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Hard Drives= Number 1 Failing Component?

flashstar

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#1
We all know that tech reviews mean one thing and that real world experience means something completely different. Nowhere did I witness this phenomenon more than in my experience as an IT tech.

Virtually every computer I have ever built with a hard drive has experienced a hard drive failure within 3 years. Even my friends' laptop hard drives have all failed within 3 years. This is irrespective of hard drive make or physical location (power shouldn't be a problem).

-3 of my friends and my girlfriend have experienced hard drive failures
-Of the 20 computers I built for a corporation, 19 experienced hard drive failures within 3 years
-My desktop's Seagate 7200.12 failed within a year
-All of my father's laptops' hard drives failed after about 3 years

In fact, the only exceptions I can think of are Seagate Constellation drives. I've only been using those for about 2-3 years so the jury's still out though... o_O I also remember using a couple of Hitachi's about 7 years ago that never failed. Replaced them when I needed more space though.

After dealing with an almost 100% failure rate (often right outside of the warranty window), I have practically given up on hard drives and have moved to solid state drives. My oldest ones are nearing 4 years old and only 1 has failed (I am currently using about 20 in different locations).

What do you guys think? Are hard drives just absolute garbage now?
 

erocker

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#2
It makes sense. There's nothing else in your computer that runs at 7200 RPM with a drive head that moves 30 times in one second. I've had three HDD's go bad on me in about 30 drives total.
 
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#3
Had a few WD drives. Both the "green" and "black" series. They lasted at the most up to 5 years.

Currently running with Samsung HDD since the Seagate and WD have died too often for me.

It's been 3 years now with no symtoms towards failures. Typical defrag and check disc about 4 times/yr.

Had a WD HDD go bad due to the PSU going flacky. Replaced both the PSU and HDD then.

Heat is the big killer of electronics. Most cases are not setup for ideal cooling. Or if it is, the dusk bunnies will eventually choke the cooling causing failures.
 
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#4
I tend to prefer Toshiba, Samsung and Hitachi which never dissapointed me till now. The point is that the latter 2 belong to Seagate and WD now. So I hope they take advantage of their more reliable tech to have only very resistant to failure HDDs from now on...
 
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#5
Well, over the course of years... since the beginning of hard disks for the Personal Computer, I have only had two die on me.
Most last until I destroy them or give them away.
Of the two that did die, one I dropped and the other of age ( I am guessing, as it would not spin up and was stored for around 10 years).

I have a 32 meg Maxtor and a 64 meg Seagate in the closet and they still work and the data is good (checked a couple of months age while re-arranging the closet).

I have WDs, Seagates, Samsung and Hitachis in use daily around here and (knock on wood) have not had a failure to date.
I run them cool.

Heat is the big killer of electronics. Most cases are not setup for ideal cooling. Or if it is, the dusk bunnies will eventually choke the cooling causing failures.
I, too, believe ^this^ is a large contributor to HDD failure.
Also, shock and abuse.

I do believe the design of some, whether, on the hardware design or firmware design, is on the lean side.
But, you ,also, need to take in, the advances, they have made with platters and other internals.
They have been pushing the limits with them.

HDDs take a lot of abuse and use, so I would expect a high failure rate in this area, but I think PSUs are right up there fighting for the same crown.
 

newtekie1

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#6
The two items I see fail most are hard drives and power supplies. I'd be hard for me to pick out which one I replace more often.

Heat is the big killer of electronics. Most cases are not setup for ideal cooling. Or if it is, the dusk bunnies will eventually choke the cooling causing failures.
Oddly enough cold is a major problem as well for hard drives. When google released their hard drive failure statistics, they showed that drives that ran at 20°C had higher failure rates than drives that ran at 50°C.
 
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#7
I don't disagree with the OP, but I will say that I have 4 hard drives that lasted more than 5 years. One hard drive goes as far back as 2004.

That being said all important information is backed up on them.

I should also say that I have never experienced a hard drive failure. All of my drives were EOL by the time I got rid of them via the trash.

As an IT analyst, I can also say that I have seen several failures, but none of them I can attribute to anything but simply being a bad egg.

I don't consider the OP wrong as much as I consider myself very lucky.
 
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#8
I'm still using a HDD as an OS drive, it was from 2008 and it still run like a champ, but might upgrade to an SSD in the future.
 
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#9
I can't say that I agree. Out of all of the rigs I've put together and used, I've only had one hard drive go bad *knocks on wood* and that was a Maxtor drive out of a Dell.

My WD drives and even my Seagate drives have worked perfectly and continue to work perfectly to this day.
Just got a bunch of Samsungs (Spinpoint F3's) so we'll see how well they hold up.

The things that fail most commonly are fans. Doesn't matter whether it's case fans or GPU fans, they always are wanting to fail.
 
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#10
Had a few WD drives. Both the "green" and "black" series. They lasted at the most up to 5 years.

Currently running with Samsung HDD since the Seagate and WD have died too often for me.

It's been 3 years now with no symtoms towards failures. Typical defrag and check disc about 4 times/yr.

Had a WD HDD go bad due to the PSU going flacky. Replaced both the PSU and HDD then.

Heat is the big killer of electronics. Most cases are not setup for ideal cooling. Or if it is, the dusk bunnies will eventually choke the cooling causing failures.
This is one of the best friends of every computer builder.



Every 3 months dust off all the crap inside the case and fans and the system is good as new and it becomes quiet too.
 

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#11
Planned obsolescence maybe? :laugh:

The 4GB drive in our old Win 95 computer still runs good as new and the computer still sees some use for a few old games we've got. And the computer is a Dell so it's not like it has top class parts in it. I don't think it's ever been dusted and at this point I'm not sure I want to look in there. :wtf:

The drive in our 2003 Dell lasted until 2010, that computer was always a wreck. It BSOD literally every day throughout each summer, atrocious cooling is atrocious. It was dusted every few years.

We had a WD green external drive that made it 5 years or so, it was used maybe three times a year to make backups, when I finally stopped being lazy and put it on weekly backup duty it died within the month. That model was known for dying fast though.

And the 2 Samsung drives I had in the first PC I built, in 2010 went when the PSU did. One of the drives had just literally been installed a week prior and wasn't even formatted. Fortunately they were still both well within warranty.

My current Seagate drive is going on 2 years use now and runs good as new. I've never been one to fill up a hard drive. None of my drives ever hit 250GB of used space. I pretty much delete anything I don't use, old habits die hard. :laugh:

They just don't built them like they used to maybe; either that or the drives themselves just run faster, and take more power hence their shorter life spans. It's only a matter of time until SSDs go mainstream. That day can't come soon enough.
 

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#12
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#13
They just don't built them like they used to maybe; either that or the drives themselves just run faster, and take more power hence their shorter life spans. It's only a matter of time until SSDs go mainstream. That day can't come soon enough.
Mainstream --> puters with lotsa virusses and/or never-deleted internet history --> excessive page file use --> excessive writes to the SSD --> loss (albeit profit for SSD sellers)
 
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#14
Hmm...

Over the years, I only experienced one HDD failure that was not linked to things like "dropped the poor sucka on the ground". I even have a HDD that is still working well (yet, is in retirement now - 'is an old IDE HDD), but the fun part - it was salvaged out of a computer that burned along with a friend's apartment. It is all browned from the heat. Yet, it works well and I used it for years afterwards.
BTW, I had it as a gift. This friend had no use for it on his laptop, so he gave it away to me so I would have where to make my very 1st linux installation. :)

The component I see fail the most is 'dem PSUs. 9 out of 10 "It's completely broken plz fix it kthxbye" computers I fix have a PSU that kicked the bucked. I even had a closet full [!] of dead PSUs from such computers as a "PSU graveyard". (I have much less of them now, as me and my dad disassembled most of them to salvage their still working fans for a something we were building. We needed a lot of fans for *what we were building is a secret* :D )
 

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#15
I think I have killed more motherboards than HDD's and PSU's combined.
 
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#16
ive killed more motherboards than hard drives, only two drives have failed on me, and one was in a laptop that I launched across the room...
 
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#17
Hmm...

(I have much less of them now, as me and my dad disassembled most of them to salvage their still working fans for a something we were building. We needed a lot of fans for *what we were building is a secret* :D )
Psst.... the secret's been out for a long time:D
There's even more than I had when O/C'ing the ole P4 3.4EE back in the day:rockout:

 
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#18
I think I have killed more motherboards than HDD's and PSU's combined.
ive killed more motherboards than hard drives, only two drives have failed on me, and one was in a laptop that I launched across the room...
Agree, I still have an 80Gb IBM from 2002 that still works great!!!
 
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#19
Over the past 5 years I have 9 WD HDDs and they are still running fine (although I have yet to run diagnostic scans on them). During that time I lost 2 PSUs, one graphic card and one fan controller, so HDD is not the #1 failing component for me.
 

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#20
Mainstream --> puters with lotsa virusses and/or never-deleted internet history --> excessive page file use --> excessive writes to the SSD --> loss (albeit profit for SSD sellers)
Describes our second Dell well. I was just a kid then, and the computer was so slow I turned off the anti-virus to game. I remember it increased the page file on a daily basis, and I think when we finally got around to using anti-virus software that wasn't from Best Buy there were 250+ viruses on there.

I guess that's probably why the first one lasted so long. My dad has always hated computers so we were slow to get internet, and really slow to get off dial up. The old computer only saw an internet connection when I was playing Starcraft. :laugh:
 
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#21
I've never actually had a drive die. I've had drives start making dying sounds and then I'd replace them and put them in another machine and they just keep going. Only drive I've seen die on somebody was a WD green used as a OS drive.
 
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#22
I have a working IDE HDD (Seagate 80GB, 7200rpm, don't know the cache/buffer size) and I've been using it since almost a decade ago. The only strange thing I ever dealt with was bad sectors (only affected a very few clusters) and was fixed by low-level format. I also have a Seagate 7200.12 Barracuda (SATA2) and it's still working fine. So I don't know, mate. I think HDDs are fine, at least for me. Maybe certain ways of using your PC affect the lifespan or condition of your drives? I mean the wrong ways? Or maybe the temp inside your enclosure or at your working environment is not HDD-friendly? There's gotta be something that caused frequent hardware failures, and I doubt we can blame it on the hardware alone.
 
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Software Windows 7
#23
My answer is yes. No.2 cheap psus. No. 3 cheap motherboards.
 

Krazy Owl

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#24
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cdawall

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#25