HD query

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by davidl, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. davidl

    davidl Guest

    The 20Gb and 40Hg Maxtors in my three year old Dell are straining at the seams, so I'm planning to replace them with a pair of 120Gb HDs, add an Adaptec RAID controller and do disc mirroring. I'm running Samplitude, by the way.

    Instead of separate programme and data drives, I'm going to put everything on one drive and then mirror it. Since I'm only doing stereo, HD throughput is unlikely to be an issue.

    Went into OfficeMax and saw they had a sale on Western Digital 120Gb drives. When I asked about them on another NG, a user commented that they had a wicked whine. My venerable Maxtors, on the other hand, are remarkably quiet. The chap who runs our local computer store agreed with the WD thumbsdown, and he also doesn't like IBM or Seagate. So that leaves Maxtor.

    Another issue: SATA or regular ATA drives? While the ATA drives match my present computer, in the not-too-distant future I hope to get something more up-to-date. With SATA becoming the law of the land, I wonder how useful the ATA drives will be in such a rig.

    Salutations, David Lewiston
  2. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    No mirroring. An invitation to (inevitable) disaster.

    Maxtor are typically quieter than WD, and fail more often in my experience. I use WD for all my client machines, and Maxtor when WD is not available. Be sure to get the 8mb buffer / 3 year warranty model. The 2mb buffer models are only 1 year warranty.

    120gb drives are the upper size limit for many machines and operating systems. The 137gb limit is the end of the line for Win9x, WinME. Win2k and XP will support > 137 gb with the appropriate service packs installed, and the mandatory 48-bit LBA bios. No bios, no big disk.

    I use WDC2000 (200gb) drives in W2k machines for dedicated disk backups. These drives are NOT VISIBLE at all to a DOS boot diskette, so GHOSTing to them is out.

    Does Adaptec even make an IDE raid controller? Their SCSI controllers are excellent, but pricey. The various RAID configurations offer differing performance levels on various disk ops. Some configurations are faster reading, others are faster at writing. There is a lot of processing involved in striping and creating syndrome bits.

    IMO, unless you have a compelling reason, leave RAID alone. Stick with 7200 RPM drives with 8mb buffers, and they will run every bit as fast as SCSI for a single user application.
  3. davidl

    davidl Guest

    Many thanks for the response.

    Are you sure that the 8mb cache models have three-year warranties? I was under the impression that all IDE drives bore only one-year warranties. I'll ring my local computer store (who want $150 for the 120Gb 8meg cache Maxtor!) and check the length of the warranty.

    I came across the Adaptec IDE RAID while surfing their website. Not sure whether it will work in my computer. Still waiting for a response to my query from Dell.

    Rationale for disc mirroring: When one of the drives fails, the contents will still be intact on the other drive.

    Why do you consider it a recipe for disaster?

    Thanks, David L
  4. davidl

    davidl Guest

    Rang my local dealer this afternoon. The 8 meg cache Maxtors he's getting have only a one-year warranty. Same applies to all I've seen on Price Watch.

    So if you have a source for drives with a three-year warranty, I'd appreciate your passing it on.

    Thanks, David L
  5. Fozz

    Fozz Active Member

    Jun 4, 2001
    Williamsville, NY
    Home Page:

    I bought a pair of Western Digital WD800JB, 8 MB drives about 15 months ago. I was expecting that their web page that talks about the drive would also tell me what the warranty was, but I couldn't find it.

    I then found one of their web pages where you enter the serial number and it tells you what the warranty is. That implies that you have to buy the disk drive first, get its serial number, and then use their web tool to determine the warranty. A few minutes ago, i.e. 15 months later, I found the web page that states their warranty. More about that in a moment.

    At any rate the warranty on my WD800JB's is three years.

    This is the main Western Digital website:

    This is their page where you check the warranty for a given serial number. Actually, on this page you have to pick your country, first, then on the next you can enter the serial number:

    This is the product page for the 120GB drives:

    Click on the "Support and Documentation" tab.
    Then click on "WD Drive Warranty Information".
    Then click on "End User".
    Then on the right side click on "Warranty and Policy Limitations".

    And that should bring you to this page where they summarize the warranties for the various categories of drives:
  6. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    I agree with bgavin about the RAID, I think it's not necessary, and if you only do stereo files I would just back up the files to a second drive once recorded.

    I have to disagree about Maxtor drives: all of the Maxtors I have used so far (3 years of work) be it 20, 30, 40 or 60 Gb were totally reliable and still in working order, none of them ever failed or let me down; I can't say the same about Seagate, the one I got started to freeze my DAW and died after 1 month of use...an invitation to frequent backups...

    The Maxtors I have are excellent performers, but I would also take a look at IBM Deskstar: they have good ratings for DAW applications.

    Hope this helps

  7. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    The WD "J" series drives have the 3-year warranty. General observation was the 2mb cache drives were in the 1 year catagory. Things change quickly in the disk industry, so perhaps all drives are now 8mb, with 1 year warranties.

    I can no longer compete with Dell, as it costs me more to wholesale the system components, than it does for Dell to deliver a complete system including shipping. I'm not buying many drives these day... only for replacement purposes.

    The Seagate IDE are the worst pieces of unreliable $*^t I've ever encountered. Drive after drive fails. Terrible product. My Maxtor observations are simply a rehash of my records with client machines. Far more Maxtors (albeit old ones) fail, than do WD drives.

    I have zero new technology Maxtor failures, and 1 WD800 new style that failed. WD honored the warranty on this 3-year drive, by sending me a replacement with a 1 year warranty. Figures.
  8. davidl

    davidl Guest

    Many thanks for the responses.

    A most helpful discussion.

    Salutations, David L
  9. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Distinguished Member

    Jun 8, 2003
    Central Village, CT
    Home Page:
    Hi all,

    Just one comment........

    The WD Raptor (SATA) has a 5 year warranty...... just thought it was worth mentioning seeing as you questioned the SATA drives...


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