Best hard drive brands?

  Pineman100 11:12 04 Mar 2009

My XP desktop computer is over 5 years old. Good old XP has never been reloaded in that time, and needless to say, it's starting to groan a bit under the weight of software, accumulated crap and so on (although I do use Ccleaner regularly).

I've had no indications of HDD problems yet, but rather than waiting for my 5-yr-old hardworked Seagate IDE hard drive to fail, I've decided to buy a new drive, and put a new, clean XP installation on it. I'll then install my old drive as a slave and copy all my data across.

So - my question. What are the best brands of hard drive? And, even more importantly, are there any brands that are best avoided?

  Diodorus Siculus 11:20 04 Mar 2009

Western Digital and Seagate are both as good as it gets. I'd not suggest avoiding any although I believe that Fujitsu had a poor reputation once.

  Diodorus Siculus 11:30 04 Mar 2009

I forgot about Samsung. I had one of their spinrite disks and it was really silent. Another good option :)

  canarieslover 11:36 04 Mar 2009

I have used most makes of drive in the last 10 years and I have yet to have one fail on me. Last 5 years have mainly been with Maxtor and Seagate who are now one company I believe. I have 2 in my XP machine plus another 2 in external cases all of which are at least 3 years old. If your Windows XP install disk is as old as your computer then the simple solution would be to replace IDE with IDE even if you motherboard supports SATA, unless you have the SATA drivers on floppy and a floppy drive. Alternative is to slipstream sp3 with your current Windows install disk to create another disk which will recognise SATA. Use nLite click here and download sp3 click here install and run nLite and follow instructions. You will end up with an iso file that you burn to disk to use as your new install disk. This will recognise SATA.

  Stuartli 11:54 04 Mar 2009

Downloading the latest motherboard drivers should include SATA drivers.

I've always been a Western Digital fan (OEM Caviar SE versions for internal drives), but have a Seagate 400GB external USB drive which is equally reliable.

The younger offspring likes the Samsung Spinpoints, especially after having problems with IBM in the past when it was still involved with such products.

  Pineman100 13:56 04 Mar 2009

Diodorus - thanks, that comment about Fujitsu echoes a similar one I've heard elsewhere. Strange though it may seem, I'm not too worried about the drive being ultra-silent. I've always found a fairly audible chattering to be a useful indicator of drive activity.

Marko797 - interesting. How old is your elderly Samsung?

canarieslover and Stuartli - my mobo is an NEC P5S800-VM Rev 1. I don't know whether it supports SATA, but given the age of the computer, I doubt it (unless you know different?). I also don't know whether it has the correct cable connection for a SATA drive. I had planned to replace the HDD just like-for-like - in other words IDE.

I have already slipstreamed SP3 into a new XP disk.

  Stuartli 14:29 04 Mar 2009

Your motherboard is apparently a re-badged Asus of the same model number. This is the nearest specifiction sheet I can find at present:

click here

You will note that SATA is included.

  Stuartli 14:33 04 Mar 2009

Earlier spec:

click here

  Pineman100 18:45 04 Mar 2009

Thanks very much for that, Stuartli. I confess I'd just assumed that my mobo would be too old for SATA, but thanks to your prompting I've had a look and found the SATA ports.

There are two of them - one black, one blue, positioned side-by-side but one at 180 degrees to the other (ie: reversed). Does it matter which one I use? Logic suggests number 1!

And a final question, if I may. If I install a new SATA drive as a Master and the old IDE drive as a Slave, will that mixed configuration cause any problems?

  Pineman100 18:54 04 Mar 2009

Sorry - I've just thought of one more question!

I note Stuartli's recommendation to update the mobo's drivers, in orer to ensure that SATA drivers are installed. Presumably that would still allow an IDE drive to be used, too?

  Stuartli 18:59 04 Mar 2009


click here

Although my mobo has SATA ports, I'm still using IDE - forgot about them when I bought my current WD 320GB hard drive...:-)

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