Monday, November 24, 2008

Hard Bargains

I need to get a new external hard drive for video editing purposes. I've never actually done the research for this before -- instead I just used the external drives we already had, and they turned out to work fine. Now I'm actually looking around and reading reviews online. It seemed like a lot of people had data-loss problems with Maxtor drives, which is the brand that Costco is stocking now, so I thought I would stick with Western Digital, which is the brand of our current external drives. The more research I do, though, the more I find reviews warning of WD drives failing as well. Maybe it's just the people whose drives fail who are more likely to write reviews. Does anyone have a hard drive brand that they trust and would recommend?


Tommaso Sciortino said...

If you're worried about failure rates you'll be much better off getting data protection. RAID is a standard which uses clever algorithms to store your data on two disks. You only lose data if both fail at the same time. It saved my butt when a hard drive died during a particularly error-prone election I once administered.

Steve said...

My friend Mike, who's a film music composer, has dealt with this sort of issue a lot. I asked him for his suggestions. I'll let you know what he said, or he may come here and reply directly.

Boback said...

seagate for life!

Michael G. Shapiro said...

This is Steve's aforementioned friend. I actually don't have much to offer except common sense: stick with major manufacturers (Seagate, Western Digital, etc.) and make sure the RPM and average seek speeds are state-of-the-art. Maxtor historically has had problems, though I think they're better these days.

You can get a RAID drive if you want extra robustness, though I find that a second backup drive is more cost-efficient (and gives you an extra "undo" option if you back it up frequently).

If you're on a Mac, you can generally trust anything will sell you.

Hope that helps!