In continuing with why I use the parts I do series, in this article I want to cover the hard drives I use and why. Yes I used the plural in hard drives.
Unlike my exclusive use of ASUS motherboards, Crucial RAM and Intel processors, I use three different brands of hard drives.It is not that I am not picky, I am, I have to be. As you can understand, when a hard drive fails it is a big deal. Data is lost, the operating system is lost, all programs that were installed are lost. Then there are downloads, internet favorites as well as music and videos that are gone.
Under warranty, drive manufacturers only replace the drive. Not the programs or data, and there is no labor reimbursement, that falls 100% on the builder of the computer and their technicians.
If we just replaced the drive and told the customer, we’ve our part in the warranty, the customer would quickly become a former customer. This is why we only use stabile and reliable drives.
When people have large storage needs, the SATA drive is the most economical drive to get. For this, I choose Seagate hard drives.
The primary reason goes back to stability and trust in their quality. While we have had to warranty a few Seagate hard drives, I just don’t have a large failure rate, even after warranty period expires.
It is unfortunate that when I experimented with different brands of drives, I had nearly a 100% failure rate of Hitachi, IBM (“Death star”) and Fujitsu drives. Western digital brand drives used in NAS (Network Attach Devices) and servers also had a 100% failure rate, though in computers they lasted 3-5 years, still too short for my taste.
On the rare occasion we have a Seagate warranty, we fill out a form, return the drive and a replacement is cross shipped, no issues, no dancing though hoops. My only complaint is they send refurbished drives. I wish they, and all hardware vendors would send new parts during the warranty periods. I can understand refurbished parts for extended warranty periods. Depending on the drive I get a 2 to 5 year warranty that is passed along to the customer.
If the customer does not need to store large amounts of data yet the computer is a critical system, I put in Intel SSD drives. An SSD drive is similar to the USB “thumb” drives you use. Since it is not mechanical it is much faster at all tasks. At this time, they cost more per megabyte of storage than a SATA style drive. Buying the large capacity SSD drives is beyond justification for most business use. Gamers, Adobe and CAD Workstations may be able to justify the expense.
We use the Intel brand, for numerous reasons that have been mentioned in the past (on my building a PC article and the more recent why I use Intel CPU’s article). We have not ever had an Intel SSD warranty. I personally still use the 40GB drive I won at a conference in 2009. Once we thought a drive had failed, it turned out that the RAID software had a hiccup, not the drive.
We are putting Intel SSD’s in the computers that share a database, servers as boot drives et al. Stability and speed are some reasons we use Intel SSD drives. Most of their drives come with a 5 year warranty.
This leads us to the 3rd brand of drive Ward Computers uses, it too is an SSD drive, the Crucial MX series hard drive. The Crucial hard drives are installed in most computers we build today. These drives give us all the performance and benefits that Crucial is known for, at a lower price point than the Intel drives. For that lower price point I get a 3 year warranty.