:29 pm

Deanjo wrote:Here here, I've actually had more issues with SSD's then mechanicals.

That's your reward for being an early adopter!
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:25 pm

I received a WD:B 500 from Newegg today to act as a temp drive in my main computer and I thought I'd post some pictures so you guys know what the packaging looked like.

Image
Image

So I don't think it's the packaging...
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:46 pm

I wish they would pack them all like that! (But as I noted about a week ago they seem to be doing much better these days even when it is just bubble wrap and peanuts.)

I suppose it could be a WD thing (perhaps WD supplies their distributors with those plastic inserts).
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Fri Sep 13, 2013 1:46 am

I give drives a solid week before I put them "in service". That first week generally includes a full disk format and a full disk encryption (truecrypt), all the while checking the SMART info for issues like increasing bad sectors, CRC errors, or increasing spin-up times. System drives tend to get less of a work-out than data drives because I'm always ready to reinstall them.

I've only posted one harddisk review at Newegg and it was bad. The drive (WD Black 2G) literally smoked/sparked from a dead short the first time I tried to power it on, In the process, it destroyed a power supply. The disk looked/smelled like it would have burned down my place had I not been paying attention. WD made me pay to ship it back, adding insult to injury. Likely, if they would have replaced it at no cost to me, I would not have dinged them on Newegg.

Long ago I had one of the infamous IBM's with the "stickion" (sp?) problem. I used to leave this one hanging outside my case by its cables (SCSI and power). Each time the PC powered on, I'd shake it around until it decided to spin up. Worked fine once it was up and warm, but cold-booting was annoying.

Other than that, I've had a 200GB Seagate die, which really caused me a problem, and convinced me to do regular backups. So, I think hard disks are about as bad/good/reliable as ever from a sample-size of maybe two dozen drives over 30 years at home. These days I mostly use mechanicals like people used tapes in the old days (and yes, I actually once had a tape drive in one of my personal home-built PCs, ca. early 90's).
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:27 am

MarkG509 wrote:Long ago I had one of the infamous IBM's with the "stickion" (sp?) problem. I used to leave this one hanging outside my case by its cables (SCSI and power). Each time the PC powered on, I'd shake it around until it decided to spin up. Worked fine once it was up and warm, but cold-booting was annoying.

Even longer ago than that, I helped maintain/manage a large system that had multiple disk arrays (32 drives total) composed of 5-1/4" full-height Wren drives (these were originally designed by CDC, who then spun their hard drive division off as Imprimis, which was then acquired by Seagate). These things ran 24x7 for years. Then one day the system got shut down (it was being moved to a different server room). When it was powered back up, about half of the drives wouldn't spin up. We actually managed to get all of them except one to spin back up with the "shake your drive" trick. :lol:
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:31 am

I feel as though the OPAL drives are the worst. They're great for the instant encryption but they drop like flies.
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:37 am

Omniman wrote:I feel as though the OPAL drives are the worst. They're great for the instant encryption but they drop like flies.

If so, that would point to a common flaw in the OPAL implementations. Multiple vendors make OPAL-compliant drives so it is not a vendor-specific issue.
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:33 pm

Received a Seagate 2TB I got on sale the other day today, I thought I'd include more photos for comparison of packing material. This one was packaged even better then the last one.

Image
Image
Image

So, something else I noticed. Comparing these two new drives to two I have laying around including the two 7200.11s, they feel inferior in quality. They seem to weigh less (putting aside platter weight). The covers seem to be thinner, the case seems to be made out of cheaper material, some of the sides weren't smoothed completely... The overall build quality feels worse. Obviously this may not be representative of what's inside, but it seems to be a pretty good sign.
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:57 pm

These days I wouldnt do anything less than WD RE 3's or 4's in raid 1 at a minimum.The peace of mind is worth the extra cash *to me*.This is after dealing with 80 or so RE 3's and a mix of 100'ish of every brand consumer drives at a old job for around 5 years.
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Re: Oo paraphase a marketing slogan...

Postposted on Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:20 am

just brew it! wrote:
Deanjo wrote:Here here, I've actually had more issues with SSD's then mechanicals.

That's your reward for being an early adopter!


Early adopter? I waited a good 3 years after consumer introduction before I even ventured into SSD
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Re: Mechanical Hard Drives Today Are Garbage?

Postposted on Wed Sep 25, 2013 6:32 am

I have a Maxtor 250 GB 7200RPM(16MB cache) Diamondmax 10 from 2005.
(1 of 6 total hard drives in my main Windows 7 PC).


Darn thing just keeps on running.(I'm glad it's still working)..
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