hard drive woes

UPDATE: In retrospect, it’s probable that the BSODs with Carbonite earlier were not Carbonite’s fault, but the bad drive. No impugning of Carbonite was intended 🙂 My apologies to the Carbonite staff who are not reading this post anyway.

I’ve had a bad time of it, but thanks to the support from Microsoft’s forums it’s clear that my hard drive is the problem. The OS loses a connection to the drive, which could be a bad or loose cable. I think that its bad blocks however as my file backup hangs in certain specific places and I might actually have to abandon some data (though I have the bulk of it copied to a new disk).

My intention is to use the secondary drive (2TB Caviar Green, lower performance but great power consumption profile) as local backup and bulk storage. The question is, what do I do now for a primary drive? I am considering several options:

– an SSD. Advantage, massive performance boost. Disadvantage, would only hold the OS and then my secondary drive is my data bottleneck. Given my problem with Carbonite earlier I am cool on cloud backup now. Also, cost of course. And then I would also need to decide whether a drive supporting SATA 6 Gb/s woudl be worth it or not.

– a 1TB drive (performance oriented). Advantage: Cheaper. I’d probably go with Samsung instead of WD because I want a 1TB, SATA 3 Gb/s drive instead of 6 (the caviar black drives all seem to be 6’s now, unless you go up to 1.5 or 2 TB). Disadvantage: the hard drive would be the bottleneck of the system. Here’s a useful comparison of 2-platter terabyte drives, proving there really was no point in paying extra for the WD drive.

I have the old 1 TB drive from the kids computer to tide me over until I decide what to do. I am torn here. I simply need a fast drive for the OS and my primary data store, which I can backup to the secondary drive.

Actually, I’m not torn. The Spinpoint is only $60 at Amazon, so if I want to do SSD later on I can always do that, the F3 will be useful until then and even afterwards as “primary” storage secondary to the SSD. Guess I’ll pull the trigger on this…