How long do hard drives last for?

How long do hard drives last for?

Written by

Hard drive failure is unpredictable, so answering the question of how long hard drives last will inherently comes with a lot of caveats.

Short answer: That being said, if you just want a quick rule of thumb for how long you can expect the hard drive in your laptop should last, we’d say you should be prepared for disk failure after three years of use.

Long answer: A handful of studies on the lifespan of hard drives might give you some clearer indication, but they still aren’t very helpful. Many of the hard drives tested do not fail at all. These drives are also kept in controlled environments and don’t undergo the same conditions as, say, your laptop drive.

Factor in the following questions:

  • What brand is the hard drive?
  • What do you use it for? Running applications, viewing media, or storage?
  • How often do you use your computer?
  • Is it frequently shaken, vibrated, or bumped?
  • How hot does your computer get?

These factors and many more can affect the lifespan of a hard drive. All of the discussion below, unless otherwise noted, refers to standard magnetic disk drives, not solid state drives or hybrid drives.

Which hard drive brands last the longest?

Short answer: HGST (rebranded name for Hitachi) drives generally last longer than Seagate and Western Digital. We don’t have enough definitive data on Samsung or Toshiba to make a conclusion about them.


Long answer: In 2014, cloud backup company Backblaze started posting statistics on the failure rate of over 27,000 hard drives and their respective brands. In short: Hitachi’s failed the least, followed by Western Digital. Seagate had the highest failure rate by far, with 13 percent of Backblaze’s 1.5TB models failing over the course of a year.

Continue reading the original article over at