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  #1  
Old 09-25-2009, 11:06 AM
ashleykaryl ashleykaryl is offline
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Trouble with western digital hard drives and snow leopard?

This isn't specifically an issue with SuperDuper! but I can't think of any place with more experience or knowledge about hard drives and safeguarding computer data, so I am asking here.

About a week or so ago I had all kinds of nasty problems which started just a couple of days after installing snow leopard and appeared to be the main hard drive that was about to fail. This was eventually exchanged for a replacement drive that also happened to be a western digital and all appeared to be fixed for a while.

Earlier today I tried working in Photoshop for the first time since a clean install and found it was virtually unusable. I tried a restart which went badly and eventually I had no choice but to pull the plug out of the socket. This was very reminiscent of the problems I had with the iMac before the drive was replaced and some digging around at the Adobe forum suggested that some internal western digital drives are having serious problems with snow leopard. Does this sound possible or tally up with anybody else's experience here?

Thanks

Ashley
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  #2  
Old 09-25-2009, 12:39 PM
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dnanian dnanian is offline
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I haven't heard of any specific problems with WD internals, although there have been reports of people having issues with WD externals. Have you installed the most recent Firmware for the drives?
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:16 PM
ashleykaryl ashleykaryl is offline
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To be honest I didn't know there would be firmware updates for the drive. It's brand new and I've never done that on any drive in the past. I'll try to see if I can find anything about this on Google.
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  #4  
Old 09-26-2009, 02:34 AM
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I don't know whether there are or not—it's just one of the first things I'd check, given your history with them!
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:50 AM
andrewlacroix andrewlacroix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashleykaryl View Post
This isn't specifically an issue with SuperDuper! but I can't think of any place with more experience or knowledge about hard drives and safeguarding computer data, so I am asking here.

About a week or so ago I had all kinds of nasty problems which started just a couple of days after installing snow leopard and appeared to be the main hard drive that was about to fail. This was eventually exchanged for a replacement drive that also happened to be a western digital and all appeared to be fixed for a while.

Earlier today I tried working in Photoshop for the first time since a clean install and found it was virtually unusable. I tried a restart which went badly and eventually I had no choice but to pull the plug out of the socket. This was very reminiscent of the problems I had with the iMac before the drive was replaced and some digging around at the Adobe forum suggested that some internal western digital drives are having serious problems with snow leopard. Does this sound possible or tally up with anybody else's experience here?

Thanks

Ashley
Hi Ashley. I would be interested in hearing more - I just took my 24 inch imac into the shop for a hard drive replacement - things went downhill soon after I tried to install snow leopard - the install failed and I had to a hard restart, which was eventually followed by erase and reinstall, system restore etc. etc. all to no end - eventually the hard drive seems to have bitten the dust. could be a coincidence and I don't know what kind of hd is in the 500gb imac.....

any thoughts? i am wondering whether i should try to install snow leopard once i get it back.....
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:44 AM
ashleykaryl ashleykaryl is offline
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Originally Posted by andrewlacroix View Post
Hi Ashley. I would be interested in hearing more - I just took my 24 inch imac into the shop for a hard drive replacement - things went downhill soon after I tried to install snow leopard - the install failed and I had to a hard restart, which was eventually followed by erase and reinstall, system restore etc. etc. all to no end - eventually the hard drive seems to have bitten the dust. could be a coincidence and I don't know what kind of hd is in the 500gb imac.....

any thoughts? i am wondering whether i should try to install snow leopard once i get it back.....
On my side everything has calmed down again. There is some kind of strange behaviour in Photoshop which Adobe are blaming on Apple and it only seems to happen with images taken from film scans, but not digital capture. There have been no further bad system crashes though like before, so for the time being at least it's all looking reasonably OK. My faith in this computer and Western Digital has been a bit dented though by all these problems of late.

First of all I'd ask the people who handled the repair what make of drive they installed and if it was a WD then ask for something else as a replacement, just to put your mind at rest. I hear good things about Samsung drives these days and I certainly don't think that snow leopard as such is a drive wrecker.

FWIW I went almost ten years without a single hard drive failure but in the last 6 months I've had 4 go on me including 3 external drives. Two of them were quite new. This leads me to suspect that the manufacturer's push towards ever lower production costs has lead to a real fall in the quality control and reliability of these drives, so you may just have that problem to deal with. In a case like this I would have thought the repair people have some sort of obligation to quickly put it right at no charge. Once it's done though I wouldn't hesitate to re-install snow leopard unless you want to wait for a few months just to see if there are any further reports like this. Apart from this one curious issue with Photoshop it's all working very well for me and feels much more refined than 10.5 ever was.

Last edited by ashleykaryl; 09-30-2009 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:04 AM
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One thing you might consider doing: acquire the 'enterprise' versions of the drives, rather than the 'consumer' versions. I know Seagate has those, as does WD; whether they're more careful manufacturing the drive is unclear, but that's certainly the idea...
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:08 AM
ashleykaryl ashleykaryl is offline
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I purchased a couple of 500gig WD drives for my G5 a few years back which have never given a problem. They cost more than the other drives at the time and I was told that they were "server class" and tested for a million hours of use or something like that. They came with a 5 year warranty when that was a rarity.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:10 AM
ashleykaryl ashleykaryl is offline
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I think you once mentioned Dave that Samsung drives were pretty good. Among normally priced SATA drives these days do you have any suggestions on a particular brand to go for?
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  #10  
Old 09-30-2009, 10:36 AM
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In general, I think most internal drives are relatively equivalent these days. You'll always hear horror stories about every drive... I lost a Samsung a few months ago, and have lost a number of Seagates, but I've never lost a WD; others would insist that WD drives are the worst ever and Samsung's are perfect; some say Seagate is the only way to go.

So - no, no real recommendation, alas.
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Old 10-02-2009, 07:57 PM
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The following remarks are ONLY about bare internal drives, NOT about chipsets in external cases. I have had absolutely the best luck over the years with IBM/Hitachi and Seagate. Had problems with two Maxtors but they were old when they failed. Currently also have six WD drives, some 2.5, some 3.5, and all are fine. Have not tried Samsung.

I am with Dave; I think they are all about the same right now from maker to maker. I do doubt that the troubles in this thread have anything to do with the brand of internal drive. The bare drives are all made to the same spec for their type (some level of SATA in the case of the Intel iMacs) and should not be related to the Adobe/Apple software difficulties. JMO
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2009, 07:16 AM
ashleykaryl ashleykaryl is offline
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You are probably right TMay. I had heard on the Adobe forums about issues with WD drives when using Snow Leopard, so given all the headaches I had experienced immediately after installing 10.6 I did wonder if there might be something to this.

Regarding hard drive reliability everybody is cheering about the decreasing cost of storage, but if that storage is not reliable then it's really quite expensive!

I had an old iMac from 1999 that was eventually given to my grandfather and the original 6gig drive is still going strong, though I am not sure what make it was. It seems strange to think that I wondered at the time if I really needed a 6 gig drive... The G4 that followed this has never had a failure with the installed Maxtor or the IBM drives and my G5 with two WD drives is still in daily use and running perfectly.

The one factor which unites all my hard drive failures is that they have all been connected to my new iMac. A co-incidence perhaps but it does make me wonder if there is something going on here.
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  #13  
Old 10-06-2009, 03:54 AM
TMay TMay is offline
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ashley

It is so hard ever to know for sure in these cases. What seems logical often isn't, but then again, sometimes it is. I notice three of your four failures were with externals. That's somewhat odd, too, as generally they run in a cooler environment than an internal, and so forth. Glad it has now settled down & hope it stays that way.
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  #14  
Old 10-06-2009, 04:10 AM
ashleykaryl ashleykaryl is offline
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I did wonder if there might be a problem with the quality of the electrical supply. This is a newly built house that is less than 3 years old so everything should be good, but I do have several items all plugged in at the same plug point through a surge protected extension pack. I doubt that is the cause though.
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