The Best HDD and SSD for your Money

In the market for a new hard drive?

If so Hardware-Revolution show us the best SSDs and spinning hard drives for your money.

Crucial M500 2.5-Inch SOLID STATE DRIVE

The article is in three parts, and starts by showing us the best Solid State drives (SSDs) for your money, next the best hard disk drives (HDDs) for your money and finally a  quick and easy summary on RAID 0,1,5 and 10.

Updated for January 2014 the SSD list is also categorized by price bracket. For example the best SSD for $50, the best SSD for $75 etc.

A great read for would be hard drive purchasers, which you can find here.

The Home Server Show Podcast Episode 249


Episode 249 of the Home Server Show podcast is asking the question what would you change in Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials?

An awesome group of guys gather to discuss Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and how it can be used in a home environment.  The show starts off by asking what would we change in the product to make it more friendly.  It’s a great show, which you can find here or watch the video below:

Add-In: Drive Bender v2.0.2.8 Beta

Drive Bender Logo

The beta release of Drive Bender has been updated to version, with the following change log:

  • Bug fix – Internal tasks may hang under some circumstances.
  • Bug fix – Some Windows services may not restart correctly when adding or restarting a mount point.
  • Bug fix – Non pooled drives not displaying in the interface correctly.
  • Bug fix – The balancing routine is not calculating the correct balancing ratio.
  • New feature – Pool file system health check, file balancing and file duplication validation can be launched and monitored from the main Manager interface.
  • New feature – Pool notifications are now supported by the Manager interface.
  • Updated feature – A number of interface improvements have been made.

You can find this release for users of WHS 2011 here.

Video: Flashing the Bios on the HP MicroServer

John Stutsman is back with another video about the HP MicroServer.

In this latest video John explains how to flash a new bios:

“I cover the steps I took to Upgrade_Flash the BIOS on my HP ProLiant N40L MicroServer. This will work on the N36L, N40L, and N54L G7 MicroServer. I Flashed the HP BIOS Version 2013.10.01 (A) (15 NOV 2013) from File Download SP64420.exe from HP’s page System ROMPaq Firmware Upgrade for HP ProLiant MicroServer.”

Linux on a HP MediaSmart Server

If you have a HP MediaSmart EX490 lying around, then have you thought about installing Linux on it, such as Debian or Ubuntu?

Phil Kershaw has an article from May 2012 where his notes may help you, if this is an area you would like to explore on a MediaSmart Server.


You can find Phil’s notes here.

Using Two Servers with Server Folders

More than one server hosting WS2012 Essentials at your location?

If so you can create and manage a server folder on a second server within the same network, and allow the end user to access the share with one SMB path form, for example, \\Contoso\Shared Folders\folder1 or \\Contoso\Shared Folders\folder2 etc.

Using Two Servers with Server Folders in WS2012e

If this is of interest to you then the Windows Server Essentials and Small Business Server Blog have a post explaining how to get this set up.

You can find the details here.

The Home Server Show Podcast Episode 248


Episode 248 of the Home Server Show podcast is about CrashPlan vs. Bitcasa:

“We haven’t talked cloud in a while so Jim and I brought in a guest to help us do a heads up between CrashPlan and BitCasa. We will compare each business model, pricing, and overall feel of each service. I think it’s clear which one we picked but I’ll let you find that out!”

You can catch show 248 here.

Your SSD will Last How Long?

With our report of Blackblaze publishing their data detailing hard drive failure rates. It has come to our attention (courtesy of our friend James Tenniswood), an article detailing the longevity of SSD’s.

Samsung Solid State Drive

The article from Hardware Info tested the life span of a Samsung SSD 840 250GB TLC SSD, and after months of testing the good news is even if you push an SSD to the max by downloading lots of movies everyday averaging 30 GiB per day, the SSD will last you 24 years!

So with an average lifespan of 75 years for the memory chips, consumers have absolutely nothing to worry about, as in 24 years we will all be using higher capacity drives than we are currently using, even if "Hard Drive" is not the term we use then.

Which Hard Drives have the Worst Failure Rates

Cloud backup provider Blackblaze has shared its hard drive reliability data detailing which make and models of hard drives have the worst failure rates.

The best are Hitachi and WD drives with Seagate being the worst.

“If the price were right, we would be buying nothing but Hitachi drives. They have been rock solid, and have had a remarkably low failure rate.”

With trying to get Hitachi drives at a decent price is getting harder , the WD drives recommended by Blackblaze are the:

  • 1TB Western Digital Green (WD10EADS and WD10EACS)
  • 3TB Western Digital Red (WD30EFRX)

Also to note is that the drives that just don’t work in their environment are Western Digital Green 3TB drives and Seagate LP (low power) 2TB drives. Both of these drives start accumulating errors as soon as they are put into production. which Blackblaze think is related to vibration.

Blackblaze HDD Annual Failure Rate

A must read before purchasing additional hard drives, which you can find here.

Data Protection in your Business Using WS2012 R2 Essentials

"Data protection in small and midsize businesses" is a guide from Microsoft for small and midsize businesses that are looking for a reliable way to protect business data, the ability to store data in a central location, and a way to provide secure access to their data.

Data Protection in your Business Using WS2012 R2 Essentials

This guide focus’s on Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials and looks at different scenarios, what problems need addressing and goals, which include:

  • Windows Server Essentials Dashboard
  • Storage Spaces
  • Server Folders
  • Users and groups management
  • Device management
  • Windows Server Essentials Group Policy
  • Windows Server Backup
  • Client computer backups
  • File History backups
  • Windows Azure Backup

We are then shown the necessary information to implement this solution, which you can find here.