3119 Leonard Terrace NE Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Trash in Every Form Factor? Come on!

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Time and time again, I see customers in for failing hard drives, and there’s always one common denominator: Toshiba. From the moment you boot up that shiny new HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer, Asus, or what have you, you may be set on a path to imminent failure.

Toshiba used to be a huge player in the laptop market pushing out the ever popular Toshiba Satellite laptops back in the early 2000’s but began straying away from laptop manufacturing somewhere around 2016 when they completely discontinued manufacturing of laptops and exited the market altogether. While they may have exited the laptop market, Toshiba is still dipping their toe in the laptop world, by manufacturing drives that go into your laptop. Chance are if you’ve purchased a laptop in the last 5-6 years, there’s a shiny Toshiba drive in there spinning to its untimely death. I always tell my customers that Toshiba drives are the worst, and that if they have one, to be ready to replace it within one to three years, and the reason being is the failure rate is just that bad. Out of a group of customers sampled from my business solely 90% of the repair/replacements on hard drives have been failed Toshiba drives. So much so in fact, that I had a drawer full of them at one point, ready to take in for secure destruction.

The failure with these drives is in fact so bad, that my own brother-in-law bought himself a brand-new HP Laptop back in 2019, took it out of the box, never turned it on, and it just sat there on his desk unopened…and when he went to use it, the disk usage was sitting at 100% and there was a warning of imminent HDD failure when booting the machine. So what’s the deal, and what can you do to protect yourself from getting this trash in your next PC purchase?

If you find yourself ready to purchase a new PC and you’re wandering about Best Buy, Micro Center, Office Max or some other retailer, trying to find one that suits you, do a little bit of research. If you look at a computer and you like all the specs it has to offer, simply check the hardware in the machine. You can do this without opening up the machine by opening up task manager. If you’re not familiar with task manager, many press “Ctrl+Alt+Del” to bring up the screen, but the faster method is “Ctrl+Shift+Esc” once you’re in this window, you can actually find details on the hardware that’s in the machine by looking at the Performance tab. I personally don’t have any Toshiba drives in my machine, so it’s hard for me to show you that, however if you take a look at the image below, you can see the Disk number, followed by the Model off to the right. WD in this case is indicative of Western Digital, which I use as my primary drive on my machine. When you do this on a machine with a Toshiba drive, you’ll typically see a model number that starts with MT, or it will read “Toshiba” in the description. This is the quickest and easiest way to avoid issues in your future PC purchases.

As always, if you notice that you’re experiencing issues with Windows simply spinning on the boot logo, and things are moving slower than you’d like…it may be time for a health check of your drive. But don’t be surprised if you try my little trick on your super slow computer at home and find that it contains a Toshiba Drive. Below I’ve listed some other potentially problematic drive brands that I see the highest failure rate on in the shop. Please feel free to reach out if you ever feel like your computer is getting really slow, or you’re worried you’re one stuck with a bad drive.

Highest Rate of Failure 2021 (Listed Worst to Best):

  1. Toshiba
  2. Seagate
  3. HGST

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