Perusal, Synthesis, Bliss

July 13, 2013: death of a 2"1/2 Western Digital hard drive, and its replacement

Death of internal hard drive 2"1/2 Western Digital WD3200BEVT (320GB)

This disk was delivered with my MSI computer. I already had some strange noises last year. I used this disk as an external backup; I obtain I/O errors with rdiff-backup. So I first try to use OpenSuse partitioner, but I obtain an error. So instead I try:
$ sudo mke2fs -cc -t ext4 /dev/sdc1
But it did not improve the situation: strange noises, very slow writing; and after writing/reading one pattern (I have not let mke2fs write/test all patterns because it is very long); badblocks still returns errors:
$ sudo badblocks /dev/sdc1
However, I again use the openSUSE partitioner, and this time no error. fsck.ext4 returns errors but ends correctly. Another run of fsck.ext4 gives no error:
$ sudo fsck.ext4 -y /dev/dm-6
[a lot of text]
$ sudo fsck.ext4 -y /dev/dm-6
e2fsck 1.42.5 (29-Jul-2012)
/dev/dm-6: clean, 2831/19537920 files, 1347892/78141952 blocks
Just after that, I try badblocks again; but with a lot of errors:
$ sudo badblocks /dev/dm-6
Just after that, fsck.ext4 returns errors again:
$ sudo fsck.ext4 -y /dev/dm-6
So clearly this hard drive is dead!

Buying another one

It is not clear whether 2”1/2 are less reliable than 3”1/2: here. A priori, I was convinced that old 3”1/2 HDD were more reliable than 2”1/2 ones. In fact, the reliability depends more on the model according to that.
One thing is sure: I will no more choose Toshiba, because of the problems I had in the past on a working hard drive (see october 27, 2012 note); not WD because I have just had a failure. Not Samsung because of my external “crocodile” hard drive that failed. It will be Seagate or Hitachi; I choose Seagate. No need of a hybrid drive (HDD+SSD) because I have no special speed requirements.