[conspire] Reliable 1.5TB SATA drives?

Mark S Bilk mark at cosmicpenguin.com
Sat Jul 24 13:35:09 PDT 2010

Dear Penguins,

What is the most reliable brand and model of 1.5TB SATA 
hard drive available today at a reasonable price?  High 
speed is not important.  Tale of -- not woe, but 
significant annoyance -- follows:

I was running two Seagate 1TB SATA Barracuda 7200 drives, 
one for over a year and one for about 4 months.  The latter
died a few days ago, first doing audible (click) recalibrations, 
and then being intermittently unable to read out some of its 
files.  Before it stopped responding I managed to transfer 
all but one of the files to one of my two Seagate 1TB 
FreeAgent Desk USB external drives (which have worked well 
for half a year).  The computer is in a large Antec case 
with six fans in an air-conditioned room.

So I went to Frys and bought a 1.5TB Barracuda 5900 RPM 
internal SATA drive and two 1.5TB FreeAgent Desk drives,
intending to keep two external backups of each internal 

The new internal drive is OK (so far), but the external 
1.5TB drive that I tried did constant recalibrations, 
each time stalling the transfer for about one second.
Once it clicked 27 times in a row!  Seagate tech support 
suggested trying a different USB cable, as the new drives 
are susceptible to EM noise pickup.  Changing that cable 
stopped the clicking, but after warming up a bit from a 
couple hours of data transfer, in a 78deg F air-conditioned 
room, some of its files became unreadable.  Letting it 
cool down and remounting it fixed that, but by now I'm 
convinced that Seagate's former excellent quality control 
has severely deteriorated.  I've used only Seagates for the 
last ten years and had no problems with them, but two 
failures in two days, one right out of the box, is pretty bad.

Western Digital's Elements external USB drive is only 
warranteed for 1 year, so I think I should go with bare
drives and put them in a fan-cooled USB or eSATA enclosure.
But the drive has to be good, hence my initial question.

  Thanks in advance!

More information about the conspire mailing list