Hard Drive Failure Rates and Reliability
Many of our customers after a data recovery ask what we recommend to purchase to avoid a future data loss. Although there can never be a scenario in place to completely avoid data loss 100% of the time, there are some common sense measures to consider which can help. I encourage double backups with occasional triple backups depending on the data. The price of an external device is very inexpensive relative to the cost of a data recovery, it is essentially a “no brainer” to have multiple backups. That being said, I have listed what we have encountered over the years when dealing with hard drives and included some links for interesting reading which nearly corresponds with our findings over the years. From performing data recovery on over 2100 drives in the last 10 years, we have found Toshiba to be the best, with WD coming in second based on our database and anomalies associated with each manufacturer and model. Seagates in the last 3 to 5 years have had a horrific failure rate and even greater since the class action law suit with newly manufactured drives.
Stay away from Samsung on the Solid State Side. We like Crucial SSD’s with Micron memory which use the Marvel controller the best in terms of reliability for but with much slower performance compared to others. I would rather have a drive that continues to function with slower performance than a drive that is faster and prone to failure. The actual speed differences are negligible anyways. Marvel has been around a long time and they are very good at what they do. They have been responsible for the controller on 99.98% of all the hard drives manufactured in the last 30 years.
One last thing. In terms of general reliability, stay away from any drives larger than 3TB unless they are set up in a RAID5 or greater and then don’t exceed 5TB for each drive. I mention this as a general recommendation to all my customers. As the public demand for greater storage capacity has increased, some of the manufacturing processes with an overall rush to market have yielded an inferior product due to cost constraints, general engineering and manufacturing processes and marketing promises.