Please recommend a good hard drive.

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by straticus, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. straticus

    straticus Member

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    I'm running a PC with a 60 GB HD for my apps and a 40 GB hard drive for my wave files. Needless to say, the 40 GB tends to get full fast. I'd like to up-grade to a larger HD, say around 100 GB. The super larges ones make me nervous for some reason.

    So, what are some brands that you can recommend and what are some good places to buy them?

    Thanks, BC :)
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I use LaCie firewire drives, which are also USB compatible. I've taken them on the road many times and have found them to be fast, sturdy, quiet and dependable. The oldest one is about 2.5 years old and has logged I don't know how many hundreds of hours of digital audio throughput.

    There may be other brands that are as good, but I recommend LaCie because I know it. I had a less expensive Maxtor drive that became a doorstop in about 13 months – just out of warranty.
     
  3. Norcal_GIT_r

    Norcal_GIT_r Member

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    So do I, They've worked well for me so far.
     
  4. straticus

    straticus Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion but I'd have to get a fire wire card right? I'm plum out of slots! Plus, aren't the external hard drives kind of pricy? I like the concept though and might go that way some day.

    I'm realy looking for an internal hard drive to replace one of the two that are already there.

    BC :)
     
  5. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Avoid the Porsche drives. Just had one bite the dust the other day after less than a year's service. It never felt solid, even from the beginning.

    LaCie-branded drives has been good to me for the most part, although one particular firewire 350gig is starting to get tempermental and will need to be replaced soon.

    I've had mixed results with Maxtor. In general they're very sturdy. I don't think I've ever had an internal Maxtor drive go bad, and I've been using them for over a decade. I did have one external Maxtor choke on me but it was in a cheap firewire case - my bad - and the powersupply failed as it was writing a catalog file, which caused the whole drive to be unreadable.

    The best overall is Glyph, but you'll pay for it. Their service is incredible. If your drive fails, they'll ship a replacement drive the day you call, FedEx next day service.

    I used to buy online, but now that they're charging tax, along with shipping, it's no longer a bargain. I buy locally.
     
  6. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I also missed the fact that you're looking for an internal drive.

    Go with Maxtor. I was a fan of Seagate last year but unsure how they hold up these days.
     
  7. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    The quality of hard drives in general has gone down somewhat in the last 2-3 years. They are all prone to failure. I used to swear by Maxtor and avoid Western Digital at all costs, but now I don't really mind. Their warranties are all the same, and I provide my own redundancy and/or backup (which is an absolute must if you can't afford to lose any data). That having been said, I wouldn't be afraid of the larger drives, unless the price bugs you...and even so, the price differential between a 100GB and a 250GB drive won't be that much ($40. maybe?)

    Look for 7200RPM with 8MB cache as a minimum for reasonable speed and pick the size (in GB) you want. Newegg.com's real professional to deal with, but sometimes you get good deals at a local Staples or Office Despot.

    I've not dealt with Lacie. The only thing stopping me though is that their stuff seems pretty expensive. I'd just assume buy two 320GB Maxtors or WDs and mirror them than buy one overpriced 160GB external drive. Just my taste though.

    Good luck.

    Dave
     
  8. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I thought so too, 'til my Maxtor turned to **** so quickly. Now I'd gladly pay the additional $50 - 75 difference to have it last another two years... and still going strong (thank G-d). I wouldn't f*ck around with other brands, what's the point? We're not talking about hundreds of dollars difference.

    But everyone has their own budget to deal with, so I understand.

    I believe LaCie uses Seagate drives. Speaking of overpriced (and then some), Glyph uses Seagate.
     
  9. elambo

    elambo Member

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    That's contradictory. You'd gladly pay more for a drive that will last, but somehow Glyph is "overpriced?" Did you have a bad experience with Glyph?
     
  10. Norcal_GIT_r

    Norcal_GIT_r Member

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    Glyph is way over priced.
    I once bought an External Glyph CD Burner.
    It cost me 499.99..This was sometime ago. I opened up the case to find a 149.99 panasonic burner. I guess thier cases and cool graphics are worth the extra $350.00.

    Basicaly all Glyph does is put a good drive in a good case and charge atleast twice if not 4xs what it would cost the user to get a nice drive and case and spend 15 minutes to assemble it.

    I recently bought a LaCie 160 gig FW drive for my studio. It cost $129.99 at Frys. The Glyph 160 runs $249.99 at Sweetwater.
    Do you really think that a Glyph case is worth an extra $120.00?
     
  11. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    I've not heard enough about Lacie drives to convince me they'll last longer than just about any other commercial/consumer-grade hard drive on the market. Hell, we have tons of top dollar SCSI drives go dead at work all the time on our NAS, SAN, in Sun servers and Dell/Intel servers. Nothing's guaranteed is my point, and if you care about data loss, you'll settle for nothing less than a RAID configuration with a good backup system. But that's money (though how much really compared to the loss of weeks of work?).
     
  12. Norcal_GIT_r

    Norcal_GIT_r Member

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    Raid is cool if I need to backup a whole network, but its way way overkill for me to backup the music I create in my studio.
    All do is copy to my FW drive and also burn a DVD.
    Also Raid is not supported by Pro Tools so I couldnt record to it if I had too. I can record to FW if it has an Oxford 911 chip, which the Lacie drives have.
     
  13. bbarnard

    bbarnard Member

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    I've not used them for music but I've had nothing but good experience with Maxtor. Don't know if other brands have started providing the software or not but Maxtor shipped their drives with software that would allow you to image one drive from the old one. This was particularly useful when going from a smaller drive to a larger when you also wanted to be able to boot from it. You just had to have both drives in the same machine, one as master and one as slave. Then take the old one out and put the new one in as the master. Was a HUGE time savings rather than having to reinstall everything.
     
  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    >>Did you have a bad experience with Glyph?<<

    I still have several rackmount Glyph drives, and one standalone CD-ROM drive, all bought years ago.

    All of the fans crapped out and started making noises fairly early on, and I stopped using the drives. This would be an easy fix, but on the rackmount drives, due to a manufacturing error in the material they clearcoated the drives with, it is extremely difficult to crack the case. You have to break the seal with a hammer (I was told this by Glyph).

    I was never offered a fedex swap. Maybe they will do this with in-warranty items, but it ain't eternal. The service people are indeed very helpful, but I did have several emails ignored.

    They are not servicing out-of-warranty items, even if you offer to pay for it.

    I paid over a grand for each rackmount drive back in the day.

    I would not call this a bad experience...stuff happens. But I would say that I perceived no added value in buying from Glyph, and as a result, I would agree that they are pricing themselves way too high.

    Incidentally, if anyone needs a Glyph rackmount combination 2GB Jaz and CD-ROM SCSI drive set for their sampler, that makes a lot of grinding noise until the fan warms up, you may have mine for free if you pay shipping. Get your hammer ready!

    By way of contrast, I also had a couple of rackmount Dynatek units (I don't even know if they're still in business), and they worked for years and years without a single problem. I'm talking a decade or more. The rackmount cases were also far nicer and sturdier.

    I still have my 2GB DAT backup drive Dynatek made, and even after 13 years (!) it still works perfectly. Then again, since technology marches on, the only use I have for it is if someone needs me to get at one of my older pieces' data. So far, no one has.
     
  15. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Oh, come on. There's nothing "contradictory" in that statement.

    The cheapest drives one cab buy are about $50 less than LaCie. Glyph costs about double what LaCie costs.

    Glyph has decent customer "service," if speed of turnaround is all that matters to you... but when I had problems with the power supply in my SCSI drive housing it took two trips to their service dept. to fix it - and *I* had to pay the freight... while it was under warranty.

    So that whole FedEx thing is a bunch of BS – they'll send it via topless call girl, as long as I'm paying for it.

    (EDIT correction: As I now recall (it was years ago), I raised holy hell about the shipping charges when I had to send it back a second time. Since they hadn't fixed it correctly the first time, they reluctantly agreed to pay the FedEx charges.)

    Glyph doesn't make the drives. They design and configure housings for Seagate drives. When SCSI was the thing their drives held up longer than most with heavy use, and maybe they were worth the extra money at that time. But with firewire so much more hassle-free than SCSI, there's absolutely no reason to pay that kind of upcharge. Digital audio and video is no longer big news to drive manufacturers. What Glyph does with firewire is nothing special.

    On the other hand, cheap drives are still cheap drives.
     
  16. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I've used Glyph's overnight drive exchange twice, and in each case their drives failed due to human error on the part of my company. That's impeccable service.

    I'll restate that Glyph drives have never failed for me - the ONLY company that can make such a claim. I've used their DDS tape drives, hard drives, and CD drives. A perfect track record for about 10 years. If they charge more than you're comfortable paying, there are plenty others to choose from that will still last a while before eventually loosing your data.
     
  17. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Just a quick check of Sweetwater's prices for a Glyph Firewire/USB 2.0 drive - 200gigs for $270. And that's Sweetwater so there's no discount. Quite reasonable, actually.
     
  18. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    >> A perfect track record for about 10 years.

    Right... for you. I've had a Glyph SCSI drive stop dead in its tracks, never to start again, and the data was recoverable only from backup.

    On the other hand, the LaCie firewire drives have not failed yet... but so what if they eventually do? Drives fail. It's something they do. That's why we back up data.
     
  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    I'm sure everyone's had good and bad luck with various drives.

    Bad luck doesn't mean the company is bad. It means that I experienced a high percentage of problems, and that at some point I have concluded they were using faulty components. Since years have passed, it is likely that they have corrected this problem.

    But are they worth the extra money? 200 gigs for $270 doesn't compare favorably with, say, a G-Drive, which is a top-testing drive with an extremely well-designed fanless case with heat sink, where you get 250 gigs for around $200. The G-drives are showing up in lots of studios I deal with.

    On the other hand, Glyph offers some drives with features that no one else offers. So if I needed a drive rack with multiple drives that I could slide in and out of their rack front panel, I'd consider Glyph despite my less than good experiences.

    I try to be even-handed about this sort of thing, though it's hard when one's personal experience was a disappointment.
     
  20. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    FWIW I still use the Glyph SCSI custom rackmount housing I bought in '99 with two of their hot-swap drives, and they work great. One I've had since '00 and the other since '03. In my studio those are my primary audio drives.

    I use firewire drives in the studio only for backing up the SCSI drives. Because I've seen how quickly a good drive can go bad.
     

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