What Is The Useful Life Of A Hard Drive?

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by Glenn Holland, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. Glenn Holland

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 26, 2014
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    I have an HP laptop from 2011 and I would like to know how long the hard drive should last before it fails.

    The computer has been used only at my desk all the time since 2011 and it hasn't even been moved from that spot. Therefore, it hasn't been subject to any physical disturbance that would damage anything including the hard drive. All of my files have been backed up with a triple redundant collection of USB sticks, but I would like to predict when the drive will go kapputts.
     
  2. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I don't see how anyone can possibly give you a definitive answer.
    I have 3 lap tops, a Dell and 2 HP, and these must be at least 12 to 15 years in use at least, maybe more, no HD changed yet.
    Max.
     
  3. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    It depends. I had a 5-1/4 SCSI drive that ran at least 7 hours a day at work in a Mac that was still working at 17 years. Power protection was a OneAC power conditioner and an ISOBAR surge suppressor. That combination did very well. A floppy failure in the MAC+some dust. Floppy failures in the 8" floppy drives before that. Before the addition of the surge suppression equipment, all sorts of failures happened. About $1100.00 USD to protect 1 KVA of load.

    Server drives are meant to last longer by design. 2.5" Toshiba laptop drives were horrible.
     
  4. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    Use server enterprise grade drives for the best reliability. For every critical computer we use SCSI. The are several programs on the market (SMART software) that reads the error prediction data on enterprise grade drives so you can swap a redundant RAID drive out before it fails.

    For Linux system (most of what I build at work) I use: http://www.smartmontools.org/
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  5. MrCarlos

    Active Member

    Jan 2, 2010
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  6. Glenn Holland

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 26, 2014
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    I don't know the actual manufacturer of the drive itself.

    It's in an HP laptop (made in China as usual) bought in 2011 and someone that's worked on HP products would know the answer.
     
  7. MrCarlos

    Active Member

    Jan 2, 2010
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    Hi Glenn Holland

    Well, it's not so important to know the manufacturer of the hard drive that has your computer.

    The purpose of my question was for you to notice that according to the manufacturer is the average time it could fail.

    In other words: What degree of confidence (reliability) you may have On a hard disk.
    reliability or confidence expressed in numbers.

    There is no absolute number in these cases, there are only averages failures through the time.

    20 years is a good time to replace a hard drive.
    But. . . Probably in 20 years, not more fabricated such hard drive.
     
  8. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
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    You can generally look up the HD model in the device manager in Windows.
     
  9. tjohnson

    Active Member

    Dec 23, 2014
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    See this thread and the article that it references.
    [​IMG]
    You never know when your HD might fail, which is why the importance of backing up all of your data cannot be emphasized enough. My HD failed unexpectedly after less than 18 months of use.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  10. joeyd999

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jun 6, 2011
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    The likelihood of a drive failure increases in proportion to the value of your data.

    It also increases in proportion to time since the last backup.

    The drive will fail as soon as a cost-effective replacement cannot be found.
     
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  11. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    I have 12 year old HDD still works fine but has slow spin up time most likely beacuse of worn off bearings.I bought a new HDD which died after 2 years.Sometimes I think that they make stuff break after guarantee expires.
     
  12. eetech00

    Active Member

    Jun 8, 2013
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    really can't predict when it will fail. You can only guess based on the manufacturer/seller statistical reliability data, MTBF spec (Mean Time Between Failure) or, for Seagate, AFR spec (Annualized Failure Rate).
     
  13. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    Here is the output of the Linux smart program monitor for this computers OS system drive.
    Smaller capacity SCSI drive for easy OS backup
    The cut/paste screwed up the data label formating.

    This is what a still good old drive looks like on a system that's not critical but very old at the house.
    A Quantum Fireball is a dinosaur.
    Power_On_Hours 0x0012 001 001 001 Old_age Always FAILING_NOW 91650

    10.5 years of runtime!

     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2015
  14. GopherT

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 23, 2012
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    Why are SCSI drives believed to be better for critical information?
     
  15. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    Here's a quick document that shows the difference in drive types. My comments were for not just SCSI but they have traditionally been more reliable because most are designed for non-desktop use today with extra capabilities utilized by advanced drive controllers usually not seen on a desktop computer.

    http://download.intel.com/support/m...e_class_versus_desktop_class_hard_drives_.pdf
     
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  16. Natakel

    Well-Known Member

    Oct 11, 2008
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    Like others have said here, it's not possible to give a definitive answer to your question. I have had platter drives last for a decade, and I have had platter drives crap out after a few years. With any manufactured product, there is a percentage of output that fails due to a manufacturing defect, inferior materials, and/or just plain random chance.

    About the best you can do is research the reliability of your particular brand, model, and manufacture date of hard drive and factor in collected data for an informed estimate of the real world reliability rate of it. After 18 years of dealing with platter hard drives I can say I prefer Seagate Barracuda drives for performance and longevity . . . but there are those who would say they are not reliable. I would say the same for Hitachi drives (not dissing them - this is based on my personal observations of an admitted small sample of drives). I have a Seagate Barracuda drive that has run for a decade, more or less, without issue . . . though I did retire it since it started making a random "click" sound, which is not a good sign, even though it suffered no measurable performance degradation. I currently have or am observing over 30 Seagate drives.

    Hedge your bets. Back up your hard drive on a regular basis. But, by and large the modern hard drive is a safe bet.
     
  17. eetech00

    Active Member

    Jun 8, 2013
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    That was true back in the days of SCSI vs IDE. That's no longer true anymore. SCSI HD is no longer used in high reliability systems. SAS, SATA or SSD is used today.
     
  18. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
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    Parallel SCSI is a legacy system that's still in use and SAS -> Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is still SCSI. The block device abstraction in Linux is SCSI so all harddrives (SATA , etc ...) are seen internally by drivers as SCSI.

    Buying Enterprise hardware is the key.
     
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