Seagate 5TB 2.5" external drive - 95$ [costco]

Joel

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Has anyone successfully run them over a year period of time 24/7? I was complaining about high prices now these are the cheapest drives on the market :)

Has there been consensus on these are not being SMR drives? I read multiple reports on this forum.

Btw, these drives are still $89 in costco, and probably the last drives left under $20/TB with reasonable size/power usage.
Consensus is that these drives ARE SMR.
 
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Fritz

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Apr 6, 2015
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Has anyone successfully run them over a year period of time 24/7? I was complaining about high prices now these are the cheapest drives on the market :)

Has there been consensus on these are not being SMR drives? I read multiple reports on this forum.

Btw, these drives are still $89 in costco, and probably the last drives left under $20/TB with reasonable size/power usage.
They will fail if you run them 24/7. I lost 2 out of 5 before I started shutting the box down with not needed. They were in a well cooled SM chassis.
 
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Firebug24k

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Apr 12, 2017
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I've got several, they're definitely SMR. They work fine for media storage or the like but don't use them for anything other than WORM type workloads.
 
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Markess

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May 19, 2018
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This is my "I'm not an expert" breakdown on why there was, and still is, some confusion on if these (or other) Seagate drives were SMR:

  • From a lot of things I've read over the last several years, many folks including tech journalists, used CMR (Conventional Magnetic Recording) interchangeably with, and as a synonym for, PMR (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording).
  • So.. if CMR=PMR, then SMR (Shingled Magnetic Recording), which came later, was obviously something else.
  • Seagate's technical documents for these drives (and the 4TB model as well) specified that the recording method was Perpendicular.
  • So, people (including me) thought that since CMR=PMR that meant these drives were CMR....even though Seagate never said that.
  • At a technical level, however, SMR drives still use a Perpendicular recording method. Its just that in SMR, the Perpendicular recordings were overlapped, like shingles on a roof.
  • So, when when the kerfuffle over SMR started, Seagate clarified that all their drives are in fact Perpendicular and its not their fault if people jumped to conclusions about them not being SMR. Seagate changed their attitude pretty fast after Western Digital got flack over their handling of the SMR question and Seagate issued a statement apologizing for any confusion and saying that, while ALL their drives used Perpendicular technology, some were in fact shingled.
Since then, they've maintained a list of which consumer channel drives are CMR vs SMR on their website. Back in 2019 they'd already clarified that portable (2.5") drives in all capacities were SMR : CMR and SMR Hard Drives | Seagate Canada

But.....if you go into the technical specs document for these drives, the recording method still says "Perpendicular" ;)
 
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Bert

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I think over a decade all hard drives are perpendicular. I am surprised how they maintain 120 MB/sec if they are SMR but then again perhaps it is expected to have them at that level.

I am planning to use them for WORM scenario but I need them to run 24/7 . They are from COSTCO, there is always the window of 90 days to return them if I have a change of heart or if they fail. I am not sure if Costco will accept them if I have open packages, anyone knows?


@Fritz , did they fail when they were under I/O over 5% average disk time. or simply because their motor is low quality (not sure if there is really different quality motors for hard drives) and die while spinning idle?
 
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Firebug24k

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They don't maintain 120MB/sec for the entire disk. They start off that fast (actually a bit faster) but it dies off towards the end to around 80-90. It's noticeably slower by about 4TB written.

They don't appear to support TRIM either like some SMR firmwares. So to restore performance after filling the drive up I wrote zeros to the entire drive with dd, that worked, and the drive went back to "normal" for future writes.

I've had some up and spinning for a few months, no issues with that. They're not under much load.

Costco is famous for taking anything back to the point of ridiculousness. I can't imagine you'd have trouble returning as long as you were within the window.
 

Bert

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Perhaps slow tracks only kick in when the extra capacity is needed. I wonder if they optimized the disk platters to be using SMR only for the extra capacity. It kind of makes sense given how SMR works. They don't have to use overlapping tracks initially.
 
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Fritz

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Apr 6, 2015
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I think over a decade all hard drives are perpendicular. I am surprised how they maintain 120 MB/sec if they are SMR but then again perhaps it is expected to have them at that level.

I am planning to use them for WORM scenario but I need them to run 24/7 . They are from COSTCO, there is always the window of 90 days to return them if I have a change of heart or if they fail. I am not sure if Costco will accept them if I have open packages, anyone knows?


@Fritz , did they fail when they were under I/O over 5% average disk time. or simply because their motor is low quality (not sure if there is really different quality motors for hard drives) and die while spinning idle?
I think the motors just quit. They were not detected by the computer after failure. I still have one I'm using as a paper weight.
 
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Samir

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Jul 21, 2017
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I think the motors just quit. They were not detected by the computer after failure. I still have one I'm using as a paper weight.
Did you attempt to warranty them or were they oow by the time they failed?
 

Fritz

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Did you attempt to warranty them or were they oow by the time they failed?
Nope. I foolishly threw the cases away after I verified they were all healthy. I read somewhere that, probably here, that Seagate would know if a drive was originally sold in an external enclosure so I didn't both since I no longer had the enclosures. I bought 15 of them with the intentions of filling up an SC 216 but stopped when 2 failed back to back and a third dropped to 76 % health according to HD Sentinel. At that point I abandoned the idea and filled the rest of the chassis with 900GB SAS drives. I use it as a backup server and only fire it up every month or so and haven't had any more failures but I do not trust the 5TB drives. And btw, the drive that dropped to 76% health is still at 76%, it hasn't dropped any lower but it's only being used for trash collection now.
 
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Samir

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Nope. I foolishly threw the cases away after I verified they were all healthy. I read somewhere that, probably here, that Seagate would know if a drive was originally sold in an external enclosure so I didn't both since I no longer had the enclosures. I bought 15 of them with the intentions of filling up an SC 216 but stopped when 2 failed back to back and a third dropped to 76 % health according to HD Sentinel. At that point I abandoned the idea and filled the rest of the chassis with 900GB SAS drives. I use it as a backup server and only fire it up every month or so and haven't had any more failures but I do not trust the 5TB drives. And btw, the drive that dropped to 76% health is still at 76%, it hasn't dropped any lower but it's only being used for trash collection now.
Bummer. I wonder if Seagate would have even warranted the drive since the external case was opened. Thank you for sharing your experience with these as I think your use case provides some valuable data on the reliability of these drives. :)
 
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