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How long do hard drives last?

[Updated Oct 24, 2016 with new information]

About 1 in 20 hard drives fail during the first year. After that, the failure rate drops to about 1.4% for the next two years. Starting with the 4th year, failures rise to over 10% per year, so after 6 years 50% have failed and you can expect well over 10% failure each subsequent year.

What this means is that if your computer is important to your business, and you have a spinning hard drive, you should replace the hard drive, and probably the computer after 4-5 years. If you are using mirrored hard drives, you can press on a little longer.

Additional reading:


Update Oct 24, 2016

  • A newer backblaze study:
  • An article from Comparitech.com analyzing the above study.

Date: June 2014

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