Hard Drive Question
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Thread: Hard Drive Question

  1. #1
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    Hard Drive Question

    I was just wondering how long do computer hard drives last for ? 5,10,15,20 years or more ? What signs does your computer give out to you that your hard drive is on the verge of dying ? Just 2 simple questions that have been on my mind.
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  2. #2
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    Well I have a hard drive from a computer that was bought around 1990 Its a 2 GB drive I think, and it still runs strong. I believe that it all depends on how you treat the drive. I.e. Cold, hot, etc. I wouldn't be suprised to see a hard drive last 20 years.

    As far as telling when its going bad? Well most of the time, you can't tell. One day it works, and the next day its dead. trust me I know. lol The only way to prevent complete data loss is to back up. Now if you start to hear clicking coming from the computer then you probably need to start looking for a new HD. lol
    =

  3. #3
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    I still have Hd's 10 yrs old that work ok..

    failures :
    many times a drive will start "clunking" or other strange noises.. time to back up the data..
    other times, no noises will occur but you start getting more and more bad clusters when doing a scan.
    that's when I grab my copy of "spinrite" from grc.com and let it do it's magic..
    I've fixed a number of drives with this tool..
    can't say how long it will go before I need to run it again.. haven't had to yet..

  4. #4
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    The other reason that I asked this question is because I have an old computer maybe about 8 years old.Well when I booted it up and was opening and closing windows I heard something in the computer go "hurmmm",which sound like real low humming noices. So my first thought was humm this things gonna die but I am pretty sure that it will soon who knows when though. So there isn't an actual time set as to how long a hard drive would last ? Now would it be possible for a hard drive to last 100 years ?
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  5. #5
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    Some times when you hear that low pitched noise, thats just the disk spinning fast.

    I have a couple disks that do that.

    It might not be a bad idea to back it up though.
    =

  6. #6
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    Now would it be possible for a hard drive to last 100 years ?
    yes.. if you never plugged it in and kept it in a sealed bag.. LOL

    no, honestly.. as with anything that has mechanical parts.. in this case a motor and bearings, armature parts.. etc.. they will fail from getting "worn out" ....

    I've got a 50 yr old water pump for a 1952 oldsmoblie that still works.. how many more years do you think I can get out of that ? hehehehe... I'll tell ya.. if I don't use it much, I'll get another 50.

  7. #7
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Hi Agent,

    I guess a drive can last 20 years, I have one that age that still works, but it does not get used very much.

    The real killer is heat, particularly with the newer 7200rpm drives. Quite a few people upgrade their HDD and do not upgrade their cooling/ventilation...........that is a big mistake

    Modern BIOS and drives have a self checking capability so you get a warning if the drive is on its way out.

    For older drives you should do a surface scan on a regular basis. And make sure you have backups. As soon as you start getting bad clusters that's your warning.

    Cheers

  8. #8
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
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    A while ago, I got to witness a debate on HDs whether it was better to keep them up and spinning or was it better to turn them off when not needed.

    For keeping them up:
    No torque stress in the spin up or slow down. This is supposedly better for the mechanical parts. Also if you keep them running the heat/cooling will stabilize and this will stop unequal expansion/contraction of dissimilar materials the drive is built of.

    For shutting them down:
    Saves energy. Mechanical parts do wear out eventually from use.
    ddddc

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  9. #9
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    who won the debate ?

    if you don't get spikes/crappy power killing the components.. the mechanical parts will fail first.

    heat.. usage.. abusiveness take their tolls on anything in life.

  10. #10
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    Agent_Steal
    I was curious so I checked some of the specs I have on file to see what the manufacturers say.

    Maxtor shows a "Component Design Life" of 5 years. Seagate has a "Service Life" of 5 years as well. I thought Western Digital used to show something similar, but I couldn't find anything on my backup disks. So . . . it sort of looks like you SHOULD expect a hard drive to last at least 5 years. But, as with anything, if you don't take care of it . . . it won't take care of you. If you follow the advice most hardware manuals give regarding surface scans and defragmenting (run full scan/defragment once a week - which of course will vary depending on your OS and may not be needed that often) plus keep your overall system cool by cleaning out the dust and crap that builds up every six months as well as having adequate fans set up for your system . . . you'll get a lot more life out of your hard drives.

    V.
    All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

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