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Re: USB hard drives -- recommendations?

On Fri, 25 Jan 2019 09:24:56 -0800
"James H. H. Lampert" <jamesl@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Fellow List members:
> Would anybody care to voice an opinion on USB external hard drives in 
> the 2 terabyte size range, for automated backup purposes?
> We've been looking at the Seagate "Expansion" and the WD "Elements"; 
> I've noticed that on Amazon, both have a fair number of negative reviews 
> citing reliability issues. (We recently discovered that our current 
> Seagate had apparently failed on us.)
> Any opinions? Seagate? WD? Toshiba? Something else?

This kind of question always results in wildly conflicting anecdotal
reports: "I've had 67 WD failures in the last two weeks, and I swear
I'll never buy anything but HGST going forward!" "Well, I've lost twice
as many HGST drives over the last year than all other brands combined,
so they're absolutely the worst!"

My very limited anecdotal experience: I've been using two WD Elements
(1 TB / 2TB) for the last few years for external / off-site backup and
storage, and they've both served me pretty well. One of them (the
older, 1 TB one) occasionally fails to be recognized by my computer,
but trying a different USB port, or just waiting and trying again later,
has always fixed the problem.

One major annoyance (and I don't know if this is a problem affecting
all USB external drives, or is related to my cables, USB ports, drives,
or something else) is that the connections are terribly fragile: moving
the drive, or even just jostling it, will usually result in the
connection failing, and require replugging the cable and remounting
(followed by an fsck) to continue. [FWIW, these are 2.5 inch drives -
3.5 may be sturdier, but I don't really know.]