I guess it must be quality control or "luck of the draw".
FWIW, a little reading comprehension here - I was using m.2 sata drives, not something you could even put in an old machine. Assuming the guts are identical is well, an assumption, Lee, and I've noticed you're usually a lot smarter than that.
I've had great luck with seagate drives - and GM cars, but seem to have avoided the models everyone knows (now) were utter crap. I have some pretty old stuff that's taken quite the beating and still works fine - I only took the 2 gb seagates offline because, why would you keep something that obsolete...
I've had IBM deathstars go bad, but our software dev outfit was cross backing them up on each other's machines. So no loss, other than $$ and time.
Hint -you can't raid in a single slot NUC. You can back up, of course, and I did - but not every minute.
And FWIW, neither is proof against a fat finger delete - even a backup if you don't notice in time and avoid backing up the mistake.
Lucky it wasn't real important data I lost to Crucial..else I'd have used better stuff (not some rebranded OCZ)..else I'd have been more careful.
And you know, there's a limit - hindsight by a third party always says you should have spent more than you made protecting what you made???? Things like raid and backups cost time and money too, and sometimes aren't worth it. It's almost always better to avoid the problem in the first place as a one time cost. A rate of expense - well, a drip can empty the ocean.