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How long do disk drives last?

Backblaze: How long do disk drives last? The short answer is: we don’t know yet, but it’s longer than you might guess. Why does a company that keeps more than 25,000 disk drives spinning all the time not know how long they last? Backblaze has been providing reliable and unlimited online backup for over five years. For the past four years, we’ve had enough drives to provide good statistics, but 74% of the drives we buy are living longer than four years. So while 26% of drives fail in their first four years, and we have detailed information about the failure rates of drives in their first four years, we don’t yet know what will happen beyond that. So how long do drives last? Keep reading.

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badz1492935d ago

I bought a Maxtor 80GB HDD for my 1st (my own) PC back in 2002 in Japan and I still use it as a partition in my PC now! it has been over 11 years and it's still going strong.

can't say that this is true for all HDD though as from my experience of over 30 HDDs, internal and external, they tend to live longer the more frequent it is turned on. bought 2 250GB Buffalo externals in 2005 but I literally forgot about them, tried to launch it again this year after 5 years since the last time I turn them on, both are dead! - along with the contents! same with a 400GB external I bought in Australia in 2007, tried to turn it on this year (after 4 years), same story, DEAD! my 60GB from the original PS3 still going strong in my PC too after I swapped it with a 500GB.

so...seems like, the more you use them, the longer they last!

GuyThatPlaysGames2935d ago

I agree. I've had the same HDD in my laptop going on 7 years now and it still works fine. Never in my life have I or anyone in my family had a HDD problem.

-Gespenst-2935d ago

That's weird, you'd think more usage would wear down the mechanical components quicker. Owning external hard drives is so stressful.

GameSpawn2934d ago

Drive life varies greatly between different drive manufacturers. If you get more than 5 years out of ANY conventional HDD, you're doing good.

But there are many factors that can have an effect on your drive's lifespan, from constant up-time, start & stops (both from standby and full power up and downs), heat, time powered off, etc.

I have had the best experience with enterprise class hard drives from Seagate and Western Digital that are designed to be on for long periods of time, constantly be accessed, and put up well with high ambient temperatures. I would advise against ANY hard drive labeled "Green" or Western Digital's "Blue" series of drives as they are utter crap and I have personally seen many die within a few months of use -- these are consumer level "cheap" drives by the way.

I also avoid manufacturers such as Toshiba and Hitachi as they are always the "low bids" for computer manufacturers and tend to be very poor quality drives that don't stand up well to access and heat abuse that well used drives experience.

HGST is a new one I've seen cropping up in computers that we repair and I'm iffy about their quality one way or the other for now (I haven't seen enough failed to make judgement).

Melankolis2934d ago

True i had problem with Toshiba external HDD, but on the other hand mine and other millions of PS3 have Toshiba HDD installed. And mine is doing fine.

And Hitachi (HGST) is my favourite right now.

Oddly, several years ago i asked my friend, "what do you think is the best HDD?" he replied, "Seagate"

Then "what broken HDD you see the most"? he replied, "Seagate"

SnakeCQC2935d ago

3 years or so more if you're lucky and less if you're not.

cyclindk2934d ago

4 years RUNTIME or 4 years and however much they happened to be running during that period?

Dark_king2934d ago

the oldest one I have is 14 years old and still runs fine small as hell though(10 gigs).

Melankolis2934d ago

40 GB Seagate Barracuda since 2001.
120 GB Hitachi Travelstar since 2008.