Hard Drive Reliability Stats for Q2 2015

By | July 28th, 2015

Hard Drive Reliability Stats for Q2 2015

Each quarter, Backblaze updates our hard drive statistics with the latest data. As of the end of Q2 2015, there were 47,561 drives spinning in our datacenter. Subtracting out boot drives, drive models with less than 45 drives and drives in testing systems, we are publishing data on 46,038 hard drives spread across 21 different models, from 1.5TB to 8.0TB in size.

All the hard drives in this review are used in the production systems in our datacenter. The environment is climate controlled and all drives are individually monitored. Each day we pull the available SMART stats reported by each and every drive. These stats are available for download from our Hard Drive Data web page.

There are two SMART stats of particular interest for most folks: hours in operation and drive temperature. The SMART 9 attribute allows us to compute the age of the drive, and the SMART 194 attribute allows us to determine that all drives are within their acceptable temperature range. Downloading the data will enable you to examine the SMART stats for every drive we used in this review.

Hard Drive Failure Rates

We’ll start by comparing the hard drive reliability stats for the January-June 2015 period with the stats from 2014:

Annual Hard Drive Failure Rates by Manufacturer

Trends in Hard Drive Failure Rates

The following table presents the cumulative Hard Drive reliability stats over time. This table can provide insights into failure rate trends as the drive population ages:

Hard Drive Failure Rates

What Is A Failed Hard Drive?

For Backblaze there are three reasons a drive is considered to have “failed”:

  1. The drive will not spin up or connect to the OS.
  2. The drive will not sync, or stay synced, in a RAID Array (see note below).
  3. The Smart Stats we use show values above our thresholds.
  4. Note: Backblaze Vaults do not use RAID. Instead, we use our open-sourced implementation of Reed-Solomon encoding to replace the function of RAID. As a result, these drives are not subject to RAID-sync errors. RAID-sync failures are only applicable to stand-alone Storage Pods.


The 4TB drives continue to rock, with both Seagate and HGST 4TB drives performing well. The Seagate 4TB drive has a current cumulative failure rate of 3.0% and has a street price of $131.58 each on Amazon. The HGST 4TB drive has a higher street price of $174.99 on Amazon, but a lower cumulative failure rate of 1.18%. Both drives have been in service for over a year and we currently own 17,000+ Seagate and 11,000+ HGST 4TB drives and continue to purchase more.

The failure rates of the Toshiba and Western Digital 4TB drives look respectable as well, but they are based on a very limited number of drives for each model. We’ve had trouble getting the Toshiba drives quoted to us in quantity, although there appears to be some movement on that front. Western Digital drives are almost always quoted to us at a higher price than other drive models. Until we can get a reasonable number of these drives, we can’t recommend either of them, although you may find them to be just fine for your personal use.
4TB Drive Failure Rates
For 6TB drives, the data is still not firm. We did manage to buy 450 Western Digital 6TB drives that currently have a 6.2% failure rate over the 8 months they’ve been in service, but their failure rate has fluctuated over time from 3.07% to 13.75%. The 495 6TB Seagate drives have a lower current failure rate, at 3.8%, but they have been in service less than 6 months. In summary, more time is needed to get a good fix on the failure rates of these 6TB drives.

Regarding the 8TB drives we have deployed, we need more drives and more time before we can recommend anything. We currently have had 45 HGST 8TB drives (Helium) deployed for about one quarter. The current annual failure rate of 5.3% is based on one drive failure, which is certainly not enough to draw any conclusions.

The 1.5TB and 2.0TB drives we have in production are slowly being replaced with larger capacity drives. The average age of the Seagate 1.5TB drives is over 5 years, making these some of the oldest drives in our data center. Their current annual failure rate is over 10%, so these drives are being replaced first. The HGST 2TB drives we have running have been exceptional. After 4+ years of service their cumulative failure rate is just 1.9%. If you’re interested in a 2TB drive, the HGST drive, model HDS722020ALA330, has been an all-star performer for us and they are still available on Amazon for $56.43.

As far as 3TB drives go, we have replaced nearly all of our Seagate 3TB drives. If you are interested in getting a 3TB drive, we’ve had a positive experience with the HGST 3TB drive (model HDS723030ALA640) which can still be found in stock on Amazon for $110.88. Their current failure rate in our environment is 1.83%. The HGST 3TB, model HDS5C3030ALA630, is a choice good as well, but quantities seem to be limited.

Andy Klein

Andy Klein

Director of Product Marketing at Backblaze
Andy has 20+ years experience in technology marketing. He has shared his expertise in computer security and data backup at the Federal Trade Commission, Rootstech, RSA and over 100 other events. His current passion is to get everyone to back up their data before it's too late.
Category:  Cloud Storage
  • JBlythe

    This article just pushed me toward the HGST, away from the hyped and therefore tempting Barracuda. A failure of my Seagate external in a little over 2years, should of made it unnecessary for me to even compare, but glad I found this info.

  • jj

    First of all, thank you for sharing the data.

    as I scan the raw data, I found that some of the hardware shows
    in some cases show (for example)

    both examples shows that hardware did not fail.

    I wonder what happens during the period that “NA” appears???

    please answer me as soon as possible

  • /s/wd/hgst/

  • Rodrigo Arena

    Hi guy… What about the Adata external hardrives? i want to buy the HV100 2 teras external hardrive, but i cannot find any source of information like this about that one.

    does anyone have experience with that Hardrive? (Adata HV100)

  • Wyzak

    Yep, we stopped buying Seagates about 4 years ago due to their extremely high failure rate.

  • Dan McGuinness

    This is awesome – thanks for continuing to share this data. It’s very hard to obtain good reliability data as a small consumer, but very helpful when purchasing drives with intent of long term data storage! Thanks again, and please keep the data coming :)

  • Sumanji

    Thanks so much for publishing this data; very helpful!

  • I never had any issue with the 4Tb hard-drives HGST for the last 4 years, no bad LBA, no failure at all. On the other hand, all the seagates I owned failed in the 1st year, and some replacements even failed in the 1st week. In the end, i stopped buying Seagate drives, my user experience was too bad with those drives, even with the external drives (seagate goflex 1.5tb dead within 1 year), the only Seagate left i have is the 8Tb external, crossing fingers… Hard-drives will fail sooner or later, those are mechanical parts, okay we got it, but it is unacceptable to see a drive failing within 1 year of use. My next drives will be 8 Tb helium.

  • STFUenSucK

    Why not talk about the Seagate hybrid drives that come with 5 year warranty?

  • I can tell you now with utmost certainty that the Toshiba DT01ACA series (Toshiba DT01ACA300) SUCK at reliability. Of 9 3tb Toshiba DT01ACA hdd’s purchased 6 failed within a week or two (while loading data onto them) and very few actual hours use. Another (#7) failed last night with about 50 hours in total use. 4 with read/write corruption errors before total failure. The 3 including the one last night with the “click of death” in which I was not able to get all data off of before total failure.
    OF 9 – 7 failed – I’d say your percentages of failure rate for the Toshiba DT01ACA series are just a tad off from real world failure rates.
    Our Hitachi HDD’s on the other hand have out lasted all others including WD, Seagatge and lastly Toshiba.

  • Sasa B

    On another subject, can someone foresee hard drive price movements?
    I thought that prices should go down now, but wd prices are staying the sam or even slightly rising for more the 12 months. I do not understand why. Most often I watch the WD40EFRX prices, because they are my choice at the moment, but I assume all the other drives are following the same routine.

  • Peter

    The HGST HDS723030ALA640 could be found on eBay for a really low price. However, it is really old new stock meaning that those hard drives have been in storage for a long time. Are HGST drives that are really old but unused still reliable.

  • GR4474

    This doesn’t agree with amazon.com reviews. HGST drives look bad there. I don’t know what to think.

  • Matthew McGill

    Has anyone tried The Egg yet? It’s basically a personal cloud device, but it’s super small and you can back up your info from anywhere with a wifi connection. Seems like there is a shift to personal cloud devices over traditional hard drives or paying a monthly fee for cloud storage…

    • Sasa B

      That may be practical for some quantity of data or for someone who is always on the move or someone without technical know-how, but as 3ogdy said, I like my data on my own hardware behind my own firewall, and will much rather spend on hardware then on a service that provides it all.

  • Florin Se

    I own one of HITACHI HTS 698 GB drive, that was initialy in my laptop that I bought, later I replaced with a ssd and transform my Hitachi into extern drive… I use this drive over 5 years, and it’s still no error recently check S.M.A.R.T and it’s perfect, even he get a shock sometimes :D I’ve seen tones of that scorpions(WD) dead, , that’s why I know that chart is true… I will always buy HGST and HITACHI . sorry for my english, I did my best :)

  • Michele

    And what about the Seagate GoFlex Desks and Seagate Expansion externals drives? How are they doing? rated? (5TB)

    • Tesla3D

      Seagate GoFlex 4 of 4 fail within 3 years. Always keep a backup.

  • Michele

    Why isn’t there anything about the Seagates (or others) in 5 TB sized drives? I have three… I’m very nervous now…

    • Hi Michele! We don’t currently use any 5TB drives that we can report on. The above is a collection of stats based on our experiences with the drives we use in our datacenter, if they’re not listed, we haven’t tried them!

      • Michele

        drat. Ok but Why not?
        thank you.

        • They just never made sense for our use-case for the most part, whether it was cost per GB or their availability. Sorry!

          • Michele

            thank you for the reply.

      • Roger

        How about the comparable enterprise drives (have had 2TB Seagate Constellations in RAID 0+1 configurations for almost 5 years, running constantly, not even a whimper from any of them)…

  • dawesi

    We find SATA WD RED and WD RE drives are better than others. We used Red for NAS and RE for servers (with SSD now also – which fail all the time, so we have run them in mulitples)

    Weird not to see any raid edition (RE) drives above at all… I would say they would out perform all of the above. We’ve had NO failures of about 50 drives with RE drives I 10 years.

    • leexgx

      the RE drives do cost a lot more than HGST drives, only thing i don’t like about HGST drives is when they fail they fail with no way to recover data (also tend to make a lot more noise than other HDDs)

  • 3ogdy

    I found this when it was too late. I had a 2TB 7200.14 Seagate. It failed and took all my data with it. Cost me well over $1000 to get my data back. Never buying Seagate again in my life. 40% failure rate? Are you frucking kidding me? That’s nearly 1 in 2 drives failing.

    I believe the European Court should open a case against Seagate as I believe their practice is to release semi-faulty drives and then have customers pay 15x the price of the drive in order to get data back.

    Keep releasing this data as there are many like me who would like to keep an eye on these statistics and know what other company’s products to avoid. Seagate is non-existant for me.

    • HenkPoley

      Did you know that Backblaze offers a backup service? ;)

      • 3ogdy

        Oh great! Let me run to Backblaze with my data in my mouth to tell them:HERE, TAKE MY ( M Y ) DATA. I will trust you on dealing with it properly. Nope, when it comes to my data, it’s best to keep it offline. Not on somebody else’s computers. “The cloud”, as they now pretend to call this. Oh meow, so USA, such modern…

  • iTwns

    Thank you for this. This is without a doubt the most reliable way of determining the reliability of a brand and model. This report makes to think twice about buying cheap drives for storing valuable data. I always buy whichever was the cheapest on the market, preferably Seagate (and almost all Barracudas). Now that I think about it, none of my Hitachi drives have died yet and my three 10+ years old 1TB Hitachi drives are still running RAID0 18 hours a day while several Seagate and WD have since died. Just yesterday, another WD 2TB died.

  • perrypoint

    Great info – but I’m confused why you would use Seagate ST3000DM001 drives which are rated only for 2400 “power on hours” per year. That’s like a 25% duty cycle, but I expect BackBlaze is likely running the drives 24×7? Any device will fail quickly if you exceed the rated duty cycle. But I can’t help but wonder if the numbers would be different if you were using only drives actually rated for 100% duty cycle.

  • Ozfer

    I would NEVER buy a toshiba drive. Nothing but problems. I have never had a issue with WD and had limited issues with seagate.

    • Wyzak

      We’ve replaced most of our Seagates with Toshibas and have had very little issues since.

  • Avion

    NEVER BUY SEAGATE sorry for capitalize. Any way If you’re photographer & own Seagate you must Never keep original works on this drive Duplicate them. The company drives are the perfect metaphor “””” Your pill to heart attack”””

  • Craig Crawford

    Highly useful when you want to purchase a hard drive.

    This data does appear to correlate with what I experience from drive reliability. I used to use WD, and switched to Seagate and had nothing but problems… I then switched to Samsung Spinpoint drives until they were acquired by Seagate (d’oh). I think I’d sooner trust a floppy than I would a Seagate.

    Thanks to this data, I’m now on HGST. At least this stops us spending our money on bad manufacturers… Maybe this is what is forcing them to improve? (I’m looking at you Seagate – you data destroyer).

  • Desi

    Yup, we just had a box of 16 x 3TB Seagate with 6 bad in the first month.

  • Dave Riem

    I have steered clear of Seagate ever since a friend told me he got one DOA. I have 12 year old WD drives that are still kicking. My surprise is that the reliability of the HGST drives is better than WD branded ones, considering it is owned by Western Digital. I always thought of HGST as a cheaper version of the WD drives.

  • sachin chavan

    These are really very valuable inputs and information for people who wants to compare any HDD product before buying it as this is useful while selecting right brand and product as per need.

  • Megalev

    Thanks for the data. Visited site again as I had a Seagate die yesterday. Just to say the only EVER failures I’ve had have been with Seagate.

  • Wesley Wright

    Andy – Thanks for your research and contribution on this topic.

  • mathesar

    What about Samsung HDD’s I’ve had 2 of them in my PC for 3 years without issue (a 1TB 7200rpm & 1.5TB 5400rpm model)

    • John Drescher

      Seagate purchased the Samsung hard drive division a few years back.

  • Kralik

    Wow!! HGST is the best?! Never thought one because I always went for the big 2.. Seagate and WD.. WD has always performed better and been more reliable.. out of 5 Seagate drives I’ve owned.. 3 have failed (1 external 2.5inch and 2 internal 3.5inch)… I will never buy Seagate again

  • Ed Milton

    Ouch ouch ouch … I just found this article as I am having issues with my Seagate ST3000DM0001,… you know, the ones with the 28% failure rate … 2 out of 12 failed right after two years and I have got another 10 in my 2 NAS … I see long rebuilding hours in front of me.
    Thanks for the data Blackblaze, I am going to replace those disks before it gets critical.

    • Michal Wiktorow

      What is more funny? All – so called professional – drives from LaCie are in fact (I just opened one today so I know what I am saying – using ST3000DM0001 (6TB advertised as RAID0). This is simply ridiculous! I have no words on that! You need to be MENTAL to buy thing that looks surprisingly solid and in the end … contains worst possible “engine/hart” for its main purpose!

      • Sasa B

        I had three of these 3000DM001’s, two failed during the warranty period and the third five months after warranty expired. There is now only one Seagate in my systems, 4000DM000 and it works fine for more then two years. All the new drives are now 40EFRX WD Red’s and they are all fine. From the old batches there is one 4TB Green WD, still fine, and a few Samsungs 204UI, with more then 1000hrs on clock, which are still fine.
        The data that I just read about the WD Red’s concerns me a bit, because they were my drives of choice for more then two years. Taking into account the price difference of 14% between WD Red and Seagate DM000, it may be a right time to buy a few Seagate’s now.

        • Reuben Rushton-Taylor

          Unfortunately Seagate own lacie so they have to use their high failure drives. I actually bought the porsche design model, realised this, and replaced with a WD drive because I like the design so much.

    • Kralik

      My external Seagate also suddenly failed today. Was working fine then I safely removed in from Windows and disconnected.. remembered I forgot to copy something over reconnected it and it makes strange noises now and OS doesn’t detect it..

  • Michelle Krohn

    Hi there, I cannot seem to find the exact model number that is listed above for the HGST desks tar 5K3000. I want to purchase one but I can only find one with a different model number. I’m very nieve in this area so I’m asking for guidance. I don’t know if they’re even comparable and I would like to purchase the one listed here but I guess that’s not an option. Thank you! Michelle

    • Hello Michelle! We’ve had great success with most HGST drives, so any of them that you can get your hands on would probably be OK, but it’s not an exact science, all drives fail eventually, which is why backups are important!

      • Michelle Krohn

        Thank you! I appreciate your report and your comment back.

  • Kent Villard

    This is the single best source of information on drive reliability anywhere! Thank you for continuing to share this information with us, it’s invaluable as we, as consumers, would never have an opportunity to gather the large datapoints that you have!

    • Thanks Kent!

    • dawesi

      would love to see HP or IBM do some reports like this… would be priceless with their volumes.

  • jefflass

    Why weren’t LaCie drives included in the analysis?

    • Simply because we don’t have any in rotation. We’ve never purchased them, so can’t comment on their performance in our environment.

    • Jesper Monsted

      LaCie just makes cases with drives from other makers inside. If you crack one open, you’re likely to find a drive listed above.

    • Michal Wiktorow

      Because LaCie has (opened Quadra 6TB today) … freaking ST3000DM001 – worst possible drive inside :/ .. see my comment above. BTW Seagate bought LaCie.

    • Josh Jones

      LaCie only makes cases. The drives inside LaCie cases are all bottom-of-the-barrel SeaGates. Michal is correct that Seagate owns LaCie — see http://www.lacie.com/company/

      • Evert Guzman

        Actually the Lacie case i have contains a Samsung hard drive Samsung HM250Jl

        • Sasa B

          Samsung is one of the best drives I have ever used. I still regret not buying 10 of them a few weeks before the flood, but I did not know :(

  • freediverx

    These results are based on usage in a server environment. Is there any reason the HGST HDS722020ALA330 would not make a good internal drive on a desktop?

    • jameskatt

      Since the home environment is much less stressful than a server environment, there is no reason your drive won’t make a good internal drive on a desktop – other than the limited storage space of 2 TB.

  • Vishal Kumar

    seagate is totaly bas company

  • John XX

    You guys are awesome for continuing to do this series of blog posts on drive reliability. If you had some type of Linux support I would happily be handing you money right now.

  • Kyle

    Backblaze should have watched this video before they bought a bunch of desktop drives for their server environment. That is such a bad decision.

    • Mark

      They are literally making a business out of using consumer drives to scale massive storage solutions. If it made financial sense to use ‘pro’ grade drives, I sure they would switch over immediately after they test them.

    • HAH! That’s pretty cool, hadn’t seen that! They make a fine point but not really relevant to our particular use-case. We don’t mind drive failures, in-fact, we design our back-end around them -> https://www.backblaze.com/blog/vault-cloud-storage-architecture/, so for us the price is really the key component. Granted, if there’s a 5-10% increase in failures and only a $5 increase in drive, there’s a point where it makes sense for us to use the more expensive drives, but thus far, our method is working!

      • Kyle

        It’s not just about the reliability. The video shows it negatively affects the performance of the drives as well. In the past you have posted data about how long it takes to fill up a rack. If you bought the appropriate drives the racks would be able to handle more throughput.

        • It’s certainly possible, though our metrics show that the drives are functioning at or around their prescribed performance.

      • freediverx

        Wondering if you can give me a bit of advice…

        Based on the results of your reliability testing I ordered a 2 TB HGST drive as a replacement for my 2009 iMac. The drive is the HDS722020ALA330 Deskstar 7K2000.

        The vendor, however, appears to have shipped me a HUA722020ALA330 Ultrastar A7K2000.

        At first glance, it would appear that this is a more expensive, higher performance drive. However, I’ve read some comments suggesting that these enterprise drives designed for server environments are not ideal for desktop use, and that, among other things, they may cause crashes and other issues due to the different ways that they are used in different environments.

        I also notice you don’t have any of the Ultrastar models in your tests.

        Should I send this back?

        • Evert Guzman

          No don’t send it back , That drive that was sent to you is better then the one you ordered

    • freediverx

      I my experience, Seagate hard drives have at best about a 2 year lifespan under light use on a home PC in a well air-conditioned environment. And this wasn’t even with super high capacity rives… just a 1TB and a 2TB drive. Utter garbage.

    • Pavel Duda

      This is almost same story as with enterprise drives. As long as the warranty is the same and price is much higher then you won’t use them in large scale deployments. Probability is what matters here. Check the old disk stats from Google – they have end up with the same conclusion and that is that enterprise-grade hard drives are not much better then desktop ones. If they would be then why manufacturer won’t give you lets say 5 years warranty??

  • Ben Jolly

    What is backblaze’s position on bitrot? Having such large data stores, surely this would be a factor?

    Having 3 parity bits, do you then use this as a detection mechanism? (ie a disk scrub?)

    • leexgx

      there is a software like raid in use

      • Ben Jolly

        @leexgx:disqus raid doesn’t detect bitrot by itself. it provides redundancy in case of disk failure.

        that is why disk scrubbing is required to detect the flipped bit/s and then utilise the parity to correct it.

  • I can’t seem to find the referenced 4TB HGST drive: HGST Deskstar 5K4000 on sale anywhere online. There are either different part numbers, refurbished, or a NAS version without the 5K4000 branding. Could you point me in the right direction to find them?

    • Andrew, it’s possible that they may not be around anymore, or have had a model number change. It might not be possible to find them in large numbers anymore, but here’s one that I found real quick -> http://www.amazon.com/HITACHI-0F14697-Deskstar-5K4000-INTERNAL/dp/B00B6TMG7O

    • silvestris

      My local Fry’s Electronics (Tempe, AZ) had a ton of them on the shelf a few days ago when I was last there. I was surprised, as the HGST-branded Deskstars seem to be discontinued/disappearing. They went for $199 or so, if I recall.

  • Patrick

    Hate to spoil but HGST is WD subsidiary company.

    • Correct! Though they are run as completely different entities with different supply chains, but yes WD does own the HGST brand.

      • CERO

        The real question is.. when will HGST disappear and be merged with WD completely? (like how Samsung disappeared already)

        • freediverx

          Knowing Seagate’s sleazy track record, it’s more likely they will continue selling drives under the respectable HGST brand while replacing the guts with worthless Seagate internals. Keep an eye out for reviews on those drives, and on Backblaze’s continuing HD failure reports. When you see HGST reliability plummet, you’ll know the transition is complete.

          It’s time we all switch to SSDs and cloud storage and hopefully this company goes out of business one day.

          • CERO

            hopefully, because for now.. Samsung, Hitachi and Crucial have my storage business… I will never touch seagate (90% of their drives all failed on me

          • johnkristian

            What does seagate have to do with this? HGST is owned by _WD_.
            I run both WD RE4 and HGST 7K4000 in my arrays and they have been good so far (2 drive failure of 60 drives total within 3 years). But I’ve had a lot of seagate failures, 15x ST3000DM001 and a few enterprise sata drives and a few 10k sas drives.

  • Artyom Krilov

    Hope some day we start see such statistics for SSD.

    • That would be awesome!

    • Texxi

      SSD’s don’t die.

      • FredWallace18

        Not true. While they don’t have moving parts to fail, there is plenty else that can go wrong; particularly, sectors have a limited number of re-writes they can handle.

        • Texxi

          Yes. But they will basically live much longer than conventional HDD’s. Every SSD has some unallocated space (5-15%) that will be used to replace the bad sectors.

          • FredWallace18

            True. It’s just a sore subject right now because I have an SSD that’s giving up the ghost. :-/

          • Texxi

            Hehe, seems like you’re German. Sad hear that. Maybe you got a bad one?

          • Trevor

            You’re a bit off there Texxi. Early SSDs had terrible failure rates, fortunately this has improved due to the spare cells you’re talking about, however full drive failures still happen regularly. I recently lost an Intel after only 3 months in operation.

          • Texxi

            That’s crazy. I always thought SSD’s were much more reliable drives…

          • Adam Adamname

            You keep using the apostrophe incorrectly. It’s extremely annoying! One SSD, multiple SSDs. So many people make this mistake, I just don’t get it!

          • John Barksdale

            I have 7 Intel SSDs at home and all of them have been solid for years. Old X25-M is rock solid (its on the laptop I’m typing with right now), I have data center Intel SSDs I buy used off ebay. I bought some Intel SSDs new, but most are used. If it isn’t an Intel SSD I don’t want anything to do with it. If your Intel SSD failed after 3 months, were you running the Intel Toolbox (SSD Optimizer) once a week to keep the drive healthy?

          • Vinix Wu

            I got an Intel 330 120GB SSD several years ago. I originally used it as the system drive of my home PC and had random freeze issues. So I restored the old HDD and moved it to my 7-year-old notebook but the problem persisted. Finally I got it RMAed and bought a Fujitsu FSA-256GB as a replacement. I got a new one returned and placed it back to my NB. Now both PC and NB have no problem.

            SSD is really more complicated, and it is still not stable enough for data storage until today, in my opinion.

          • FredWallace18

            Nothing about Intel Toolbox “keeps your drive healthy.” It is able to do diagnostics, update firmware, etc, but nothing that would make a drive last for years rather than months.

          • John Barksdale

            http://download.intel.com/support/ssdc/hpssd/sb/intel_ssd_toolbox_frequently_asked_questions.pdf Intel® SSD Toolbox Questions and Answers
            Q1: What capabilities does the Intel® Solid-State Drive Toolbox provide?
            A1: The Intel SSD Toolbox monitors and manages the health of the Intel SSD. The Intel® SSD Optimizer is the tool that implements Trim functionality. Q10: Will the Intel SSD Optimizer run automatically?
            A10: The Intel SSD Optimizer has an automatic scheduling feature to enable users to optimize the SSD on a regular basis. Intel recommends this be done once per day.

          • freediverx

            True, but I sense that they die more abruptly and with little warning compared to HDs. Ultimately it comes down to keeping your data securely backed up at all times.

        • Mark
          • FredWallace18

            It’s easy to hit a lot when you’re torrenting and running multiple servers (web, Minecraft) on the drive. It’s constantly re-writing blocks, and I assume it’s just out of spares. Plus, it’s been crashing every now and then–presumably that’s system blocks hitting their 3000-write (or whatever) limit.

          • Mark

            What brand is is? Many manufacturers have utilities that will show the life left as a function of spare blocks used.

          • FredWallace18

            Kingston. Didn’t think of that; I’ve been to frustrated with the increasingly frequent program / system crashes. Got a new SSD now anyway and the old one will probably be completely retired.

      • Mark
        • Texxi

          Thank you for this awesome article Mark! Seems like my 840 pro should be at 1% of it’s life span after 3 years of use and should live about another 300 years. That’s decent enough for a consumer drive I’d say.

          • Shoaib Gazi


  • Yanz

    I have a portable Seagate 1TB HDD that failed me twice recently.

  • Robert0

    In my experience, horse patoots. Virtually all of my drive failures have been Western Digital.

    • Andrew Piercy

      Your anecdotal evidence is no match for a 45,000+ drive sample, but given the evidence plus your anecdote it seems you should really stop buying WD drives and move to all HGST.

      • Robert0

        Absolutely true. Anecdotal vs large-sale data. I’m still not buying WD, though. Haven’t yet had a prob with Seagate 1TB and below.

    • cjacja

      “Virtually all of my drive failures have been Western Digital.” Ok but PLEASE tell us how many drives you have, how many failed and how old they were when they failed.

      If you have 250 WD drives and 5 failed after 15 years of service then “all of my drive failures have been WD.” is saying something very positive about WD.

      You need to provide more info.

    • freediverx

      Have you bought both WD AND Seagate and used them both equally?

  • Ng Khan Mein

    Toshiba produced the one of the best washing machine only & the rest products failed. eg. MK7559GXSP

    • I just don’t trust companies that make everything (Toshiba, Samsung, Hitachi) to make something as delicate as a hard drive reliably. You can’t be great at everything.

  • VertexWolf

    I really enjoy these reports. Because of this report I found out I had one of the crazy dangerous Seagate drives in my system with all my important files. Upgraded the next day and did a clone and back in action. Then after testing the Seagate, problems came up and it died the next day.

    • anoopmacintosh

      how u upgrade & done clone?

      • the_v1s1onary

        Try clonezilla, works like a charm in my IT environment

  • doug_jensen

    Is there any meaningful way to infer the reliability of enterprise/RAID drives (e.g., WD RED) from these data?

    • Calvin Dodge

      IIRC, previous posts have stated that enterprise drives are not noticeably more reliable than consumer models.

      • freediverx

        Despite the higher MTBF ratings?

        • Calvin Dodge

          Yes, because IMHO Backblaze real-world results are more important than a manufacturer’s claim.

  • Vere Nekoninda

    This data is tremendously useful and interesting to me. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with hard drive reliability.

  • Kevin Lepard

    Just out of curiousity, at what temperatures are your drives generally operating?

  • tweeksdisqus

    Why such a small count of Toshiba and WD drives? WD has a huge market share

    • Stephen Bonnell

      I’m sure it’s due to pricing, they are a company after all trying to make a profit. As he said in the article, they are continuously getting quoted higher for the WD drives.

      • TrueNorth_Steve

        But in my experience you get what you pay for. WD Re drives 27000 hours and still going.

        • Stephen Bonnell

          Their entire business is built around using consumer-grade drives. Their back-end is designed to work with drive failures, so that isn’t a problem for them.

          They are looking for the cheapest Mass Storage drives they can get, which are almost always consumer drives.

          And I’m sorry to tell you, 27000 hours isn’t that much at all, especially on enterprise drives.

          • TrueNorth_Steve

            I agree with what you are saying.. Hence I would love to see a comparison of enterprise class drive failure rates as well..
            I would agree with them, that seagate isn’t your best option for consumer grade use.. but for enterprise class, I prefer WD – but am willing to try Seagate Constellation ES.3 drives for the experience or if any one else has anything to say about those drives.

  • David Deutsch

    I was surprised that with the low failure rate of HGST drives, backblaze hasn’t used any 6TB HGST.

    • Andy Klein

      Right now the HGST Deskstar 6TB drives are almost $0.05/GB ($291/drive) versus the Seagate 6TB which is less then $0.04 ($224/drive). We tried the HGST 8TB drives to check out the energy efficiency of the Helium drives versus “air” drives.

      • Mark E Sheppard

        We are currently running a RAID array using HGST 8TB Helium drives, and have been happy with them so far, but they have only been in service for about 90 days. I am looking forward to see what Backblaze experiences with these, as the prices of the Helium drives come in line.

    • I wouldn’t trust a 6TB drive of any make or model at this point in time. The 4TB drives had unacceptable failure rates when they first came out. Give it a few years for them to get it right.

  • Anoni Mouse

    Thank you for continuing to release this data.