Subscriber DJ wrote to ask about hard drive brands and recommendations:
Terry, I’d like to know what brand drives you are recommending at this time, and what sizes. I haven’t bought one in several years. I’ve had good luck with Western Digital and Seagate for the past 8 years or so, but Seagate has recently had some problems with their large drives. I have not been hearing good things about Hitachi. I’ll be looking for a pretty large drive next time and appreciate any input.
Also, you said in your newsletter that you wanted to wait for Windows 7. Do you think it will be worth the wait over Vista? I want to rebuild my desktop, but don’t want Vista. I do have Vista on my laptop.
Thanks! : )
I wrote back to DJ to tell her that I have used Hitachi and Seagate after swearing off of Western Digital about 5 years ago. At the time, the only drives that had ever died on me were WD’s. Now, I’ve see that with Hitachi and Seagate, so I tried WD again.
Now, I firmly believe in a comment by a friend and fellow computer club member, "There are two types of hard drives — those that have failed and those that have not failed, yet."
I protect my important files by doing scheduled image backups across my home network, using Acronis True Image Home 2010. I also make occasional image backups to an external hard drive. This way, I have a complete backup stored away from my computer, and the latest changes backed up every 3 days and available for recovery of any files and folders at any time. Of course, I could do a full restore from the backup, but most of the time, I’m after a backup of a specific file.
What size hard drive should you get? Whatever you need at the price you’re willing to pay. If you’re not doing video, then you might not need one of the terabyte drives, but they’re getting cheaper all the time. I needed a large replacement PATA (parallel ATA) drive recently. I think I got Hitachi 500 GB model.. I also bought a couple 1TB Seagates SATA II drives that I caught on sale for $99 at BestBuy.
If you’re buying SATA drives, pay attention to the contents. Hitachi and Seagate have been providing both SATA data cables and 4-pin-to-SATA power plug adapters in their retail packages. The WD 2TB drive I bought didn’t provide the power adapter, which I needed because this was going into an older computer that had 4-pin power supply plugs.
The only drive I’ve considered about which I’ve read problems was the Seagate 1.5TB drive. Apparently these were firmware problems. Seagate subsequently released an update for the firmware.
Regarding Windows 7, I haven’t used it yet, but everytinng I’ve read says it will be a lot more friendly than Vista — more power, less hangups, fewer user aggravations. I’m looking forward to the official release, but I probably will not try the beta or Release Candidate versions.
I’ve got major upgrades of 2 desktops and 1 home theater pc waiting for Windows 7. And, a desktop replacement notebook to buy… I hope Microsoft doesn’t disappoint us.