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Old 09-05-2011, 11:53 AM
D G Teed
 
Default Drive failure rates (was DO NOT BUY Western Digital "Green" Drives (also present in WD "Elements" external USB cases))

On Sun, Sep 4, 2011 at 8:41 PM, <owens@netptc.net> wrote:


----- Original Message -----
From: Brad Rogers
To: Debian Users ML
Sent: 9/4/2011 6:26:48 PM
Subject: Re: DO NOT BUY Western Digital "Green" Drives (also present in WD "Elements" external USB cases)



On Sun, 04 Sep 2011 13:27:51 -0400
Doug <dmcgarrett@optonline.net> wrote:

Hello Doug,

> It's been a few years since I retired, but I remember the IT guys

> replacing a _lot_ of Western Digital drives. I guess the

In the same vein, I remember lots of Seagate drives being replaced. For
a while the company had a nickname of Seacrate. Possibly because that's

what most of their gear was worth at the time; Crating up, and chucking
in the sea.

At various times, products from certain companies go through a bad
time. Usually, it can be attributed to some factor or other. For

example, one drive manufacturer's drives started failing prematurely
because the wrong type of bearing oil had been used. Such issues often
go unnoticed until quite large numbers of faulty products are in use.

The offending company earns a bad reputation until the next company comes
along and makes a cock-up and everyone forgets about the first one.

WD, Seagate, and just about every other drive manufacturer has gone

through these cycles. It's nothing new, and will continue for years to
come.

--
Regards _
/ ) "The blindingly obvious is
/ _)rad never immediately apparent"
The man in a tracksuit attacks me

I Predict A Riot - Kaiser Chiefs



The two most recent studies (one based on Google hardware and one from Carnegie-Mellon) provide two interesting insights:


1.* While there does not appear to be a strong correlation between failures and manufacturers there is a strong correlation between drive models from a manufacturer and failures.* The inference is that WD may not be failure-prone but some WD products are failure-prone.



2.* There is not a strong dependency between drive temperature and failures.




This is now a different topic than the original one on green drives.
Here is a study by google on their drive failure rates.*This is from a few years ago, but I believe the correlations would hold true today:

http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/labs.google.com/en//papers/disk_failures.pdf

The failure rate rises at the three year mark under higher temperatures. *This isconsistent with how I understood the relationship between temperature andelectronics. *It doesn't kill it immediately, but stresses the components and
shortens the lifespan.
For some reason, there is more failure in low temperatures and young drives.I suspect there is another variable in there they have not isolated, such as
low humidity and static electricity, or vibration, etc. - something that wouldhave been common to the drives operating in a colder data centre.
There is also this 2007 study, showing the failure rates are much higher than the theoretical
number thrown out by drive manufacturers:
http://www.pcworld.com/article/129558/study_hard_drive_failure_rates_much_higher_than_ma kers_estimate.html

However it is based on consumer returns, not actual verified bad disks.Some of*the responses from manufacturers in that article seem to wantthe blame*offloaded to the customer.

A comment from 2010 following the article says that at the current low prices fordrives, they are at a commodity level. *Essentially he is saying there is no roomfor quality to be*built in with $60 hard drives, and you should stock drives
the way bakers stock bags of flour.
Personally, I've seen an overall increase in electronics failures straight off the shelf.Indications are that motherboard makers, flash memory makers, etc.,
do not test or burn in the newly manufactured equipment to pull out the usualsmall percentage of manufacturing flaws. *With cheap electronics, they can'tafford to QA the final product - it is cheaper for the customer to test it for
them and RMA it.
 
Old 09-05-2011, 12:10 PM
Andrew McGlashan
 
Default Drive failure rates (was DO NOT BUY Western Digital "Green" Drives (also present in WD "Elements" external USB cases))

D G Teed wrote a MESSY HTML message that wasn't trimmed.....:

http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/labs.google.com/en//papers/disk_failures.pdf


Your email was horribly formatted, so it was much easier to junk the
content.


Now, another factor, the drive failure rates are probably way
understated in the general populace because the cost of the drives are
so low and the effort to destroy personal data (if still possible) and
everything else that goes into RMA is just not worth the effort.


We are talking about commodity items these days. In times gone past,
replacing a faulty drive was more expensive and the RMA process was
worth it, but today it is quite often not work the trouble on the
cheaper range of drives -- hence failure rates would surely go heavily
under reported.


--
Kind Regards
AndrewM

Andrew McGlashan
Broadband Solutions now including VoIP


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