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Hard Drive Failure Survey
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Big Mac
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Los Angeles
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Dec 28, 2009, 05:56 AM
 
Well, it serves me right for violating my exclusive relationship with Apple and getting a Dell for work purposes - my Inspiron's hard drive died a few days ago. I was surfing the web and noticed an extended hour glass along with sluggish activity for about 30 seconds. Then things seemed to be back to normal when I suddenly got hit with a Blue Screen. Okay, I thought, that happens, even my Macs KP every once in a great while. So, I shut down, wait a bit, boot up and get hit with "Disk Error, press Control Alt Delete."

My drive, I found out, was completely non-functional. I tried putting it in an external enclosure, but I heard clicking sounds and not much else. I even tried the freezer technique, but no dice. I thought that before before complete failure one usually had a couple of shots to rescue files, but that just wasn't true this time. And I was too careless and cheap to care about the drive to monitor its SMART status, although perhaps it would not have helped. The kicker is, there were some important files that I needed on the drive that I didn't backup. I didn't expect a three year old drive to die like that. I'll have to recreate those files, but at least there weren't too many really important things on there (at least I don't think there were).

I was careless this time because I've had generally very good personal luck with hard drives. This is only the third drive that has failed on me in some 20 years and only the first drive to fail that wasn't a previous hard drive (on an old computer) or a backup hard drive.

So here's the survey:

Number of Years of Computing Experience:

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal):

Total Number of Drive Failures (Professional):

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup):

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names (if you can recall):

----
Number of Years of Computing Experience: ~20

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal & Professional): 3

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): 1

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names: Quantum (model forgotten), Samsung Spinpoint (just got my warranty replacement), Hitachi TravelStar (I guess they are no better than the infamous Hitachi "Death" (Desk) Stars.) 2 of my 3 failures happened within the last six months.
( Last edited by Big Mac; Dec 28, 2009 at 06:10 AM. )

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Doofy
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Dec 28, 2009, 06:02 AM
 
Years: ~20
Fails: 1
Loss: None.
Name: Was a Lacie D2 external thingy used for backup. They're crap.

I don't recognise any difference between personal and professional.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
Big Mac  (op)
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Dec 28, 2009, 06:07 AM
 
Hey, that's an even better record than mine. Nice.

I requested professional and personal because some may be in professional enterprise roles that would spike their failure numbers but not be representative of the average person's experience.

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
Doofy
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Dec 28, 2009, 06:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Hey, that's an even better record than mine. Nice.
To be fair, I don't tend to keep them around very long. As the sizes go up, I tend to upgrade.

Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
I requested professional and personal because some may be in professional enterprise roles that would spike their failure numbers but not be representative of the average person's experience.
Yeah. I tend to mix systems and work from home, so there's no difference for me. I have to start investigating this work/life balance thing which people keep telling me about.
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Dec 28, 2009, 06:32 AM
 
Oh, stop with your coquetry!

This survey is complete bogus, btw.

a) ALL drives fail, eventually.

b) I have about fifteen drives, some of them around five and more years old. I lost an OEM Apple PowerBook drive once, after two years. What good would it do you to know that I've had two "dead" drives, both of which had bad power supplies that were replaced under warranty with no loss of data?
     
mattyb
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Dec 28, 2009, 06:38 AM
 
Number of Years of Computing Experience: 15

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal): 2

Total Number of Drive Failures (Professional): Lots, raid KO, corrupted blocks, rechecks between SAN disks that take a weekend, bs and more bs throughout my IT career.

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): 1 (Had backups, but backups don't like water either - house got flooded). The worst recovery that I ever did lost 45 mins of data for a client. Their contract specifies a maximum of 60 mins before penalties. These are production systems, on project or testing systems I've had the unfortunate experience of losing several hundreds of gig of data - no backups.

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names (if you can recall): Seagate, EMC

EMC are the biggest shower of idiots that I have worked with - they even top HM Government idiots. They argued for months until one of their own specialists agreed with me - a specialist from the US who was an Ex-DBA.
     
ghporter
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Location: San Antonio TX USA
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Dec 28, 2009, 08:36 AM
 
Number of Years of Computing Experience: >25

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal): ~4

Total Number of Drive Failures (Professional): ~2

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): ~4 (all personal-taught me a lesson!)

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names (if you can recall): I've had WD and Maxtor drives fail on me.

I should point out that all my drive failures, personal and professional, have been on Windows/DOS systems.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
Atheist
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Location: Back in the Good Ole US of A
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Dec 28, 2009, 10:44 AM
 
Number of Years of Computing Experience: ~25

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal): 2 (at least that I remember)

Total Number of Drive Failures (Professional): 0

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): 1 (lost a couple years worth of personal photos)

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names (if you can recall): Seagate I think (in my PowerBook). Don't remember what the other one was.
     
sek929
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Dec 28, 2009, 02:00 PM
 
Experience: ~14 years

Drive failures: 1

Important losses: Besides my ripped music library, no loss at all.

Model name: IBM, ~40GB.

The IBM drive was the second drive I added to my G4, in fact, the original 40GB drive that game with my G4 is still kicking, but with no important data on it at this point.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 28, 2009, 02:13 PM
 
Years: 11
Failures: 4
Losses: 0
Hitachi Travelstar x3 (two consecutive warranty replacements died within short time and I ultimately gave up on replacing them), Apple (make/model unknown)
     
imitchellg5
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Dec 28, 2009, 02:25 PM
 
Number of Years of Computing Experience:

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal): 0

Total Number of Drive Failures (Professional): 2

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): 2

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names (if you can recall): Both of my failed HDDs were Western Digital MyBook Studio Editions. I'd assumed that the "Studio" moniker at least meant that it could take some heavy professional usage; obviously they couldn't. I got both on sale at Costco, both failed at the same event, one was exporting video, one was backing up a dying MacBook, but the HDD died first Got them fixed under warranty, they still work fine. But I'll never use them for live events again; I'll keep the smaller capacity G-Drives for that.
     
moep
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Dec 28, 2009, 03:21 PM
 
Number of Years of Computing Experience: 13

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal): 4

Total Number of Drive Failures (Professional): 0

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): 0

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names (if you can recall): All four of them were 30GB IBM DTLA Deathstars. And all of them were in Raid 0 arrays.
"The road to success is dotted with the most tempting parking spaces."
     
besson3c
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Dec 28, 2009, 03:35 PM
 
I've had numerous disks go bad on servers in my prior jobs (difficult to keep count), only one of my personal drives go bad, several family member drives have gone bad. My family members lost data, I didn't.

I would be interested in seeing a similar report on RAM and power supplies going bad...
     
downinflames68
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Dec 28, 2009, 04:00 PM
 
Years: ~17
Fails: 1
Loss: 1.
Name: Apple Performa 6400.
     
Eug
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Dec 28, 2009, 04:17 PM
 
Number of Years of Computing Experience: Too long

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal): ~7?

Total Number of Drive Failures (Professional): 3

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): 1

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names (if you can recall): IBM, Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor, Fujitsu
     
nonhuman
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Dec 28, 2009, 04:39 PM
 
Years: 25-ish
Failures: 5 or so
Losses that I cared about: 0
Losses that I didn't care about: 5
Manufacturers: mostly Maxtor and Seagate drives have failed on me, IBM/Hitachi has anecdotally proved much more reliable

Anything I care enough about to not want to lose, I back up.
     
Stogieman
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Dec 28, 2009, 08:08 PM
 
Years: 14
Failures: 6
Losses that I cared about: 1
Losses that I didn't care about: 5
Manufacturers: Seagate 4GB SCSI drive in my Performa 6100, 40GB Maxtor, 2 IBM/HItachi Travelstars in my TiBook (both replaced under the same warranty), 1 OEM drive in the Mac Mini & 1 OEM drive on my MacBook (both replaced under AppleCare.)

Slick shoes?! Are you crazy?!
     
Oisín
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Dec 28, 2009, 08:35 PM
 
I have a bad feeling I’m going to jinx myself here, but …

Years: 14–15
Fails (Personal): 0
Fails (Professional): N/A (never had a work machine of my own)
     
olePigeon
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Dec 28, 2009, 08:39 PM
 
2006 White MacBooks - 60 laptops, about 15 HDD failures. It's been an ongoing problem. Same with their batteries.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
Oisín
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Dec 28, 2009, 08:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
2006 White MacBooks - 60 laptops, about 15 HDD failures. It's been an ongoing problem. Same with their batteries.
Personal or professional?
     
osiris
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Dec 29, 2009, 01:06 PM
 
Number of Years of Computing Experience: 30+

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal): 0

Total Number of Drive Failures (Professional): 0 for my professional use drives, ~8 for minion's drives.

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): 1

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names (if you can recall): LaCie Big Disk 500GB, a few other LaCies, and a couple of OEM WD Apple drives)
"Faster, faster! 'Till the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death." - HST
     
Oneota
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Location: Urbandale, IA
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Dec 29, 2009, 01:26 PM
 
I've been losing a lot of white MacBook HDs around here -- I would guess I've probably replaced 15-30 of them in the last 8 months. Just had one of my workers walk in while I was typing this with another dead one. The HD in my new work MacBook Pro died earlier this year. It was the 500 GB 7200 RPM upgraded model, and that particular Seagate drive is very, very prone to failure, so I replaced it with a WD 5400 rpm 500 GB drive. Time Machine saved my bacon on that one.

I've had several drives in my 3 Xserve RAIDs die over the years, along with some of the Apple Drive Modules in my various 20+ Xserves. Add to that the occasional iBook/iMac/eMac drive failure, and it's a semi-regular occurrence for me. We use Portable Home Directories and backup the servers nightly, so unless someone's computer had a sync failure that they didn't do anything about, we really don't lose data often.
"Yields a falsehood when preceded by its quotation" yields a falsehood when preceded by its quotation.
     
torsoboy
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Dec 29, 2009, 01:35 PM
 
Number of Years of Computing Experience: ~18

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal): 0

Total Number of Drive Failures (Professional): ~10 within the last 5 years. Always setup as raid 5... thankfully never had two drives fail at once.

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): 0. Thanks to Amazon S3.

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names (if you can recall): Seagate and WD. Both seem to have the same failure rate around here. Some of the failures were caused by faulty power supplies though, so it isn't entirely the drives' fault.

I get a little worried with installing the new large capacity drives though (1TB+)... losing one drive tends to lose a lot of data!
     
olePigeon
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Dec 29, 2009, 01:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Oisín View Post
Personal or professional?
That would be professional. Several laptop carts.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
el chupacabra
Mac Elite
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Dec 29, 2009, 04:06 PM
 
My beige 266 mhz os 9 G3 and all its components still work. Ive used it daily since the day I bought it. I have purchased many fruity macs since that time that have lived and died in just a few years.

Ive had good luck with western digital too. No complaints.
You arent special. You dont have value just because you were born. You are a net drain on the planet. Respect must be earned & your value must be proven. Endangered species are special, & their survival should take priority over your comfort.
     
seanc
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Location: Cambridge, UK
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Dec 29, 2009, 05:00 PM
 
Number of Years of Computing Experience: 8
Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal): 3
Total Number of Drive Failures (Professional): Lots!
Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): Customers: Yes. Me: Nearly
Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names (if you can recall): Seagate, Western Digital, Maxtor, IBM (Deathstar, Travelstar), Fujitsu.

I currently have a failing 500GB Seagate SATA drive. Caught it at 360ish bad sectors, since recovering data, it's at 530ish. I had it all backed up except for a couple of albums which I retrieved and decided to get what I could of my recorded programs although they weren't important to me.
Ubutnu 9.10 has a nice 'Disk Utility' which warns you if any of your SMART values aren't good. Made me smile when I hooked the drive up for data recovery.
     
Mrjinglesusa
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Dec 29, 2009, 05:46 PM
 
Number of Years of Computing Experience: ~15

Total Number of Drive Failures (Personal & Professional): 1

Total Number of Drive Failures Resulting in Important File Loss (no backup): 0

Drive Failure Manufacturers and Model Names: Whatever Apple put in the 20" Intel iMacs (Late 2008). Drive completely failed after about 10 months and I had to replace it.
     
   
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