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Old May 9, 2011, 3:53 PM   #31
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For what it is worth:
http://www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/comp...ata-backup.htm

Ive had good luck with IOMEGA. Never had one fail, but they are more expensive in general.

Also, Ive had good luck with Hitachi, but like I said regarding large capacity drives - be careful with them mechanically.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...elab,2681.html
Study: A Look At Hard Drive Reliability In Russia
Conclusion
"Hitachi manufacturers the safest and most reliable hard drives, according to the Storelab study. Of the more than 200 Hitachi hard drives received, not a single one had failed due to manufacturing or design errors. All failures were due to physical impacts caused by the users. Adding the highest average lifespans and the best relationship between failures and market share, Hitachi can be regarded as the winner here. But don't take that as a blanket to cover the whole storage market. It's only the case in this study, which we've already said several times is extremely limited. With that said, research data covering the hard drive market is sparse, which is why this study remains interesting. The study is limited to a specific market segment in Eastern Europe, and only includes drives that were analyzed at Storelab. In it, we have user-triggered failures, as well as design failures."
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Old May 9, 2011, 5:55 PM   #32
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The last 2.5" drive I had fail was inside my laptop, and it was Hitachi. The disk itself was fine but the on-board controller failed.
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Old May 9, 2011, 9:13 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterbj7 View Post

In the last few years I think I've had six or seven internal desktop 3.5" drives fail, mostly (I suspect) prompted by power fluctuations.
Do you not have a UPS? For me, that is a requirement. I would never plug my computer directly into a wall socket. Better quality UPS units are not that expensive in relation to the equipment they protect, and especially in regard to the data.
My old Dell has been running for nearly ten years, (24/7) and has outlived a crt monitor and a power supply, but the HDD that came with it is still fine, if a bit under capacity. Had one hard drive fail (Maxtor) after about six months, but got a (larger) replacement under warranty, which has been running great since.

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Old May 9, 2011, 10:04 PM   #34
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Yes, I use a UPS, as does everyone here. I actually have several scattered around the place. But it only gives partial protection and certain conditions go straight through it. As well as hard disks I've lost (internal) power supplies & motherboards. I've also lost several TVs.

I find laptops far more reliable so that's all that I use nowadays.
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Old May 10, 2011, 1:37 AM   #35
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That laptops are more reliable and that you are having so many component failures is very suggestive that you are operating in a region that has bad power regulation. The fact is, a laptop effectively acts like an UPS. You can disconnect & reconnect the line plug to the unit and it continues without interruption. Because of the battery and sophisticated charging circuitry, laptops effectively are less sensitive to line power issues, but they can be, on the other hand, prone to heating issues particularly if there is a separate video card employed (ie, use non-IGP). You are probably a prime candidate for use of a high quality UPS. One that provides line filtering and monitoring and that will disconnect from the power line if the input gets too far out of specification (eg, voltage level, ripple or even ac frequency).

BTW, check out the reviews on this 2.5" WD Scorpio 320 Blue. Five star average based on 750 user/purchaser experience reports:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822136197

Last edited by sdromel; May 10, 2011 at 2:06 AM. Reason: Add Info
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Old May 10, 2011, 10:55 AM   #36
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I hear what you say, but I've always "known" that laptop hard drives fail early. My brother runs a consultancy based in Britain that needs 40-odd up-to-date laptops, so every year he buys around a third of that number and pensions off an equivalent number of the older ones (having first removed and destroyed the hard drives, as they hold confidential data). He hasn't always operated like this, and he used to keep them for longer. After a while he determined that the mean life of a laptop hard drive was around 18 months, with some failing beforehand and few lasting more than 2 1/2 years. So he instituted a program of automatic HD replacement at 18 months. He isn't a fool and doesn't like throwing money away, but this was his best pragmatic approach. My personal experiences mirror his. I am regularly called on to help out people here whose laptop hard drives have failed, or are in process of doing so. In my experience it IS a common problem.

I read somewhere the theoretical limitations of generally-available-and-affordable UPS systems. I can't refer you to it as I can't remember where it was, but it pointed out that a commercial UPS provides only limited protection and none at all against certain conditions. The only really safe way of operating is to have large batteries on site and charge those when they have no load, then run AC generators/inverters from them. So that whenever you are using power the system is isolated from the mains. Just what people here who don't have mains connections do.

The other issue here which you won't be aware of is the moist salty atmosphere. Stainless steel rusts here, and any circuit boards exposed to the atmosphere become severely corroded within a few months. I have lost two laptops because the motherboards simply died. I am now careful never to use a laptop in an A/C room, and as far as possible to keep it running all the time so it generates heat and keeps itself dry internally.
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Old May 10, 2011, 12:53 PM   #37
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Yes, an exceeding corrosive environment will complicate what is going on as electrical connections (keyboards, circuit board connectors, plugs and sockets, etc.) typically result in intermittent or no operation without cleaning or protection (such as use of DEOXIT http://www.all-spec.com/products/D5S-6.html ).

It would be interesting for your brother to buy a limited number of MIL grade units (eg, http://www.amrel.com/rugged-computer...d-features.asp ) for his clients to use to see how they compare/hold up (field test). In the final analysis, if they work, it just may be cost effective to not having to constantly service, replace and maintain the client standard commercial off-the-shelf computational hardware base (including UPSes and power conditioners, etc.).
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Old May 10, 2011, 2:33 PM   #38
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Not appropriate for him. He needs the latest specs, as his computing is very demanding. Besides, physical robustness is neither particularly needed nor the point, as these machines tend to sit on a desk for at least the whole working day, and often for much of their life. They don't move around much, but they're working hard where they are.

You can't protect electronic equipment against the effects of a corrosive atmosphere. You can protect it from the atmosphere itself, but once it's in it there's nothing you can do. The main way we protect our electronic gear here is by either leaving it permanently in an A/C environment, or never exposing it to one. The transition is what does the damage.

I find USB connectors particularly troublesome. The contacts aren't self-cleaning and are impossible to access in order to clean, and since these connections are not particularly positive I often get intermittent connections. The problem is more with the cables than the sockets, though both are affected. The old-fashioned serial and parallel ports were much better, because they were screwed tightly together.
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Last edited by peterbj7; May 10, 2011 at 2:36 PM.
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Old May 10, 2011, 5:21 PM   #39
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Try the DEOXIT as it is miraculous stuff. It coats the contact surfaces to prevent oxidation. As a test, spray it into one of the USB ports of a new unit as well as the connector cable ends once a week and see if it can make a useful difference. It works for me, has not harmed or damaged anything Ive used it on plus it is the only solution that seems to be able to last awhile.
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Old May 10, 2011, 9:31 PM   #40
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Is there anything that can be sprayed in after corrosion has started to remove said corrosion and get back to clean metal?

DEOXIT certainly won't be available in Belize, so I'll have to work out how to source it.
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