How Long Do Hard Drives Last?

hard drive shredding

Unfortunately, every hard drive will fail at some point. On average, hard drives tend to last from 3 to 5 years. Luckily, there are ways to extend the life of your hard drives and get lots of use out of them.

First, let’s discuss what a hard drive is. It’s a high-capacity storage device that uses a read-write mechanism to save information on a computer. Two commonly used types of hard drives are Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) and Solid-State Drives (SSDs). HDDs save data by writing code onto a hard disk platter within the drive. SSDs use flash technology to save data.

Hard drives can exist internally or externally. Internal hard drives are located inside of your computer. A computer must have at least one internal hard drive to function. An external drive is portable and attaches to your computer via a USB port.

Lifespan of a Hard Drive

The lifespan of a hard drive will depend on number of factors; such as brand, size, type, and environment. Purchasing from a reputable brand will make a difference, so it’s important to do your research when deciding on a hard drive. It’s also important from a data perspective, as an unexpected hard drive crash can mean significant and costly data loss.

HDDs use an actuator arm and spinning platters to “write” your data onto the drive. Because of these moving parts, HDDs are more vulnerable to physical failures than SSDs. SSDs use less power and produce less heat, making them less susceptible to traditional failure; however, they use a capacitor and power supplies that can malfunction.

Premature hard drive failure can be prevented by taking some precautions, but you should always backup your data to protect yourself from data loss. Having a data protection plan via backup drives or cloud storage is critical in keeping your data secure.

Hard Drive Shredding

Extend Hard Drive Health

Extending the life of your hard drive is possible and helps protect your information from being lost. The following habits will help keep your hard drive functioning as long as possible.

Handle with Care

Your environment can greatly affect how long your hard drive will last. Dust, drops, weather, traveling, and electrical surges can all cause major damage to your hard drive. Keep your drives in a clean, dry space to prevent physical damage.

Connections should also be used carefully. Avoid plugging and unplugging your external drives too often and when doing so, use care not to pull or push too abruptly.

Keep it Cool

Hard drives generate heat while powered on. High temperatures put stress on the hard drive and can cause damage. It’s important to prevent over heating by closing programs that are not in use, running antivirus software, and making sure your computer has proper air flow.

Power it Down

You should only power your hard drive when you need to use it. The more you use your hard drive, even if idle, the shorter its lifespan will be. If using an external hard drive, be sure to eject it from your system before powering off. This prevents data corruption and failure.

Your Hard Drive Has Failed – What Now?

Even with the best care, your hard drive will eventually fail and need to be replaced. Data recovery software can be used for drives that have been corrupted, erased, or crashed. However, data recovery is not guaranteed. The best thing you can do is regularly backup your data, so your important information is available in another location in case of hard drive failure.

Once your files have been recovered, your old drives should be safely disposed of. Hard drive disposal services physically destroy your hard drives to keep your private information safe. We offer shearing and crushing methods to render your hard drives useless. Hard drive destruction is legally compliant and includes a certificate of destruction to verify the process for privacy purposes.

Ready to Dispose of Old Hard Drives?

Give us a call at (800) 747-3365 or fill out the form to learn more about hard drive destruction services from Shred Nations. We make sure that you are the only one able to recover your sensitive data. The process is easy and affordable. Contact us today and we will send you free, no obligation quotes on your hard drive disposal project within minutes.