Hard drive life!

  Flak999 15:27 06 Jan 2009

I know that this is probably akin to asking how long is a piece of string, but how long can one reasonably expect a computer hard disk to last?

My machine is used every day and is now over three years old, I take regular drive images to an external drive with Acronis and everything seems to be running fine. (famous last words)

But my brother in law, recently had his drive fail for no apparent reason and it was only 18 months old. Is there some sort of bench mark for hard drive life, or is it literally just the luck of the draw?

  Technotiger 15:36 06 Jan 2009

Just the luck of the draw generally speaking.

  Flak999 15:41 06 Jan 2009

Oh ok. if that is the case, would it be good practise to clone the HD and replace it with a new drive after a certain time (say three years)to try to preempt the failure?

  Technotiger 16:12 06 Jan 2009

Not really, best just to make sure that you have a full back-up, saved on a different drive - a external USB drive is usually best for keeping backups, using Acronis True Image or similar.

  johndrew 16:31 06 Jan 2009

As Technotiger says, even good quality HDDs will fail eventually - and there is quite a high random spread in failures in any make of drive. I have had drives fail at less than a year old.

The safest way to protect yourself is to backup to another drive (external is best) on a regular basis. That way if one drive fails you have either the backup or system drive and can recover the situation. You would need to be exceptionally unlucky to have both fail at the same time.

I cheat and keep two backups which I update alternately. That way I reduce the risk of loss by a very large margin and even cover the event of a corrupt backup - which with ATI using the verify is pretty remote.

  Flak999 18:31 06 Jan 2009

What would be the procedure for replacing a failed drive, given that you have a image backup on an external drive using ATI? Obviously you would need to source a new HDD of at least the same capacity as the failed one.

But what then? do you need to format and install windows on the new drive before you can restore your image from the external drive? Or can you just install it and allow ATI to do the rest?

  woodchip 18:37 06 Jan 2009

Drive Make, can make a difference. Some are just not good drives. But then again any disc can fail at any time. They are better than what the used to be as they have better shock protection and Fluid Bearings

  AL47 18:43 06 Jan 2009

ive had 2 toshiba ones go WITHIN the time ive had my seagate one, i only use seagate for my primary drive now cause ive yet to have one go, if i can, i use them for a backup one too, my primary drive gets a fair bit of abuse too, im always installing/uninstalling,

i a;so dropped my laptop [whilst on]down a flight of wooden stairs, hard drive [seagate] was fine as was laptop both are good ones tho

some say if it doesnt go within months its a good chance it can go years, dunno if its true

  johndrew 20:09 06 Jan 2009

Simply fit the new drive and make certain it is seen in BIOS. Boot the PC from the ATI recovery disk and select the `Full` version of ATI. Select `Restore` identify the target and it will do the rest.

The only difficulty you have is where the HDD that failed was partitioned and you only backed up the OS or backed the two partitions separately. In this case you would need to format and partition the drive prior to restoring your data.

ATI is so easy.

  Fermat's Theorem 20:11 06 Jan 2009

of a hard disk usually include MBTF (mean time between failure), and is normally given in hours.

For example click here

Hope this helps :-)

Oh, and a happy new year to all :-))

  Fermat's Theorem 20:45 06 Jan 2009

should, of course, be MTBF :-)

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