The life expectancy of current HDDs is already less than three years

In a study carried out by the company Secure Data Recoveryit was concluded that the hard disk drives (HDDs) that are currently marketed have an average of shorter useful life than those that were made in the past. And all this is as a consequence of the fact that technical specialization has gradually decreased as demand increased.

Specifically, they analyzed 2007 HDD damaged or defectivefrom 40GB to 10TB, and this conclusion was reached after analyzing the hours of use since the owner would acquire them and start using them until the device reached the hands of the company that was the protagonist of the study.

In the study unpredictable failures were not taken into account that occurred on hard drives such as malware, power surges, natural disasters or accidental handling. The average time these units survived before failing was 2 years and 10 monthspresenting a balance sheet of 1,548 bad sectors. A miniscule figure if one takes into account the millions of subdivisions it has, although it presents a great risk of data corruption.

Of the 2007 hard disk drives analyzed, in read and write operations, the vast majority came from Western Digital (936 pieces). 559 came from Seagate, 211 from Hitachi, 151 from Toshiba, 123 from Samsung and 27 from Maxtor. This survey leaves the first two companies in a bad position, which represent the 74.5%. The situation becomes alarming, because according to data from the Digital Storage Technology Bulletin, both Seagate and Western Digital represent 80% of market shipments.

The origin of mistrust among users

The study also points out that several brands, such as Seagate, Western Digital and Toshiba, clandestinely sold devices with magnetic recording discs instead of CMR (conventional magnetic recording) discs, something that ended up leading to legal claims by users.

The units that took advantage of SMR they offered slower random write speeds than those used by CMR, so it is thought that SMR may affect the overall reliability of hard drives. The dish surface of a hard drive with SMR is more complex, since it has overlapping tracks, which makes them more vulnerable to degradation.

Along with this, we should highlight the management of data on hard drives with SMR. In these cases they are host-managed or host-aware, so inappropriate protocols could affect its performance since read and write errors arose. That being said, CMR discs are more durable and stronger than SMR discs.

At the end of last year, backblazea security and cloud storage company, analyzed the 230,921 hard drives that he owned It was concluded that his life expectancy was 3.6 years, a time greater than the data concluded by Secure Data Recovery. In that study, HDD failure rate trends by model were detailed.

any time passed was better

In the end, with the study formulated this conclusion is reached. And it is that the five longest-lasting hard drives from each manufacturer came on the market before 2015, a key date for the life span to drop considerably since then. Although this phenomenon causes the need for users to purchase new HDDs, it also causes confidence in these products to be lost, which in turn reduces their mechanical resistance to wear.

However, the new hard drives present gains in the performance and in the inclusion of greater purchase guarantees. All of this makes us think about the need for self-criticism in the sector and about the need to reconsider the useful life and employability of hard disk drives currently on the market.

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