How long does an average hard drive last?

  CurlyWhirly 23:32 01 Nov 2004

Hi. I have a SMART hard drive health monitoring program installed and on MOST days I don't get ANY warnings but occasionally I get a "T.E.C. (Threshold Exceeded Condition) warning" and basically it means a probable warning of a disk failure.

How reliable are these monitoring programs as (say) the next day after receiving a TEC warning everything goes back to normal!
I have a Western Digital hard drive. Are these a good make?
By the way I have 4333 hours displayed under 'Power on hours count', is this a particularly high figure for hours in use?
I am hoping my hard drive lasts until Microsoft release Longhorn where I will then upgrade to a SATA drive, 64 bit processer and PCI Express.
What does anyone think of the chances of this drive lasting?

  Giggle n' Bits 23:46 01 Nov 2004

I would get the WD HDD Diagnostic utility and test the drive manually yourself from the following link.

click here

HDD's can last a day or 9 years just depends on luck, conditions of use, temperature, vibration, knocks lots of things. there's no chance of a sensible reply its the case of how's long a bit of string matey.

  CurlyWhirly 23:49 01 Nov 2004

Thanks. I will download your link and I agree it was a bit of a silly question in the first place!

  CurlyWhirly 23:49 01 Nov 2004

Thanks aswell. Resolved.

  CurlyWhirly 00:04 02 Nov 2004

I have just run the WD HDD Diagnostic utility and I am glad to say that my drive passed ALL the tests so it looks like I was worrying about nothing!

  CurlyWhirly 21:51 02 Nov 2004

Yes you must indeed be lucky!
By the way what make is this hard drive just out of curiousity?

  CurlyWhirly 23:17 02 Nov 2004

It actually means that if you run 50,000 HDs for an hour one of them will fail. A bit like velocity measured in furlongs per fortnight!

Hi. I thought PSF meant that the average hard drive would work for 50,000 hours NOT as you say that if you run 50,000 hard drives for an hour one of them will fail!

  CurlyWhirly 13:44 13 Nov 2004

Fujitsu 2624f 500mb

Gosh that's a really small drive!
I see what you mean by it being old.
Crikey I have 1 Gb of RAM which is twice the size of your old hard drive - PC technology sure has come a long way!

  woodchip 13:52 13 Nov 2004

May as well ask how long is a piece of string

  Stuartli 14:24 13 Nov 2004

In similar vein, I keep pointing out in the forums that if you have a CD/DVD-ROM drive and a rewriter, that you should use the ROM drive for general purposes and only use the rewriter for burning disks.

To back up the point about MTBF, for which figures for drives and rewriters are usually listed on manufacturers' websites, here's an explanation to be found at

"The MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) on these drives is typically 50,000 to 100,000 hours, and they come with a 1 year warranty. Compare that to hard drives rated at between 500,000 and 1,000,000 hours with a 3 or 5 year warranty and that should give you some idea.

"Most of the drives available today weren't meant for mass production of CD-Rs. The only exceptions are the venerable Philips CDD 522, Kodak PCD 600, and Sony CDW-900E.

"Incidentally, MTBF is not an estimate of how long the drive will last. Rather, it's an estimate of the failure rate of the drives during the expected lifetime of the device.

"Once you exceed the expected lifetime, which is often on the order of a couple of years, the anticipated failure rate increases. If you have new drives with an MTBF of 25,000 hours and you run 1,000 units for 100 hours, you can expect to see four of them fail.

"It does NOT mean you can expect them to run for 2.8 years and then all fail at once."

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