Backblaze, a provider of cloud storage that gathers statistics about the reliability of hard disk drives (HDDs) reports that a striking amount of 3TB desktop drives from Seagate and Western Digital fail while Hitachi disks fail considerably less.
According to the numbers Backblaze gathered the 3TB drives of the Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 with type number ST300DM001 have a failure rate of 15.7%. The Barracuda XT from Seagate performed much better with a failure rate of 6.7%. The same pattern also to appears to be valid for 1.5TB drives of Seagate, the Barracuda 7200.11 has considerably more issues than the Barracuda LP.
Also the 3TB Western Digital with type number WDC WD30EFRX with a failure rate of 8.8% scores substandard. Drives from Hitachi show the lowest failure rates, the 4TB drives from both Hitachi and Seagate also perform considerably better than the 3TB drives.
A reason why the 3TB drives from Seagate and WD have such high failure rates is unknown. Possibly the consumer drives have issues when placed in a datacenter or removing the drives from their USB enclosure causes the issue. The latter is caused by the fact that Backblaze often buys (cheap) external consumer HDDs, removes the drives from their enclosure and puts them to work.
Backblaze also reports that enterprise drives aren’t a solution either due to their high price while the failure rate is similar to that of consumer drives.