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Old 02-06-2016, 02:44 PM   #1
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Default Hard drive Query

I have a Seagate HDD which I have put in a 'carrier' and have used it as an external drive via USB for backup purposes. there is nothing on it at present but today it slipped out of my hands and fell on the carpet. I am wondering how much of a knock these things can take before they 'break'

When I switch it on it does not always appear in the 'file explorer' area and neither does it appear in the 'Disk Drives' in the Device Manager but it does appear as 'L' in 'Portable devices' within the Device manager. When I click on it I get a box come up that says 'This device is working properly' when in fact it isn't.

Will the bump have seen it off?
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Old 02-06-2016, 11:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hard drive Query

Yeah, depending on how it landed (impacted) it could cause the actuator arm to allow the head to hit the platter or the actuator arm could be moved beyond it's normal travel range and become lodged there or be unable to seek the correct locations. Other possible problems are the voicecoil actuator could become displaced from it's locator pins or it could have sheared a pin in which case there is a tiny bit of metal (or plastic) floating around in there freely.
The actuator axis could become mis-aligned and allow the heads to contact the platter during use at one end or the other of travel.
I would retire that drive before it gets any worse.
Drives are cheap compared to the hours worth of work you can loose when it fails and all drives will fail it's just a matter of when and how severely. I think you might have increased the likelihood that it will be sooner on that one and perhaps more catastrophically.
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Hard drive Query

I've dropped them on the carpet before and continued using them, but I can live with the risks. Dropping hard drives may shorten their life, but I always assume a drive can fail in an instant at anytime anyway.
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Old 02-07-2016, 05:02 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hard drive Query

OK folks, thanks for the input. I don't think that I'll risk using it. I have some birthday vouchers so will treat mysel.

Picking your brains again please, is it worth going for an SSD external drive as opposed to the normal type?

Thanks again.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hard drive Query

IMO, an external ssd isn't worthwhile. An ssd works best as an OS drive not as a data drive. An external is used mostly for backups and other data and, generally speaking, you want the external drive to be larger than your internal so you can store multiple backups and such. Not to mention that a large ssd is still much more expensive than a large hdd.
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: Hard drive Query

Hi strollin, thanks for your input, I have just ordered this one.....

Seagate Backup Plus Slim 1TB USB 3.0 Portable 2.5 Inch External Hard Drive for PC and Mac - Black: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories
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Old 02-07-2016, 02:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hard drive Query

Here is something to consider:
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hard drive Query

@Technician - That chart is very misleading. The high failure rate that Backblaze experienced with Seagate drives was limited to the 3TB models. In addition, Backblaze uses end user grade drives in an environment where they really should be using industrial grade drives.

@Bluenose - That external drive should work fine for you.
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Old 02-08-2016, 04:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Hard drive Query

Hi again strollin, I ordered that particular drive because I already have a couple of Seagate's and have never had a problem, other than just having dropped one of them!

I'm always very appreciative of your input and have confidence in what you say so thank you once again.

Hi Technician, thank you for your heads-up with the graph, I would probably have done a little more investigating having seen this and, may even have changed my order but, having read strollin's qualifying statement on the background to the graph, I do now feel comfortable with my purchase.

EDIT: just out of interest I tried the 'dropped' drive again just now and it's working perfectly. Won't be putting much reliance on it though!
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:55 PM   #10
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Absolutely true, and Seagate has said they still honor the warranty for Backblaze which is a good thing. All that should be taken from that graph is that of consumer grade drives in the same very hard environment Seagate did the worst, partly because they do not replace the drives that fail with new drives, but with refurbished drives that are then more prone to failure than an all new one.
All I was pointing out is that in a very tough environment with a lot of spin-ups and downs, they fail more often than the other brands, and why would you not opt for one that lasted longer in the same environment?
It's a good stress test of drives in the same environment with the same workloads.
It does not represent how the drives will behave in your home computer in the same way any stress test does not give a perfect correlation to real world usage, or any benchmark shows you how a particular game will play on a certain GPU with known settings. It does however give a good apples to apples comparison in conditions that are much tougher than you will probably reproduce yourself.

Also worth noting is that if your (Seagate) drive fails within the warranty period it will (or at least should) be replaced with a brand new drive not a refurb so the chances that you get another poor one diminish with each replacement. But why chance it?
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