Hard Drives...Warnings/Recommendations?

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Post by vvv » Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:08 pm

I use a couple (350 and 500 gig) USB 2.0 Seagates for storage; I have forgotten that tracks were stored there and I then recorded directly to them with maybe 2 going in and 18 on monitor without even noticing I was using the USB drives.

In the last year I have had 2 Western Digital EIDE's and and a USB go bad on me; never again. (I had back ups, but the EIDE's, in two separate computers, were the OS drives.)
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Post by Everybody's X » Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:55 pm

ctmsound wrote:I've got 5 Western Digital drives. Had 'em for years. Never failed.
thank goodness! But be warned, I would have said the exact same thing a month ago
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Post by apropos of nothing » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:43 pm

For a reality check, I've had a Seagate go tits-up on me as well. It was a 180-gig. I've still got a bunch Seagate 40s and 80s that I've never had any trouble with.

The bottom line is get a RAID or back-up constantly or both.

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Post by high five » Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:29 pm

My experience has been very bad with internal WD drives, they seem to die young and are noisy. I've had good luck with Seagate and Maxtor. I'm very happy with my external 300GB Seagate drive. It spins down on its own after about 5 min. Slightly annoying when you're waiting for it to wake up again, but worth the extra life expectancy.

Word to the wise: don't *move* a spinning external drive. Once, I turned one on it's side while it was spinning and a horrifying BZZZZZ notified me that months of song writing had been destroyed from the heads scraping against the platters. TURN THE DRIVE OFF BEFORE MOVING IT!

Also, many people are reporting 24 simultaneous tracks on cheap IDE drives. While you can spend a lot (per GB) on a SCSI drive or RAID setup, I think it's surprising that my iBook's bottleneck is the 1GHz CPU. It does okay with plain audio tracks, but plugins and Logic's sampler instruments really cause problems. So if I had the money, I'd buy some cheap, huge internal drives (SATA is really cheap now too) and put the money into the CPU and RAM.

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Post by rwc » Mon Sep 17, 2007 9:54 pm

RAID is the best.

While DVD backups, offsite backups are great, there's no such backup like the one someone else does for you without you knowing.

I'd rather waste the card's(or in the case of linux software raid, /dev/mdadm's :)) time than mine.

Not to say normal backups are bad. But will a DVD backup of the programs, session files, OS customizations help when the OS drive starts clicking? Depending on drivers/software the RAID card won't say anything, or maybe will have a red icon, while offsite backups mean the session halts while you find some other way of recording.

The idea of that bringing a session to a halt scares me to death.
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Post by Anthony Caruso » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:05 pm

jakerock wrote:Ive had alot of problems with a Lacie firewire drive... (FW400, "Porche" design)

Not being recognized... Something in the circuitboard not resetting.
Had to open it up, unplug the ribbon cable, turn it on, turn it off, and then it was recognized.

THEN... It stopped responding to this stuff too.
I had the enclosure sitting around for months, and was going to throw it out, but gave it one more try, and it (the enclosure electronics) have been working ever since, with all manner of PATA drives, including laptop drives... Thats a year ago now.

Absoloutely goddamn weird.

On the other hand... I have a Weibetech SATA FW400 enclosure that never fails to be recognized. I recommend those. Really solid, confidence inspiring metal enclosure... Im a sucker for packaging, plus it works!

Just an FYI for anyone having problems with the Lacie Porsche drives....the problem is that they drop the firmware, especially if you turn it on while there are other FW devices already on (like a Digi002, convenient, right?). I had pretty consistent luck with the Lacie Update tool available on their website. It will reinstall the firmware, but there is still no excuse for it happening in the first place. STAY AWAY FROM THESE!

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Post by mertmo » Wed Sep 19, 2007 10:40 am

I had a Lacie "porche" drive. After two years of absurdly f**ked up operation, I bought an Acommdata drive for backup instead (works great). I truly enjoyed actually chucking the Lacie drive as hard as I could into a totally empty metal dumpster and watching it explode into a beautiful mushroom cloud of IC's...

I use a secondary internal drive for actual work. Rock solid.

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Post by joelmoore » Wed Sep 19, 2007 11:10 am

So I just got my new Seagate drive. Got her plugged in and am now ready to format. Any suggestions on partitioning? It's a 500Gb(465GB actual).

I was thinking that I'd make three partitions. One (65GB) for system stuff i.e. OS + programs, and two (200GB ea.) for Sessions only. Would it make more sense to just have one 400GB partition if I intend to use all of it for sessions only? Does it matter?

Also any preferences on whether to go Mac OS Extended Journaled over not Journaled?

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Post by ballpein » Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:20 am

I was sceptical about USB 2.0, but my LACIE porsche has been flawless for nearly a year. It's my road unit, so I don't always treat it kindly, but it's still ticking.

I also have a few FW400 drives, seagates in cheap external housings; had them for years (put them together when external drives were still relatively pricey), don't remember the make of the housings, only that they have oxford chipsets. For the most part they're great, but don't always get recognized on startup (have to disconnect and power cycle them) - but I think that has to do with FW issues, not the drives themselves. Daisy chaining is definitely handy.

There's no reason on earth that a USB 2.0 drive shouldn't handle audio needs. They're only rated 20mbs slower than FW400. Even Protools says you can get 32 track performance off of one (in my experience that's a safely conservative estimate). I do find, though, that aggressive sampling works the drives harder, which makes sense, since they're not playing back long contiguous files.

I would guess that issues with USB 2.0 drives have to do with either the drive speed (always get 7200rpm) or your computer's USB bus. Do you have other USB devices sharing the same bus?

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Post by mingus2112 » Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:09 am

What about ESATA? Seems like that's a pretty reliable and FAST option. Drives are cheap enough, as are enclosures.

I've been thinking about making an external ESATA enclosure and using regular old SATA drives on "sleds" to hotswap them per project. Each client would bring and care for their own drive. . .

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Post by Phil Owl » Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:26 pm


These drive will die in no time, they're the Behringer of hard drives, mouthwatering cheap but will die in no time flat!.

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Post by rwc » Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:06 pm

I don't think it's the brand as much as the series.

I have yet to own a Maxtor that didn't die in 3 months, but they're all old Maxtors.. 100 GB IDEs. Not the modern, Seagate owned Maxtors.
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Post by philbo » Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:26 pm

It's good to hear the WD stuff is poor. I've had issues with Maxtors too.

FWIW, I've heard extensive repeated horror stories about TigerDirect - - My advice is to avoid them and buy from a more reputable vendor, like NewEgg.com.
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Post by RefD » Tue Oct 02, 2007 2:07 am

i've has a series of Western Digital and Maxtor drives bite the dust.

right now i'm using Hitachi drives, but they're still new.
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