Recent Samsung drive failure rates?

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Interitus
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Recent Samsung drive failure rates?

Post by Interitus » Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:04 pm

Looking for good honest opinions on this. Not "I had a friend of a friend of a friend" type answers. I've been reading tons of horror stories about Samsung Spinpoints dying lately. I myself have had 3 die on me in the last month alone. First death was an SP2004C SATA 200GB. It died after about a year's use as a boot drive. I decided to purchase the 400GB T Series drive to replace it. I'm on drive #3 and they've all died within a week. Anyone else having these types of problems from Samsung? They used to be my drive of choice, but after hearing this type (or should i say volume) of bad press I'm really about to steer away from them. I have no belief or trust in the fact that this drive I have now will last me over a month. This whole experience has been THAT bad.

YugenM
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Post by YugenM » Mon Oct 08, 2007 7:20 pm

SP2004C, 1.5 years and going strong :)

Firetech
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Post by Firetech » Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:11 pm

Three 501Lj's here, all OK - so far....

Michael Sandstrom
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Post by Michael Sandstrom » Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:57 am

One 160GB SATA running for three years, one 160GB SATA running for two years, one 400GB SATA running for one year and four 500GB SATA's OK for several months. All of these Samsungs have been exceptionally quiet.

I have kept track of Newegg customer reviews of the HD501LJ and there was a brief period of high failure rates reported all clustered around the middle of last month. Very strange.

Based on my experience I will only buy Samsungs but I always backup.

halcyon
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Post by halcyon » Tue Oct 09, 2007 2:31 am

Interitus,

I've had only 2 x 160 GB (P120?, can't remember model) and one 400GB (T133?). All running fine (160Gbs for years).

Now, this is of course not to say that you haven't had problems or others can't have.

In general, and this is true for Samsung as well as other drives, I'd check the following two factors (if you haven't already):

1) Temp (not just smart sensors, but surface temp with finger on top/bottom and sides). Temp is one of the biggest killers of HDs

2) Sourcing. I heard from a large industrial user that they always buy from a primary source only (one that gets their drives from mfg direct). This reduced the amount of damage/wear&tear in the shipping and handling through various parties. His point of view was statistical: when you have hundreds and hundreds of drives, it is easy to notice when things start to afoul with a statistically higher liklihood. This is not to say that handling necessarily makes/breaks each individual drive, just adjusts the probability of a drive failure slightly.

BTW, this is not a Samsung endorsement. I'm currently running 4 x WD on my main rig (Samsung's on my wife comp). My friends have had trouble with those too (WD3200JD and WD5000KS), but I've been very lucky myself (zero issues so far, knock on wood).

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Post by andyb » Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:34 am

I have an 80GB 2.5" SATA thats about 6-9 months OLD and is OK, I have 4x HD501LJ's, one 400GB SATA, and one 200GB SATA that are all fine.

At work (computer engineer) I have seen a brand new HP PC with a 160GB Samsung in it that died within 48 hours of the PC being used.

However I dont see many Samsung drives as they only own about 10% of the world HDD market, and I ave no idea what % they own of the UK market, but the vast majority of failed Samsung HDD's I have seen were all 2+ years ago, so the failiure rate from what I have seen has improved vastly.

As far as HDD failure rates for large resellers are concerned, I know for a fact that "Simply Computers" in London (now dont exist) started using Samsung some years ago and found them to be very reliable compared to Seagate, WD and IBM drives.

Many people dont realise that HDD failure rates can easily be measured by shipping and handling quality and practices, so identifying the failure rates of drives that are due to the manufacturer is not at all easy.

Again a little story from "Simply Computers", for no apparent reason a whole load of HDD's were failing, it turns out to be the same batch that had a "minor fall" when being loaded into the warehouse, one mistake f*cked 1/2 a pallet of drives (500 at a guess), oops :roll:


Andy

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Post by puddnhead » Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:08 am

Don't know how much individual data points matter, but I've had a 160gb spinpoint for about 3 years, a 250gb for about 2 years, and a 500gb for one month, all as main drives, with no issues.

Kaleid
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Post by Kaleid » Tue Oct 09, 2007 5:31 am

2x 501LJ for about 6 months. Ok so far. Temps around 30 and softmounted on foam.

Interitus
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Post by Interitus » Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:53 am

Well it's good to hear that you guys are getting good drives. However the unbelievable happened today again. My replacement 401LJ is clicking and stuttering again...

All these drives are coming from newegg. They're only in the PC one at a time, I don't like running multiple drives from a cool and quiet standpoint. Lastly they all are mounted in the same place, right in front of a 120mm YL @ 5v.

I'm honestly done with these drives for awhile. There has to be another decent sized bad batch out there right now. This is my 4th dead spinpoint now :(

andyb
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Post by andyb » Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:10 am

I know that there are un-written rules about quoting yourself but.......
Many people dont realise that HDD failure rates can easily be measured by shipping and handling quality and practices, so identifying the failure rates of drives that are due to the manufacturer is not at all easy.
Again a little story from "Simply Computers", for no apparent reason a whole load of HDD's were failing, it turns out to be the same batch that had a "minor fall" when being loaded into the warehouse, one mistake f*cked 1/2 a pallet of drives (500 at a guess), oops
I think they have dropped a pallet of drives (I doubt that many failed drives would of passed random spot tests by Samsung).

I suggest that you complain loudly, get a refund, and go somewhere else.

FYI, a few years ago I ordered 6 sHitachi HDD's, 5 of them were DOA, with 4 of them clicking loudly, one was OK, they had near-sequential serial numbers so I could have blamed sHitachi, but after some forceful questioning, they admitted that loads of people were having the same problem, and that there may have been a "handling error". I expect that newegg have had the same problem, but probably wont admit it.


Good luck Andy

Interitus
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Post by Interitus » Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:29 am

Well I can't afford to be out a PC for a month while Samsung handles my RMA this time. I ordered a 7200.10 for the time being, maybe if my Sammy comes back serviceable I'll sell off the 7200.10 or something. I just can't believe how many bad drives I've received in a row now.

I'm already gritting my teeth thinking about talking to Samsung about the 2004C. Its manufacture date is 6.2005. When I bought the drive it carried a 3 year warranty but now lists as 12 months on Samsung's site (another reason I went with Seagate this time, 12 months? Are you kidding?)

Ugh.

Wish me luck. I'll report back with my experiences.

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Post by drees » Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:00 am

After buying a Spinpoint 1614N 160gb, manufactured in Feb 2005, because it was reviewed to be very quiet and then later have it die (bad sectors) a bit more than a year later and just out of warranty, I now make it a point to only purchase Seagate drives with their 5 year warranties.

If I must buy a different drive, I will only buy the drive if it has a 5 year warranty.

Even if the drive dies after 4 years it will likely be obsolete, but simply standing behind your product for 5 years instead of 3 (or less!) says a lot about the manufacturer's confidence in the reliability of their product.

Solid Snake
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Post by Solid Snake » Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:25 am

Man, this reminds me of the IBM Deskstars I had in '01. I still have the replacement replacement drives in the shrink wrapping. Anyone wanna buy one? :twisted:

Interitus
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Post by Interitus » Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:16 am

Lol, that's exactly what I was thinking too Snake. I'll trade you my Samsungs for your IBM's :P

I guess the good news is that Samsung approved RMA for the 400GB drive already. Here's hoping Samsung didn't drop a pallet too lol. Bad news is they have yet to respond to the RMA request for the 200GB *sigh*

I have a feeling this gonna take a lot of emails and phone calls...

Guess I was just hoping it wasn't me alone here. I'm personally renaming Core2Duo to Core2Nightmare thanks to this building experience. I have had more problems with this C2D rig than with probably every other PC I've put together in the last 3-4 years. I've built probably 25-30 PC's for myself and friends in the last 2 or so years and never so much as a hiccup. Had one Abit board that for some reason refused to ground itself properly and wound up having to insulate around some mounting screws but other than that it's been a great run. Guess I was overdue.

Just for your giggles and to make you all feel warm and fuzzy inside I'll list a timeline of this PC for you lol

3/2007 - C2D rig is born. Parts list is as follows:

Trusty ol' Seasonic Super Silencer 460 w/ Panaflo mod
Gigabyte 965P DS3 Rev 3.3
C2D E6420
2x1GB Gskill PC6400 (HK model)
EVGA 7900GT CO
SB Audigy 2 (KX Audio Package runs it as a ZS)
Samsung SP2004C 200GB SATA
NEC 3550A DVD-RW
Sony 16x DVD Player

4/2007 - EVGA card starts artifacting. RMA'd it and received the 7950GT instead. Yay free minor upgrade?

5/2007 - First set of Gskill dies. One bad stick failed Memtest within 5 minutes.

6/2007 - Finally get my RAM back. All's well at the time.

7/2007 - Spinpoint dies. Ordered the 400GB to replace it. DOA. Second 400GB arrives in a week. Runs for a few days. Starts clicking like mad. Returned again. Replacement comes and runs ok.

8/2007 - I become aware of the Gigabyte fix for the SATA controller issue with the onboard LAN. I flash the firmware for the Marvell Yukon. Flash goes bad. Takes a few days to get it running right again. *sigh* Few weeks later the Spinpoint dies again. ARGH! At least it's barely under the egg's 30 day return. I exchange it again.

9/2007 - Second set of Gskill goes bad. Again 1 stick starts failing memtest, this one refuses to POST a few days later. I buy new RAM. Still waiting on RMA for the Gskill.

10/2007 - Hey look another dead Spinpoint!


So I'm sure you can start to sense my frustration lol

andyb
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Post by andyb » Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:16 pm

Did you go digging up a Mummy or something.........

I had a customer a few years ago, the guys PC was basically cursed, we changed every single component one at a time until the only thing that was left was the case, then we swapped that, it wasnever going to work...... he was cursed - but not as much as his PC.

Every component in his PC worked and was re-sold with no future problems, we built him a new PC. This might sound far fetched, it was, and I hope this is the only time that I see something else like that.

In your system, I would suspect the PSU above and beyond anything else, lets face it the PSU is the only component that can affect everything in that way (dirty power). If the Samsung drives were a coincidence, then I would suspect the mobo, but I think its time to bury your "trusty" friend.

FYI, looks like I might have my first faulty samsung, my 2.5" HD080HI has replaced a bad sector, and the machine has locked up overnight (more than once) with no explanation that I can find, so the HDD is the main suspect. The one and only dive I have sent back to Samsung (REXO in the UK), who sent me a new drive the same day they received my faulty drive..... that is quality service. Im sure I will get around to testing my drive and replacing it if its faulty, but regardless of drive reliability rates there is no substitute for having a backup.

If anyone wonders if I am a Samsung lover, I am not, I am a Seagate partialist and I regulary see every drive manufacturers faulty drives in my workplace.


Andy

andyb
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Post by andyb » Thu Oct 11, 2007 8:20 am

Drive is f@#$*d.

SMART threshold exceeded (no more replacement clusters available). And thats with 12 outstanding sectors that cant be fixed (replaced).

I will update when I return the drive, letting you know what REXO's service is like this time round.


Andy

gb115b
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Post by gb115b » Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:46 am

storage review normally stores some stats on failure rates of different drives...

Torajirou
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Post by Torajirou » Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:27 am

Interitus wrote: Trusty ol' Seasonic Super Silencer 460 w/ Panaflo mod
Statistically speaking, what's happened to you is nearly impossible ! Are you sure that your "trusty ol'" PSU is not screwing things up big time ? ^^


I have a SP2504C since april 2006 and 2 HD501LJ since december 2006. So far, so good.

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Post by scandium » Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:42 am

drees wrote:After buying a Spinpoint 1614N 160gb, manufactured in Feb 2005, because it was reviewed to be very quiet and then later have it die (bad sectors) a bit more than a year later and just out of warranty, I now make it a point to only purchase Seagate drives with their 5 year warranties.
Had the same model drive fail on me last year within about 3-4 months of buying it. First and last Samsung. Vendor replaced it w/ a 160 GB WD that I sold in my last PC, and it performed flawlessly for the year I owned it (and still is as far as I know). Have a Seagate 7200.9 in my current PC, which is very fast but could be quieter (seeks are a little sharp and there's some reverberation, and I miss AAM which is non-existent in newer Seagates... but I'm not worried about it dying on me, which counts for a lot too :)). My next drive will be another WD.

Interitus
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Post by Interitus » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:42 am

It's funny that you guys mention the PSU because after I watched the 3rd spinpoint die I thought the same thing. My newegg order came in today, it also has a M12-600 in it :) I figured hey, I spent craptons of money replacing parts, why not a PSU upgrade lol.

I did manage to get Samsung to RMA both drives for me. Took some haggling with the SP2004C (which is stupid, it's still under warranty according to even THEIR website tool) but I got RMA approval for both.

Now if I could just get this thing stable so I can enjoy Orange Box!

I will say that for a long time I was worried about the 12v amperage on the SS460. It's a Rev2 but it still has a single 12v rail rated with modest amperage. I just wasn't sure how the PSU would handle the 12v tax of a C2D system.

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Post by Pauli » Fri Oct 12, 2007 10:07 am

scandium wrote: Had the same model drive fail on me last year within about 3-4 months of buying it. First and last Samsung. Vendor replaced it w/ a 160 GB WD that I sold in my last PC, and it performed flawlessly for the year I owned it (and still is as far as I know). Have a Seagate 7200.9 in my current PC, which is very fast but could be quieter (seeks are a little sharp and there's some reverberation, and I miss AAM which is non-existent in newer Seagates... but I'm not worried about it dying on me, which counts for a lot too :)). My next drive will be another WD.
You have one Samsung drive fail on you and that causes you to dismiss Samsung drives forever? This thinking is just crazy, IMHO.

Just for comparison, I've had a Samsung 160GB drive from April 2004 to Dec 2005 as my main system drive and after that, it's been running continuously in my TiVo (24 hours/day writing to disk) and it hasn't even had so much as a hiccup. From my experience, that makes Samsung super-reliable.

My point is that you cannot make a judgement about HD reliability based on a single sample size -- it's ridiculous. Especially since so many members here have been running Samsungs without any issues at all.

scandium
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Post by scandium » Fri Oct 12, 2007 1:22 pm

Pauli wrote:You have one Samsung drive fail on you and that causes you to dismiss Samsung drives forever? This thinking is just crazy, IMHO.
Not just because the drive failed, but because my experience with it was nothing special to justify trying another. At the time the drive failed I was given the option of taking an in-stock WD as a replacement or waiting on a Samsung RMA; I chose to take the drive that was in stock. And it turned out to be faster, just as quiet, and it didn't die on me. Since then Samsung drives have gotten very hard to find here in Canada, and its not like they're the only game in town, so why would I bother?

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Post by Arvo » Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:22 pm

Question for both failed and not-failed Samsung HDD owners: are you set your HDD "turn off" (spin down) after 10-20-40 minutes idle or not?

From what I've read, some Samsung drives do not like frequent spinups. This may cause platter vibrations (during spinup), which may bring drive heads into direct contact with disk surface, which in turn kills both heads and surface.

(me currently using 3 Samsung disks in my main rig, 2xSP1614N + HD321KJ - spindowns disabled :) I've yet to see dead Samsung drive...)

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Post by drees » Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:47 pm

My dead Samsung was on 24x7.

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Post by nutball » Sat Oct 13, 2007 12:13 am

Pauli wrote:My point is that you cannot make a judgement about HD reliability based on a single sample size -- it's ridiculous.
Moreover you can't make a judgement about HD reliability based purely on records of failures, which unfortunately is what threads like this tend to become quite quickly.

Interitus
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Post by Interitus » Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:05 am

nutball wrote:
Pauli wrote:My point is that you cannot make a judgement about HD reliability based on a single sample size -- it's ridiculous.
Moreover you can't make a judgement about HD reliability based purely on records of failures, which unfortunately is what threads like this tend to become quite quickly.
Definitely don't get me wrong here. I love my Sammy's. It's a shame I can't get this one working for me. They are definitely in a class of their own for noise and vibration while still maintaining a very good performance rating. I hope this whole mess turns out to just be PSU related or something. Tearing down my PC in about 30 minutes and rebuilding it from the bottom up lol. Wish me luck and hopefully my horror stories will end.

This won't be my last Samsung drive.

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:37 pm

samsungs typically are in clear box, crudy cases instead of secure within a big foam block.

also, my local computer store says that many of the hardrives are dropped or banged around severely. I would site the store you buy them from, and random bad luck as more of a factor.

they still are my favorite hardrives though, as they are the quietest, they are middle in speed benchmarks, and ultra low in thermal benchmarks. also, really cheap.

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Post by alfred » Sat Oct 13, 2007 10:23 pm

Currently using 2*F1 1TB + 18*T166 500GB + 4*T133 400GB + 7*SP120 250GB mostly for business purposes. Everything's nice ATM.

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Post by gb115b » Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:08 am

sorry off-topic but how are those F1 1TBs working out for you noise wise...

still ahving trouble getting them over here in england.... and not sure whether to go for WDs 1TB GPs

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Post by alfred » Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:47 pm

I've only been comparing Scythe Quiet Drive -encapsulated F1s vs encapsulated T166s in a giant tower using 2cm deep foam to decouple them from anything else; I'd say the 1TBs are slightly higher-pitched and vibrate less, it's hard to tell which one is louder.

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