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I just picked up a couple new Western Digital 3TB hard drives, and I was having some minor issues with one of them that is causing it to randomly un-mount. So I was Googling a bit and there seems to be a lot of people/posts saying that they have higher than normal failure rates; not for this brand in particularly, but for drives that are 3 or more GBs in size.

Is this true? And if so, why is this/what causes this?

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closed as not constructive by HackToHell, Canadian Luke, TFM, Karan, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Mar 8 '13 at 12:06

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There are lots of drives over 3GBs in size and they don't have a higher than normal failure rate. You should most likely change that. On top of that the answer is complicated. Hard drives with a lot of space tend to have a lot of platters. A lot of platters means you have a lot more things that can go wrong. This is especially true if your like some odd people who enjoy shaking their computer with the hard drive writing.... there are a lot of idiots out there. –  Griffin Mar 8 '13 at 5:03
    
@Griffin Do they actually have more platters or is it just that there is just more data per platter, causing it to be more likely that a track could get off a bit or the polarity would be less intense? Hope that makes sense, I don't know the correct terminology... –  Garrett Fogerlie Mar 8 '13 at 5:24
    
Depends on what drive you get. However when you have that big of a drive there is almost certainly a good deal of platters. –  Griffin Mar 8 '13 at 22:11
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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is not true. Self-selected biased sample is not statistically accurate. Obviously people with failed drives will complain about it. But I'm sure there's a much larger quieter population of people and companies that have these drives working perfectly fine. Especially considering different(competing?) brands won't be using identical faulty components.

Unless people can back up their claims like Google's "Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population" research that shows 3TB drives are more failure-prone, it's all hearsay..(then again, so is this answer :)

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Every drive you purchase should be expected to fail at some point so if you value the data - make sure you back it up. It should be a question of when, and will you be ready.

In my experience I tend to stick to cheap drives as I don't have the biggest budget as I do not value more than half my data but I alway keep a watchful eye over my setup every few months and more if I see a drive starting to read bad. Just before it fails I've always managed to have a replacement handy so I do consider myself lucky in that aspect.

I also agree with Griffin. You wouldn't shake a CD player if you could help it, and a HDD is only 2-6 disks stacked up. Keep it stable.

I'm not leaning one way or another, but expect drives to live ~3 years or so. Watch the warranty period. Keep the machine stable. Expect failure and be ready.

All the best.

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