Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hitachi Hard Drive Equals Junk

A few years back, I purchased a 100 gigabyte Hitachi hard drive.... Little did I know how much trouble it would cause me in the long run.

The drive started off okay, it did well on artificial benchmarks, but it felt like in real practice it would occasionally hang briefly. I couldn't pinpoint it to being the hard drive's fault so I let it go and continued using it. About a month after I installed Windows on it, my Windows installation got corrupted. Fine, the weather was hot and I wasn't sure if some components in my computer were overheating, so again I couldn't pin it on the hard drive.

I reinstalled Windows and things seemed okay again for a while. A month went by and my Windows installation got corrupt again. I still couldn't be sure it was the hard drive, but I was starting to be very suspicious, because all the other components in my computer hadn't had this trouble until I introduced the Hitachi drive.

I decided to give it one last chance and reinstalled Windows again. This time it made it about 2 months before Windows was corrupted again. This time, though, I had had enough. I actually brought it back to Fry's Electronics, where I had purchased it from, and complained to them that the hard drive was defective and it had taken me this long to prove it. They were kind enough to accept the hard drive back in exchange for another drive of the same model even though it was well outside the store's warranty.

I figured the hard drive I got must have been defective. It happens to every manufacturer sometimes. So I gave the new hard drive a chance. It was noticeably better than the other one I had returned (in the sense that it didn't randomly cause my system to hang). I let my guard down a bit and started moving in (installing all my usual programs and stuff). A year later, I upgraded a lot of my components so I reinstalled Windows. I was still a little distrustful of my Hitachi drive, so I made it my boot drive where I kept my Windows installation and just installed programs (as opposed to my documents and data, which are far more valuable). It hung in there so I moved in a bit more and let it accumulate even more installed data.

I still thought of it as a temporary solution, though, because I was just waiting until Windows Vista came out so I could install that and enjoy the latest and greatest Microsoft had to offer. However, my plan was thwarted by Microsoft's need to play Big Brother with Vista. I decided not to upgrade to Vista and thus my Hitachi drive continued to host my Windows installation for another half a year.

It hung in there until today, when it died on me. After trying to resurrect it and reformat it and various other things, it still remained unusable so I had to give up on trying to get Windows running on it. Instead, here I am running Windows on a Western Digital drive that is about 2 years older than the Hitachi drive but has never failed me a single time nor has the file system on it ever become corrupt.

In summary:
Hitachi - 4 file system corruptions (including 2 drive deaths) in about 3 years.
Western Digital - 0 file system corruptions in about 5 years.

I have no plans to buy Hitachi drives in the future, in case you couldn't tell.

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