Seeking quiet, reasonably fast external spinning drive, ~8TB

I have this sensory thing, so things like sounds and vibrations are distracting and annoying.

  • I have a WD My Book, which is reasonably fast, but vibrates my desk and makes noise, especially when TimeMachine is doing hourly backups to it.
  • I have WD My Passport drives that I might RAID together, but they can be super slow (28 hrs to back up 1.5T using ChronoSync).
  • I can’t afford 8T worth of SSD.
  • I have a NAS, but want something attached so Backblaze will back it up.
  • I looked at LaCie, but they have that hideous Eye of Sauron that’s even larger than their old 160GB drives that I used to use.

Any suggestions?

I have a couple of these, bought my first one in 2016 for $40 more than it sells for now. Utterly quiet on my (heavy oak) desk.

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I recently bought an OWC ThunderBay RAID enclosure with 4 spinning disks. The speed is great; the noise is not.

I bought it to replace a NAS that I kept in a cupboard at the other end of the house and I had forgotten how noisy drives are.

I’ve put a folded towel between it and my desk to absorb some of the noise, but it’s still not silent.

Just a word of warning, really.

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Vibrations: Coordinate the use of a selection of dense and moderately loose foam insulation pieces from you local hardware store. Put them under the drive. Alternatively, buy a longer cable and set the drive on the floor (also on foam).

Noise (and vibrations): Set up a WiFi bridge to connect the drive located in some other room far, far away. The bottleneck will be the WiFi versus USB 3 connection. Play with dedicating the priority connection in the router as needed. Or just run a dedicated hard-wire ethernet with a switch between the two locations.


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Thanks for the suggestions.

Just connected a USB hub as an extender. The drive is now on carpet and will hopefully be silenced. I could previously hear this drive spin up and down while in the living room downstairs under my office, transmitted through my desk to the floor.

As stated, one goal is to have the drive attached so Backblaze will back it up.

Thanks again for the suggestions.

WD MyBook and a specially the Passport drives are terrible.
My favorite brand for external drive is G-Technology.

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Thanks. My Passport drives are quiet.
The link you sent was sold out. I’ve been wondering about G-Technology. They have a 10T for $300.

Edit: ah! I had forgotten that G-Technology was Western Digital’s premium brand.

For 4 bay models, the Akitio version (Thunder3 Quad X) OWC sells* is quieter than OWC Thunderbays (though, to be fair, I haven’t had a bake-off in the same room.)

OWC’s single drive enclosures are also loud, though I suppose that depends a bit on what drive is installed internally.

To the OP: I mitigate drive sound by putting them under the desk, suspended in a wire raceway screwed to the desktop’s underside.

*can’t find it on OWC’s website or amazon, excepting the windows-only version

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As has been discussed before, G-Technology is just a subsidiary of WD. Unless the cases, power supply etc are significantly better you’re not going to see much difference since they use the same drive mechanisms.

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I am seeing plenty of bad WD drives and seldom a bad G-Drive.

Don’t know what Rogier is seeing in Santa Barbara, but it’s probably not the mechanism, as we’ve gone over before.

Backblaze’s report on consumer drives for 2019 recently came out. This year, as in years past, the best mechanisms were found to have been HGST. If you want to cobble together an HGST mechanism with the case/power supply of your choice it’ll possibly be better than any branded external drive, but will take a bit more work to find a good case, and might cost a bit more money too. (It’s near-impossible to easily find branded externals using mechanisms.)

Looks like HGST is no more.

Anyway, Ford or Lincoln or Jaguar (now owned by Tata, rather than Ford), just looking for a quiet drive.

Drives that are good for Backblaze aren’t necessarily good for consumers, e.g. noise.

Sounds like an appropriate name.

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The brand is still around. The top executives of Hitachi/HGST basically took over at Western Digital (as least one wag called it a reverse takeover, a la Apple buying NeXT), and HGST’s former product lineup, including Ultrastar and Deskstar drives, are now branded as Western Digital. And the HGST-brand drive units Backblaze bought in bulk are still made and sold, as a quick check of newegg and amazon show.