What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives



  • So this was brought up to me recently in a presentation... what if there was a product that made it so that you never had to replace hard drives again. That sounds great everyone thought... for about one second. Then the question came up.... when is the last time you had to replace a desktop hard drive?

    I mean, it happens. @Minion-Queen had to replace one last week. It's certainly not "never". But each time we replace one it gets replaced with a bigger, faster SSD. The cost is never more than about $100. The effort is never big. And overall, it is really, really rare.

    So that made us question... is replacing hard drives really a measurable cost to any company? It seems like only shops running desktops older than six years or so would even have this pop up on the radar and for those it would currently be an opportunity to move to SSD. Who is really facing a hard drive replacement dilemma? No one that I know. Any of you?

    Then the question came up... well what if you could buy desktops without hard drives. Think of the savings! Except... who sells those? We'd need custom built machines to get them without drives, right? And how much is a drive in a computer cost, $50? $20? It's just a small desktop drive.

    So I'm trying to figure out, are people facing some kind of costly hard drive related desktop cost that I don't know about?



  • Hell I wish I could buy a machine without an HD from Dell or HP. then I could put my own SSD in, use the OEM media they should provide (on USB, please!) and install a CLEAN install of windows without their crapware. win WIn WIN!



  • @Dashrender said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    Hell I wish I could buy a machine without an HD from Dell or HP. then I could put my own SSD in, use the OEM media they should provide (on USB, please!) and install a CLEAN install of windows without their crapware. win WIn WIN!

    Well the later you could do. But from what I can tell, there is no cheap way to get driveless machines without going to whiteboxing yourself, which is generally not worth it.



  • The only cost I could see businesses encurring for "drives" is a upgrade cost, from classic winchester drives to SSD's.

    This obviously isn't the same use case as described in the Op though.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    @Dashrender said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    Hell I wish I could buy a machine without an HD from Dell or HP. then I could put my own SSD in, use the OEM media they should provide (on USB, please!) and install a CLEAN install of windows without their crapware. win WIn WIN!

    Well the later you could do. But from what I can tell, there is no cheap way to get driveless machines without going to whiteboxing yourself, which is generally not worth it.

    LOL sure you can always rip out the drive they give you - after you made a restore disk from the on-disk utility (rarely did/do they come with recovery media) But depending on the OEM, that recovery media wasn't MS OEM media, was was a bastardized version from the OEM with their crap slipped in.

    But yeah, basically I would love an option to save $50 on the 500 gig drive (OK really probably only saving $20) and use my own SSD, versus paying for their ridiculously overpriced SSD micro selection.



  • But the question is... would anyone find a cost benefit from a solution that removed the need to buy drives?



  • The only place I can think of is maybe a datacenter where drives are being punished... but even then, I've raised the concern that we aren't buying the right drives if they are punished to a point of failure.



  • @BBigford said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    The only place I can think of is maybe a datacenter where drives are being punished... but even then, I've raised the concern that we aren't buying the right drives if they are punished to a point of failure.

    Desktops, not servers.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    But the question is... would anyone find a cost benefit from a solution that removed the need to buy drives?

    Did the questioner bring forth an answer to this?



  • @Dashrender said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    @scottalanmiller said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    But the question is... would anyone find a cost benefit from a solution that removed the need to buy drives?

    Did the questioner bring forth an answer to this?

    Yes, but the question is .... is this a solution without a problem? I'm trying to find the problem, does it exist?



  • I replaced most of our old PCs 2 years ago. The average age of our computers is now just over 2 years old. But even those 6 year old PCs rarely had a drive problem, other than sure lack of performance. So I guess today it's the same thing. The new machines deployed two years ago came with and still have HDDs. If they have a problem, they get replaced with a SSD. But as mentioned, it's not a real problem.



  • @scottalanmiller said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    @BBigford said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    The only place I can think of is maybe a datacenter where drives are being punished... but even then, I've raised the concern that we aren't buying the right drives if they are punished to a point of failure.

    Desktops, not servers.

    Then no... 😃



  • @Dashrender said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    Hell I wish I could buy a machine without an HD from Dell or HP. then I could put my own SSD in, use the OEM media they should provide (on USB, please!) and install a CLEAN install of windows without their crapware. win WIn WIN!

    x2





  • I've always liked Google's take on the "it broke". It's marked as broken in the management layer and ignored till the entire data center gets a hardware refresh.



  • @travisdh1 said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    I've always liked Google's take on the "it broke". It's marked as broken in the management layer and ignored till the entire data center gets a hardware refresh.

    That seems insane... I mean I know there systems are that reliable, but dang.... to just ignore it because it would take "to much" to fix just sounds insane.



  • @DustinB3403 said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    @travisdh1 said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    I've always liked Google's take on the "it broke". It's marked as broken in the management layer and ignored till the entire data center gets a hardware refresh.

    That seems insane... I mean I know there systems are that reliable, but dang.... to just ignore it because it would take "to much" to fix just sounds insane.

    This might have changed by now. I remember this from when they first publicly released information about their two data centers (yeah, I remember when they were that small.) They were using all white box microATX boards, two per 1u of rack space. No cases, just something for the boards to sit on. It was insanity.



  • I have some pretty old machines in production atm and rarely do i have to replace drives. Maybe two or three a year tops.



  • And when they do fail we just replace the machines, we do not bother with replacing since there are so old.



  • @DustinB3403 said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    @travisdh1 said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    I've always liked Google's take on the "it broke". It's marked as broken in the management layer and ignored till the entire data center gets a hardware refresh.

    That seems insane... I mean I know there systems are that reliable, but dang.... to just ignore it because it would take "to much" to fix just sounds insane.

    Not as crazy as you might think. Machines fail rarely, machines are cheap, labour is expensive... it can make sense.



  • @travisdh1 said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    @DustinB3403 said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    @travisdh1 said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    I've always liked Google's take on the "it broke". It's marked as broken in the management layer and ignored till the entire data center gets a hardware refresh.

    That seems insane... I mean I know there systems are that reliable, but dang.... to just ignore it because it would take "to much" to fix just sounds insane.

    This might have changed by now. I remember this from when they first publicly released information about their two data centers (yeah, I remember when they were that small.) They were using all white box microATX boards, two per 1u of rack space. No cases, just something for the boards to sit on. It was insanity.

    I know a guy who built systems like that at home.



  • @tiagom said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    I have some pretty old machines in production atm and rarely do i have to replace drives. Maybe two or three a year tops.

    That's what I've found, it's rare.



  • @tiagom said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    And when they do fail we just replace the machines, we do not bother with replacing since there are so old.

    Exactly. Either it's an opportunity to move to SSD, or the machine is just ancient, or it is like a freak thing. And normally those are replaced by the vendor under warranty.

    Given that we really can't buy desktops without drives, and that drives are replaced for the first one to three years under vendor warranty, and after that almost never fail, and when they do we either replace the box or get a good upgrade for cheap... how tiny is the "cost of drives" to businesses?



  • We've experienced rather low HDD failures rates on desktops ... Plus, Cost/GB of SSD drives is way more than that of SSDs ... A 500GB SSD = $215 as opposed to $60 for a 500GB SATA (6 Gbps) makes it a "Not Worth it" for most .. We've almost never had a client requiring/requesting for a SSD for desktops .. A common response we've received is "Wow, that's a significant price difference. I would rather spend that extra $$ on RAM etc.."



  • Do you find needing 500GB SSD? Ive rarely gone above 256 which are like 100 bucks.



  • RAM won't improve system performance nearly as much as an SSD will, assuming you already have 4 GB of RAM, in a typical Office environment.

    But as tiagom mentions, do you really need 500 GB drive? 120 GB drives are more than enough for most of my users. Windows 10, Office 2016, Dragon Medical v12 all fit in under 60 GB. my users save all data to network drives so the left over extra desktop space is not used.



  • @tiagom said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    And when they do fail we just replace the machines, we do not bother with replacing since there are so old.

    That has been my case as well, I have not been in IT for significant amount of time but the only two drives that I have seen fail I didn't have to replace because we already had a new server in place.



  • @Dashrender said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    RAM won't improve system performance nearly as much as an SSD will, assuming you already have 4 GB of RAM, in a typical Office environment.

    But as tiagom mentions, do you really need 500 GB drive? 120 GB drives are more than enough for most of my users. Windows 10, Office 2016, Dragon Medical v12 all fit in under 60 GB. my users save all data to network drives so the left over extra desktop space is not used.

    Almost never, even with apps like Photoshop or AutoCAD installed ... In any case, I always prefer having around 30% of disk-space to be free ..

    I'm just comparing cost/GB, which is typically how the pricing for storage works ..

    Yes, SSDs do give a performance boost, but where desktops are concerned, when the client sees the price difference, they're willing to live without it ..



  • Bought a few Intel 160GB drives refurbished on the egg for $38 each about a month ago. Made an old OptiPlex 3010 blazing fast for office work. Just waiting to put the rest in older machines to refresh them.
    edit:
    Also I have never had a hdd fail on me at home. At work a few times over the years, but it is rare indeed.



  • @momurda said in What If You Didn't Need to Replace Hard Drives:

    Bought a few Intel 160GB drives refurbished on the egg for $38 each about a month ago. Made an old OptiPlex 3010 blazing fast for office work. Just waiting to put the rest in older machines to refresh them.
    edit:
    Also I have never had a hdd fail on me at home. At work a few times over the years, but it is rare indeed.

    Wow that is cheap!


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