Old 8th October 2017, 15:14   #1
swingdjted
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computer needs new hard drives

Looking for hard drive suggestions. I would like a new SSD for booting and programs, and a HDD for storage.

More about the problem that led to this (I also posted this in another forum hoping for help):


I have a major problem that might or might not be fixable. My user account is borked. I was able to get to the welcome/login screen. I couldn't log in and/or see the desktop unless I reinstalled Windows 7 onto a separate drive with a whole new fresh account. Online solutions don't work because I can't get to safe mode, since my keyboard for some reason doesn't work until I get to the logon screen (tried with multiple known-working keyboards). When I created a fresh new account on a separate HDD, I accessed my old boot drive as a storage drive, but the C>users>(my old username) account did not exist. I was hoping to do this to recover my recent docs, pics, audio, and video. All the Windows files and program files were still there though, not that it is helpful for them to be there, as I can easily reinstall that stuff. I really need to recover the files within that user account, but don't know how to find them.

So I have two overall questions here:

1.) Who can I contact to help me recover the old docs, pics, audio, and video? I can't seem to find those files even when "hidden" files are set to be shown.

2.) Now that I am having to recreate a new user account and reinstall Windows/programs, it might be a good time to get a new boot drive. I was thinking an SSD.

Here are the current specs:

I have a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit, OEM license or could buy 10

Motherboard = Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16813128344 which has SATA 3GHz/sec headers (do new hard drives still work with these?)

CPU = Intel: model BX80569Q9550 (Core2Quad, 2.83GHz, LGA 775 socket) https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16819115041

Video Card = evga EVGA: model 896-P3-1260-AR https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16814130370

RAM = I think it's this: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16820231183 but not absolutely sure. It's G. Skill DDR2 800, 4x4GB (16GB total) for sure, just not sure if that's the exact product link or not. Mine are red, Newegg's pics are orange.

Anyway, what would be a good SSD for me to revive this computer? And what 6 or more terabyte hard drive would be good for the storage?

Here's options I'm considering:

SAMSUNG 850 EVO 2.5" 500GB SATA III 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-75E500B/AM
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...9SIA2W02DV8166

And maybe this for storage (or would a non-WD black model be better? I'd actually make better use of an 8TB model if you have a suggestion):
WD Black 6TB Performance Desktop Hard Disk Drive - 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s 128MB Cache 3.5 Inch - WD6002FZWX
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16822235281

Let me know if these are good options or if I should also look at some specific competitors. Again, your help is greatly appreciated.

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Old 8th October 2017, 15:40   #2
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Are these any good?

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16822179001
8TB Seagate Barracuda

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Old 8th October 2017, 17:52   #3
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From what I've seen this one's supposedly very good:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...1WK-0048-00027

As for the 850 Evo, it's about as fast as it gets for regular use. PCIe drives (like the 960 Evo/Pro) are only really faster for loading/saving/extracting huuuuge files.

The keyboard (usb, I suppose) not working should be fixable via a BIOS setting, which of course would require a working keyboard, did you try a ps2 one?
(Never buy a mobo without ps2.)

Also, did you try accessing your old Windows drive from a Linux live cd?
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Old 8th October 2017, 19:07   #4
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I thought about the ps2 option for the keyboard, but although I intentionally bought a mobo with ps2, the old ps2 kybd died before this issue happened. Perhaps I should see if work has one and try to get into safe mode with it. I'll let you know how that goes. The USB keyboards do work on the affected computer after the option to enter safe mode has passed, but by then it's too late, so I'll need to get my hands on a ps2 kybd.

I have a lubuntu computer separate from the computer affected by this problem, would it or its OS disc help? If so, what do I need to do? I'm not sure if tried to do anything with the affected disc with linux. The affected disc is a Seagate hybrid drive, 4TB. I'm not sure, but I think it's ok if it's accessing all the programs and windows files when connected externally to a working computer.

Also, after reading a lot of reviews, and I'm not sure of the validity of opinions/test results, it seems that people are saying that HGST/Hitachi is measurably better than Western Digital, which is measurably better than Seagate when it comes to reliability. Do you believe there is any truth to that, or is it mostly less predictable when a drive will fail?

What HGST are comparable and/or appropriate for this computer?Honestly I would like 8TB more than 6, but more than 8 probably isn't necessary unless the price per TB is noticeably lower.

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Old 9th October 2017, 16:02   #5
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I was thinking Linux might either give you an error message when trying to mount the drive if there's anything wrong with the C partition, or it might see your user directory in case Windows only hides it due to missing permissions.
Though I'd first try some file recovery software (I think there are several free options for Windows). But whatever you do, don't write anything to that partition (ideally mount it as read-only just to be sure).

I think I remember some stat about Seagate drives in data centers having the most failures, but I don't know what models they used. Usually, at least in the past, it was only certain models/series that were more prone to failure.

HGST drives often produce more noise/vibration and heat, but again it varies between models (and may not even matter to you).

Either spend a few hours trying to find reviews for all drives you're interested in, and even then you might get a bad one, or just hope you're lucky.
One thing though, for storage you don't really need a 7200rpm drive. The only thing you should avoid like the plague is shingled recording.
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Old 11th October 2017, 00:34   #6
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I asked Seagate a lot of questions about this and related stuff. They initially said it wouldn't work for me due to the SAS interface, but found that there was a SATA option. They still pushed the Barracuda Pro due to the warranty and said it's more optimized for home use. I'm not sure what would make the Barracuda Pro any better other than the warranty. Any thoughts on this?

Here's the conversation:

Seagate has joined the chat

Seagate said: Hello. Thank you for contacting Seagate Presales on Newegg.com. My name is Thomas. How may I be of assistance?


Visitor said: Does the model I'm looking at have what's know as shingled recording? https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...1WK-0048-00027


Visitor said: *known


Seagate said: Just a moment please.


Seagate said: I am having to look up some information so please bear with me.


Seagate said: To answer your question, no.


Visitor said: Consider that question #1. Question #2 is, will this work on my motherboard: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16813128344


Seagate said: The ST8000NM0075 uses perpendicular recording. It will nor work with that board.


Seagate said: The ST8000NM0075 is an Enterprise level SAS drive. A SAS drive will not work on a SATA board.


Visitor said: I am not educated on "SAS". Can you explain that to me or provide a link where I can learn?


Visitor said: And, do you know of a more appropriate 8TB drive that could work with my motherboard?


Seagate said: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...-270-_-Product


Seagate said: That is the Barracuda Pro.


Seagate said: SAS drives are for large enterprise applications such as servers. SAS is short for Serial Attached SCSI.


Visitor said: The Newegg ad says "SAS and SATA 6Gb/s interfaces"


Seagate said: If you want to learn about SAS, just google "What is SAS", and there will be wealth of articles on the subject.


Seagate said: That is misprint on there part.


Visitor said: So that first drive I mentioned is incapable of SATA connection to my motherboard?


Seagate said: The Barracuda Pro is a more appropriate model for that board.


7:12 PM

Seagate said: Just from looking at the board, it would not work, but then again, I don't anything about that board.


7:13 PM

Seagate said: If that board uses SATA drive connections, you need to be using a SATA drive.


Seagate said: And the Barracuda Pro would be just fine for that.


Visitor said: Even the Seagate website says "SATA and SAS" http://www.seagate.com/enterprise-st...acity-3-5-hdd/


Visitor said: Is that also a misprint?


7:15 PM

Seagate said: That is because the Enterprise Capacity also comes in a SATA interface.


Seagate said: Did some checking on it.


Seagate said: Here is the SATA model.


Seagate said: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...-842-_-Product


Visitor said: oh, ok. So that means it's an "or" and not "and" in a sense. So I could conceivably save around $ if I went with this most recent item linked? Or are there other advantages to using BarraCuda Pro?


Seagate said: What exactly are you using this for?


Visitor said: storage of media: family videos at 1080p and 4k, medium to high resolution images, music, and documents


Visitor said: boot drive will be SSD


Seagate said: Then the Barracuda Pro would be the better choice. The Enterprise Capacity drive are optimized for large storage RAID servers that run 24/7365. The Barracuda Pro is designed and optimized for home server use.


Seagate said: But in theory, you could use the SATA version of Enterprise Capacity.


Seagate said: At this point, it is just a matter of preference. I would prefer the Barracuda Pro because of the 5 year warranty it offers, and it is designed for that type of environment.


7:27 PM

Visitor said: Does the B. Pro use shingled recording or perp.?


Seagate said: Perpendicular.


7:28 PM

Visitor said: I have been told to avoid shingled like the plague, so perpendicular is what has been recommended to me. I very much appreciate your patience with all of these questions, just trying to make the most informed decision.


Seagate said: May I assist you with anything else today?


Visitor said: No thank you, You have been very helpful to the point where I think I have the information I need.


Visitor said: Thanks again.


Seagate said: Thank you for contacting Seagate Presales on Newegg.com. Please feel free to chat with us again if you have any additional questions. Have a great day.


Seagate has left the chat



Sorry if I sounded like I was being a troll... just wanted to learn.

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Old 11th October 2017, 01:47   #7
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To be frank, I wouldn't give to much on sales people. They'll always push consumers towards consumer products, whether they're any good or not.
The firmware may not be optimized for desktop use, but at least in the review below that doesn't seem to be a problem (drives explicitly designed for servers or surveillance can be a different thing).

However,
a) I've actually linked the wrong model above. The correct one is this, with the article number ST8000NM0055 (and SATA interface), which will definitely work with a desktop mobo.

b) The main reason I picked it as a potential purchase for myself is that apparently it's particularly quiet* (whereas the Barracuda Pro seems to be rather noisy) (but performance seems to be pretty good too, and it's currently on sale).

*but then one of the newegg reviews seems to disagree on that, ugh...
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Old 11th October 2017, 03:53   #8
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I found that review. Kinda sad that the firmware update for the noise isn't available yet. I feel like I'm over thinking this whole thing, but I try not to buy HDDs often, and when I do, it's rather expensive.

The SSD and a recovery wire (basically makes a hard drive a USB drive without the enclosure) are purchased and on their way since I can't find anyone recommending against those. I still haven't pulled the trigger on a storage drive though.

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Old 12th October 2017, 19:52   #9
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I also tend to obsess endlessly about these things, even smaller purchases at times.
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Old 13th October 2017, 03:28   #10
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I took your recommendation. Can't beat the price per TB very easily, and the drive is made for heavy use. I'm not concerned about sound enough to mind the noise, so long as the noise isn't a sign of excessive wear and tear. I hear the screws might not line up on some cases, but I can just suspend it if I need to, or just drill new holes on a HDD slot. I'll likely have to be creative when I install the SSD anyway, since I don't think the case is made for that size.

I greatly appreciate all the help and will hopefully post back when stuff starts to arrive. Wish me luck on the data recovery.

So, I bought this SSD, this HDD, and this wire. I'll keep the older drives for backup. They include two 1TB, two 1.5TB, and one 4TB hybrid. I'm curious to know if they could be made into a NAS.

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Old 26th October 2017, 04:13   #11
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I've been using the new drives for a few weeks now.

This SSD is the first I have ever dealt with (not counting the hybrid drive it is replacing). The first thing I noticed right away is that it is insanely light. It's hard to get my head around the fact that these things weigh so little. The second thing I noticed is that the computer overall is much faster than I remember in the past. This is one of those "I should have done this a long time ago" moments.

The HDD seems pretty normal, although it gets pretty warm, during large file transfers and virus/malware scans, and this is when it's behind a fan. Transfer speeds seem about the same or a tad better than the older drives. I have heard a couple ticks here and there when it "falls asleep" and "wakes up". Those ticks are very faint and easy to tune out, and they seem to only happen when I do something to cause the wake-up. If I leave the computer on while it's working on something or while idle, the drive makes no noise that I can hear over the already very quiet Noctua cooling fans. The writing sounds are faint enough that I have to pretty much touch the drive with my ear to hear it during long high-volume file transfers. I did have to do some quick work to get Windows to see the drive as an 8TB drive rather than a 2TB drive, but I think that's just something that comes with the computer's age.

As far as I can tell, at least during this early honey moon phase, the drives are good and recommended for anyone needing something similar.

I was able to recover all of my lost data by remembering something important. To save space, I moved the default storage locations to separate drives for what is usually C:/Users/Username/etc. since the data didn't all fit on one drive. So, when my user profile disappeared on one disc, the associated files remained buried on another disc. Big relief there. I'll be backing up more often now.

Now the bad news. That wire I bought was mostly good except the molex connector (the short dongle thing that converts old-school 4-pin molex to newer SATA type power plug). The pins are loose and flimsy and fall out of place the first time you try to use the thing. I had to use a separate power supply to get it all to work. The product is rated high with lots of reviews because the company promises a free gift to anyone that gives a top rating. So, that wire thing I bought is NOT recommended, unless you have no interest in using the power supply items.

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Old 29th October 2017, 17:42   #12
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No weird buzzing noise on idle? I wonder what that was about then. Maybe only a few drives are affected. (Or that review was paid for by a competitor. So far at least the negative ones (that don't reek of cluelessness) were still somewhat reliable.)
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Old 29th October 2017, 20:28   #13
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No buzzing noise that I have ever noticed. It's idle often since it's just a storage drive. If I leave it idle too long the computer will shut it off as a power saving feature, and it does have the little ticks when it falls asleep, then again when it wakes up, but that doesn't happen very much at all. If I didn't have the power saving feature (or if I disabled it), you would only hear that when starting up the computer from off or shutting down.

There are 4 side mounting screw holes on this "enterprise capacity" model that work with my tower's HDD bank instead of the usual 6 you find on consumer model HDDs. My tower has a slide-out housing that holds 4 HHDs behind a 120mm fan on a rubber-bushing mount to the rest of the case. It takes three 5.25" slots for the four HDDs. The four screw holes for this drive are in the same locations as the outer 4 on a consumer model, so it was still an extremely easy mount job. My tower doesn't use the bottom screws for a HDD, so I forgot to take note of whether or not they were the same.

The case doesn't have a laptop size drive mount, so the SSD is just suspended in mid air by the strength of the not-very-flexible power and SATA cables for now. It's so insanely light that I might just leave it that way or figure out something later.

If you're bored, here is my relatively useless review of the SSD. It's really more of a review of SSDs in general rather than a specific review for this specific model.

Pros:

Typical advantages of SSD vs HDD: Very noticeably faster than traditional spinning-platter HDDs, uses less power, 100% silent.
Much lighter than I expected; weighs next to nothing. I knew it wouldn't be heavy, but it was still a surprise how light it is; almost feels empty.
Flat black color doesn't interfere with any sort of design in a case if applicable.
I noticed a lot of recommendations and positive reviews for this specific product when shopping, which is why I chose it.
The seller, packaging, and delivery time were all pretty good.
Basically plug-n-play. Super easy setup.

Cons:

Like any SSD, the cost per gig is far more than that of a traditional spinning-platter HDD.
If you need to store more data than its capacity, you have to have a separate storage drive. In my case I had to look up how to relocate the "My Documents", "My Pictures", "My Videos", "My Music", "Downloads", etc. folders to a storage drive while still maintaining their native functionality. There are relatively easy tutorials that show how to do this all over the internet.

Other Thoughts:

This is my first experience with an SSD, so I am not able to compare to other models. I've only been using this for a couple weeks, so too early to comment on reliability. I am putting this into a computer that has had very high specs for a long time, but those high specs were choked out by the bottleneck of a HDD read and write speed. Now that I have a very fast SSD, the computer feels like a brand new much-upgraded machine, and all of the other hardware of the box finally has a chance to shine. I tried a 4TB hybrid drive, but I really didn't see much difference from a traditional HDD. This, on the other hand makes a very noticeable difference in performance. I should have done this years ago. Don't wait like I did. Get yourself a real SSD for booting and programs if you can afford it and you haven't already. It makes a big difference.

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Old 29th October 2017, 23:46   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swingdjted View Post
There are 4 side mounting screw holes on this "enterprise capacity" model that work with my tower's HDD bank instead of the usual 6 you find on consumer model HDDs. My tower has a slide-out housing that holds 4 HHDs behind a 120mm fan on a rubber-bushing mount to the rest of the case. It takes three 5.25" slots for the four HDDs. The four screw holes for this drive are in the same locations as the outer 4 on a consumer model, so it was still an extremely easy mount job. My tower doesn't use the bottom screws for a HDD, so I forgot to take note of whether or not they were the same.
There are some cases that rely on the middle hole, those would have a problem then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swingdjted View Post
The case doesn't have a laptop size drive mount, so the SSD is just suspended in mid air by the strength of the not-very-flexible power and SATA cables for now. It's so insanely light that I might just leave it that way or figure out something later.
Light or not, I'd still be paranoid about straining the connectors or the whole thing bending down over time and hitting some other component (of course that depends on what else is in the way).
You can buy adapters, but some cords through the case's mounting holes should work too.
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Old 30th October 2017, 06:39   #15
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Old 30th October 2017, 12:27   #16
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Old actually, but only used around halloween.
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