Best kind of hard drive for heavy use?

Valeri Galtsev galtsev at
Tue Sep 13 19:37:42 UTC 2016

On Tue, September 13, 2016 1:48 pm, Thomas Mueller wrote:
> I had a hard-drive crash last night, GPT corrupted, don't know whether
> it's a software fault (NetBSD-current 7.99.15 i386) or hardware.
> Main question is what kind of hard drive is used for heavy compiling in
> FreeBSD, base system and ports, what might be used to create packages and
> base-system downloadable images.
> Using a USB-stick installation of FreeBSD including Rod Smith's gdisk, I
> could possibly restore the partition table, assuming hard drive is not
> going bad.  It's a Western Digital Green 3 TB dating to May 2013.
> Experience with Western Digital makes me very afraid of "green" hard
> drives.

I for one would avoid any "green" drives (or similarly called: the ones
with lower spindle RPMs and spinning down when unused). In addition to
their behavior, they are designed for "light use" consumer market, so I
wouldn't be surprised if they have noticeably lower longevity.

I usually use HGST (formerly Hitachi, before that IBM); - He filled and
sealed ones sound really good (we will know statistics on them some 5-7
years down the road, so now we can only guess).

Someone may list good ones made the their competitor Seagate.

I hope, this helps.


> I seem to be able to access the partitions, from the USB-stick
> installation of FreeBSD but not from NetBSD or Linux System Rescue CD, or
> at least the partition mounted as /home, read-only, would want to rsync
> that user data to an external USB stick or other drive, before doing
> anything that could mess the hard disk further and destroy my user data.
> I have rsync on that USB-stick installation of FreeBSD.  I need to fear
> that any kind of write to that hard drive, even to restore the partition
> table, could push my data further to destruction if it's a hardware fault.
> After updating my backup with rsync, I could try to restore the GPT from
> backup at end of disk; I also found a backup copy of GPT data on the USB
> stick.
> Tom
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Valeri Galtsev
Sr System Administrator
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Kavli Institute for Cosmological Physics
University of Chicago
Phone: 773-702-4247

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