I see and have posted in numerous posts where people ask which hard drive is best (i.e. lasts the longest) and get shocked when it fails or say "Never buy XXX drive, because I had 2 out of 3 fail after xx years", ignoring the tens or hundreds of thousands of that identical drive in use that haven't failed. I can count on two hands and probably one, the number of truly bad hard drive models that are proven to be highly failure prone. And many of the companies that made those bad models are no longer in the hard drive business.
I understand the cost of hard drives are expensive, but the cost per GB is lower than any other storage medium. Back in the days of floppies, no one with any sanity expected their disks to last forever. Even some optical media (pressed or burned) with claims of a 100-1000 year lifespans are failing far before the claims. So why do people expect hard drives to last decades and fail to properly back them up? The manufacturers, with their extensive research and knowledge give a max 5 year warranty on their top of the line drives. Surely they know something that people fail to accept. Hard drives aren't a permanent use or storage medium, just as floppies and optical media aren't either. Backup, backup, backup on different media and swap them out for new floppies, disks or hard drives as often as you can.
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Probably for the same deep seated psychological reasons we all think we are going to live forever. The human condition methinks...BeyonWiz T3 PVR ~ Popcorn A-500 ~ Samsung ES8000 65" LED TV ~ Windows 7 64bit ~ Yamaha RX-A1070 ~ QnapTS851-4G
Some hard drives seem to suffer from the "human condition". There's an old Pentium 3 PC here that's used daily for playing basic games, and the 20GB hard drive installed has outlived two PCs.
Almost every day I expect to discover this hard drive has died. It's spent most of it's life lying on the floor on it's side, connected by SATA/power cables hanging out the back of one of the PCs. If I was only using it a few hours per day, it probably would last decades. It's been running for just under eight years now, continuously for much of the time.
Last edited by hello_hello; 9th Dec 2018 at 07:21.
The oldest drive I'm actively using right now is a 1.5TB one from 2011 with 20K hours. I currently have it in my main PC running 24/7 and expect it to die any day, but Crystaldiskinfo says everything's fine. On the other hand, I had a new drive die after less than a year. Just never know.
Somewhere I have several 40GB IDE drives that worked the last time I used them years ago.
Yeah, in my experience hard drives tend to die in their infancy or last a fair length of time. Not that it's a strict rule or anything, but over the last eight years or so I think I've only had three drives die. One WD 2TB drive died just before the end of it's two year warranty, but it was only used for backing up data so it probably only had weeks of uptime, if that much. The second one was a Seagate external drive I bought for my nephew that died within a couple of months. The third one... the cat knocked it off my desk while it was running.
Before then, I think I was averaging about 2 years with lots of use. That was almost a good thing back then, as it was a reason to replace them with something larger. Maybe drives have become more reliable over time, although I haven't owned enough to form a scientific conclusion.
That's not counting the two Seagate 500MB drives I bought with firmware problems. I had to return both three times before I ended up with two that appear they might last. I still don't use them for any data I'm not prepared to lose, and by the time I had a working pair I didn't really need them any more, as I'd given up and bought drives to replace them.
Hard drives can be vicious though. The drive I was using for backups that died with little usage... it stopped working during the couple of days I was reshuffling files around, so for a day or so some of those files were only on that drive. Naturally, that's when it died. I'd never trust a drive completely, no matter how old it is.
20k hours isn't too over the top. If my maths is correct that's around 2.2 years of usage.
I just checked an old WD 500MB drive I still use via a USB dock now and then (to store backups). It's been running for a total of 3.7 years. I should have three more with similar mileage as they were installed in two PCs at the same time, and I'm pretty sure they were all replaced with larger drives at the same time. They could very well last another ten years given how little I use them these days.
Last edited by hello_hello; 9th Dec 2018 at 07:47.
I've a backup HDD from 2003 and 2 more backups from this one that I store inside a safe in my bank, just in case my house burn down, get robbed, who knows. My backup drives last this long because they are used for backup proposes only. I only had one bad experience with a HDD and was a Seagate ST3400620AS 400 GB 7200RPM, I had to replace the main board and it was just the time to get important stuff out and it died for good. I also have some backup files on the cloud, all encrypted.
This backups has family memories, family recordings (audio and video), old photographs scanned from strip of films and negatives, nothing else, I got crazy about this backups because I use to back this up on CDR's in the late 90's (CDR's would last 100 years or more they said, yeah right), one day I needed something and it was all gone, some I could recover from backups I did on M.O. Discs, Kodak Photo CD's but the majority of it was gone.
I remember one WD 20GB drive many years ago. When it died, I wasn't as OCD about making backups as I am now. Fortunately though, it'd work for a bit when it was cold, so every morning I wrapped it in plastic and put it in the freezer for 15 minutes, then plugged it into the PC. It'd sit there making odd noises until I gave it a tap on the desk, then it'd spin up and let my copy files for 5 minutes or so before Windows would complain about errors. I think I did that four or five days in a row and managed to get all the data off.
The problem with optical discs is they were mostly crap quality. I haven't burned many CDs but before hard drive space got cheap I backed up to DVD discs regularly. I was quite OCD about checking the burn quality and only using Verbatim discs with the Mitsubishi die (or the good Taiyo Yuden discs if I could get them). Last time I had to copy files off one they were still working, but DVDs have better error correction, so maybe that helps. I've never trusted CDs for data, but the most commonly used die for DVDs (and probably CDs) back then was CMC Magnetics and Ritek (at least where I am). Neither of which were particularly reliable. Fake media IDs weren't that uncommon either.
This is DVD specific (and probably quite old). I never investigated CDs specifically.
I still have some media from 1996/1997 made of cyanine dye, have some blue(ish) TDK media still works to this day, the problems stated with golden phthalocyanine dyes, I had a 100 pin backup gone in a matter of 6 months, the dye was from CMC Magnetics. Latter I've discover that the dye is very sensitive to UV light.
So far I've had 3 HDDs die in my life. One was a 20GB drive that I found in the trash many years ago (that worked) and more recently tried to boot it up, but it had a moth on the PCB control board and the moth shorted it, buring a chip. Had a 150GB drive I bought new that recently die due to me overloading an already sketchy PSU. Finally I killed a laptop HDD by leaving it plugged into a computer via USB for a year or more and it's now a barely working 500GB zombie drive. Overall I've been lucky that most of what was lost was of little worth.
I have a 700GB, 7200k Hitachi going on more than 3,000 days (72k hours). It's a tank.
I have a 2.5" IBM hdd made in mid 1990's, made in Hungary! Still works, but at 3.7 gigs, pretty much useless, but I keep it around for nastalgia.
(worked last time I plugged it in, a few years ago)Cranky Old Man
I had an IBM 75GXP that suffered a horrible death, like so many of them did.
On the otherhand, I have a Maxtor 92048u8 (2GB) that I used for a PC I built in 1999
that is still in service in an old XP box that I fire up 2 or 3 times a year
I have about 40 HDDs in use at present in my servers and PCs. It's been about 2 years since I've had a HDD failure. I had quite a few more in the past. Drive reliability seems to have improved. I use WD drives and a few Hitachi drives., mostly 1 - 4TB. I do have a few Maxtor 40GB and 80GB PATA drives that are still OK, but really no use for them.
I used to backup the drive data to DVD DL, then BD DL media, but I finally gave up on the optical media as it was taking up a lot of room and now I use external WD drives. Just videos on the drives, so I'm not much worried about loss.
Important data is backed up in a couple of locations.