Best kind of hard drive for heavy use?

Thomas Mueller mueller6722 at
Thu Sep 15 07:36:56 UTC 2016

Regarding that hard-drive crash three nights ago, GPT corrupted, it could have been a software fault (NetBSD-current 7.99.15 i386), but I still am not ready to fully trust that hard drive, have to consider possible replacement.

I would be doing heavy compiling in FreeBSD, base system and ports; also possibly NetBSD-current and pkgsrc, want to try to cross-compile Haiku and Linux toolchains, so would need something heavy-duty. 

NetBSD installation on USB stick couldn't help; System Rescue CD might have been able to restore GPT from the backup at end of disk.  FreeBSD 10.1-STABLE installation on USB stick, including Rod Smith's gdisk and rsync, did better.

I was able to mount the /home user-data partition read-only, and rsync the newer user data.  Subsequently I restored the GPT from the end-of-disk backup; even ran fsck_ffs on partitions that were mounted at time of crash.

Now the restoration looks successful; I even managed to run e2fsck on an ext2fs partition that was not properly unmounted.

I made extra copies of partition table data using gdisk, onto USB stick.

When the crash occurred, I was away from the computer, not actively running anything but I had X active with Firefox and some uxterm windows.  OS was NetBSD-current 7.99.15 i386.

So now I wonder if that was an infrequent, low-probability occurrence, or if the hard drive is going bad.

This hard drive was Western Digital Green 3 TB purchased May 2013.  Previously with Western Digital, I had a Green 3 TB from May 2011, went gradually bad in 34 months.  Then a Western Digital My Book Essential 3 TB USB 3.0 drive, from the same purchase, went gradually bad with data errors.  Green 3 TB hard drive (but not the USB 3.0 My Book Essential) was still just inside warranty; I managed to get a warranty replacement with much hassle.  Replacement went suddenly bad after seven months; inside a Sabrent enclosure (USB 2.0 and eSATA, I preferred eSATA), it made sounds like a dialup modem connecting.  Computer no longer recognized that hard drive.

So I am reluctant to buy anything further from Western Digital, maybe HGST is better, or Seagate?


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