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Author Topic: LAPTOP DRIVES ARE UNRELIABLE!  (Read 15093 times)
Steve Fines
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« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2006, 11:24:31 AM »


I'm also considering something like an HD80 or PD70X - if my laptop totally dies, then I'd still be covered. Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Joe

Hello,

Remember, the drives in these are just laptop drives. However, the chances of two dying at the same time are pretty remote.

That being said I had a PD70X dies on me last August. I was in a remote area of northen Minnesota and it simply stopped working. It was bum timing as I only had 6gb of CF cards with me for several days shooting and so was really dependent on having a device to download them to. Fortunately I was with someone else who had some extra space and so i got by.

Turned out it worked fine with AC power when I got home - it was part of the battery apparatus that failed.

I have another extended remote trip scheduled in a month (no AC power) - I'm going to take two PD70X's on that trip.
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RW
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« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2007, 02:29:44 PM »

Any ideas for an external backup drive for travel that isn't vulnerable to movement? I have a Seagate external at home but it looks too fragile for travel. Reliable so far though for desktop usage. I've only heard bad things about maxtor drives.
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2007, 03:06:29 PM »

RW (names please)

I've had good service out of my Epson P2000.

John
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RW
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2007, 06:42:21 PM »

Thanks John, Richard is my name btw. The P-2000 sure has a nice looking screen.

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roberte
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2007, 09:34:35 PM »

Hi Richard,

If you want ruggedness (and are prepared to pay for it) Moose Peterson recommends the Fortress:

www.4tress.com

And as an additional note, data on laptop drives is more vulnerable than on desktop drives. While 2.5" drives are designed to handle bumps better than their 3.5" cousins, they don't dissipate heat as efficiently. Add the high thermal atmosphere most laptop drives live in and it's a disaster waiting to happen.

-- Robert.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2007, 09:38:51 PM by roberte » Logged

Ken
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« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2007, 09:50:44 AM »

And as an additional note, data on laptop drives is more vulnerable than on desktop drives. While 2.5" drives are designed to handle bumps better than their 3.5" cousins, they don't dissipate heat as efficiently. Add the high thermal atmosphere most laptop drives live in and it's a disaster waiting to happen.

-- Robert.

Is very interesting that you say this.  Its now nine moths later, and I was looking to buy another USB drive for future needs (120 GB Maxtor OT4 is on sale for $69).  I like USB drives because they are convenient and can be easily transported or stored off site.  In researching the particular model, I came across a number of comments about various 2.5" portable drives giving out due to heat related problems.  This leads me to wonder, is this a significant problem with these drives, or are we jsut hearing from people who had the misfortune of having drive faliure.  And, does anybody know what is considered excessive use that would cause heat build-up?  I currently use a desktop drive in my rotation, but its a bit of a space hog with all of its cables.  Any thoughts?

--Ken
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rogerhoward
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« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2008, 09:21:55 AM »

I think it's important to note the different between the actual characteristics of the product, versus how they are used...

Laptop drives are typically *more* durable, substantially so, than desktop drives - they are designed to withstand far greater shock, for instance, and often have better environmental sealing.

But, when used in a laptop they are also subjected to far greater stresses than most desktop drives, so the failure rates may well still be higher.

However, in an apples to apples comparison (similar usage patterns) laptop drives should be generally more reliable. From experience shipping harddisks back and forth to India for 18 months (2-3 times a week often), I saw this playout firsthand - we started with desktop drives in top quality cases, and saw enormous failure rates due to the abuse of travel - once we switched to laptop drives in good, shock-mounted cases with effective ventilation, we saw our failures plummet.
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Roger Howard
peterkrogh
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2008, 07:22:46 PM »

Roger,
That's a great point.  It's the typical kind of treatment that the laptop drive gets that makes them at larger risk.

It's my understanding that desktop drives do a better job parking the heads than they used to do, but they are certainly not built to be shipped around without the kind of shock absorbancy that is built into retail packaging. (One important reason not to buy OEM drives - they are at high risk for impact damage).

Peter
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Absolute Chaos
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2009, 10:59:51 PM »

Just a friendly reminder that laptop drives are a very dangerous place to keep singular copies of any file you would like to have.  I just got off the phone with a friend who lost his laptop drive the other day.  He did not have good backups.

Consider anything you have *only* on a laptop drive to be at very great risk.  Each of the last three laptops I have owned (2 apple and 1 HP) have had sudden total hard drive failure.  All of those failures have been within the warranty period (1 year).

Get a solid, automated backup procedure implemented for your laptop.
Peter

I have an iomega external firewire as a second copy hard drive.

It's one of those slower spinning hard drives. Probably the same build as a laptop hard drive.

I use it as a "hidden" hard drive that keeps back-up copies in case of a break-in (where thieves might steal my back-up hard drives, too)

So, thanks for the warning.

-Robert
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 11:03:11 PM by Absolute Chaos » Logged
Absolute Chaos
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« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2009, 11:02:41 PM »

Let me throw in my 2 cents here.

I completely agree that laptop drives are probably less reliable than desktop or non-portable external drives, even though I have had no first-hand experience to prove it one way or another. My reasoning is that laptop drives are not optimized for reliability, but rather for light weight, low power, and small size, and are subjected to movements and extremes of temperature that desktop and non-portable drives aren't. In addition, laptop drives are more easily stolen (along with the rest of the laptop) and can even get misplaced.

However, I also agree in part with Carl (his 2nd paragraph, anyway) that any difference in reliability should not equate to a difference in backup approach. If desktop and non-portable drives had a zero failure rate, then that would maean such a difference, but the reality is that all drives can suddenly fail, and protection against it is essential. Losing the only copy of an image is simply not acceptable, even if the chances of it occurring are very low.

While the card is in the camera, there may be one copy, but there should be at least two within a few minutes of the card's removal. It's OK if the laptop is one of them, provided the card isn't erased. Three copies aren't 50% better, but much, much better than that (I haven't worked out the math).

Just my late-night thoughts...

--Marc


Marc,

So you back up your Compact Flash cards on location?

-Robert
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