As a rule of thumb, it used to be said that hard drives either die relatively soon after they are put into operation or then usually last. The rule of thumb was not scientifically founded and was based on the fact that manufacturing defects in mechanical parts tend to have an effect quickly in operation. That’s probably not entirely true if you want to believe the data from a data recovery service. 2,007 cases were collected and the framework conditions evaluated.
The drives that were handed in for data recovery are a colorful mix of 40 gigabytes to 10 terabytes and they reached an age of 2 years and 10 months on average. On average, 1,584 sectors were determined. “Although 1,548 bad sectors may seem tiny in hundreds of millions or even billions of disk partitions, the rate of development often increases and the risk of data corruption multiplies,” said Los Angeles-based Secure Data Recovery.
ManufacturerHard DrivesHours OnNumber of Current Pending SectorsWestern Digital93625.676628Seagate55923.2982.671Hitachi21118.6323.348Toshiba15134.7991.884Samsung12319.224529Maxtor2729.771228
The older the better?
The statement is ambiguous. First, older drives with no signs of damage are less likely to fail. Second, Secure Data Recovery statistics suggest that more modern drives are more prone to failure:
“We found that the top five most durable and resilient hard drives by each manufacturer were made before 2015. On the other hand, most of the least durable and resilient hard drives by each manufacturer were made after 2015.”
One can only speculate about the reasons. While the mechanical parts have certainly improved over the years, hard drives are increasingly being operated at the limits of what is feasible and cost reductions in mechanics and electronics are leading to the use of inferior components. But it is also clear that modern drives with 20 terabytes are more fragile despite advanced development. They are partly filled with helium and have minimal manufacturing tolerances, which increases risks. Backblaze also believes it has recognized such a trend.
HDD sales almost halved in 2022
The statistics above highlight the discrepancies between well-known manufacturers. Source: securedatarecovery.com
SMR a reason?
According to Secure Data Recovery, SMR is also a problem – Shingled Magnetic Recording. This should not mean much to most users and is at most known from the lawsuit against hard drive manufacturers who did not want to label CMR and SMR sufficiently. With SMR, data is overlapped to save capacity. Almost like brick. However, this also has its disadvantages and the data rescuers assume that SMR generally means more stress for the components of the hard disk.
“For example, the platter surface of a hard drive with SMR is more complex due to the overlapping tracks. This complicated design makes the platters more susceptible to damage.
In addition to the disk surface, the data management of devices with SMR must also be considered. Shingled disks are managed by either the device or the host. Inappropriate protocols can affect performance. Frequent reads and writes can lead to logical errors. Excessive, improper use can cause wear and tear on the drive arm and heads.
Hard drives with CMR therefore appear to be more durable and resilient than those with SMR.”
But not everything is bad with new hard drives. The performance, for example, but also the general durability compared to the old days. In the meantime, most manufacturers also give relatively generous guarantees on their products. But they don’t help much if you get the drive replaced but the data is gone. Backups are still essential and the ideal is to buy drive capacity that is proven to be reliable.
Quelle: Security Data Recovery