back to article Every SECOND there are EIGHT more Seagate drives in the world

Seagate boasts that it has shipped a billion drives in just four years after taking nearly three decades to build its previous billion. The company shipped its first billionth disk in 2008; its inaugural product, the 5MB ST-506, hit the market in 1980. Now Seagate's factories - busy spewing drives to a world enthusiastically …

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Anonymous Coward

I'm sure that when the Artificial Intelligence awakens it will appreciatte the rugged durability of Seagate drives. We'll be so busy slaving away in the galium-arsenide mines under direction of our metal overlords we won't have time for maintenance.

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eight drives every second...etc

Please subtract the failed drives being returned.

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Re: eight drives every second...etc

@Sureo

"Please subtract the failed drives being returned."

In fairness, this is typically highly related to the model of the disk.

For example, I have ST31000340AS (1TB 4-platter) drives failing quite regularly (all of them still under warranty - no doubt the reason why they cut the warranty on desktop grade disks from 5 years to 1 since I bought them). But the slightly newer ST31000333AS (1TB 3-platter) drives have a near perfect reliability record, and they are of the same age. I've also had no issues whatsoever with the newer 2-platter variants (ST31000524AS, ST31000528AS, most of which were warranty replacements for the ST31000340AS drives).

Seagate drives (not including rebadged Samsungs) still seem to be the only drives that have a Write-Read-Verify feature, and all their drives also seem to come with the TLER feature, too (you have to pay extra for that with, say, WD).

Seagate also have by far the easiest to access and arrange warranty/RMA online forms, and typically turn the disks around within a week (from day of posting to day of receiving the replacement disk). With some manufacturers even finding warranty information on their website in pre-purchase research is impossible - they just don't even list the information on a navigatable-to up-to-date page (Hitachi in particular).

So for all the knocking you may apply, Seagate have a lot going for them. I'm not necessarily saying they are good, but it's all relative, and their competition is in a lot of ways worse, one way or the other.

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Joke

Re: eight drives every second...etc

It used to be said years ago that if you brought a car built on a Friday afternoon in the factory, it would be unreliable and not up to standard. Maybe the 8th drive of each second comes out dodgy too! They will have to state date stamping them with not just which year and month they were built the fraction of a second too!

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Re: eight drives every second...etc

Upvoted in large part for:

Seagate also have by far the easiest to access and arrange warranty/RMA online forms, and typically turn the disks around within a week (from day of posting to day of receiving the replacement disk).

I had a Samsung drive fail under warranty shortly after Seagate bought them. Samsung's support site was already redirecting me to Seagate's warranty pages, and I was a little nervous as to whether the required diagnostic tools or the RMA system would work with my drive (having been burnt by other mergers) but everything went smoothy and I received a Seagate drive to replace my dead Samsung.

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FAIL

Productivity's Increased Since 2011 - The Year Seagate...

...bought Samsung's shite hdd manufacturing division.

Still, the box of failed Samsungs and Seagates under my desk makes a good foot rest.

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Happy

You know on Time Team how they...

...used to always find old clay smoking pipes in the soil continuously no matter where they dug...

Well in a thousand years time (if they bring back Time Team that is) all they will find when they dig up the ground is manky old Seagate drives full of Windows system restore backups, cat pictures and porn!

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Re: You know on Time Team how they...

And conclude these disks must have been used "for ceremonial purposes".

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Coat

Re: You know on Time Team how they...

.... in a Roman Temple.

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Happy

Re: You know on Time Team how they...

No, sorry you have me there, I can understand the value of backups of cat pictures and porn, but Windows system restore?

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Re: You know on Time Team how they...

I just assumed it used up tons of space or something - its Windows lol

Man imagine what Time Team would say if they happened to excavate an Apple store - lots of talk about it being a cult worship location and ancient tablets baring the words of god Steve with strict instructions to followers on how to hold stuff up against their ears!

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This is a joke right?

as a tech in a small compuiter shop. i see more failed seagate drive then all the other drive combined. Most of the junk computer maker (Acer, gateway, emachine, Dell...) use seagate drive in their sub 500$ tower/notebook.... and 1 month after the warranty expire, the drive expire.....

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Stop

Re: This is a joke right?

Correlation does not imply causation. They may in fact have a lower failure rate than alternatives however their greater market penetration due to being in cheap machines could be what causes that perception. Alternatively it could be a fault induced by sub-par ventilation and components in the low end machines that overstress the drives.

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Anonymous Coward

And......the number of seconds til mean-time-of-failure....?

I've had a shocking number of Seagate 2TB External Drives kick-the-can due to the infamous CLICK OF DEATH! Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com are full of HORRIFIC reviews!!!

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Joke

Re: And......the number of seconds til mean-time-of-failure....?

I think the issue was static head slap

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Anonymous Coward

That's a lot of RMAs to do...

... in the future then.

We've RMA'd well over 50% of all Seagate drives we used. We used them back in 2002 - nearly all of them failed, we used them again back in 2009/2010, nearly every one has been RMA'd.

SAS drives - no problem

SATA drives = disaster from Seagate IMHO.

Samsung - not had a single one of those fail yet. Same with Hitachi.

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Re: That's a lot of RMAs to do...

I've had a bad experience with _some_ Samsungs:

http://www.altechnative.net/2011/03/21/the-appalling-design-of-hard-disks/

The main thing I've obderved is that the unreliability tends to be:

1) Specific to particular models of the disks

2) Bleeding edge high capacity disks (4-5 platters) tend to have a much higher failure rate than the smaller disks 1-3 platters).

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Anonymous Coward

Instead of shipping so many drives, spend a littke time to give us a tool to permanently turn of APM (or a firmware update that does) and save some money due to drives that died ahead of their time in the warranty period due to a crazy number of load/unloads due unwanted and unessential APM...!

Until you do im buying no more seagates.!

WD eventually gave us "wd idle", why cant you do the same, or is it now you have lowered the warranty period your hoping the drives will fail sooner due to the APM and require us all to by a new one with the majority making it just past the end of the warranty period... ?

Let us just turn it off permanently dagnabbit !!

I give you exhibit A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kt6asKkMJq0

Thankfully hdparm (hdparm -B 255 /dev/sdx) is keeping the drives from dying until you do..!

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Devil

So much bitchiness

If you read enough 'feedback' from the internet, you'll know by now that Seagate, Toshiba, Samsung¹, Fujitsu², HGST³ and WD (er, is that all of them?) are all rubbish and produce utter rubbish that falls to pieces and they'll never buy another one again.

It's all bollocks. Sometimes, certain skus have below average reliability - it doesn't mean that all skus from that manufacturer also do. It may be time-related - drives from one batch may fail significantly sooner than from another. Disks with consecutive serial numbers often fail in close time periods to each other.

I've had every hard drive manufacturer under the sun, and yes, sometimes disks fail (OMG!). They fail from all manufacturers, they fail at the start of their service run, they fail halfway through, and sometimes they don't fail at all.

However, I have yet to meet a disk that fails silently, or doesn't record the fact that things are getting a bit ropey. Using smartctl to watch and monitor SMART statistics normally tells you very quickly when a drive should be pre-emptively replaced. I buy my disks based solely upon capacity, price and warranty period - brand doesn't enter into it.

tl;dr - disks from all manufacturers fail, if you store important data on disk, you need recovery and contingency plans to preserve your data and keep you working. No-one gives a fuck about a disk failing if everything has been planned out in advance.

¹ Yes, I know it's now owned by Seagate

² Ditto, but Toshiba

³ Ditto, but WD

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Re: So much bitchiness

@Tom 38:

You've clearly been lucky. I have seen silent failures and data corruption. If you aren't using file system that checksums all the data blocks like ZFS, the chances are that you just didn't notice it.

Disks also very often go from perfectly fine in SMART to completely dead without any warnings whatsoever (actuator failures, massive media failure, and less frequently controller failure).

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Anonymous Coward

Every SECOND there are EIGHT

and, by an uncanny coincidence, every SECOND there are FOUR, at least, that tell their owners: I hate to say that, but I'm dead, sorry, have a nice day.

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Coat

But...

How many drives in a fortnight? Or in a leap year?

You've made so many unit conversions, but then so many still remain.

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Holmes

Re: But...

A shitload

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time to go 128bit

If those drives average 1TB each, that means the number of bytes that Seagate ships is too large to be addressable by a 64-bit pointer. Of course disks are addressed by blocks, which are now mostly 4KB, but mmap() is out of the question if you were to virtualize all of this year's disks.

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So Seagate drives....

...are our century's version of Tribbles.

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Anonymous Coward

And here I thought I was the only one that after years of being a fanboi now hated Seagates. Far too many failing on me. But I do have to thank them for the psychological reconditioning causing that OH SH!T! smack upside the head moment to no longer phase me on anything. WD Rules!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

No so much bitchiness

I think the large proportion of comments are based on experience, personally i was a long seagate advocate, however if you look into the APM issue on the new range of greens, you will see why the drives are dying ahead of the their time.

Ive seen various drives where smart was next to useless and told you something had gone wrong when it was to late already, but as your said if the data is important, run raid/backup, who needs smart, if its gone wrong pull it, replace it.

Yes all drives will fail one day, is like saying if you eat salt you will die... seriously, when wd produced their greens with apm that didnt work, many drives failed ahead of time due to to the apm. Seagate has just made the same mistake...

To touch on the previous seagate mistakes (there was of course others before) there was the 7200.11 and i believe some 7200.12 which had a sudden death issue (which you could thankfully unbrick with a serial to ttl adapter), that said ive had good experiences upto now, but the lack of a firmware or tool to permanently turn of the APM on the drives is putting me right off.

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