How Long Do Hard Drives Last


Nearly every computing device, regular individual’s use will be based around a hard drive to store data.

While technology changes, and there is a slow move toward solid-state drives in lower-priced computers and laptops. The humble hard drive is still as popular as ever.

You can ask a few questions because hard drives are used in a few different areas. You find them on laptops, computers, and external hard drives. Usage may vary, and trying to find out how long do hard drives last can be harder to calculate.

Here, we will look at all angles and hard drive types to find out the average hard drive lifespan.

Hard Drive Lifespan

Life Span of Hard Drives

To find out how long your hard disk will last depending on the make and model, has become more accessible. Thanks to the online backup service company BackBlaze; all this information is readily available.

They monitor the failure rates of over 25,000 hard drives that are running. So far, their results conclude that 80% disk drives will last for 4-years, and 90% will last for 3-years. In the results, the make and model can influence this.

Analyzing the results shows three distinct areas where you find hard drive failure. Defects in the manufacturing process account for 5%. Following this is an annual failure rate of 1% because of a very random fault.

Once your drive reaches over twelve months, you then begin to see the failures at three years as the moving parts of the hard drives start to wear out.

You can conclude, if you have a brand new hard drive and it lasts longer than one year, you are then looking at 36 months before you may face issues.

As in the results of the online backup company state, the failure rate falls in line with the warranty period, or just outside it.

Is My Hard Drive Failing?

Because drives can fail in these three areas, the symptoms you see can occur at any time.

You may notice frequent slowdowns of your computer, or there are unexplained freezes when doing regular things.

These are very subtle, yet if you see an error message from your operating system about corrupted data or bad sectors, this is a sure sign you have a problem.

You should note some of the symptoms could be caused by malware installation or viruses as well as shutting down your computer in the wrong manner.

If you don’t experience any of the above symptoms, yet you start to hear a clicking or grinding sound coming from your disk or device, this is the first sign you are close to a physical drive failure.

If this occurs, you need to power off your system in the correct manner and get prepared to back up your data as fast as possible, if you haven’t already done so.

HDD versus SDD

Hard Disk Drives vs. Solid State Drives

Solid-state is the newer form of data storage medium. Where an HDD writes data directly to a spinning platter, they are susceptible to failure of these intricate parts. It is this reason the lifespan of a hard drive can be far less than that of SSDs.

SSDs are like physical memory and don’t use any moving parts. They do, though, use flash technology that can retain data rather than losing it. While being a bit more expensive to purchase, they are more reliable.

If these start failing, you may spot some symptoms the same, although if they do fail, they can do so without warning.

However, if you are looking, how long does SSD last? You can find they last a long time in comparison.

SSD’s have a limited number of read and writes, yet the models now allow for 700TB (Terabyte) of data. SSD’s come with warranties of three to five years, but a theoretical life of up to 50 years, though this has yet to be tested, as the technology isn’t that old yet.

How Long Does a Laptop Last?

Many individuals own laptops because of their portability. However, for an average user, the kind of laptop they purchase can come with average parts inside.

While some of the components can last for years, you tend to find the HDD is one of the weakest areas. How long do hard drives last in laptops? An average laptop usually sees its end of life after two to three years.

While they are not built around the HDD, a laptop is made to be replaceable, and once things go wrong, it is not always easy to fix them.

A laptop tends to age more than fail. They get to the stage where new operating systems run slow, and it instead forces you into upgrading your machine.

What to Do With a Failing Hard Drive?

There is no real indication when your HDD or SSD will fail, so you must take precautionary measures to protect your data.

One of the easiest is to use an external hard drive. You can find these useful, yet at some stage, they will start to show the same failure symptoms as a regular HDD. Besides, if you hardly use them, the components inside can lose their lubrication.

A good cloud storage option can be a lifesaver as these enable you to access your data from anywhere and on any device.

Enterprise firms tend to have built in redundancy for HDD failure, so under most circumstances, you are protected.

If you are worried about security and hackers, then that is an entirely different story altogether.

If you find your HDD has failed, either by a physical or logical failure, then you need the assistance of a data recovery professional.

A logical failure can be easier to recover your data, yet the physical ones need professionals who have the skills to work with broken HDDs.

Before that ever happens, use whatever means you have at your disposal to back up at least one copy of all your important data.

How Long Do Hard Drives Last

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