Backblaze, an online backup service, conducted a study on over 27,000 physical hard drives and has released details on the most reliable hard drive makers in the market.

Backblaze tested about 13,000 each of Seagate and Hitachi hard drives, around 3,000 Western Digital drives, 58 Toshiba drives and just 18 Samsung hard drives. The company said that on average, the Seagate drives were around 1.4 years of age, Hitachi hard drives were about 2 years old, while Western Digital's drives were 2.5 years of age. Samsung's drives were the oldest at 3.7 years and Toshiba's hard drives were the newest, at just 0.7 years of age.

The storage capacities of the hard drive tested also varied from 1TB to 4TB. The Hitachi hard drives were of 2TB, 3TB and 4TB storage options. The study included Seagate drives that were 1.5TB, 3TB and 4TB, while the Western Digital drives tested were either 1TB or 3TB.

The study revealed that Hitachi hard drives were the most reliable with the Annual Fail Rate of 1.5 percent or lower. The Hitachi GST Deskstar 5K3000 (HDS5C3030ALA630) with 3TB storage had the lowest annual fail rate of 0.9 percent. The 2TB Hitachi GST Deskstar 7K2000 (HDS722020ALA330) had an annual fail rate of 1.1 percent and the Hitachi Deskstar 5K4000 (HDS5C4040ALE630) with 4TB storage had a fail rate of 1.5 percent.

"If the price were right, we would be buying nothing but Hitachi drives. They have been rock solid, and have had a remarkably low failure rate," reports Backblaze.

The 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda Green (ST1500DL003) had the worst annual failure rate of 120 percent. However, the Seagate Barracuda LP (ST31500541AS) with 1.5TB storage capacity has an annual failure rate of 9.9 percent.

"The Seagate Barracuda Green 1.5TB drive, though, has not been doing well. We got them from Seagate as warranty replacements for the older drives, and these new drives are dropping like flies. Their average age shows 0.8 years, but since these are warranty replacements, we believe that they are refurbished drives that were returned by other customers and erased, so they already had some usage when we got them," per Backblaze.

The bigger Seagate drives with 2GB and 4GB storage capacities had relatively lesser annual failure rate that ranges from 3.8 percent to 9.8 percent.

The Western Digital Green (WD10EADS) 1TB drives reported an annual failure rate of 3.6 percent, while the 3TB Western Digital Red (WD30EFRX) had an annual failure rate of 3.2 percent.

The test was conducted over 36 months and Backblaze reveals that 96.9 percent of Hitachi hard drives, 94.8 percent Western Digital and 73.5 percent Seagate drives were still running.

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