Post chia mining used HDs?

So, hard drives are expensive again, presumably because of chia mining. Will this go like all the mining hardware and will used drives be cheap after 6 months or a year? Or will the drives be worn out?

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If they’re SSDs, then they’re probably worn out, or at least had their lifespan shortened. Might be cheaper, but probably not worth it.


Yes, SSDs will be worn out, but HDDs will ‘only’ be used for long term storage, so I expect them to be able to have a second life.

Especially the WD Elements external HDD enclosures and alike are selling like crazy, as it is easier to just add a drive through USB then to chuck it and install in in the PC case.


Oh yeah, I forgot that chia miners plot on ssd and then copy over to hard drives.

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At least the prices are rising. Bought my 10TB WD Elements just before Chia was released at the start of May for ~150€. Can you spot on this graph when the prices started to increase?


PLS dont buy used storage. You will come to regret it.


Even if it wasn’t from Chia, i never recommend buying used storage, just not a good deal in general, and could have numerous other problems than just shortened lifespan.

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Well that’s kind of what I am wondering. In 6 months when chia crashes, will there be a ton of used 10 to 16 tb drives flooding the market that have only ever had one drive write of chia plots written to them? I agree on not buying used chia ssd drives, they will have been used up. But will the spinning rust be worn out from chia? And if so, then I suppose hard drives will be expensive even after the chia crash?

I guess this also assumes chia crashes. Maybe it will be the one crypto to rule them all and hard drives will always be expensive?

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Any time you buy something used you don’t know what kind of environment it was used in previously, so all of that stuff may still be in play.

The thing that keeps me away from buying used storage when it comes to mechanical drive is really just the possibility of shipping damage. Mechanical drives aren’t really made to travel, and maybe the place you’re buying from will at least wrap the drive up in bubble wrap, but maybe not.


That is a good point on the shipping.

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I can eleborate a bit further, the reason you don’t want used storage is the increased risk of failure since you never know how it was used/handled.

With most other hardware (except psus) you can buy used since when they fail. the worst that will happen is downtime till you can replace the part. With hdds/ssds you wont have downtime you have permanent data loss (or insane rates for a professional recovery of data).

Data is the one thing when it is gone you can never get back. So pls take care of it and be carefull with it.

And with chia the miners run these in machines with insane amounts of drives per machine. which will significantly shorten thier lifespan (cuz of vibrations from drive to drive)


That is a good and thoughtful explanation. I COMPLETELY overlooked the vibration etc… of the way chia miners would have the drives set up. Which is a good point also.

I’d say if you have a redundant array you’re adding to, and are "DIY"ing it in such a way that would allow you to absorb higher failure rates, and assuming that epic deals on high capacity used drives will appear in a year (don’t count on it), there’s certainly something to be said about the possibilities. When would it be worth it? If sellers have to lower their prices enough, AND new drive prices continue to be high, let’s say 16TB drives continue to be $300+ and we have a widespread chia selloff where these drives can be had for $100 or less… how much abuse could they have even been under in the 2 years or so that they’ve existed?

Gonna be tough to justify unless you specifically extract joy from saving a few bucks like this. Overall doesn’t seem like itll be advisable all things considered. And the ass pull numbers I provided for the used prices are probably optimistic.



I’ve almost exclusively bought used storage (or shucked from USB enclosures) for every system I’ve built in the past 3 or 4 years.

Hard drives: failure rates are easy to predict, most drives that are going to be bad fail within the first 10k hours of their lifetime…those that don’t will go 40-50k hours before you start seeing statistically relevant failure rates again.

Grab some used drives, throw a full DoD wipe at them. If they stand up to the tourture, you will be fine. And within a weeks time you have saved a significant amount of money on drives. When you build systems with 12 drives, and you save 30 bucks each drive and each drive has <20k hours…you saved 360 dollars.

Now you have some money for cold spares and still have money left in your pocket.

As far as SSDs, I’ve been buying pulled OEM Samsung NVME drives since 2015 vs buying the retail versions. I’ve never understood why this market is so readily available but right up until this Chia phenomenon, I’ve been saving upwards of 20% on these. And they usually had 90-99% life.

Let alone enterprise drives… Discounts can be even deeper.

I’m interested in seeing what the other side of the Chia market looks like.


Couldn’t agree more. Been going for the used enterprise drives and given how they seem to be sold in batches of 10 that means you get 8 drives for use (assuming RAID6) and 2 spares. Get a few batches of different brand/same size and mix them and you’re reasonably protected against failures. On top of that I always run a full burn-in on drives, new or 2nd hand (new ones need to be transported too, and as such are just as likely to be mistreated as 2nd hand ones…)

Enterprise SSDs, I get why people aren’t jumping on them as much. There’s firmware issues aplenty, not all of which are documented, which can outright kill drives (ask me how I know :smiley: ), plus the fact that most of those are pulled from EMC or Netapp shelves, so are formatted as 520 Bytes, which is an additional hurdle.

Then again, they are often really cheap because they don’t sell well (pre-Chia anyway…), but have stupendous amounts of endurance so the chance of them failing due to running out of writes tends to be really small even if they have been run hard (usually as cache drives for disk arrays)

That said, SAS SSDs, especially older ones, are a tad more power hungry than modern SATA/NVMe drives so there’s that consideration, of course.


ehhhh, a used mining drive just does not sound like a remotely good idea at all. If they’re not dead or completely worn out, they’ve likely had a significantly shortened lifespan.
Maybe if you’re lucky and the mining bubble bursts soon, you could get your hands on a lightl used plotripper ssd? :smiley: They literally have enterprise level endurance, so they’ll have a better chance of survival than most drives out there.

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