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how long till a hard drive "crashes"

by theandy83 / March 3, 2006 8:56 AM PST

I was reading some other posts and it just came to my mind. How LOng till My hardrive crashes?
i have a 40 gb maxtor internal hardrive made in 2000
i think it runs at either 6800 rpm or 7200 rpm
my computer is on about 60-90 hours per week.

i have a 64 meg usb pen drive and the operating system disc but will that be enough to back up files to a new computer when i get one?
i think my hardrive could last at least afew more years but i am not sure.

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No way to tell
by joesmithers06 / March 3, 2006 9:57 AM PST

Typically, hard drives have mean time to failure rates in the tens of thousands of hours, but the key word there is "mean" or "average". Some will last longer, some will die quicker.

USUALLY you're given some sort of warning before the drive dies. Especially if you have SMART enabled. But it's for those sudden unexpected failures that you make and keep current backups. If you have some reason to believe your drive is going to fail soon, now might be an excellent time to invest in a CD or DVD burner.

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Just Curious
by sharree / March 3, 2006 10:59 AM PST
In reply to: No way to tell

What is SMART? Probably a stupid question, huh?

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by John.Wilkinson / March 3, 2006 2:11 PM PST
In reply to: Just Curious

SMART, or Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, is a system designed to detect the signs of a possible hard drive failure in the near future, then provide the user with enough warning to safely backup all of the data on the drive and replace it before it dies completely. Of course it's not perfect (60% accuracy rating), and after receiving the warning there's no way to tell how much longer before the hard drive will last, but it's certainly better than the 'when your hard drive stops working there might be a problem' method.

Hope this helps,

P.S. No, that wasn't a S.T.U.P.I.D. question, that was a S.M.A.R.T. question. Happy

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by sharree / March 4, 2006 11:34 AM PST
In reply to: SMART...

Thanks John and I also appreciate the humor!!!

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From one minute to 4800 operating
by Ray Harinec / March 5, 2006 1:50 AM PST

hours. If it gets to 4800 hours wearout begins to come into play and reliabilty will degrade rapidly.

Yes, I'm well aware that this answer gives you zero help, but the answer is correct. LOL

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(NT) (NT) Sorry that should be 48,000 operating hours
by Ray Harinec / March 5, 2006 1:51 AM PST
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Ray (and others) said it all.
by chuckieu / March 5, 2006 3:24 AM PST

Usually, many years. But maybe a week. Case in point=my original Seagate 20G drive is going strong (5-6 yrs.) in computer I passed on to a friend, and a Maxtor 40G drive died right before the 1 year warranty expired (luck, not running down Maxtor). RMA replacement doing fine, but I won't but a hard drive with less than 3 year warranty. For what it's worth. chuck

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hard drive
by dave_2001 / March 10, 2006 9:31 PM PST

i was reading on wdc website and it said the average life time of a hard drive is about 5 years but that also depends on the usage.

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I believe that is based on
by Ray Harinec / March 10, 2006 10:06 PM PST
In reply to: hard drive

the MTBF [Mean Time Between Failures]of 48,000 OPERATING hours.

MTBF is a statisical calculation based on the survival of a huge sample of products from a manufacturing run. In that sample some will fail in a few hours [the infant mortality period] The the flat part of the bathtub curve [constant failure rate of drives in the batch], finally the wearout period where the failure rate increases rapidily in those remaining. For hard drives the 48,000 hours is the point where the wearout period begins and failure cn be expected soon.

The point is that the subject is meaningless if one tries to select one drive out of the manufacturing run and predict its life.

Mfr's "burn in" the drives to try to weed out the infant mortality failures simply because it saves them the cost of replcing drives a week after they are bought.

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Check it out here
by fredsteigman / March 11, 2006 1:02 AM PST

I have found a utility which tells us the approximate health of the HDD.

You can get it here

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If use of your PC is important to you and perhaps others
by VAPCMD / March 11, 2006 3:28 AM PST

and loss of data . . . school work, medical records, financial records, family PICTURES, music collections, etc., are important to you . . . then you need to establish a good backup RIGHT NOW. Something as common as a lightning strike could hit your system tonight and your PC could be nothing more than just a heap of nearly useless metal. Backing up your important stuff now and hereafter as you add more data will help you avoid the greater pain at some time in the future... don't wait.

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Good Advice
by taboma / March 11, 2006 2:30 PM PST

Back it up when you think that some data is important. Weekly, monthly or when? Who knows.
The only known way that I know of when your hard drive is going south is to hear a whining sound, similar to screeching break pads on your automobile.
Once you hear that, MORTE!!


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Agreed !! Now is the time for BACKUP...
by VAPCMD / March 11, 2006 9:40 PM PST
In reply to: Good Advice

those that wait for warnings, audible or otherwise, will be fooled. The only question is when ?

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ive heard that on my burner
by theandy83 / March 25, 2006 9:00 PM PST
In reply to: Good Advice

my burner did just that noise a couple months ago
it was an external burner
it still turns on and it attempts but nver reads the discs
is there still a hope that it can be repaired less than 50 bucks or is it useless
if it is useless are there people who take broken parts for money?

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It's worse than you think.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 25, 2006 9:34 PM PST

With desktop dual layer dvd recorders at the retail level showing up for 39 bucks, repair is not possible.

Let's say you did have it repaired. You would want it warrantied and would come back if it didn't work perfectly. Since tech time is so expensive, the drive will be replaced if you did take it in.

Spare parts for money is also off the map. To collect enough dead drives to mix and match together a working drive would be a losing proposition here since we must pay to toss out a bin load of electronic waste.

Hope this explains it.


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happy to say my harddrive is in good order
by theandy83 / March 25, 2006 9:26 PM PST

i went to and downloaded their hard drive utility and i happy to release these stats:
health: 85%
performance: 84%
current temperature at the time of this post was
49 degrees celcius
(about 120 degrees fahrenheit)

i am a little iffy about the temperature but then again my computers been on 3 days downloading a couple programs(for some reason my computer can only download one thing at a time
also my 512 broadband was slowed to 64 kbps (yuck!)since ive downloaded 10 gigs of stuff this month (includes watching movies and playing online games STupid, huh?)

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