Managing hard drives made easier

Drives, drives, drives…In my years as a video editor, I’ve gone through lots of hard drives. One thing that became a bit difficult as the drives piled up was keeping track of them all. Necessity being the mother of of invention, I came up with a simple mechanism to handle this.

When I buy either a new hard drive or hard drive in an enclosure with a drive in it, write a number on it, and record the information about it in a easy to use spreadsheet.

Here’s the information I collect about each of the drives; drive number (the number written on it), brand, model & serial numbers, drive size (in GB), interface, the warranty expiry date, and the supplier I purchased the drive from.

I do not really need to keep track of what I am using the drive for, or what it’s currently called because frequently I wipe and rename my “floating” drives for specific purposes, like delivering content to a client.

For drives in enclosures, I use the purchase date on the invoice as the beginning of the warranty date.

To determine the hard drive warranty expiry dates, I use these links:
Western Digital:

If you use other brand drives, you can probably Google up the relevant link pretty easily.

Here is a blank copy of the Numbers spreadsheet, and a version done up in Excel for you non-Mac users.

An additional thing one can do is to add a reminder in your calendar a month before the warranty is up to check the drive.


4 thoughts on “Managing hard drives made easier”

  1. With all the drives you use, and your clients use, I’m surprised you don’t have a failure rate sheet to keep track of what brands/models work the best/longest for you.

    1. That’s not a bad idea, but thus far, most of the failures I’ve seen are for branded drive enclosures (like LaCie, which seem to have the highest failure rate of any electronic device I’ve ever seen).

      1. The only reason I bring it up is because I’m partial to Western Digital, but I wonder if my support of that brand over others is unfounded in reality. Am I just buying it because of some marketing or brand loyalty rather than product quality?

        1. I have a fairly even mix of Seagates an Western Digitals and so far, they’ve both made reliable drives. Fujistu, not so much, but we knew that already.

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