Hot Donkey, One Terabyte Hard Disks Within Six Months

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DailyTech – Seagate Confirms 1TB Hard Disk Drive Daily Tech is reporting that Seagate Technology has said that within 6 months they will have a 1TB hard disk.

From Seagate: “Seagate’s 1TB hard drive will be our second generation 3.5-inch hard drive to feature capacity-boosting perpendicular recording technology, and it will use fewer heads and discs than similar-capacity products we expect to see from our competitors. It is clear that fewer heads and discs, along with our proven perpendicular technology, can increase drive reliability, and also reduce operating temperatures, power consumption, noise, and weight.”

By way of disclosure, Seagate recently gave me a 750GB drive and a 8gig flash drive for my camera. They sponsor Robert Scoble’s Photo Walking show that I work on with Robert.

Still, I definitely have to hot donkey this one. As someone who routinely shoots 8 gigs of photos a day, my personal storage needs are intense. I’ve got over 4TB of personal storage right now and when these 1TB drives are out I’ll be looking forward to simplifying my set up by retiring some of my older 250GB drives that store photos today.

I will say that I have had a ton of experience with hard drive storage over the past 5 years. In addition to over 177,000 digital photos (most in RAW at full high resolution) I’ve got a personal mp3 library of about 100,000 songs.

Of all of the hard drives that I’ve used Seagate is consistently the best.

The worst? LaCie. I bought into the sucker move early by buying some of LaCie’s early big disk products and they are some of the worst hard drives made. When you buy a LaCie terabyte drive you are really not getting one drive but multiple drives networked together inside of a casing. I’ve had several LaCie’s fail and the I/O device errors when copying to or from them are simply horrid. Avoid LaCie at all costs.

I’ve also got a bunch of Maxtor drives as well. They are not quite as good as Seagate drives but have served me reasonably well.

One thing I will tell you is that I have had drives fail over the years. It is my opinion that every hard drive will eventually fail. It’s not a matter of if it’s when. This is why it just kills me when I see so many of my digital photography friends who don’t have good backup strategies. You have no idea how bummed you will be to see two years of your life just erased in the event of a drive failing.

If you are a digital photographer and don’t have your photos at minimum backed up on a drive, DVDs, multiple drives, off site locations, etc. you are setting yourself up for a big fall. Oftentimes when people ask me what lens they should buy, or what camera they should buy I’ll instead ask them how their photos are backed up today.

Bigger, cheaper storage is a great thing for the photographer. I’m excited about this new terabyte drive from Seagate and I’m looking forward to visiting with them next week at CES.

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  1. Andy Frazer says:

    I will also agree that Seagate is the best. Of all the hard drives that I’ve bought over the past five years, Seagate are the only ones that have manufacturer’s warranties longer than 1 year (Seagates are 5 years). They also have the best disk debugging tools.

    (By way of disclosure, Seagate have NOT given me any free hard drives. But I would be happy to accept them if they did give them to me 🙂 ).

  2. I’d love to hear how you have your images backed up. I currently have mine on multiple drives and DVD.

  3. LeggNet says:

    …feeling sufficiently convicted, LeggNet shuffles away to revise his backup strategy…

    Thanks for the motivation. I’m going to rethink my two drive storage system and devise an off-site solution as well.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi Thomas! Do you consider services like Flickr, Zooomr, Smugmug etc as a backup storage? I store my pics on one internal hard disk, one external hard disk, dvd’s and Flickr. And I like to think about Flickr as the “worst-case” recovery scenario. I know downloading the almost 10.000 photo’s I’ve uploaded would take weeks, but it’s possible!


  5. Ian Robins says:

    I have two external hard drives (WD) that I back my photos up to as well as flickr and zooomer. I also do a DVD back-up, but not as often as I probably should.

    I too have a Lacie external drive. It worked fine at first but now (about 2 years later) it is struggling and I will replace before it’s too late.

  6. -gary says:

    Pair two of those with a Infrant ReadyNAS that will allow you to upgrade to RAID 5 and additional capacity in the future without destroying segments and you’re set. Minus, of course, off-site.

    For those that need off-site storage and have more modest needs, look at Carbonite.

  7. Smiley says:

    I endorse Amazon’s S3 service for offsite backup. It’s the cheapest, ans so far, so good. While you’re at CES, see if you can’t find a new catchphrase.


  8. Miguel says:

    Thomas, since you have such a large collection of images, I’m interested in learning your backup process.

  9. Anonymous says:


    I want an hard drive like that, I have a 320 GB HD and it is too small for me… and seagate gives also 5 years compares to other HD companies like WD.

    Free File Hosting

  10. Thomas says:


    I would also be interested in learning about your backup strategy. If you’ve already written about this, perhaps you could include a link in your comment or next post [i read you via google’s rss reader].

    I basically burn DVD’s of all my photos [currently about 60GB] and mail copies to New York, Brazil & France.

  11. Duncan says:

    Have you tried HDD Health? Its a free program which monitors the hard drives S.M.A.R.T information and offers a good prediction of time till drive failure. No replacement for good backups but very useful to keep an eye on none the less!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Count me in for wanting to hear more about your backup process. My photo library is growing (and your photowalking convinced me to start playing with RAW).


  13. Jacob Hantla says:

    Flickr now offers unlimited uploads for the $2/mo fee. I use it to store all of my photos that I figure are worth storing.

    Flickr is very free with its bandwidth and its API makes great addon programs possible.

    The coolest for what you guys are talking about here is Flickr Backup. With Flickr Uploadr, it just a drag and drop process to upload your photos. With Flickr Backup ( your computer will automatically download all of your uploaded pics. So basically flickr isn’t only a photosharing community, but it is a really large cheap hard drive that you can backup all of your photos to.