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General Discussions

Who Makes the Most Reliable Hard Drives?

Backblaze released its updated yearly report on hard drive failures and performance, which means it’s time for us to spin the Wheel of Hard Drives and see where the recommendations land. The data set is drawn from Backblaze’s own backup service and usage, and while it’s not a perfect stand-in for consumer workloads, it offers better predictability than any other publicly available resource.

Backblaze only includes hard drive models in its report if it has at least 45 drives of that type, and it currently has 93,240 hard drives in operation. The slideshow below explains and steps through each of Backblaze’s charts, with additional commentary and information.

We’ve cross-referenced some of the drives on Backblaze’s older 2016 report with the 2017 report to see how they compare. The good news is, they compare pretty darn well. The 8TB Seagate ST8000NM0055 ended 2016 with a 0.0 percent annual failure rate and is currently only running a 1.22 percent AFR. The HGST HGS5C4040ALE640 (4TB) and the WD30EFRX also show excellent results.

Generally speaking, the higher the total number of drives installed of a given model number, the better the chance that the data is accurate. Given that we’ve now traced several of these drives for more than a year, it seems safe to assume they’re reliable models. Other drives, like the Seagate 4TB models, aren’t drives we’d rely on for even consumer use unless absolutely required to do so.

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