WD & Seagate Hard Drive Warranties Out The Door

Now this was shocking news for Seagate and Western Digital, they have taken a step I wasn’t expecting.

The floods that have taken place in Taiwan has caused a shortage of hard drives across the world, and customers have taken a hit with the price increase, a big one. Now the consumers are taking another hit, and this one is more permanent, these two hard drive manufacturers are cutting back on hard rive warranties, in some instances from five to one. If you buy your hard drive prior to Jan 2 2012 it will retain what ever warranty it has but after that then the hard drive will lose its warranty.

One of the things that I loved about Western Digital is that you could always warranty your hard drive without any issues but this is one bad decision and I really don’t like it. They said they are doing this in order to save money or redirect it to product development, I think its BS.

PhotoRec – Photo Recovery From Every Type of Media

The worst possible thing that could happen with the memory stick of your camera is for it go south and you would lose all your photographs, that includes a memory that could go corrupt in a phone. After doing a little research I found PhotoRec which is freeware photo recovery that works with all forms of media.

PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.

I had to work on a Micro-SD card that went corrupt from a phone and a corrupt SD card from a camera. I plugged into the card reader on my PC and it couldn’t read the volume and asked me to format it but I cancelled that. I ran the program and pops up on command line window, keep mind this is a freeware program that is meant to do a job and doesn’t look pretty. You pick the lost MiniSD card that the program can see then you choose a location for it to deposit the recovered files, there are a few technical steps in between like what type of file system was used for the card, I managed to pick the right one. As things progressed it too about 10 minutes to finish all the choices and then the program starts, it said approximately 57 minutes to recover 16 GB worth of pictures. I came back an hour later it recovered everything that was on there even things that I didn’t know was on there. Overall about 70-80% of the pictures were recovered, the rest were either text files or disturbed black images. The program does what you need it to do even though its a bit on the rugged side, I think its a fantastic program.

Link: PhotoRec

Gmail Capacity Issues

FindBigMail

Recently for the last few months I have been hitting the maximum capacity of Gmail. I tried going through and cleaning up my mail box but I just ended up making up excuses and keeping the emails, I never really want to delete any emails. So I decided to do two things, one is to upgrade my mailbox and secondly is to really go through it and sort it out. So I went for the $5 plan since it really cost nothing and more then triples my regular capacity, and I ran FindBigMail on my mail box which sorted out my big files and I got to see I had a lot of junk emails that could be deleted that I was reluctant too but it was really junk.

Gmail Storage Upgrade Packages:

  • 20 GB ($5.00 USD per year)
  • 80 GB ($20.00 USD per year)
  • 200 GB ($50.00 USD per year)
  • 400 GB ($100.00 USD per year)
  • 1 TB ($256.00 USD per year)

Link: FindBigMail

Western Digital Velociraptor 600 GB Sata III

At long last I have the beast within my grasp! The Velociraptor 600 GB Sata III, I have heard the rumors of its capabilities but its different when its in your hands. When you want a fast hard drive and its not an SSD then your option is the Velociraptor line from WD. I remember their 150 GB and 300 GB drives but this is the new iteration, I preordered the 600 GB Velociraptor to build with a system later this year but here it is in all its glory. Its laying in a box next to two RMAed Hitachi 2 TB drives, Velociraptor sits among them as the pride of the pack.

The Velociraptor is a high speed and high performance drive with Sata III with a 6 GB/s communication interface, but the motherboard has to have the equivalent Sata III connection on the board. In my case I do have a board with two Sata III connection which will help me take advantage of these ridiculous speeds. If you are looking for a solid high performance drive then you can’t go wrong with the Western Digital Velociraptor, it comes in 400 GB and 600 GB.


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LaCie 5 Big Network

There are a lot of storage solutions out there, some are simple, some are complex, and some are more reliable then the other. Usually for big Storage needs I have stuck to the Netgear ReadyNAS line as their support has been excellent and they have a nice range of items from the expensive to the reasonably price depending on your needs. Lacie have been also developing high quality external storages for sometime now, and now they have just launched the new LaCie 5 Big Network which is available in 5 TB, 7.5 TB, and 10 TB versions.

The 5big Network is fully featured with a Gigabit Ethernet connection, USB, 3 eSata, and five hot-swappable drives that support seven RAID modes, which makes it very versatile. The 5big Network’s multimedia server capabilities have been improved, now allowing users to play media from the NAS device through a UPnP-AV compatible device such as a PS3 or Xbox, directly to a television or directly to any DLNA multimedia device. Not including that is compatible with iTunes Server, moving library over and streaming all media to different computers across the network. It has been optimized for Mac & Windows backup solution with 3 Intego Backup Licenses for Mac & 3 Genie Backup Manager Pro Licenses for Windows The price ranges from $799 all the way to $1400, it is a well backed-up product with LaCie procedure to replace it within a few days of you sending it. And I think it looks very good, same sort of Industrial Design as Apple.

Link: Amazon

Tumi External Drive

I haven’t had much luck with external drives recently, most of them would fail after some time or they can’t take large files which was very annoying.

I got this external drive on sale at Tumi in the states, about 30% off. It is a relatively small, and designed with compact travel in mind. Overall I am enjoying the use of this little drive

Pros:

  • Compact (7cm x 5cm x 1cm).
  • Very light
  • Has a carrying case
  • USB wire tucks right into the hard drive case, but a little short
  • Can take some decent drops without a problem

Cons:

  • Price a bit high
  • Only 60 GB
  • Transfer speed is a bit slower then your average external portable hard drive

Link: Tumi

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Western Digital 2 TB Hard Drive


Now this makes things a little more interesting, they have jumped the gun and released the first 2 TB Hard Drive. The new WD20EADS from Western Digital has crossed that boundry and it is technically available for all to use at this point, but I haven’t seen it on sale yet. I will want to get a few for the Windows Home Server and expand its capacity a little. Based on the specs it will be part of the Caviar Green line, meaning it will consume less power and produce less heat then a normal hard drive. I think the estimated retail will be around $300 which is a bit steep but still worth trying.

Link: WeGotServed

Seagate FreeAgent Go 250 GB

After my recent experience with External Hard Drives, which I discuss below, I was happy to get the Seagate FreeAgen Go. It has a very good track record, and I was previously happy with my Seagate drive. I sometimes need to transport large files with me when traveling and taking around media files. After my extensive experience I just decided to buy it online instead of my bad luck with stores in Kuwait.

Recent Drives:
I have been through a few external portable drives and a lot have been disasters. I originally had the Seagate from 2004 and it lasted with me for about 4 years before starting to act up. So I bought a SimpleTech hard drive which is abundant in Kuwait, after a week it started acting up and it would hang during transfers so I returned it. I knew from a lot of people that the Western Digital External HDs were having problems and I even recovered data from two crashed WD Portable HDs. I bought one anyways to see my luck, and it wouldn’t transfer anything that was bigger then 1GB, so that was useless and I returned it. And the last one I tried was the Maxtor Portable HD which only hung for a few seconds during transfer which wasn’t too bad compared to my earlier track record. Even though Seagate and Maxtor are one company they are running completely seperatly.

Link: Amazon
Price: $112

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Torrent Peak

I always try to organize my downloads, and they do get organized once I have finished my downloads. And that lasts a maximum of a day or two, then things get messed up once again when I add to the download list. I have been downloading a lot of anime these days, and I always download the latest HD movies out there, no matter how old. Another issue I’m facing right now is my torrent uploads, I have to leave my torrents on to keep my ratio up, and it has reached the point where my hard drive has gotten filled without me noticing it. So I have a few porblems now, my files are all messed up and need reorganization, and now my main hard drive is filled up and it only has 7.95 GB left from 698 GB (750 GB Drive).

HD Movies I’m downloading:

  • Batman Begins 1080P
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles 720P
  • Be King Rewing 720P
  • Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade 720P
  • Indiana Jones and The Raiders of the Lost Ark 720P
  • HULK 1080P

External Hard Drive

A lot of people use external hard drives for one thing or another, I tend to fill up some people external drives with Anime or TV Shows. Monichum dropped off his external since I have gotten him addicted to Anime. He has the Western Digital Portable External HD which is about 120 GB, enough for the shows, anime, and music that he wants to store. As I was using the WD I heard a clicking noise, I hate clicking noises with external HD’s, when that happened I listened very closely to make sure I wasn’t wrong, but then there was a clicking noise and the explorer window accessing it froze. I knew that something is very wrong with the drive, after a few trys I managed to drag 80 GB off the disk and lost about 20% of it, I was just lucky. I always liked the slim look of the WD but i kept hearing how much they fail, and now it did.

I tend to be very skeptical of external drives or drives overall because if it fails then thats a disastor. After looking around I decided that one of the better external drive after looking around online, I was between the Seagate and the Simpletech, and they only the Simpletech drive available in the local market so we picked up the 250 GB Simpletech Pininfarina External Portable drive for 36 KD and it is pretty good with a nice slim look to it.

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