A computer's hard drive is both its most fragile and its most important component. Drive reliability has improved together with storage density, but a computer's hard drive is still the most likely component to fail. In most computers, all "permanent" data is stored on its hard drive, so when it fails, you've lost all of its data.
I've installed, replaced, and rehabilitated thousands of hard drives and don't recall any particular name brands as "bad". Occasionally, one model may prove to have problems, but I think that the competition in the hard drive arena is so fierce that it pushes inferior products out. Usually by the time a particular model proves to be troublesome it's obsolete and out of production anyway.
Desktop: Approximately 3.5 inch platter diameter
Laptop: Approximately 2.5 inch inch platter diameter
IDE/ATA (Integrated Drive Electronics): suitable for desktops and laptops
SATA (Serial ATA):Will supersede IDE; for use in laptops and desktops
SCSI (Small ComputerSystem Interface): servers and high-end workstations
FC (Fiber Channel): servers
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photo: Paul R. Potts