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whatever said:
The reliability of hard drives is littered with anecdotal experiences. My experience (10+ years as a sys/database admin) is that if the drive is bad, it's going to die. Doesn't matter who made the thing. I currently have hard drive doorstops here on my desk at work from Maxtor, Western Digital, Seagate and IBM. I'd say that I have probably seen just a few more Maxtors die than other ones, but not enough to warrant them being "really bad".

Unless there is a known problem with a certain batch of hard drives, just about any of the major players will make something that works fine.
Absolutely true here. I built my first home personal computer in 1993, to give everyone an idea on the amount of time we're talking here for experience sake. I do not have much brand loyalty in hard drives, they're all too similar when comparing their basic desktop drives.

I don't know actual numbers, but I've purchased and installed at least 40 drives (very conservative number) for myself/friends/family over these years. My fail rate, 4 drives ever needing RMA. 1 of those I'm /sure/ my buddy kicked the tower while miffed at a game, he's just that way, but I'll still call it 4.

I have read about some of a batch of IBM DeskStar drives failing, often, but in my experience I can't say I've noticed that, or never had one from those bad batches.

Mainly, you're looking at the quietness and overall seek times, sometimes heat but not too often is that a problem with a "standard" hard-drive across all manufacturers.

If I had one brand of drive fail more-so than others, I still wouldn't know if I'd call them "bad drives". It is a mechanical part, that moves around with very, very tight tolerances, it is nearly inevitable that it would fail. But, luckily for us, for the most part, they're all pretty darn stable, for long many years.
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