What do you trust more: mechanical or solid-state storage?

SSDs are slowly taking over the PC storage industry. They've become the default in slim mobile systems and are increasingly working their way into desktops. For some folks, they've replaced portable hard drives, too.

The shifting tide is largely driven by the fact that modern solid-state drives have vastly superior performance to their mechanical counterparts. Speed is only one part of the storage equation, though. Reliability is arguably more important for devices tasked with storing precious data. Which brings us to our new poll.

What do you trust more: mechanical or solid-state storage?

Although our endurance experiment showed that modern SSDs can withstand hundreds of terabytes of writes, NAND wear isn't the only thing that causes them to fail. Firmware flaws and other factors can also compromise one's data. Mechanical drives are perhaps more mature on that front, but their underlying technology is inherently more fragile—especially when faced with physical shock.

The poll is deliberately limited to two options, but feel free to clarify your choice in the comments below. Now, go vote, and let us know which form of storage you trust more.

Comments closed
    • chΒ΅ck
    • 5 years ago

    I trust them about equally.
    My boot/programs drive is a SSD and I like it because there are no moving parts susceptible to shock damage and it’s super quick.
    My media/games/backup drive is a HDD and I like it because of storage:cost and because some data will be recoverable in the unlikely case that it begins to die.
    I see 1TB SSDs going for less than $0.30/GB now, and they look tempting for a game drive.

    • Shadin
    • 5 years ago

    The answer is that I never trust any drive, and neither should you. The moment you trust any HDD or SSD isn’t going to fail at any moment you might as well just delete whatever data is on it yourself.

    That said, as far as reliability, I haven’t really seen a difference between the two. Drives are drives, there’s duds and good ones.

    • bronek
    • 5 years ago

    O c’mon, eventually every drive will fail – solid state or mechanical (or what next they are going to invent). The only question is : what is your plan when this happens?

    I for one use mirror for all important data … (and then external backup, but it might occasionally be old)

      • VincentHanna
      • 5 years ago

      Oh yeah?

      [url<]http://themindunleashed.org/2014/02/data-storage-crystal-quartz-will-change-everything.html[/url<]

    • kube
    • 5 years ago

    That’s easy! Mechanical!

    SSD maybe be faster, but when it dies, it dies hard and usually with little to no warning. It is impossible to recover your data from the chips.

    Mechanical, however, if the controller board dies, the servos die, the heads die, etc… it can be opened in a clean room and have the parts replaced and get most if not all the data back again. Yeah you can have a head crash but it’s still possible to get some data off.

    IMHO, it best to put your OS and applications on SSD and user profiles and data on mechanical. Your OS and applications launch fast and if the drive dies, you get a new drive and install.

    There are special cases like maybe video editing where you might want your work to be done on SSD.

    No matter what, have your installation media handy and don’t forget to backup!

    • DarkMikaru
    • 5 years ago

    Honestly, this is a tough question to answer. But perhaps my answer lies in my practices. Lately I have yet to see an SSD die regardless of manufacturer. 3+yrs ago however that was a different story.

    Given that we can only choose one or the other, I’d go with SSD. But I still backup both regularly. You just never know. SSD’s scare me because I hear about people not getting warnings before hand. So even though I trust them more, I fear them just as much.

    • KeillRandor
    • 5 years ago

    I have an old Amiga A1200 with an 80MB 2.5″ HDD in it – and it still seems to work.

    (Though I don’t know for absolutely certain, because I don’t have a TV to plug it into, and make sure. It seems to fire-up okay, but…) Would a 2.5″ SSD still be working after all this time – we don’t know yet…

    • SetzerG
    • 5 years ago

    Every mechanical hard drive I have ever had manufactured between the late 90s and now has failed. Most every hard drive I’ve had from the mid-90s and earlier has always worked fine. I work in a business that deals with tens of thousands of computers and hard drives every year. The percentage of hard drives 500GB or larger that fail is astounding. I don’t trust any large capacity mechanical hard drive, period!

    With SSDs, however, it all has to do with the controller / drive manufacturer. I generally trust Intel and SanDisk drives, and little else. There are lots of bad SSD manufacturers, so I bet most people who don’t trust SSD reliability have probably had a bad experience with a poor quality drive.

    • tks
    • 5 years ago
    • TopHatKiller
    • 5 years ago

    Huh, here we go:
    [fingers crossed, touch wood etc]

    I have an old PC. I was purchased somewhere in the nineties. It’s specs at the time were sort of, mid range reasonable.

    Like this;
    i80486sx-25mhz, cirrius logic gd5424 1mb vga & Western Digital Cavier hdd of – 170MB.

    This is the fingers/crossed bit: because as of a few days ago: it all still worked! The drive still works, and it’s been going for – twenty years? longer? – of course, if for some reason I wanted to transfer the DRIVER for my KEYBOARD, I would run out of space. But hey.
    Some things are just bloody reliable, and I doubt I’ll be talking to you in about 2035 about how my 1/4TB MX100 still works. {Fingers crossed, that’s not the case etc.. – last thing I want to do is upset my new PC. Aside: PC, I think you’re great, don’t let me down……}
    .

    • SeJoWa
    • 5 years ago

    For my boot drive, I’ve been with Intel since their very first SSD, and never had any problems.

    For data and boot drive backups, still relying on mirrored WD server drives.

    For a safely tucked away, separate data image, a simple portable HD.

    And always ECC memory, of course.

    • crystall
    • 5 years ago

    As often with this kind of questions my answer is: it depends. For everyday use I trust an SSD with full power-loss protection more than an hard-drive. Nowadays this means essentially the Intel 730 which AFAIK is the only non-enterprise drive available with power-loss protection (or an older Intel 320 of which I still use a 300GB model on my laptop). I consider drives with data-at-rest protection on power loss (Crucial M500 and above, Vertex 180) pretty much on par with hard-drives as far as data integrity goes. All other SSDs I consider too unreliable to entrust my data to. For long-term storage then HDD are my only option. Unpowered data retention is problematic on practically every modern SSD.

    • Chrispy_
    • 5 years ago

    In a static computer like a desktop, I’d trust mechanical over SSD
    In a moving computer like a laptop, I’d trust an SSD over mechanical, even an old OCZ Sandforce!

    Bascially mechanical is a very very mature technology with known failure rates and mechanisms of failure. As long as you avoid things that are obviously going to kill a mecanical drive, (shock, vibration, heat cycling, moisture etc) you should be pretty good. Exluding infant mortality, which is quite high at about 5%, mechanical drives just sitting there in a desktop/server are [i<]statistically[/i<] rock-solid. SSD's are still an upstart, infant technology. Every generation is different to the last and barely out of beta before it's released (occasionally drives are problematic for the first couple of months of their product cycles) Firmware updates for critical, drive-bricking or data-losing scenarios are still appearing often enough to raise eyebrows. I think SSD's will be far more reliable that they already are in the future, but we are not there yet - at least not in the consumer space.

    • Zizy
    • 5 years ago

    SSD, excluding controller issues, under typical workload and storage requirements (not really keen on 4 SSDs to replace a single HDD, I would rather trust HDD in this case).

    Including controller issues? Not sure, even if staying away from OCZ. Just about every company had a rather large bug.

    • Lianna
    • 5 years ago

    Didn’t vote. SSD for laptop/tablet etc. because of no moving parts. HDD for big files, because of price and order of magnitude more TBW life.

    I work on videos and TBW pile up incredibly fast. I do programming and sometimes need to repeat tests writing a TB or two in a day, so SSD could die a couple of months. Have 13″ laptop with SSD for OS/programs (1.5TBW after 6 months, and that’s with no hibernation, which could add dozens of GB everyday) and HDD for video, temporary data and development. I _trust_ neither. I try to have up-to-date two and sometimes three backup devices for everything important.

    • rutra80
    • 5 years ago

    Tough one. SSDs certainly are more resistant to physical shock and environment conditions. BUT, there’s a saying that everything is fine as long as everything is fine. When the disaster comes (a drive fails and you have no backup) which kind of storage gives you more chance to restore your data? When SSD fails, no matter if it’s due to some kind of damage, firmware bug (happens much more often than in HDDs), or wear, it most often bricks – only specialised labs have a chance to restore anything. When HDD fails, most often you are able to restore most of your data yourself at home.
    So we have a situation here like in airplanes vs cars – they say that aeroplanes have much less accidents per mileage. Yea, but when they happen, well – you’re dead. I hate flying.
    I picked that I trust mechanical storage more. But still, I’d pick SSD over HDD any day. Just back them up as well.

    • Klimax
    • 5 years ago

    Data recovery from HDD is cheaper then from SDD and often DIY-able.

    Data go onto HDD, programs onto SSD. (So far the only loss of data not caused by operators fail were due to one failure of SSD few hours before transfer to new one) Also so far only one HDD developed bad sectors. (Seagate 2TB Barracuda…)

    Note: Backups currently not possible due to sheer amount of TBs there.

    • ptsant
    • 5 years ago

    I would just like to point out that most users have had a lot of time and many different HDs with which to experience failures, while their potential expposure to SSDs is shorter and probably involves a smaller number of drives. For what it’s worth, I have multiple HDs that are still going strong after >8 years. Two out of my 5 SSDs had firmware issues (Samsung EVO).

    PS One should also consider the amount of storage. If you need 3 SSDs to achieve the same amount of storage as 1 HD, the probabilty of any one drive failing is higher for multiple drives.

    • Buzzard44
    • 5 years ago

    Depends on if the drive is used in a way it’s likely to be bumped (i.e. laptop vs stationary desktop).

    • Deanjo
    • 5 years ago

    Well, let’s put it this way……

    I wouldn’t expect that I would be able to pull a machine that has been unpowered for about 15 years and fire it up as if no time has passed with all data intact that had a SSD.

    I did that however the other day with my fathers old Cyrix P150+ system with an old Maxtor drive, even the 5 1/4″ 1.2 Meg floppy reads those three decade old 360k disks that I have.

    • Welch
    • 5 years ago

    SSD for sure. The firmware issue is the only thing that stands out and even though issues exist, rarely do they cause a complete failure, just slow reads, BSOD and system locks until updated firmware (usually anyhow)

    SSDs are in their infantcy compared to HDDs, and if hard drives were getting firmware updates on a regular basis then you’d have that same risk. There have been drives like certain barracudas that required a firmware update in order to not burn themselves out. Each product can have issues, but SSD by nature is less prone to failure in a drives standard life uses, laptop or even desktop

    • Srsly_Bro
    • 5 years ago

    I wish “your mom” was an answer. #juvenilecomedy4ever

      • bjm
      • 5 years ago

      Your mom is so FAT, she got sued by Microsoft for patent infringement.

      • ClickClick5
      • 5 years ago

      Yo mama so FAT, pkzip can’t compress her!

        • meerkt
        • 5 years ago

        Fat is low entropy. I think the problem may be that Deflate isn’t really state-of-art.

      • VincentHanna
      • 5 years ago

      yo momma is so fat, fat 32 is her ring size.

    • Laykun
    • 5 years ago

    SSDs with the exception of OCZ.

    I personally have had no SSDs fail on me but I’ve witnessed an OCZ failure. Having been bought by Toshiba though I have cautious optimism for OCZ drives.

    Every brand of HDD I’ve ever had has died, particularly WD Green drives. Out of the 15 WD Green drives I’ve had most have now died (after I sold them off second hand).

      • BenBasson
      • 5 years ago

      A couple of years ago, I burned through 6 OCZ SSDs in the space of 12 months. It wasn’t pretty.

    • Unknown-Error
    • 5 years ago

    I recently bought an MSI GS70 with SSD + HDD and within one week the HDD went boom. Got it RMA’d, but that failure was surprising. SSD is still running and speed difference is quite noticeable. So at least for Laptops [b<]I am in the SSD camp[/b<]. Regarding my desktops, well, only one of my DT HDD failed within 2 years. My old Core 2 Based system bought in early 2007 is still running strong. My old P4 ran for almost 10 years without the HDD failing. For DT past 20 years only 1 HDD died prematurely, and unlike my LT I treat the DTs pretty brutally. So for DT, can't really complain on the reliability.

      • Laykun
      • 5 years ago

      I got the GS60 and had the HDD replaced with a 512GB SDD, running like a champ for nearly a year now.

    • Krogoth
    • 5 years ago

    Mechanical drives for archival storage

    SSDs are great for speed but as for long-term reliability is concerned flash-based SSDs have known issues with cells starting to leak and burn-in. The problem gets worse as cells get smaller. They are going to be a large number of users who are going to be in for a shock a few years down the road. The enterprise world is well aware of the long-term issues that persist with flash media. They is why they prefer more expensive, but durable SLC tech. It really just takes one bad cell that happens to be used by a critical file of your OS to just ruin your day. Likewise, HDDs are just to prone to it with a single bad sector that happens to occupy a mission-critical file.

    The difference is that HDD there is a chance to do disaster recovery at a rather steep cost, but with solid-state media. You are literally SOL.

    Any paranoid user or somebody who got a taste of disaster recovery would already have some kind of back-up strategy in place to prevent such situations from happening in the first place. πŸ˜‰

    • Sunburn74
    • 5 years ago

    Every hard drive I have ever owned except for the current one I am using has died prematurely (total number 5)

    Every SSD I have ever owned has never died prematurely
    (Total number 6)

    I am in the SSD camp

    • basket687
    • 5 years ago

    I voted hard drives. I experienced an SSD failure twice (OCZ vertex 2 and intel 520) and both failed suddenly without any alarming signs but I never had an HDD failure.
    Despite that, I still use an SSD on my desktop.

    • anotherengineer
    • 5 years ago

    Before the Thailand floods and Sandforces bugs were fixed. – HDD’s.

    After the Thailand floods, and with well matured SSD Firmwares (well maybe except those with TLC πŸ˜‰ – SSD’s

    • flip-mode
    • 5 years ago

    This is honestly a tough one. Just yesterday I pulled three servers out of service. They’ve been running since 2004/2005 non-stop 24/7. All three have their original HDDs in them. But I also have a whole pile of defective HDDs. I have seen some bad SSDs but not for a while, and my pile of failed SSDs is much smaller in number than my pile of failed HDDs. Having said that, the SDDs haven’t been deployed nearly as long. Some of them have been around for maybe four years – maybe.

    In summary, I can’t pick one – must refrain from voting.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    But… what about my stone tablets??!?!?!?

    I mean, the hammer & chisel that I use to write them is mechanical… but believe me, those tablets are in a solid state!

    I’M SO CONFUZZLED!

      • TheMonkeyKing
      • 5 years ago

      The new stone tablet:
      [url<]http://www.mdisc.com/what-is-mdisc/[/url<]

    • jihadjoe
    • 5 years ago

    I trust punch cards!

    • cygnus1
    • 5 years ago

    I don’t trust either more than the other. I’ve had failures of both kinds of disks. Disk failures are scary. Which is why I trust my RAID for uptime and my backups for loss.

    • Peldor
    • 5 years ago

    I don’t have to trust. I backup my data.

      • LordVTP
      • 5 years ago

      Amen to that!

    • f0d
    • 5 years ago

    everyone knows backups are the way to go but that wasnt the question

    if i had a choice would it be ssd’s or hdd’s as the most reliable?

    for me in MY OWN EXPERIENCE its SSD’s hands down, i have had multiple seagate and western digital drives die on me in a blaze of head crashing glory in the last few years and i have old drives that were sitting on the shelf for years (quantums/maxtor) that just refuse to do anything “plug it in and its like i never plugged them in at all or they never existed”

    sure i could get hard drive repair done on the older ones (the newer ones already had the data backed up multiple times) but the data on them wasnt worth as much as the expense of data recovery (old games i wanted to try)

    now i havnt had a single SSD issue ever and thats with multiple OCZ vertex 1 and 2 drives and the newer samsung 840evo which never had the slowdown issue this time or last time (should i buy a lottery ticket?)

    so with multiple hard drive deaths and zero ssd deaths i have to vote for ssd

    • Kougar
    • 5 years ago

    It’s not a simple straightforward answer. For laptops I trust SSDs significantly more, I don’t have to worry about every little bump or jolt breaking a mechanical drive.

    For desktops, I trust both reasonably well. But the end user is far far more likely to reboot a system and suddenly notice the SSD is dead without warning, then they are with a hard disk drive. HDDs tend to give audible warning cues and fail slowly enough that the system begins to throw errors or show symptoms. If an SSD is going to fail then it just does so outright.

    • hansmuff
    • 5 years ago

    I trust none of them, and nobody should. They are all temporary devices to hold data, and backing up on either medium will need a good recovery plan.

    I trust online backup the most. I firmly believe that a place like crashplan or amazon s3 is much, MUCH better at keeping my data alive than I could ever hope to emulate.

    The internet is unlikely to just go down, too. If the one at my house does, I can get to my data at just about any other place.

    I still have mechanicals. My NAS holds everything on 4TB hitachis, but I don’t trust them, I back them up online. Do I like them? Yep. Still don’t trust them.

    My desktop has an 840PRO and an Intel 320. Great drives, but I don’t trust them either. I back them up to the NAS (ZFS and ECC RAM) and that backs up online. I believe that as a consumer, that is as good as I can make it.

    The mechanical HDD vs SSD is a silly question imo.

    • HisDivineOrder
    • 5 years ago

    Depending on brands and assuming a consumer drive focus, I’d say the best SSD’s are more reliable than the best hard drives. I think servers and server farms probably change things up somewhat, depending again on brands, etc…

    I think the lack of moving parts with SSD’s ultimately give them the edge in consumer focus where people pick them up and bounce them around and don’t baby them as much as we enthusiasts typically do.

    However, if it’s OCZ, then even Seagate would probably be more reliable or at least they’d battle it out like Predator versus Alien.

    Whoever wins, if you own either, you’re probably going to lose.

    All your data.

    • balanarahul
    • 5 years ago

    HDD:- Practically infinite data retention.
    SSD:- No moving parts.

    It’s a tough choice. I guess SSD for regularly accessed storage and HDD in RAID for backup.

    But right now SSD tech isn’t as mature as HDD tech, so I vote for HDD.

    Edit:- Charge Trap Flash [i<]might[/i<] increase data retention capabilities of SSDs, but that tech is way too immature for me trust it.

    • Bauxite
    • 5 years ago

    Trust is for suckers. Verify everything.

    ZFS for online storage, and real backups for when that goes up in flames.

    • MarkG509
    • 5 years ago

    I [b<]trust[/b<] my backups. SSDs make taking backups faster, and since my SSDs are smaller than my mechanicals, the backups are smaller.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 5 years ago

    I trust SSDs more against drops/falls and impact damage.

    I trust HDDs more for long-term storage at least if you make sensible brand/model choices.

    Either way though, there should be backups.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 5 years ago

      I TRUST pen and paper and a fire safe.

      Everything else… I trust with provisos.

        • LoneWolf15
        • 5 years ago

        In God we trust…all others require RAID-60.

    • puppetworx
    • 5 years ago

    The higher recoverability of HDDs tips them in favour for me. I still don’t really ‘trust’ them though, I backup everything. My buying choices are therefore based on other metrics – speed, capacity, price – not necessarily in that order.

      • VincentHanna
      • 5 years ago

      “Trusting” that I’ll be able to pull data off an HDD moreso than an SSD is like trusting that I’ll be able to find a hospital before a broken leg causes me to go septic. Its great and all, but I’ll take precautions to avoid the need for any recovery services.

      I find my Raid 10 array with offsite archives to be exceptionally recoverable… in SSD and HDD flavors.

    • cphite
    • 5 years ago

    The correct answer is don’t trust either of them – make good backups.

    But to echo what some others have said, SSD wins with absolutely no contest if you’re talking about performance; and it seems to actually have a slight edge when it comes to reliability if you’re looking at norms. The caveat is that when an SSD fails, it tends to fail rather spectacularly.

    With an HDD even after it fails you can usually recover data; and your odds get even better if you’re willing to spend some money. It seems there an awful lot of cases where, when an SSD fails, you’re basically screwed.

    So I voted SSD; with an asterisk for a note saying “Trust is a relative term.”

    • fellix
    • 5 years ago

    One thing HDDs definitely take edge is the ability to recover data from the platters even after physical damage of the drive. It’s slow and expensive, but at least is possible.

    • just brew it!
    • 5 years ago

    This is a very nuanced question. For mobile/external devices, I definitely trust SSD more, due to its resistance to mechanical shock. For non-mobile/internal, I’d say my relative level of trust depends on the type of flash (SLC/MLC/TLC), the workload it is being subjected to, whether the system is on a UPS (or whether the SSD is an enterprise-grade model with internal holdup caps), and how long you’re counting on data integrity to be maintained.

    • Takeshi7
    • 5 years ago

    They both have their tradeoffs.

    I like SSDs because I feel like I can safely move my computer while it’s still on without it screwing up.

    Mechanical drives do seem very reliable. I’m still using an IDE Maxtor drive that runs just as well as the day it was new.

    • NovusBogus
    • 5 years ago

    Situational. I trust mechanical for long-term bulk storage, especially if powered off, and I trust solid-state if the system is expected to get moved around while in use. I’d have to give the split-decision to mechanical, though–it’s proven to last many years.

    • jessterman21
    • 5 years ago

    Crucial M500 960GB for $299 on Newegg today πŸ™‚

    [url<]http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148696[/url<]

    • meerkt
    • 5 years ago

    SSDs for gear that’s moved/shaken, and for short-term. HDDs for stationary gear and long-term storage.

    • tootercomputer
    • 5 years ago

    I really don’t like the choices. Most of us have dealt with HDs for years, so we have longer experience with these. I’ve had a few HDs fail, I’ve had two SSDs fail. So I’m not sure if there is really any difference in my experience, and that was not an option. But like someone else noted, I have some HDs laying around that I’ve had for ten or more years. My original 74g Raptor, which I bought in 2004, still works. An old 8g Seagate that came with the last desktop PC I bought (in early 1999, a Compaq Presario 5250 which still works amazingly with lots of updated parts except for the mobo) still works.

    So I guess I think this is an odd poll.

    • odizzido
    • 5 years ago

    I trust mechanical more for situations that are common to me. Desktops and laptops that don’t get treated too badly. Mechanical drives have always given me warning before failing….odd system behaviour, noise, SMART data if I look it up. I’ve never lost data to a mechanical drive.

    SSDs seem to fail without warning. I am sure it’s the controller and not the flash that’s failing but you’re still pretty screwed. Maybe if SSDs had an easy way of replacing the controller I’d trust them more.

    Now if I were to give a laptop to a six year old, an SSD would probably be my choice.

    • DPete27
    • 5 years ago

    Related Poll: Rank the typical computer components in order of most trustworthy to least trustworthy. (stock speeds/voltage)

    CPU/RAM/SSD/mobo/PSU/GPU/HDD is mine. Ram ranks relatively high on my list considering most RAM is either DOA or will work properly.

    • Shinare
    • 5 years ago

    Chose mechanical simply because I know if I pick up a HDD that’s been sitting on the shelf for 15 years (I have some), I can still read the data off of them.

    I have no idea if that’s going to be possible with SSDs.

      • wierdo
      • 5 years ago

      Fair point, I haven’t seen that tested yet. Endurance tested sure, but longterm storage not so much.

    • marraco
    • 5 years ago

    This is the worst ever storage that failed on me:

    [url<]http://i.imgur.com/0LkJqEj.jpg?1[/url<] I had tons of HD, and many SSD. This one was the most expensive ever, and the worst catastrophe. My PC went into a suspend mode, and it never awakened again. That's how OCZ programmed it to behave. I had some HD fails, before, but they gave me warnings. This one gave no warning. It just refused to get out of suspend mode. OCZ programmed it to brick itself, no caring at all about putting a reset jumper. Not caring at all about the value of my information, my lost work, nothing. It is now accumulating dust. I can't trow it to the garbage. I can't accept that a non damaged hardware which costed me and arm to buy, just does not works due to a company idiocy.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 5 years ago

      My worst storage experience was an IOmega ZIP drive. But if I’d bought an SSD from OCZ I think it could have leapt to the top for me, too.

        • chubbyhorse
        • 5 years ago

        Oh the memories of the “click of death”

        • flip-mode
        • 5 years ago

        Oh damn, the zip drive. It wasn’t a question of if it would fail, but a question of how many days you could use it before it did.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 5 years ago

          I took an intro to digital audio production class in college taught on Power Mac 7500s (or similar) running Logic 4. We were to store our projects on ZIP disks. I was always paranoid about losing work thanks to floppy drives in high school. I did keep my work on one, but I also stashed unprotected, unauthorized (by college IT) backups on any Mac I worked on buried where nobody would look – the system folder. Thankfully when my ZIP disk failed, I only lost about 20 minutes of work.

        • the
        • 5 years ago

        At least the first generation of Zip drives could double as cartridge canons. Helpful when orchestrating an office rebellion.

        • Rza79
        • 5 years ago

        Actually, Jaz drives were even more prone to failure.
        Iomega as a whole was a big failure.

      • dmjifn
      • 5 years ago

      Not to snark but I’m wondering what exactly you’re upset about?

      If it’s the lost data or the inconvenience and misfortune of losing the piece of tech, then I’d have to say “get over it”. It truly sucks but this kind of stuff is possible with any system due to fires, lightning, poor quality PSUs/mobos, etc. That’s why you have insurance, a warranty, and offsite backups.

      If you’re lamenting the fact that you basically threw away a lot of money on what turned out to be a poor quality, poorly supported product – then I’d agree. I’m assuming if you paid that much for it, you bought it during its heyday… that was 2010, early 2011. In this case, I’d just offer that your self punishment has outlasted the company itself.

        • Firestarter
        • 5 years ago

        [quote<]Not to snark[/quote<] - cue two paragraphs of snark

          • dmjifn
          • 5 years ago

          No, see, what you did is snark.

          The dude sounds exceptionally put out by this event. I’m not mocking him. I agree with him that it’s an unfortunate event, that he basically got robbed. However, I’m trying to offer a counterpoint that a) he had some responsibility in it and b) it’s a long time to carry a grudge when the company’s dead.

        • njoydesign
        • 5 years ago

        A friend of mine built (well, another firend of mine built it for him) a pretty expensive rig sometime in 2012. Dual Xeon etc, with 512GB OCZ PCI-E SDD. One of the most expensive parts of it. Died about 6 months later.

      • Chrispy_
      • 5 years ago

      That’s not storage, that’s operating system cache.

      You should never store anything valuable on it πŸ˜‰

      • MadManOriginal
      • 5 years ago

      Sounds like you didn’t value your data either, if you didn’t have a backup.

      • CreoleLakerFan
      • 5 years ago

      My first ever SSD was an OCZ Agility2. I had to RMA the bugger 3-4 times. Each time it just went dead on a power cycle, no reason or warnings. They finally stopped sending me Agility2’s and sent me a Vertex2, which I have in a laptop I rarely use.

      I got an Intel 320 after the second brick, and have never had an issue with an SSD of any brand Crucial, Intel, AData, MyDigitalSSD, Hitachi, etc) other than the OCZ crapstorm.

    • LocalCitizen
    • 5 years ago

    I want to see a real working read only mode for SSD at end-of-life. Intel supposed to have it but turned out it doesn’t work.

    [url<]https://techreport.com/review/26523/the-ssd-endurance-experiment-casualties-on-the-way-to-a-petabyte[/url<] A HD failed on me just last month. I was able to copy all data except 1 bad sector out of it with ddrescue. it was time consuming, but ultimately, not a big loss.

      • meerkt
      • 5 years ago

      Yes. And according to this, from the recent Intel 750 review:

      [quote<]When the NAND's limits are reached, the 750 Series is designed to slip into a "logical disable" mode that throttles write speeds severely enough to produce an effective read-only state. Intel's other consumer SSDs are programmed to brick themselves at the next reboot, preventing users from accessing their data.[/quote<] It sounds like Intel considers keeping your data a premium feature. I wonder if they'll offer a ransom add-on purchase to bricked consumer drives: [quote<]Get access to your data on the next reboot for only $99.99! Extra reboots for only $9.99 each![/quote<]

    • Techgoudy
    • 5 years ago

    It is so hard for me to choose because it depends on the situation. In most cases I would prefer an SSD for speed, but if I was planning on not touching data for longer periods of time, where power would not be present to the device, then I would much rather prefer an HDD.

    • Goofus Maximus
    • 5 years ago

    It’s like asking whether I trust a Politician or a Used Car Salesman more.

    I trust neither, since I know that both will let me down at just the moment I least expect it…

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 5 years ago

    I can’t vote on this. I think the moment you backup your data, your trust diminishes.

    • Omniman
    • 5 years ago

    SSD’s seem to be very solid these days. The only time I had an issue with an SSD was an Intel one 3 years ago and an OCZ before the buyout by Toshiba which I’m unsure how to trust that brand. I’m focused on just using Samsung SSD’s now.

    • bjm
    • 5 years ago

    Optical media.

    No, stop laughing–I’m serious. What it lacks in capacity and availability, it makes up for in cheap redundancy. And when you really need to safeguard your data, nothing–NOTHING beats redundancy.

    Edit: Added a [url=https://techreport.com/news/27842/deal-of-the-week-a-bay-trail-netbook-for-only-150?post=885146<]quote from myself![/url<]: [quote<]Bluray media is still very useful for archiving lots of personal data. Need to make sure your family photos are safe? Burn multiple copies to Blurays and store a copy in the closet, another in your storage facility, and another in your parents/kids home. Sure, the discs can degrade like all other media, but they're so cheap that you can just reburn new ones every few years before that even becomes an issue. Also, forums like MyCE make it easy to find good media.[/quote<]

      • ronch
      • 5 years ago

      Ditto. I keep my photos on a DVD and just make another copy every few years.

        • AdamDZ
        • 5 years ago

        I guess you don’t have a lot of photos…

        Also, home-made DVDR/CDR optical is the least safe long-term storage medium. For me it’s multiple hard drives. And I don’t trust neither HDs nor SSDs. So backups. Backups!

          • ronch
          • 5 years ago

          Au contraire. I have many CDs and DVDs that have been fine for more than 10 years already.

      • meerkt
      • 5 years ago

      In my experience, it also degrades gradually, so you know where you stand. It’s also separate from the electronics. The only problem: not enough increase in capacity when Bluray was introduced, and zero progress since. (No, I don’t want fishy and expensive 3-4 layer discs.)

        • bjm
        • 5 years ago

        For really important data, you can also utilize PARs to protect against any corruption. Simply generate the required PARs for your files and then throw them into the disc image (I also include the executable I used to generate the PARs, just in case the website is no longer available or some future version is incompatible with your PARs). Should the disc ever gradually go bad, you can still copy the bad data back to your PC, run the executable to verify and repair any damaged data, and then burn yourself a new copy again. The software I use is: [url<]http://multipar.eu/[/url<] And the above is only required if your other redundant copies have gone bad. At the same time. In all your storage locations. If you burn your data from separate disc sets and store them in different locations, the likelihood that they will all fail at the same time is rather low (I think, but I have no data to substantiate that).

          • meerkt
          • 5 years ago

          Didn’t know about this variant. I wonder why it’s called there PAR3 if the details talk about PAR2. And why no mention of this in the QuickPar site, despite claiming to be “sanctioned”.

          I usually use PARs only as filler, after I’ve ran out of other filler material. πŸ™‚ Then again, it’s been a while since I’ve used discs for storage. The capacity is too small, the price isn’t good enough, and the handling too tedious.

            • bjm
            • 5 years ago

            PAR3 (MultiPar) is from an entirely different developer than QuickPar. It started first as just a multi-threaded version of PAR2, but then as the work continued in a separate forum, the author (Yutaka Sawada) started to further develop ideas for a new spec. Once it became clear that QuickPar was dead, and that others were actually interested, he continued his work. The original forum is [url=https://www.livebusinesschat.com/smf/index.php?board=396.0<]here[/url<]. Many interesting developments are on-going now, including GPU acceleration for parity block verification and repair.

        • llisandro
        • 5 years ago

        has anyone tried M-DISCs?
        last time I bought a DVD player for a new build, it came with M-DISC capability (didn’t know when i bought it, it was just a regular $25 DVD burner).
        The tech seems promising (more stable inorganic data layer), but I don’t know anyone who actually uses them.

        Their site has a DOD whitepaper comparing them to several brands of DVD-Rs (incl Taiyo Yuden). [url<]http://www.mdisc.com/proving-ground/[/url<] They beat on the disks pretty hard , using a combination of heat, humidity, and light. The M-DISCS produced far fewer dead discs and fewer errors on the readable discs. Obviously the light exposure component biases the test against dye-based discs, and this you'd guess factor is probably the least significant degradation variable for intentional home storage, but overall the results at least showed that the M-DISCs were pretty robust under some pretty harsh conditions. These, in conjunction with PARs, etc. seemed attractive to protect against bit-rot for long-term archival purposes, but I never bought any, because at the time, they only had 25 GB BDs. They now claim to be working on a 100 GB version, which makes them a little more interesting. edit- after looking at their site, it looks like when i bought the drive, they only had DVDs, not BDs, so I guess that's probably why i didn't buy any

          • meerkt
          • 5 years ago

          No, didn’t try. Long-term reliability was never an issue I had with discs. I don’t think I’ve ever had a CD or DVD go bad (other than noname temporary storage discs), though low-level error counts do seem to increase.

          But the plan was anyway to migrate discs to larger and more comfortable discs after some years. I did some of that from CD to DVD, but with BR it never happened because the capacity improvement was even more disappointing than DVD. I should probably do some statistical media scans, or even more thorough.

      • DPete27
      • 5 years ago

      BluRay discs have nearly identical cost/GB as external hard drives…

        • bjm
        • 5 years ago

        The key here is redundancy.

        Depending on the amount of data you need to backup, then all other things being equal, I’d still take the redundancy offered by optical media over hard disks. For a 50-pack set of 25GB discs, you have 1.25TB of data. If you buy a 1TB hard drive, you can’t make that same data truly redundant, splitting partitions doesn’t count. You need another hard drive to accomplish that.

        In my use case, from the 1990s to 2013, I generated 103GB of family photos that I need to backup and archive. Since 2013, an additional 61GB of personal data was generated that required backup. That large increase is no doubt due to my household’s use of smartphones and capturing higher resolution video/photos. All totaled, that is 164GB of truly important family data that I cannot replace. With a 50-disc set, I can make that data redundant at least 6x over [b<]and[/b<] store it in separate locations (even separate cities). Even if my needs were to backup 300GB, it would still be worth it. For truly important data, you cannot beat redundancy. And of course, all the above optical discs are in addition to the same data that is redundant twice over among two hard drives in my PC and a third HD that is disconnected and offline. I know some of that may be overkill, but after having nearly lost all of the digital photos from my son's first few years, I swore to myself to never again let that come close to happening. Telling the wife, "I think I just lost all of our pictures" and seeing her face will make one become a data backup fanatic REALLY fast. πŸ™‚ I spent two weeks scrubbing for JPEG headers, .AVI headers, and various other media container headers and luckily restored everything of value, but the lesson learned will always remain. Keep duplicates of your data. Since then, I've helped many other folks recover data from their hard drives. The first thing that they ask to recover is [b<]always[/b<] the photos and videos. The devastation (and tears) are always because of those files. They would gladly lose everything else, even financial and school documents, if it means recovering their family photos. Data recovery is never guaranteed, but redundancy is the closest thing to a guarantee you are going to get. It is data worth backing up many times over.

      • geekl33tgamer
      • 5 years ago

      Why not use Onedrive or something like it? Sure Microsoft can see your data, but they are not going bust anytime last time I checked. It should still be there in year 5, 10 etc…

      Edit: My spelling :-/

        • HisDivineOrder
        • 5 years ago

        Probably because at this point Microsoft is like the consumer division of the NSA.

        • bjm
        • 5 years ago

        Eventually, I intend to. You’ll find no major argument from me against the concept of cloud backups, with the exception that you do have to mindful of what you place there. But prices for online storage have only recently reached a point that I find reasonable, so I haven’t yet gotten around to fully evaluating the available cloud options to where I’m confident in transferring 160GB+ of data into the cloud (in addition to several hundred GB of “non-critical” personal data).

        When I do eventually bite the bullet, it will only be in addition to my offline backups rather than in place of them. My primary concerns would be the data transfer implementations (protocols used, proprietary software requirement, etc.), encryption methods, file verification/checksums, and a good read of their EULAs and policies over a cup of coffee.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 5 years ago

      Bonus: Your kids and frenemies can all steal copies of your data without you ever knowing.

        • Krogoth
        • 5 years ago

        The same is true for all forms of media.

        That is why the physical layer is the final and most important layer for a security schema.

      • Krogoth
      • 5 years ago

      Optical media is excellent for archival storage as long as you don’t go cheap on recordable media and take good care of it (avoid sunlight and temperature extremes) basically treat it like your vintage booze collection. πŸ˜‰

      The main problem with optical media is the damn drives. The mechanical parts of them have a much shorter life-span then the medium itself (assuming you are taking good care of it).

      • Unknown-Error
      • 5 years ago

      Nothing beats redundancy? I agree. My new laptop had no Optical drive, but I bought an external-bluray. Better safe than sorry. Plus the bonus of being able to watch hi quality blurays. I always retained 1 or 2 optical drives in my desktops. Despite many people lecturing on how unnecessary/obsolete optical drives are, I always kept them.

    • Eggrenade
    • 5 years ago

    I suppose I trust SSDs more, but there’s not a lot of trust to go around. I keep my SSDs backed up to HDDs and my HDDs backed up to HDDs.

    • wierdo
    • 5 years ago

    It used to be mechanical for me due to immature SSD firmware, but now I think that modern SSDs from reliable manufacturers such as Intel and Crucial have more or less sorted the issue out to the point where I wouldn’t very much expect problems on that front anymore.

    So that leaves us with physical endurance, which is a no contest: No moving parts, more shock resistance, more temperature tolerance, SSDs for sure.

    Only thing left really is price.

    • ronch
    • 5 years ago

    I trust neither so I did not vote. HDDs probably tend to have shorter service lives especially given how manufacturers have already raced to the bottom and brought quality down with them (Winner: Seagate!) and are prone to damage due to shock, but SSDs can die a quick death without warning, with no way to salvage the data. And as manufacturers try to trim costs further by shrinking process geometries to fit more bits per chip (and their ongoing race to the bottom Haswell), who knows how even less reliable these SSDs will become.

    I’d trust my life sooner on a reckless taxi driver then I’d trust an SSD or HDD.

    • CyberKender
    • 5 years ago

    Mechanical drives, by a small margin and with caveats. However, since I have been someone who prefers having a boot drive and a separate storage drive since the days of Win98, the question is a bit moot. A dropping a SSD into the boot slot of that config works pretty flawlessly, since I’m already taking into account the possibility of a drive going bad. I’m sure SSD’s will soon be equal or better than mechanical across the board.

    • Bensam123
    • 5 years ago

    Used to be mechanical, but since SSDs have matured more I think I trust them more, especially considering the decline in quality of mechanical drives since the flooding incident. It seems as though they used that as an excuse to reduce overall quality of drives and since then haven’t decided to improve them again.

    • CampinCarl
    • 5 years ago

    I “trust” mechanical disks more because I can get them cheaply and put them into an array (RAID-6, RAID-1, RAID-Z[n], etc.) that I trust more than an individual drive. Spending $3000 on 6 1TB SSDs to achieve 4TB of RAID-6 storage isn’t really that attractive. But I can buy 4 2TB Mechanical drives for a couple hundred bucks and get 4TB of either RAID-6 or RAID-10 storage.

    • Ochadd
    • 5 years ago

    SSDs due to the lack of moving parts and and their g-force tolerance.

      • Vhalidictes
      • 5 years ago

      In many cases, you 1) know when a traditional HDD is going to die, and 2) can use a low-level read software to recover data off it.

      As far as I know, when a SSD fails it’s 1) without any warning, and 2) unrecoverable.

      For long-term data storage or archives, I don’t feel that I can trust an SSD (controller,most likely) not to suddenly fail catastrophically for no reason.

    • alloyD
    • 5 years ago

    I voted solid-state, but I need to include the caveat that I don’t trust either all that much. My fileserver uses a 3TB btrfs raid 1 array for data integrity.

    • DPete27
    • 5 years ago

    Such a simple question, but so complex to answer.

    • Leader952
    • 5 years ago

    Survey is kind of a loaded question.

    Would your answer be different if you were asked which do you trust most early on or later in life because early on it seems SSD’s have issues in firmware and later in life hard drives die quickly sometimes without warnings.

    And what about when you have no choice between the two because your NAS requires four of the same size devices that store large amounts of data (video) which skews the choice to hard drives because of cost.

    I have been gradually changing to SSD’s for boot drives yet still have mechanical storage for data.

    I am only going all SSD in my notebook which sees vast improvement in boot up time and usage because of the speed improvement in access times.

    The main issue I worry about in SSD’s is Bit Rot mainly on the laptop because it gets used so infrequently. So on it I make sure I disable the “Power off drive after xxx” so that the SSD is powered even in standby mode. However the laptop is mostly powered down so I make sure to at least power it up once a month and do a FULL backup and save each of those backups for at least a year.

    Threads on Bit Rot and unpowered SSD data retention:

    [url<]http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1038899219&postcount=11[/url<] [url<]http://forums.anandtech.com/showpost.php?p=35472579&postcount=4[/url<]

    • TheMonkeyKing
    • 5 years ago

    Interesting question. I’m just about to hop into the forums to ask about mobos that have the best SATA storage opportunities.

    My current media center has a RAID setup and I wanted to move the OS off the RAID to an SSD but Win7 cannot find the SSD because, I think, the SSD is in the same SATA group as the RAID and cannot see it?

    But yeah, I’ve moved my game/programming machine to an SSD with the HDDs for files.

    • Anovoca
    • 5 years ago

    Trust: Mobile device – SSD, tower – HDD
    Use: Mobile – Hybrid, tower – SSD.

    Trust and reliability in a home setting has taken a back seat to price/performance because of increased cloud storage and flash drive capacity, as well as how fast it takes to reinstall modern OS on an SSD. Anything I cannot live without I have a copy of on skydrive, google drive, flashdrive, and external. I have redundancy to my redundancy and I don’t pay a dime for any of it.

    • DrDominodog51
    • 5 years ago

    I trust tapedrives the most because they last longer than HDDs and SSDs when unpowered

    • Tomasu
    • 5 years ago

    I had 4+ mechanical HDDs die in the past year. I’m so over spinning rust.

    • TwoEars
    • 5 years ago

    Mechanical is still very reliable for servers and similar applications, good scsi drives last for decades.

    But for laptops I think the vote goes to SSDs, those small consumer laptop drives don’t always respond well to bumps and vibrations.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 5 years ago

    THE NSA!

      • chuckula
      • 5 years ago

      They really oughta just throw in the towel and start a public cloud storage service to cut out the middleman.

      They can be like: “We’re gonna spy on you anyway, so you might as well let us back up all your crap for free! Oh, and we’ll be VERY good about never losing anything! Unlimited Capacity! No Deleting needed (or even allowed)!”

        • cygnus1
        • 5 years ago

        Ha! I’d probably set up an account on their service. If only to just start flooding it with random data. Like the output from the random data generator of a benchmark tool. I’d have to make sure it was random enough to be incompressible though. I’d then just setup QOS on my router and then have my internet upstream constantly maxed out filling their storage with junk. And I wouldn’t feel the least bit of sadness for them or my ISP.

          • UnfriendlyFire
          • 5 years ago

          And then your ISP nails you for exceeding the 250 GB data cap that they have on you.

            • cygnus1
            • 5 years ago

            Negative ghost rider, I pay the extra $20 or $30 a month to have business internet with no caps. Makes a difference when you’ve cut the cable tv cord. If my router is to be believed, I’ve done almost 3TB in a month before.

        • anotherengineer
        • 5 years ago

        LOLIRL

    • MetricT
    • 5 years ago

    Depends on what you’re using it for. I manage a couple of petabytes of scientific data on spinning disk, with the OS and metadata on SSD. When our hard drives fail, they tend to do so incrementally and gracefully. We can monitor SMART statistics, set marginal drives read-only to increase their lifespan, etc. They rarely “Just Fail”.

    SSD’s in theory last longer, and probably do on consumer-level workloads. But when they fail, they *FAIL*. Total instantaneous existence failure. And it seems more often than not to be due to bad firmware than SMART failure.

    Hard drives can have bad firmware (Seagate, I’m looking right at you…), but they usually just cause random drive lock-ups, not permanent death.

    • NTMBK
    • 5 years ago

    tape backup or GTFO

    • Cuhulin
    • 5 years ago

    I voted for the solid state, primarily from personal history, but there is a caveat. Mechanical is probably a better archival medium – it loses data with time too, but more slowly when the drive is not otherwise being used.

    My real hope is that someday we will have BR’s or similar optical media that are chemically stable enough to last for very long periods of time (a human life-time or more), so that real storage is possible, shieldable from fire, emp and other hazards, and we can thereby have real archival data.

    • Freon
    • 5 years ago

    I trust that my Samsung 830 will live as long as I keep it inside a PC and away from the risk of static discharge or the like. I’m at about 12TB of writes after ~2.5 years? And I just bought a BX100 and trust it will be fine longer than its useful life (5+ years?).

    I don’t trust anything with an OCZ logo on it. Between personal experience, friends/coworkers, and all the same stories online I’d never but an OCZ product again at any price.

    It’s all relative. Even on the HDD front I don’t place any trust in WD Green drives, WD in general isn’t much better, and think if I buy more mechanical drives they’ll be HGST. This is based on Backblaze’s data.

    • albundy
    • 5 years ago

    no third option? NONE OF THE ABOVE!

    at least there’s still a chance with HDD recovery.

    how does recovery software, like active@ work on an ssd? For HDD’s, it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy to extract data if you have something simple like a corrupt partition. even bad sectors can be read around to squeeze every last byte.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 5 years ago

    Prior to the Endurance test, I would have said SSD due to the day-to-day robustness. However, the fact that when they do fail, they are dead with no recourse for recovery makes me very nervous. I’m hoping we’ll see some industry progress on that ASAP.

      • Vaughn
      • 5 years ago

      Enterprise SSD’s already offer this. The new Intel 750 drives goes into Read only mode, its the consumer ssd’s brick that themselves after all writes are used up. We just need that to trickle down into more consumer drives. And to be honest not a huge deal for me, everyone should be making regular backups regardless if your on SSD or platter drive. This very good habit will save you from worrying about a recovery methods and all the stress.

        • AdamDZ
        • 5 years ago

        You will never be able to recover data from SSDs the way you can recover from magnetic media due to to the very nature of SSDs.

          • Pez
          • 5 years ago

          This simply isn’t true – many companies offer recovery services from SSD’s and have done for years.

          For example, [url<]http://www.krollontrack.co.uk/[/url<] is the most well-known in the UK and provides recovery from all major manufacturers.

    • ludi
    • 5 years ago

    I voted for supersonic frisbees, but mainly because platters have reached the point where it’s increasingly difficult to buy a truly unreliable drive.

    Meanwhile, I have SSDs as primary in all of my PCs now, but while there have been some really excellent drives, e.g. the Samsung 830 which I still have running flawlessly in my laptop, continued refinements to the technology keep introducing new problems (e.g. Samsung 840 series).

    • ClickClick5
    • 5 years ago

    I’ll still sit in the hard drive camp for now. The amount of SSDs that have died around here vs their spinning grandfathers makes me frown on the SSD. Data on a “dead” hard drive has a fairly reasonable recover rate. On the SSD…not so much.

      • AcidSnow
      • 5 years ago

      I voted in support for SSD, mainly because both of my SanDisk Extreme II drives are awesome. HOWEVER, I did have two Kingston SSDNow V+200 drives that both died on me, one was bought used, the other was new… However, maybe Kingston isn’t as reliable as SanDisk.

      Nevertheless, other than greater storage options for standard hard drives, I’ll take an SSD any day. Wait one year, and you’ll see 2+TB drives for $500; then there will be no reason to own regular drives anymore, unless you want 8TB drives for serious backup.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 5 years ago

    I have never killed an external SSD by bumping it. OTOH I’ve killed spinning drives and lost backups thanks to accidentally bumping the enclosure while it was writing. The most recent was a drive sitting vertically in a stand, and accidentally bumping the drive so that it fell over mid-backup. All kinds of awful sounds. Totally irrecoverable. Thankfully I still had almost all the original stuff on my PC.

      • blastdoor
      • 5 years ago

      For my purposes, I totally agree.

      I can imagine that in the relative safety of a server room the fragility of mechanical drives to bumps and drops is much less of an issue. But in the consumer world, particularly the mobile world, SSD seems the safer choice.

    • chuckula
    • 5 years ago

    Neelycam’s wishes have been granted!

    [Edit: I answered Solid State but I’d like to add the caveat that mechanical is often easier to diagnose and make a final copy from in failure situations compared to SSDs that often have binary work/fail modes.]

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