How Long Will Your Hard Drive Last? - Comments Page 2

Category: Hard-Drives

All Comments on: "How Long Will Your Hard Drive Last?"

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Posted by:

05 Aug 2017

One thing to keep in mind is that these MTBF tests are invariably done in laboratories or commercial settings, under ideal conditions (temperature, humidity, handling, power conditioning, etc.).
In the consumer world, conditions vary from ideal to absurd.
Although the disks will probably be used less frequently by a user at home, the environment will play a bigger role.
So, I would like to see a breakdown on what caused those failures - simple wear, or heat, surges, etc.

Posted by:

06 Aug 2017

Over the last 20 years, after troubleshooting computers and returning them to customers, many asked how long they might expect their hard drives, monitors, etc. to last? I told them a few of the things Bob mentioned - but mostly that there's too many factors, to answer with any degree of accuracy. However, since vibration and heat are no friends of any computer components, it would certainly help to turn them off at the end of the day... and of course not dropping their notebooks or kicking their desktop towers with a nervous foot, would also go a long way towards helping their hard drives spin a bit longer.

From personal experience, I keep everything backed up to multiple sources (my preference is full imaging, keeping several snapshots in time, on hand). Actually, I still have several functional hard drives (now set up as external portable drives) taken from my computers (that quit for other reasons) years ago. They're used as needed to retrieve old data still on them, periodically. Once, 15 years ago I had to replace one of my notebook hard drives when it started getting sloppy on read/writes and the high error rates slowed access times to a crawl. To this day, I regularly use a 10 year old Sony Vaio notebook (which has been running flawlessly with a Seagate 750 GB Hybrid that I put in it, when they first came out) and a 7 year old Acer Aspire (which has been running great with a Seagate 500 GB Hybrid that I put in it, when those first came out).

But - a little over a year ago, I "cut-the-cable" and connected a G-Drive mobile 750Gb drive to a digital tuner and digital antenna, to record local over-the-air TV shows and movies. Last week, it quit... ALREADY! (While it spins up fine, the controller has failed.) Of all my hard drives, this was the only one spinning 24/7 (writing an average of 3 hrs/day, reading 2 hrs/day, but mainly spinning mindlessly 19 hrs/day). This was the only one that I don't keep backed up, as TV programming always comes around again. But, a hard drive lasting LESS than 2 years was a tad surprising.. even to me! (Am replacing it with a Samsung 2 TB SSD this week.)

If there's a moral hidden anywhere here, I suppose it might be "Assume nothing and back up everything that's important to you."

Posted by:

06 Aug 2017

Bob,I was all set invest in the I-Drive 1 until I got to the part of a monthly commitment for a cloud service I do not really need. I stopped with term and conditions. If that fine piece of hardware does not come without or work without the cloud service, then this is really no bargain at all. I might as well just get an external drive and relocate my modem where I am having signal strength problems.

Your article was very sound and appreciated as always. Thanks, PMW

EDITOR'S NOTE: The cloud service is optional, and you will owe nothing more if you cancel it within the first 12 months. Of course, the IDrive is yours to keep if you don't want the cloud service, and it can be used with any backup software you like.

Posted by:

Lady Fitzgerald
07 Aug 2017

@Jim Rapp I so totally agree with you! I abominate CAPTCHAs with a purple passion, even the ones where you click on pictures. Those misbegotten things can range from fairly easy to downright impossible to solve. I would like to meet the sadist who invented the evil things and have a "discussion" with him.

I recently registered to a product help forum and it took me over twenty minutes to come up with a password to meet their excessively paranoid security standards and to get past the despicable picture CAPTCHA (mostly, the latter).

Posted by:

15 Oct 2017

Hi Bob, a very interesting article. Purchased my ASUS K52F laptop in August 2011 and haven't experienced any hard drive problems and the laptop is programmed to do automatic backups.

Some time last year, the CD-ROM wouldn't read the capacity of CD's/DVD's, but played them OK.
After reading up on the internet on how to repair the matter, which was to spray the disc player with CO Contact Cleaner, a supposedly precision electronic cleaning solvent. Yeah sure, the CD-ROM wouldn't play at all after that, had to go out and buy a portable disc player. So much for the expert help on the 'net'. I should have replied back to the author of that recommended repair and told him, his method cost me the use of my disc player.

When my portable disc player finally stops reading the capacity of my CD's/DVD's, I'll read and note down the capacity of each file on the disc, tally up the total to see how much disc space used up, which I should have done when using my original in-built CD/DVD player.

OK, won't bore you with too much more and sorry to have wandered off the hard drive topic. May you have a nice day.

Cheers, Rok.

Posted by:

22 Dec 2018

My *only* experience with Western Digital (WD) was miserable as well as expensive. Just a week after the warranty expired, the drive "died," taking all data with it. I was younger and less experienced then, but now I have more than one backup device and manually backup on a more-or-less regular schedule but not both devices at the same time: overlapping protection. WD: you like it? You can have it. Combined with Hitachi or whatever, I won't trust my data to WD ever again.

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