Life Cycle of a Hard Drive: Lifespan

August 1, 2017 by Area 51 Data Solutions

The average lifespan of a hard drive is 3 to 5 years.  While many last longer, 5 years is really considered a milestone.  Therefore after the 3 to 5 year mark, the device should no longer be trusted with critical data.  When it comes to the age of your hard drive you may be wondering:

How do I know how old my hard drive is?  There isn’t really an easy way to find out how old your hard drive is.  There is no one-click button or system properties screen that will tell you.  Basically, it’s just a matter of knowing when the hard drive was installed brand new from the manufacturer to your system.  With a work computer, the odds of you having this information are slim.  Most likely, an IT staffer will have this information, but even that can be an uncertainty.

The odds of knowing and tracking the age of a hard drive greatly increase with an IT support partnership firm like us!  Area 51 Data Solutions has the knowledgeable team and resources to maintain and track records as well as replacement schedules to minimize if not eliminate the risk of data loss.  And you don’t have to worry about a thing!

What contributes to the breakdown of a hard drive?  As we learned in the previous ‘Life Cycle of a Hard Drive’ installment, hard drives have lots of moving parts.  As with any equipment with moving parts, heat, friction, and handling contribute to wear and tear.  We’ll elaborate more on these contributors in coming installments.

What do I do when 3-5 years rolls around?  Studies have shown that 80% of hard drives last four years.  At the three year mark you can begin to evaluate what kind of wear and tear your hard drive has had so far.  If it’s a laptop that gets tossed around a lot or a tower that gets moved and banged up, perhaps your hard drive has experienced a hard life that the hard drive in a tower that sits untouched with ideal ventilation.

Also consider what kind of data is the hard drive storing. Remember the more critical, the safer it is to just replace the drive whether it’s had an ideal lifestyle and is showing no signs of wear.

Better yet, have an IT partner, like us, who will not only track the age of the device but automatically schedule it for replacement.  This type of monitoring and rotation service drastically decreases risk and loss of data.

Why should I care about how old my hard drive is?  Again, from ‘What is a Hard Drive?’ we learned that the hard drive is the brain of the computer.  It stores critical data.  If your hard drive dies or breaks, all of that data it held goes with it and is often times unrecoverable.  Stay tuned for maintenance tips and data loss prevention methods.