Study: Hard drives have short life span
A Russian data recovery firm took a look at failure rates in HDDs. Here's what you should know.
When choosing new hardware for your system, upgrading the hard drive doesn't have the same fun factor as adding high-end performance memory
or a brand-new graphics card. In fact, many of us take our data storage for granted — until we lose it.
Make no mistake: reliable storage is paramount. A recent study by Storelab, a data recovery business based in Russia, was the subject of a recent article on the Tom's Hardware website, a favorite Web destination by the Memory Experts at Crucial.
Storelab's study, which looks at hard disk drives and why they fail, provides new insight into the old problem of hard drive failure.
About the study
Storelab testers evaluated the hard drives they received for data recovery and analyzed the economical cost of HDD failures. The study looked at more than 4,000 2.5" and 3.5" hard drives; analysis was made during the recovery process.
The failure findings
The lifespan of most HDDs was only 2.5 to four years, thanks to failure rates. The most common failure was the wedging of the drive's axle — a worst case scenario, as it makes date recovery difficult, if not impossible. Axles become wedged thanks to defective fluid bearings, a common sign of aging.
Poor hard drive design also played a role. For instance, if the manufacturer didn't secure the hard drive axle with a separate screw to the drive cover, the drives had a higher failure rate. Damage was also caused by the read/write heads falling onto moving platters. If the two come in contact, the platters become so severely scratched that the hard drive is rendered unusable.
The study, which is admittedly small in scope, spells out flaws related to specific manufacturers and average lifespan of their respective hard drives. Read the full Tom's Hardware synopsis.
Avoid the inevitable
With no moving parts, the Crucial Solid State Drive is the ideal alternative to the traditional hard drive. Rugged, temperature-resistant, and quiet — the Memory Experts at Crucial suggest replacing a HDD with an SSD to avoid the kinds of failures associated with mechanical drives. Learn more about Crucial SSDs.