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How long do your hard drives last?

By Slayer_ ·
I had this thought last night, my original drive in my original server was a 3gig, and it still works, this is from 1997. My current 40 gig drive I got in 2002, so that makes it 7 years old, my 120gig HDD in my gaming machine is 6 years old and my 320 gig drive is 5 years old. The 10 gig drive in my current server is 12 years old.
And they are all working perfectly, a SMART test on them shows them all well within limits. They all have 90+ fitness and 90+ performance. (except the 3 gig which has a high read error count, but no bad clusters and no write errors)

Then there is my HP laptop, that is two years old, with a 100 gb HDD, and it has 120 remapped clusters and only shows 60% fitness and 80% performance. The BIOS test shows the drive as ready to fail.

I remember back in school, they told us the average life expentency of a hard drive is 7 years.
And yet, my highest activty drives, are lasting the longest, while my low activity drive (laptop) is rappidly dying an earily death.

So what gives? Is quality of drives dropping? My newest drive is also my first one dead??? (to be fair, it has been claiming it is going to die for the last 14 months, and still hasn't died)

I recently bought a Lacie portable HDD, 750 gig, it is almost a year old now, and although it checks out good in the SMART test, I just have to wonder if it will suffer the same fate as the laptop drive.

What have your experiences with hard drives been like?

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Laptop Drives

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to How long do your hard dri ...

tend to be smaller so right from the start, they have more clusters, cylinders, etc. on a smaller surface...add to the fact that they are portable & get moved around a lot while in use...that doesn't help the HDD much either (when was the last time you were carrying your server around the room while it was running....or a desktop for that matter).

My laptop drives always die first....if I get 4 years I'm happy....but like you, I have old drives that have been in use for 12 - 13 years....but they don't get moved while their running.

Just my opinion though.

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kicked my server once, right off the stand.

by Slayer_ In reply to Laptop Drives

Fell about 2 feet while it was running. Blew the case right off, CPU fan and heatsink blew apart, powersupply bent the case from the weight. Everything survived. (old 3gig server).

But it is definitly true a laptop goes through more abuse, I have an older laptop from 1999 that is still perfect HDD wise.

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Laptop

by Jellimonsta In reply to How long do your hard dri ...

I think you are more likely to find the issue is due to the laptop HDD being it is a laptop drive, and not so much that it is a 'newer' HDD.

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so your saying

by Slayer_ In reply to Laptop

All your newer HDD's all performing well and have no issues. I haven't even moved to SATA yet, still running IDE drives.

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SATA vs IDE

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to so your saying

I have had more touble with SATA than IDE...In the last 5 years, we've probably had about 2 bad IDE & 5 or 6 SATA (when they first started getting popular). I think the SATA are pretty stable now but the big ones make me a little nervous about what I keep on them... I have a 1 TB I use as a portable with USB... it's been good so far.

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USB drives

by The Scummy One In reply to SATA vs IDE

USB (both SATA and IDE) drives do not seem to last as long for several reasons. Often, they are moved/touted around and this can help cause loss of life. Often they are removed without the 'safely remove HW' option which can help corrupt the drives as well. And the other problem, is that the cases often do not have proper fans/ventilation because they are made for looking good and being quiet. This causes excessive heat from them which, ultimately decreases it's lifespan. However, if treated well, even they should last for several years (4+)

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Hmm good to know

by Slayer_ In reply to USB drives

I won't rely to heavly on my Lacie then as a backup medium. But I am getting midly conerned that my two primary drives are approaching their predtict lifespans, and from a home use standpoint, they are both mission critical and have a **** load of irreplacable files on them.

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Short to medium term backups

by The Scummy One In reply to Hmm good to know

on a USB drive should be quite safe. However, for important data, you should also have another backup copy -- such as DVD

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Im waiting for next great disc format

by Slayer_ In reply to Short to medium term back ...

DVD is too small, i got 300gb of data to backup (seriously).

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I have lots too

by The Scummy One In reply to Short to medium term back ...

in fact, I just picked up a 1.5 terabyte drive and it looks like I may need another :0

However, this USB drive is for backup/archive of things that I alerady have elsewhere. So, since my other drives are healthy, and this drive is healthy, I likely wont need to use cd/dvd for backup retention anytime soon.
Also note: these backups are not holding anything that I would consider irreplaceable or important. So if I lose both copies -- oops.

For information that you have, it may be better to get a network storage system that will house several drives and mirror them.

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