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Topic # 160043 21-Dec-2014 20:28
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What disks are people using / happy with for offsite backups in an enclosure? Reliability is more important than price, within reason. I've read everything BackBlaze has written on the subject, they seem to like Western Digital Green. Just after peoples experience. I'm not in a bug hurry.

My Seagate is starting to fail - see SMART info attached. It hasn't been used much but it's probably a few years old. I've had other other Seagate show SMART errors within the 2 year warranty, another Seagate around the same age as this one is fine, no errors. My WD Black is fine.

Click to see full size

Given I've had two Seagate develop SMART errors within the past two years I'm interested in trying another type. Hitachi are meant to be most reliable according to BackBlazebut costs are high in NZ. WD seem good, but they have black (fast and expensive, not really my choice), Blue (every day - 1TB seems to be the biggest size at ascent), Green (economy), Purple (surveillance), Red (NAS). Any suggestion what's the best option - Green? I never owned a green disk, are they reliable enough for backups?

I need 2TB, my 1.5TB isn't full. I have an enclosure for the 3.5" disk that I'll reuse. Anyone have any reason I shouldn't get a WD Green?

Edit/NB: I understand RAID, I understand that all backups should be in multiple locations - I design high end solutions that include this type of thing for work. I'm really just asking about disk brands and models.




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  Reply # 1201592 21-Dec-2014 20:36
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As an IT Tech. The Black Blaze article can not be trusted at all. In terms of getting another drive.
Green drives have really really slow seek times and also have weird power issues.
Reds are known to fail, when working as an intern I had 150 out of 200 put on my desk with head seek failures.
Blues are budget.
Black are yes expensive but fast and pretty much worth it.





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  Reply # 1201594 21-Dec-2014 20:40
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Speed isn't a big issue for backups for me. What would you buy other than WD Black, which I will consider.




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  Reply # 1201595 21-Dec-2014 20:41
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I have had brand new red 3tb's constantly get kicked out of the mirror pair with errors

All drives are crap now it seems. Get multiples and hope that any read errors only occur on a single drive. I have taken to makeing .sfv files of my stuff so I can re-validate it periodically and grab a file off another copy if one is corrupt. Only had to replace a handful of files, but without them I would be possibly be continuing to backup and manage corrupt files.




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  Reply # 1201596 21-Dec-2014 20:43
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I've become a fan of WD in recent years after far too many Seagate failures. I'm sure that there are stats to show WD failures are just as high, but I haven't had one yet.

I tend to use WD Se drives for most applications now.









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  Reply # 1201601 21-Dec-2014 21:07
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Anyone have experience with WD Green? WD Black would be my ideal choice but I would prefer to spend less for something like this.

Red and Se are both NAS and made for constant spinning in a static location, not what I'd use. I do use a checksum software too though, fsum.

WD 3TB:
 - Green $183
 - Black $292
 - SE $309

I'd rather keep that $100 against my mortgage.




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  Reply # 1201640 21-Dec-2014 22:20
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If this is for an always-on backup target, I would go WD Purple or Seagate NAS series. 




Windows 7 x64 // i5-3570K // 16GB DDR3-1600 // GTX660Ti 2GB // Samsung 830 120GB SSD // OCZ Agility4 120GB SSD // Samsung U28D590D @ 3840x2160 & Asus PB278Q @ 2560x1440
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  Reply # 1201669 21-Dec-2014 22:57
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I am now up to 25Tb, the external content of which consists of three WD My Books, and three Seagate Expansion drives.  I have actually bought six WD MY Books, three of which have failed.  Two of those failed drives were recoverable by removing the drive from the USB3 interface.  The other was unrecoverable. Of the three faulty My Books, two contained Blacks, and the other a Green.  It was the Green that was unrecoverable.

The My Books tested at around 120Mbs continuous with Crystal Diskmark.  That's better than most of my 7k4rpm internal drives.

I started buying the Seagate Expansion drives because I was sick of the failed My Books, but found a bonus in they test at 180Mbs continuous.  That's pretty good for an external drive on a USB interface.  My oldest Seagate is probably a couple of years old.  I've never had any problems (he said touching wood).

I've also had WD internals fail over the years including two Velociraptors — one of which was a 6th gen 1Tb.  They are supposed to be among the most reliable of drives, but my experience is at odds with that.

I will continue to go with Seagate both for speed, and if my luck holds out, reliability. 




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  Reply # 1201675 21-Dec-2014 23:20
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I don't do this (Backblaze does it for me!) but in general for my own on site and mobile backups I have found WD very reliable.







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  Reply # 1201692 22-Dec-2014 06:09
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Here's a thought. I have a 2TB WD Black which is almost full of media which can be accessed by 2-10 clients/processes. I could make that my backup disk and put in a WD Green, but would it cope with the constant seeking? Possibly not, and as it's my most reliable disk maybe I should leave it in place. Given it's almost full maybe I replace it with another larger one.


Inphinity: If this is for an always-on backup target, I would go WD Purple or Seagate NAS series. 


Nope it's off site.

TLD: I am now up to 25Tb, the external content of which consists of three WD My Books, and three Seagate Expansion drives.  I have actually bought six WD MY Books, three of which have failed.  Two of those failed drives were recoverable by removing the drive from the USB3 interface.  The other was unrecoverable. Of the three faulty My Books, two contained Blacks, and the other a Green.  It was the Green that was unrecoverable.

The My Books tested at around 120Mbs continuous with Crystal Diskmark.  That's better than most of my 7k4rpm internal drives.

I started buying the Seagate Expansion drives because I was sick of the failed My Books, but found a bonus in they test at 180Mbs continuous.  That's pretty good for an external drive on a USB interface.  My oldest Seagate is probably a couple of years old.  I've never had any problems (he said touching wood).

I've also had WD internals fail over the years including two Velociraptors — one of which was a 6th gen 1Tb.  They are supposed to be among the most reliable of drives, but my experience is at odds with that.

I will continue to go with Seagate both for speed, and if my luck holds out, reliability. 


Interesting - thanks for your experience. Of course all disks fail, the only question is when, and I've had a reasonably good run with Seagate for internal disks. For disks that are rarely connected I don't find them as good.

Geektastic: I don't do this (Backblaze does it for me!) but in general for my own on site and mobile backups I have found WD very reliable.


I have 6TB or so of data which can increase quickly due to all the images I create, uploading to the internet isn't particularly practical even with the fibre connection IMHO.




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  Reply # 1201700 22-Dec-2014 07:24
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Tbh it comes down to personal preference - i run seagates on my storage servers (over 80tb worth) and they havnt missed a heart beat but always had problems with WD

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  Reply # 1201701 22-Dec-2014 07:25
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I think a green would be better as a backup disk than a data disk I your situation unless you're willing to tweak the disk settings.

The reason is the greens have a crap setting that parks the heads after 8 seconds of inactivity. This means that a medium to high use disk ends up racking up load cycles real fast.

I do have WD greens in my home server, but I've had to change the park time to 5 mins to prevent the excessive load cycles.
Without the change, the count was increasing by @ 1000 per day. Considering they're only rated for 300k to 600k cycles, I'd call that a disaster. Every one I've had has begun to fail for one reason or another shortly after it exceeded 300k. Changing the park time to 5 mins results in 1-5 load cycles per day for me.




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  Reply # 1201705 22-Dec-2014 07:49
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Sounds like those green drives are a bit agressive with the park time. Wouldn't be an issue for me - I plug them in, do a backup, then unplug them.

Would it make sense to pay the extra $100 and get another WD Black over the green? I'd go up to 3TB for my media disk and take the older but reliable 2TB as my backup disk.




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  Reply # 1201711 22-Dec-2014 08:14
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The park function on the Green drives is what kills them.  They are designed for low load and power saving ability.  But they die if they are stressed out too much because they wear and tear three times faster than any other drive.

Some argue that the Green/Blue/Black are all the same re-packaged with different firmware.  There is an application you can boot from a USB drive to turn off the power saving attributes of the WD Green drive and essentially turn it in to a slower Black drive.

I came across this information on FreeNAS forums, as WD says NAS applications are out of spec for Green drives and not covered by warranty.  If you RMA a drive, they can tell it's been used for such applications.  But flash the firmware, and they become a cheap, reliable always on (but not so "green") hard drive that you can return to stock later if it fails and you need to return it.
I personally prefer Black drives, and have yet to try the Se models.   I have 4 active Red drives and have yet to see a problem so far.  I will be keeping a close eye on them from now on though!





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  Reply # 1201713 22-Dec-2014 08:27
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Interesting from BackBlaze - "We still have to buy smaller drives as replacements for older pods where drives fail. The drives we absolutely won’t buy are Western Digital 3TB Green drives and Seagate 2TB LP drives.". Also WD Red 3TB drives are less reliable but the black's weren't considered. So I think I'll flag the idea of the WD Green.

BackBlaze rate HGST/Hitachi very highly. I can get a 4TB HGST NAS drive from amazon for NZ$240 (this model not rated by BackBlaze), or a DeskStar 4TB from amazon for $264 (BB rating high). WD Black locally is $343 ($326 from amazon). Given that all hard drives fail buying locally could make sense, but I'd save $80 buying from the US. Would y'all go for the HGST or the WD Black?




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  Reply # 1201736 22-Dec-2014 09:09
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timmmay: Interesting from BackBlaze - "We still have to buy smaller drives as replacements for older pods where drives fail. The drives we absolutely won’t buy are Western Digital 3TB Green drives and Seagate 2TB LP drives.". Also WD Red 3TB drives are less reliable but the black's weren't considered. So I think I'll flag the idea of the WD Green.

BackBlaze rate HGST/Hitachi very highly. I can get a 4TB HGST NAS drive from amazon for NZ$240 (this model not rated by BackBlaze), or a DeskStar 4TB from amazon for $264 (BB rating high). WD Black locally is $343 ($326 from amazon). Given that all hard drives fail buying locally could make sense, but I'd save $80 buying from the US. Would y'all go for the HGST or the WD Black?


I would not touch Hitachi with a 10 foot poll.  I'm not sure if they have changed their game plan or something, but they out-numbered Seagate in failures when I was a tech a few years ago.  Maybe it's different now.

...We used to joke they put all the good parts in to their power tools.  Best power tools around.  Hard drives, not so much.





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