Sign in to follow this  
eshap

HDD lifespan: age vs runtime hours?

Recommended Posts

If a drive spends most of its time turned off, is there an expected limit to its lifespan?

Conversely, is the N years failure rate actually N*365*24 active hours?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any generalizations for consumer drives, any brand and model, mainly desktop but not only?

The Backblaze info says they use standard drives, even drives sold as basic external drives. If I recall, maybe also Google frequently uses standard drives. These run 24/7, last a few years, or more. If I take the warranty period as an indication, assume 24/7, and add some extra, 3 year drives are ~30K hours. But then, Backblaze's >94% survival rate after 3 years, excluding Seagate, shows it can be much more than that.

So I wonder when one should retire drives based on hours, and whether offline/nearline HDD storage can be good for 10+ years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it is mostly run hours. Eventually magnetic fade (bit rot) will cap a drive lifespan.

I upgrade slowly, and put old drives back in service to delay upgrades when HD prices are high. Most recently, after the Thailand floods. I've lost a couple boot drives that were in daily use. Among my older drives, they start remapping a lot of sectors after about 10 years. Bit rot among the formatting bits, which ATA drives cannot re-write.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The two drives that failed that way departed quietly. I didn't log the run hours before trashing.

I have a 300 GB Maxtor that is about as old as the last such failure (200GB Maxtor) when it quit. Similar use as a boot drive while young, and for file backups since. I'll install it when I next work on an old unit, and will post the data here. However, it hasn't exhibited high sector remapping yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I see a regular increase in the remapped/pending count on a drive, I definite won't trust it anymore. Maybe a year ago I retired a 40GB WD that was 10-11 years in service. If I recall it had about 30K hours (I could check), and either no remapped sectors or just a static few from years ago.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this