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I admit up front this isn't the most balanced and mature reaction - Tactical Ninja

Oct. 25th, 2013

09:28 am - I admit up front this isn't the most balanced and mature reaction

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So it was a hardware problem, bugger it all. Crapped out hard drive. I am unimpressed with this, since upon digging around in my old receipts I discovered that it is 9 days out of warranty - just over a year old.

This is the point where someone is almost guaranteed to pipe up "Consumer Guarantees Act!"


What I actually want is a hard drive that works.

When I realised I'd have to replace the current one, I looked up the warranty that came with it and discovered the 9 days thing. Then, on Dr Wheel's recommendation I looked up the manufacturer's website and found that the drive has a 2-year warranty from date of purchase if it's sold by an authorised dealer.

I have no idea if the dealer I bought it from is authorised or not, and while I know I could find out, by the time I've done that, retrieved what data I can, sent the bloody thing off, argued the toss about the CGA and got a replacement, the $100 or so I'd spend just buying a new one would have disappeared in time and hassle anyway*. And I'd have another of the same drive that just crapped out on me, which isn't really what I want.

So I've decided to just go ahead and get a new drive (or maybe two). I looked around online and discovered that there are a limited number of manufacturers to choose from these days. I've always had good luck with Seagate, but other people haven't. The one that crapped out was WesternDigital, which some people say are great, but my experience has been that the one I had was shite. And of course, they all fail eventually, it's just a matter of when.

So I went to Twitter, thinking I'd do a straw poll and see what people thought. Big mistake.

Remember yesterday, how I made a snarky comment about how whenever I talk about computers, a bunch of geeks pop up and give me conflicting information, all of which is telling me to do something other than what I am doing?

Yeah, that. The first response was someone telling me to invoke the Consumer Guarantees Act and telling me there are only 2-3 manufacturers these days anyway, and getting shitty when I said I'd already decided not to do that and did they have a recommendation?

Now, I'm sure they were just trying to be helpful. But it's really annoying when people undermine the decisions you've made based in the assumption that you either haven't considered everything or just don't know things. How hard is it to take "I want to do this and would like product recommendations please" at face value?

And more tellingly, why do people assume that when I ask for a product recommendation it's because I haven't already put considerable thought into something and done my research before making the decision that led to the request? Yes yes, I know, anyone with helpdesk experience would probably have second-guessed whether it actually was the hard drive and asked if I'd turned my machine off and on again.

Me: "Can you please recommend an X you like?"
Them: "You should do this other thing instead!"
Me: "Are you even listening?"

That's how it feels. The thing is, when people do this it makes me not want to ask for advice or recommendations. I would rather struggle on my own than be patronised like that.

Oh wow. And now I get another person telling me I should think of hard drives as temporary storage and do backups because they all fail eventually. ORLY I NEVER KNEW THAT!

I give up. I'll just buy whatever the fuck I feel like.

*Some would say it's my duty to do it anyway, to keep retailers on the straight and narrow. But I do enough things out of duty already. Someone else can carry that flag.


I guess what I can take from that is that it doesn't actually matter what manufacturer I buy from, it's a lottery. Therefore asking for recommendations is pointless. And yeah, I'm probably being cranky and curmudgeonly about this, and not cutting slack for people just trying to be helpful. But imagine yourself going to, say, buy new tyres for your car, and asking for recommendations for all-terrain ones. And then instead of recommendations, people start saying "Tyres are manufactured in India" or "You should get your car serviced regularly." Er, thanks?

I don't respond well to that sort of thing. I probably have a chip on my shoulder from a lifetime of being assumed ignorant based on gender. Or maybe I'm just a giant know-it-all. Sue me.

In other news, we have a Will. Or we will have one if his plane doesn't get blown to Antarctica instead. He's supposed to land at lunchtime and it's a fair bet that he'll be at Fidel's tonight. I am looking forward to Will-hugs.

Comments:

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From:pombagira
Date:October 24th, 2013 09:20 pm (UTC)
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this seems to be going around the "are you even listening" cause i am having this issue at work currently, which has left me wondering if am constantly speaking a completely different language

so yeah i understand today..

seems to be a thing, people not listening to what is being said. actually i saw a thing flash through FB the other day that was something along the lines that people do not listen/read what is said for the information it contains, rather they listen/read with what they are going to answer.. which is in quite the different set of skills? different.. umm.. way of seeing/reading/listening? which in many cases amounts to not listening.

that lovely jem of saying what you think the other person wants to say.

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From:pythia
Date:October 24th, 2013 09:53 pm (UTC)
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I always had good luck with Samsung HDDs to be honest. I've had both Western Digital and Seagate fuck out on me, two of the former, one of the later. But my Samsung drives are both still going strong after probably 8 years or so. Sounds like it's a bit hit and miss with them, really!
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From:tatjna
Date:October 24th, 2013 09:55 pm (UTC)
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I keep coming across Samsung as a recommendation, but I'm getting the feeling they aren't doing hard drives any more. A quick google tells me they were bought out by Seagate. I've heard good things about Hitachi but the reviews I read are very mixed.

So yeah, I am beginning to think that shutting your eyes, throwing a dart, seeing where it lands is as good a method as any.
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From:pombagira
Date:October 24th, 2013 11:39 pm (UTC)
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maybe if you make Ouija Board out of the old one, and then grab some salt a candle, and speak latin, invoke sam and dean, you will find out the name of your next hard drive purchase??

*silly grin*
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From:richdrich
Date:October 25th, 2013 12:22 am (UTC)
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The thing is that if one brand of drives offered noticeably better reliability at a similar price to another brand with the same spec, then firms like Amazon and Google would buy them exclusively, driving all the other makers out of business.

If you do a bit of digging, you'll see that reliability numbers are quoted against each drive e.g. the last page of this document: http://www.seagate.com/files/staticfiles/docs/pdf/datasheet/disc/barracuda-green-ds1720.3-1105us.pdf

0.34% annualised failure rate. So a 1 in 300 chance of it dying in a year. A statistician with free time could tell you the chances of somebody having five of them from different batches die in the first six months, but it probably happened to someone.

Also, I suspect that number is under conditions that are a bit more ideal than one might like.

I usually just go onto Ascent.co.nz and pick the cheapest with the spec I want. Or find the point in the functionality/price curve where it starts to dog leg up, and buy one just before it, if you see what I mean (as in buying a 24" monitor, or a 2G drive).



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From:tatjna
Date:October 25th, 2013 12:25 am (UTC)
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Yep, that was the approach I eventually took. So something useful did come out of this morning's discussion, even if it was only "Your guess is as good as mine."

Thank you for actually answering my question in that, by the way.
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From:t_c_da
Date:October 27th, 2013 10:19 pm (UTC)
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I read somewhere that Google work on 1 drive per thousand per day dying in their servers, which are whitebox 1U vanilla models rather than expensive brand name jobbies. This was written in a paper on their file system design that I picked up at one point. The design principal was that hardware WILL die, so plan for it, with 3 copies of everything with automatic replication if a copy disappears for some reason or another, including hardware/power failure.
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From:richdrich
Date:October 28th, 2013 04:33 am (UTC)
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Also, I found this paper.

Standout quote: While drive manufacturers often quote yearly failure rates below 2%, user studies have seen rates as high as 6%.
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From:t_c_da
Date:October 25th, 2013 12:28 am (UTC)
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It hardly needs saying "Welcome to the world of technology", does it?

I agree that it has become somewhat of a lottery for almost any technology as there are at base so few actual manufacturers of the essential building blocks.

The hard drive that dies on me was a Seagate, and the replacement one shipped by HP was a Toshiba. How long it'll last is moot. I have other notebooks with hard drives that have run for 5-7 years without hiccups, for what it's worth...
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From:tatjna
Date:October 25th, 2013 12:34 am (UTC)
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My last Seagate drive was removed in a rebuild after 8 years (because it was something silly like 5G). I had another go for 4 or 5. Other people have had them die within months.

This WD one is the first one I've had crap out after a year, ever.

And no, it doesn't need saying. Especially not since I've been dabbling in the world of technology since technically 1983, but more seriously for the last 13 years. I think my welcome is probably back there somewhere, eh?
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From:richaarde
Date:October 25th, 2013 01:54 am (UTC)
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You're the only person I'm aware of that has ever had good results with a Seagate drive. I've had one die on me.

Also, at my last job, my computer was a lot slower than the specs would lend one to believe. It would lull and gag at the stupidest things, and would crash frequently. At some point the computer maintenance people ran a check of the hard drive and got a bunch of errors. They ghosted the hard drive onto a new one, and gave us back the old hard drive to keep as a backup. Computer ran like a dream after that.

Brand of the old hard drive? Seagate.
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From:downwardlashes
Date:October 26th, 2013 03:47 am (UTC)
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I hate Seagate, hate them so bad, because Plato bought one of their drives to store all the kids' baby pictures on, and then it stopped working, kaput, nothing, no one can fix it, all after like, a month. Seriously, a really short time. Pretty much long enough to get all the pictures on it. The only baby pictures I have left are the ones I posted online. So, if you decide against Seagate, I'll feel a tiny bit better. A tiny bit.
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From:pundigrion
Date:October 31st, 2013 01:00 am (UTC)
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Having gone through a *lot* of hard drives, we have come to the same conclusion as you. We are both capable of killing any and all brands. Or not killing them. Or having one out of four of the exact same drives die... Spinny disk or solid state, we can kill 'em all!

My best advice oddly would not even be a manufacturer, but rather to have a good degree of redundancy, back ups and maybe a spare drive or three.

We are also fantastic at killing motherboards and cheap power supplies. (I've given up on cheap power supplies personally, but *someone* else in the household keeps sporadically getting them. And then getting surprised when they fail. Again.)

We might also be power users.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 31st, 2013 01:02 am (UTC)
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I have yet to kill a motherboard. That's.. quite impressive actually. Usually my motherboard gets updated because of some game that needed a better graphics card or more RAM and.. you know how that goes, eh?
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From:pundigrion
Date:October 31st, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)
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He killed another one last month. Last week was just a power supply.


Then again we have our own mini rack and three computers in the pantry. I'm not entirely sure I want to count how many there are total and there might be one or two I don't even know about. They just sort of appear now and then in random places. Bit like my fleeces.

Edited at 2013-10-31 01:12 am (UTC)
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