Hard Drive Technologies

Reviews, Guides, Tips and Recovery of Hard Disk Drive Data

Hard Drive Life Expectancy

April 12, 2018 Jon 14 Comments

Hard Drive Life Expectancy

Why hard drives fail, and how to extend their life expectancy, including a range of free utilities for HDD care.

This video is a follow-up to my previous show on SSD Life Expectancy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XZNr7mS0iw

Links to the utilities shown in the video are as follows. I have no connection to any of the involved organizations.

WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostic for Windows (also SMART utility):

Open Hardware Monitor (for monitoring temperatures):

CrystalDiskInfo (SMART utility):

HD Tune (SMART utility):

Hard Disk Sentinel (SMART utility):

DiskFresh (data fade prevention):

More videos on computing-related topics can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/explainingcomputers

You may also like my ExplainingTheFuture channel at: http://www.youtube.com/explainingthefuture

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  1. awuma
    April 12, 2018 - 6:38 am

    Very good basic introduction to hard drives. I would add that reliability greatly increased at least twenty years ago, though I've had a fair share of failures. I have had some drives running continuously for up to thirteen years. A 1GB system drive ran on a Linux server from 1995 to 2008 (with one CPU/MB upgrade during that time, and various Linux system upgrades). After sitting in storage it still ran again in 2014. Another server (a Sun 386i) ran from 1988 for about ten years. One of the characteristics of Unix-like systems is that they frequently rearrange data (a kind of defragmenting), so fade is not that great a problem. Different story, of course, for the external backup drives.

    I still don't have any SSD's!

  2. H**lfire The Yin and Yang
    April 12, 2018 - 7:22 am

    my hard drive lasting for 5 years now and i treat it like running away from a bee

  3. Aop Stoar
    April 12, 2018 - 8:06 am

    What would you recommend if you only intend to write to a disc, collecting data from the internet. That is never rewriting data, only adding to a database and finally copy all that data to a new drive when it is full or is about to die. Should a modern SSD outlast an old rotating disc? I have recently had two hard drives die. One was rotating from 2012 and the other SSD from 2010.

  4. ap xpandy
    April 12, 2018 - 8:55 am

    Another great vido – Thanks!

  5. lostcub
    April 12, 2018 - 9:42 am

    This may seem weird, but hard drive coolers can cause failure too. Many think the cooler the hard drive the longer it will last, but it's been shown time and time again Temperatures below 20 will kill it fast. The best temperature is 40 and NEVER start your PC when room temperatures are in the 60s F as it may not boot. worse, it may never start up if the room temperature is in the 50s F! Maintaining 40 C as much as possible can let them run for many years. So don't start freaking out if your drive is 42 and 30 should make you nervous. Why is this? it keeps the lubs nice and slick, if it gets too cold it can burn out the motors even faster than 60 C.

    Of course, I remember a time when it was believed HDD were the worse archiving media. However, time has shown it may be the best. A HDD stored in a safe place doesn't fail like Floppys and even oxidating CD-R. And you can store lots of data on them too.

  6. David Sucesso
    April 12, 2018 - 10:39 am

    Lol good video… 🙂 common mistake on your label Formated NTFS: 1.81 GB should be 1.81 TB off course lol

  7. Javier Hernandez
    April 12, 2018 - 10:57 am

    Just buy a cheap SSD and cut down on your storage usage and learn how to clean out a computer.

  8. John Elijah
    April 12, 2018 - 11:17 am

    I have a 5 y old lap top that i carry around almost daily and none of this has ever happened.
    Why do you have to explain this as if its imminent ?

  9. Denny Hiu
    April 12, 2018 - 11:52 am

    20 years of life expectancy for regular (disk) HDD ? Huh?!
    My drive suddenly dead, no warning, no sound, just dead while I was working. Suddenly, I cannot save my work files and all of my other files were locked up, I cannot write, nor read those file. When I restarted the machine, it won't boot either. My drive was died that day, it was 7 years old. RIP

  10. OswaldOriginal
    April 12, 2018 - 12:37 pm

    Another guy is making video saying have to destroy the hardrive to prevent others from reading sensitive data.. even those that have crashed…. o dear.. we are worried about hard drive dying, the other guy is destroying them

  11. Andrei Despinoiu
    April 12, 2018 - 12:45 pm

    I've been a PC user for about 15 years now and I've never heard of HDD "refreshing". Don't HDDs do this automatically, with something called "Background Media Scan" (BMS)?

  12. Sourav Goswami
    April 12, 2018 - 1:41 pm

    7:00 None of the software mentioned are supported on Linux. I have no Windows OS…

  13. xorkatoss
    April 12, 2018 - 1:56 pm

    so how long do hdd last?

  14. Richard Bruce
    April 12, 2018 - 2:45 pm

    You should mention for real data preservation burn a DVD of it, and store in different locations. Burned data lasts WAY longer because it is laser etched, not magnetic. One pulse from an EMP weapon can wipe any and all drives, but not a burned disk.

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