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The hard drive is falling! The hard drive is falling!

The hard drive is falling! The hard drive is falling!

I just read this in a press release about an upcoming backup product: "The failure rate of every computer hard drive is 100 percent, so it's not a question of if a hard drive will fail, but when."

Hold on. Yes, it is true that every hard drive has an MTBF (here's a good explanation) spec attached to it, and that none are infinite. And it is also true that the hard drive is the least reliable part of any computer, being the only part, other than keyboard and mouse, with moving parts. But I have hard drives in very old computers that are still working, and I bet many of you do, too.

I do concede that every computer hard drive will eventually fail (second law of thermodynamics: entropy increases). I also strongly believe that all data should be backed up, because any hard drive might fail at any time. But I think there's no point in spreading fear by implying that every hard drive will definitely fail while it is in active use. It's crying wolf. It's almost as irresponsible as claiming that hard drives never fail.

When I can, I'll write about the new backup product, which I hope was designed by different people than those who wrote the press release.