Average lifespan of a Hard Drive.

By GTGear ยท 7 replies
Jun 5, 2006
  1. Well, Today, while running various diagnostic test on my HDDs what was the average lifespan of a HDD? I've had both of mine for 4 years, next week it'll be 5 and I have YET to encounter any problems with them. I've ran test on them and they both pass with flying colors. Maybe I'm one of the lucky ones. How long do HDDs usually last?
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    I think for most, they outlast the usefulness of the computer they're on! I'd guess on average 5-6 years. Heat is the real killer of HDs.
  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Any averages for hard drives are useless - unlike "normal" devices, the failure times are very spread out for hard drives. The thing can fail you tomorrow and they can fail sometime after 10 years. You can't even trust these tests - they can discover some signs of impending doom, but there's always the possibility of the HD bailing out suddenly.

    There is nothing unusual about hard drives being DOA and there is nothing unusual about hard drives in perfect condition manufactured in the early 90s..
  4. altheman

    altheman TS Rookie Posts: 425

    Two SMART failures for me in 6 months on a new drive :( , my 7 year old HD still going strong :confused: :confused:
  5. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,168   +986

    the statistical reference is MTBF: Mean Time Between Failures.
    It assumes a 100% duty cycle; ie always powered on. Server systems
    approach this, but normal PC users power up and down regularly
    (a good practice if only to POST check the hardware and auto run chkdsk!)

    The numbers quoted (5years) is the the norm for small PC HDs. Professional
    main frames approach 99 years!

    RAID controllers were implemented precisely to address the MTBF=5.

    All that said, I still have an 120MB SCSI drive from 1989 which hums along
    happily. I've also seen new HDs fail within a week :(
  6. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    my 6 yr old scsi's work fine I sell them off when the noise gets me crazy
    I ran server for over yr and half with a oem maxtor when I turned it off it died a happy death.
    sata tech seems new to me so maybe the drives are a little buggy.
    watch seagate they are leader in new tech for drives
    as stated by someone ,keep it cool and it will go and go like the bunny does
    maxtor tech told me 5 yrs avg. for there retail drives ohoh
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Of course, the MTBF or lifetimes for consumer drives are calculated assuming "office" use - running 8 hours a day with only a small load (the drive idles most of the time). Enterprise-class (SCSI) lifetimes are calculated assuming 24/7 uptime and near 100% utilisation.
  8. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Posts: 716

    This depends on quality and use.

    I have had my hdd for around 7 yrs and is still doing just great. I use it about 3 hrs a day. Sometimes the older ones are better quality than the new ones due to cheaper manufacturing alternatives.


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