Please recommend a hard drive vendor

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Agree with the others, buy at a local retail store such as Best Buy. Rough handling is what is the worst enemy of a hard drive. I would almost guarantee rough handling ordering online. There aren't many brands anymore but I would go for W.D.
Yep, it's the last mile that most likely is the worst on the drive. Getting it onto the pallet, trucking it to the warehouse and then unloading / stacking the shelf at Best Buy probably have minimal jostling. Having the robots / people handling and poorly packing it at the Amazon warehouse and then the delivery driver most likely throwing it into the delivery vehicle is where the damage occurs.
 
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SSDs are not as sensitive to G forces as spinning disks. I'd suggest getting spinning disk at a local computer/electronics store, if anything goes wrong within short time after purchasing then the store should provide an exchange and deal with warranty themselves, longer into warranty - you'll have to deal with manufacturer.
SSD is a waste and actually bad if you want to just store stuff and let it sit powered off. Today's SSD can have data retention as short as the warranty period or 1 year (HDD is still aiming for 5 years if I remember) if not powered on, and if speed isn't an issue (or if you need to constantly write in a security system), you need a mechanical hard drive.
 

vavavroom

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Why don't HDs come in their own box anymore? ... all the ones I've bought in the past did. Packaged in a nice form fitting pocket of thick Styrofoam that's inside the box. You could probably drop the box off a truck and nothing inside the Styrofoam shell would be hurt.
Most online places sell bulk drives and not retail drives. Bulk drives come in antistatic bags. Retail drives come fully packaged.
 
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SSD is a waste and actually bad if you want to just store stuff and let it sit powered off. Today's SSD can have data retention as short as the warranty period or 1 year (HDD is still aiming for 5 years if I remember) if not powered on, and if speed isn't an issue (or if you need to constantly write in a security system), you need a mechanical hard drive.
Totally disagree on SSDs lifespan. I run a bunch at home for years, very large bunch at work for years and only saw one very old SSD (age wise and tech wise) to fail. Just don't buy junk SSDs, stick with at least Crucial MX500 series or WB Blue.
For backups or large sized storage HDD would be preferred due to cost per TB.
So, SSD to run your OS, regular backups to an HDD and then another HDD so there are at least two copies.
 
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Totally disagree on SSDs lifespan. I run a bunch at home for years, very large bunch at work for years and only saw one very old SSD (age wise and tech wise) to fail. Just don't buy junk SSDs, stick with at least Crucial MX500 series or WB Blue.
For backups or large sized storage HDD would be preferred due to cost per TB.
So, SSD to run your OS, regular backups to an HDD and then another HDD so there are at least two copies.
Data retention design life is real, it correlates to temperature as well. Typical data I have worked with says if you leave it at 80C the data retention is guaranteed for 1 month, 40C or so maybe 1 year. This is the reason why drives algorithm added audit read to "refresh" the data in the background (think of it as topping off your engine oil between oil change).

Client-Class SSDs typically used in a 40°C environment actively for 8-hour periods, must be able to retain data for 1 year in a temperature rating of 30°C after it is powered off.


I have an old HDD from 2003 that's still working, but that's does not mean every HDD will guarantee it will hold its data from 2003. Most of the HDD folks I worked with says 5 years is the design life and SSD folks I worked with says 1 year is the design life. It matches most data I have seen online as well.
 
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Newegg and Amazon don't package sensitive equipment properly. Not looking for a vendor who ships in a small box with the item in one layer of bubble wrap or in a big box with a couple air pillows on one side of the item. I'm totally willing to.pay extra for proper packaging.

The last HDD I got from Newegg was in an antistatic bag, a bulk and not a retail drive, wrapped in one layer of thin bubble wrap and rattling around in a very small box. They might as well have shipped the drive in a padded envelope. The drive was failing upon install.

Where do you buy your HDD's? And no, an SSD, while mire resilient to.abuse, would not be ideal for what I need it.

I can get the drive I want directly from Dell. Does anybody know how Dell packages the drives?
If I need one today, MicroCenter. We have one 20 or so minutes from my house. Otherwise, it's probably Amazon themselves.

I should probably just buy a SAS controller. I'm sure I could get some new old stock smaller capacity SAS drives from work.
 

Pew

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Newegg and Amazon don't package sensitive equipment properly. Not looking for a vendor who ships in a small box with the item in one layer of bubble wrap or in a big box with a couple air pillows on one side of the item. I'm totally willing to.pay extra for proper packaging.

The last HDD I got from Newegg was in an antistatic bag, a bulk and not a retail drive, wrapped in one layer of thin bubble wrap and rattling around in a very small box. They might as well have shipped the drive in a padded envelope. The drive was failing upon install.

Where do you buy your HDD's? And no, an SSD, while mire resilient to.abuse, would not be ideal for what I need it.

I'm surprised that Newegg is doing this but I don't know just how long they have. The drives I ordered last year came in their OEM packaging with the anti-static bags and plastic end caps. I ordered 4 WD Reds for my company's NAS box through newegg a month ago, all packaged exactly like yours and 1 came DOA - my first ever HDD/SSD coming DOA. Sent it back and the new drive came back packaged the same cruddy way. It's like they're receiving drives in some sort of bulk cardboard/foam carrier instead of individually packaged.

Now I suppose you can order somewhere locally with retail packaging. All the vendors I work with take too long to ship out and typically costs more than Newegg/Amazon.
 

vavavroom

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I asked a techie in our local office where they get drives and he recommended a chain with five Bay Area stores I've never heard of. Yelp reviews are a mixed bag. Prices are supposedly at or below Amazon prices for identical items. The drive I want has the exact same price Newegg and Dell charge.
 
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I buy this kind of stuff from Microcenter whenever I can, even though it's a bit inconvenient for me. Often they do have in-store-only prices that beat anyone else around.

Just as an old trick-if you're just looking for space and not some specific combination of properties(such as specfically wanting a WD Red or WD Black or whatever) you can often do well buying an external and yanking the drive out of the enclosure. Since externals are a lot more popular now as a consumer product than loose internals, they are both more available from general retailers and can be found on sale inexpesively. The last one I did this on was a 4tb WD MyBook and I found a perfectly suitable for file storage 4tb 3.5" WD Green inside of it.
 
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I buy this kind of stuff from Microcenter whenever I can, even though it's a bit inconvenient for me. Often they do have in-store-only prices that beat anyone else around.

Just as an old trick-if you're just looking for space and not some specific combination of properties(such as specfically wanting a WD Red or WD Black or whatever) you can often do well buying an external and yanking the drive out of the enclosure. Since externals are a lot more popular now as a consumer product than loose internals, they are both more available from general retailers and can be found on sale inexpesively. The last one I did this on was a 4tb WD MyBook and I found a perfectly suitable for file storage 4tb 3.5" WD Green inside of it.

The problem is that it doesn't necessarily have a bare drive that can be used with standard drive interfaces. Maybe not with the wall-wart powered external drives, but a lot of the newer bus-powered portable drives have a soldered on board that connects directly to USB rather than a normal bare drive with a SATA to USB interface. Some are also thicker and have extra height 2.5" drives that don't fit into a laptop drive bay because they're more than 9.5mm thick. This one is both.



I had a Seagate external drive which was actually quite good but I seem to have misplaced it. I've seen teardowns of similar models made around the same time, and they had bare Samsung (after Seagate bought our Samsung's hard drive business) drives inside with a basic, custom USB to SATA interface. I don't believe it was a universal interface that would have worked properly with a different drive. The power requirements were actually quite low, probably because it was a tailored solution where they knew exactly what the drive could do or perhaps run it in some sort of power saving mode. I could even run it off of a USB hub where it said it only needed maybe 300 mA. I have a USB enclosure, and no matter what I put in it (even an SSD), the USB requirements are for 900 mA.

With some of the older external drives, even if they had a standard bare drive, they might have been IDE around the time of the transition to SATA.
 
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I buy this kind of stuff from Microcenter whenever I can, even though it's a bit inconvenient for me. Often they do have in-store-only prices that beat anyone else around.

Just as an old trick-if you're just looking for space and not some specific combination of properties(such as specfically wanting a WD Red or WD Black or whatever) you can often do well buying an external and yanking the drive out of the enclosure. Since externals are a lot more popular now as a consumer product than loose internals, they are both more available from general retailers and can be found on sale inexpesively. The last one I did this on was a 4tb WD MyBook and I found a perfectly suitable for file storage 4tb 3.5" WD Green inside of it.
I would be real careful doing this kind of things. Not only do you lose warranty, you also risk buying a drive that is "not up to spec" for use within a computer or server. They may tweak the seek or spin up time for power requirement that would fail a normal window boot, or certain operation that would timeout had you put it in a SAN or array.

I know at least a couple nand manufacturers would put lower grade nand into USB drive because the typical customers would only do 50 whole drive write in its entire life, yet the same nand if used in SSD could easily be required to cycle 1500-5000 cycles in its entire lifespan.
 
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I would be real careful doing this kind of things. Not only do you lose warranty, you also risk buying a drive that is "not up to spec" for use within a computer or server. They may tweak the seek or spin up time for power requirement that would fail a normal window boot, or certain operation that would timeout had you put it in a SAN or array.

I know at least a couple nand manufacturers would put lower grade nand into USB drive because the typical customers would only do 50 whole drive write in its entire life, yet the same nand if used in SSD could easily be required to cycle 1500-5000 cycles in its entire lifespan.

Depends on who it is. Clearly a lot of these internal drives they use say "not for retail sale" once it's cracked open. And I noted the difficulty when there's a custom board for a direct interface to USB. Didn't you say something about saving as much money as they could even if it's nonstandard? I think some of these simply use a common drive controller (like a Marvell controller in the WD Elements drive in the video) and then connect that right on a board to a a SATA to USB controller. Not very repairable something fails (especially the USB port) but these are probably more common than actual SATA drives.

I think back when Seagate bought Samsung's drive business, they were probably clearing out a lot of the old Samsung bare drive inventory by putting those in external drives.

A lot of these SATA to USB controllers can obviously be flashed with some way to program the USB descriptors and to hide the contents of the bare drive. General purpose USB enclosures don't do that. I can place an HGST drive (still have one) in my Patriot Gauntlet 2 enclosure and see that it has an ATECH SATA to USB controller and that it's a 721010A series drive. But with that old Seagate external drive, all that stuff was hidden by the controller.
 
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Depends on who it is. Clearly a lot of these internal drives they use say "not for retail sale" once it's cracked open. And I noted the difficulty when there's a custom board for a direct interface to USB. Didn't you say something about saving as much money as they could even if it's nonstandard? I think some of these simply use a common drive controller (like a Marvell controller in the WD Elements drive in the video) and then connect that right on a board to a a SATA to USB controller. Not very repairable something fails (especially the USB port) but these are probably more common than actual SATA drives.

I think back when Seagate bought Samsung's drive business, they were probably clearing out a lot of the old Samsung bare drive inventory by putting those in external drives.

A lot of these SATA to USB controllers can obviously be flashed with some way to program the USB descriptors and to hide the contents of the bare drive. General purpose USB enclosures don't do that. I can place an HGST drive (still have one) in my Patriot Gauntlet 2 enclosure and see that it has an ATECH SATA to USB controller and that it's a 721010A series drive. But with that old Seagate external drive, all that stuff was hidden by the controller.
I probably would only do that for data recovery, but in practice it is far easier to buy an identical drive and swap parts than reflashing stuff. We aren't talking about moding a custom chip to play pirated video games so all those just to save a few bucks IMO is not worth the risk and savings.

That's just me, maybe someone in Thailand or China has a lot of time and not a lot of money, and would like to do that.
 
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I probably would only do that for data recovery, but in practice it is far easier to buy an identical drive and swap parts than reflashing stuff. We aren't talking about moding a custom chip to play pirated video games so all those just to save a few bucks IMO is not worth the risk and savings.

That's just me, maybe someone in Thailand or China has a lot of time and not a lot of money, and would like to do that.

Have you ever tried swapping hard drive control boards?

On anything made in the last 20 years, the chances of it working are slim to none. I've fixed ancient and rare 80s drives by combining boards and drives from identical models(making two into one, or sometimes replicating a proprietary interface) but now the EEPROM chip on the board is usually "hard coded" to the platters and trying to read a drive with a different board will at best not work, and at worse can corrupt the drive. The data recovery pros who do this will usually transplant the EEPROM if they do replace the board.
 
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I probably would only do that for data recovery, but in practice it is far easier to buy an identical drive and swap parts than reflashing stuff. We aren't talking about moding a custom chip to play pirated video games so all those just to save a few bucks IMO is not worth the risk and savings.

That's just me, maybe someone in Thailand or China has a lot of time and not a lot of money, and would like to do that.

I was only thinking of the NVM being used to program what comes out as USB information. For something like my Seagate external drive, all it had was the name of the external drive and not the internal drive model (if any). I was thinking they "flash" it for whatever they want to call it. But with a standard USB enclosure, I can find out what bare drive is in the enclosure.

But yeah it can get tricky if the board fails. Probably the easiest failure to fix is if a USB port mechanically fails. That can be fixed by someone with a soldering iron and steady enough hands. But I've seen what some do if there's something more severe, which is to find an exact match donor board, and swap that in. But that's done sometimes when the board on a bare HD fails. And finding an exact match is no easy task as there can be many different revisions.
 
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But yeah it can get tricky if the board fails. Probably the easiest failure to fix is if a USB port mechanically fails. That can be fixed by someone with a soldering iron and steady enough hands. But I've seen what some do if there's something more severe, which is to find an exact match donor board, and swap that in. But that's done sometimes when the board on a bare HD fails. And finding an exact match is no easy task as there can be many different revisions.

See my post above. You CAN NOT directly swap a main board from a different hard drive that's been made in this millenium. I don't care if you somehow find the board that was made immediately before or after the one on your hard drive on an assembly line-it will not work. If you get lucky it JUST won't work. If you get really unlucky, you end up with a drive so corrupted that you need a real pro to get the data off of it(if they can manage it for a price you want to pay).

To have this work, you MUST transplant the EEPROM from the bad board onto the good one, which needs a rework station and a fair bit of expertise to make an even bigger mess by lifting solder pads.

I found out about the board swapping deal when I had actually a rather good Toshiba 60gb 7200rpm 2.5" PATA drive that I fried in an external enclosure by connecting it backwards. Those have a 44 pin connector that carries both power and data, so if you do that, bad things can happen.

The drive had some rather important data on it, so I found a loose board on Ebay, swapped them, and found it didn't work.

As a last ditch, though, I started looking VERY closely at the dead board and found that I'd actually blown one of the tiny surface mount fuses. Somehow or another(and I don't have a clue where I found it) I found what value it was supposed to be. I then figured I had nothing to loose, so I pulled out my micrometer and pulled up a table of fuse current of copper wire. I clipped a single strand off maybe a 28 gauge stranded wire, found it was a tiny bit too big, so took my pocket knife and made a tiny nick in it and said it was probably in the ballpark of the correct fuse current. I soldered it on where the fuse had been, and amazingly enough it worked. I was able to "unscramble" the corrupted data with Disk Warrior and get what I needed off.

Funny enough, it was a good enough drive that I figured "why not" and put it back into service in a non-critical application. It went into an 867mhz Titanium PowerBook. I just used that computer about two weeks ago and it still works perfectly on that drive I fixed maybe in 2014 or so.
 
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See my post above. You CAN NOT directly swap a main board from a different hard drive that's been made in this millenium. I don't care if you somehow find the board that was made immediately before or after the one on your hard drive on an assembly line-it will not work. If you get lucky it JUST won't work. If you get really unlucky, you end up with a drive so corrupted that you need a real pro to get the data off of it(if they can manage it for a price you want to pay).

To have this work, you MUST transplant the EEPROM from the bad board onto the good one, which needs a rework station and a fair bit of expertise to make an even bigger mess by lifting solder pads.

I found out about the board swapping deal when I had actually a rather good Toshiba 60gb 7200rpm 2.5" PATA drive that I fried in an external enclosure by connecting it backwards. Those have a 44 pin connector that carries both power and data, so if you do that, bad things can happen.

The drive had some rather important data on it, so I found a loose board on Ebay, swapped them, and found it didn't work.

As a last ditch, though, I started looking VERY closely at the dead board and found that I'd actually blown one of the tiny surface mount fuses. Somehow or another(and I don't have a clue where I found it) I found what value it was supposed to be. I then figured I had nothing to loose, so I pulled out my micrometer and pulled up a table of fuse current of copper wire. I clipped a single strand off maybe a 28 gauge stranded wire, found it was a tiny bit too big, so took my pocket knife and made a tiny nick in it and said it was probably in the ballpark of the correct fuse current. I soldered it on where the fuse had been, and amazingly enough it worked. I was able to "unscramble" the corrupted data with Disk Warrior and get what I needed off.

Funny enough, it was a good enough drive that I figured "why not" and put it back into service in a non-critical application. It went into an 867mhz Titanium PowerBook. I just used that computer about two weeks ago and it still works perfectly on that drive I fixed maybe in 2014 or so.

I did note that getting an exact match was no easy thing.
 

OVERKILL

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See my post above. You CAN NOT directly swap a main board from a different hard drive that's been made in this millenium. I don't care if you somehow find the board that was made immediately before or after the one on your hard drive on an assembly line-it will not work. If you get lucky it JUST won't work. If you get really unlucky, you end up with a drive so corrupted that you need a real pro to get the data off of it(if they can manage it for a price you want to pay).

To have this work, you MUST transplant the EEPROM from the bad board onto the good one, which needs a rework station and a fair bit of expertise to make an even bigger mess by lifting solder pads.

I found out about the board swapping deal when I had actually a rather good Toshiba 60gb 7200rpm 2.5" PATA drive that I fried in an external enclosure by connecting it backwards. Those have a 44 pin connector that carries both power and data, so if you do that, bad things can happen.

The drive had some rather important data on it, so I found a loose board on Ebay, swapped them, and found it didn't work.

As a last ditch, though, I started looking VERY closely at the dead board and found that I'd actually blown one of the tiny surface mount fuses. Somehow or another(and I don't have a clue where I found it) I found what value it was supposed to be. I then figured I had nothing to loose, so I pulled out my micrometer and pulled up a table of fuse current of copper wire. I clipped a single strand off maybe a 28 gauge stranded wire, found it was a tiny bit too big, so took my pocket knife and made a tiny nick in it and said it was probably in the ballpark of the correct fuse current. I soldered it on where the fuse had been, and amazingly enough it worked. I was able to "unscramble" the corrupted data with Disk Warrior and get what I needed off.

Funny enough, it was a good enough drive that I figured "why not" and put it back into service in a non-critical application. It went into an 867mhz Titanium PowerBook. I just used that computer about two weeks ago and it still works perfectly on that drive I fixed maybe in 2014 or so.
Last time I had a hard drive board swap work was around 2008? Drives made in the early 2000's this worked on. Drives were PATA, typically WD, though I had luck with Fujitsu as well. IIRC, it also worked on an early WD SATA drive too...

Manufacturer seems to be key in whether it worked or just caused more damage.
 
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