How long do Hard Drives last? Some say have a life of three years and some say five years?

Also how Reliable Is Seagate Hard Drives? I hear Seagate hard drives internal or external are not that reliable and only last two or three years. Where western digital is more reliable?

How long internal or external hard drives last?

31 Answers

  • Robert
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    What you're looking for is a stat called MTBF.  That means Mean Time between Failure. It gives you an idea in hours how long your disk drive is liable to last. Then you work out how many hours a day you run your computer and can calculate a life expectancy from there.  If you want longer lasting hard drives, consider "Server grade", they may cost a little more but they are designed with the intent of running 24/7 for a few years.  To be more specific, your life expectancy depends heavily on how many hours a day you run your machine. So if it said MTBF  = 20,000 hours, and you ran your machine 24 hours a day, that under 3 years. But if you run it 3 hours a day, it might last up to 18 years.

  • P
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    They usually last longer than 10 years in real life.  Manufacturers suggested expectancy will always be lower.   I would put my personal experience at 15-20 years before they usually start to fail.   Generally the technology is so old you will want to replace them after 10 anyway.  

  • Shadow
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    Depending on the HDD will depend on it's warranted life. Normal HDD's are warranted to last for 3 years although they can last much longer. Certain specialised HDD's, like Seagate's Iron Wolf Pro, are warranted for 5 years.

    All HDD's can last for a very long time. Keep in mind that the 3 year or 5 year warranty is based on 24/7/365 usage so that is why they tend to last for much longer because most users do not utilise the same HDD perpetually.

    In terms of which is more reliable, it is based on personal experience. I've found Seagate to be more reliable than any other brand including Western Digital. The only time I choose another brand is with SSD's in which case, I choose Samsung.

    Sadly, there is no real guarantee which drive will last longer or will be more reliable as it depends on the environment it is used in and the user. Sometimes you may be the unlucky receiver of an 'out of box failure' (OBF) which is a dead device.

    Source(s): 15 Years specialised experience in the industry
  • 2 months ago

    depends on their use I think. I have had the same one for about 10 years now and just added a second as the first was finally almost full. Still have about 15 gigs left on it it is a 250. 


    I Just added a second Sata Drive of 2 TB as I am checking out XBOX PASS for PC and need the extra storage for a few games I plan on adding. Like Microsoft Flight Sim 2020 to go along with My DCS which I have used for about 6 or 7 years now. 


    I have also made a clone backup of my main drive in case of a failure.. IT does not make any more noise than normal at this time BUt I rather have a good cloned backup with everything on it than to have to try to reinstall all my programs etc. from backups or cloud etc. ITS easy to Make a clone and just keep it updated and IF There is a failure all I have to do is SWITCH OUT HD..


    I Also DO NOT TURN my computer on and off.. IT stays on 24/7 unless I have to do a restart for something as I think restarting., on and off adds to wear and tear of it.

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  • 2 months ago

    The answer depends on the types of hard drive and how long they run during a day.  I am excluding Solid State Drives from this as they are not hard drives.  Servers use enterprise class drives that last longer (or more hours of use) than other drives.  This is a requirement of their function.  The specifications for drives will state mean time to failure for the drives and this is a good indication, comparatively, of the length of service one can expect to get from a drive.  As far as Companies, both Western Digital and Seagate are name brands these days.  My preferences is for Western Digital as I have never had one fail yet.  But if I was always to have used Seagate, I might be able to say the same about them.  I think Seagate had some firmware issues several years ago which may have tainted their name to some people.

    As far as internal or external, the drive themselves should last the same length of time if the drives are identical and operating conditions are the same.  I guess as a general rule, if you had to say, internal may last longer because their operating environment is often better and they might be subject to fewer knocks and bumps especially if the drive is being use during traveling.

    EDIT:  As a side note, because I am reading some of the other comments about SSDs, SSDs do have a fixed lifespan, based on read and write cycles.  They will fail, or more accurately, be used up, in a fixed length of time.

  • 2 months ago

    I had a Maxtor IDE hard drive last me 15 years.  My first Seagate lasted all but a year before it died.  All of my hard drives today are all 7200 RPM Western Digital drives, and man oh man, they are really reliable. 

    I don't own any solid state drives, so I don't know their lifespan, but I have heard that things you can do with a standard, mechanical hard drive, if you try to do the same with a solid state drive, it will lower the life span of the solid state drive.

    I have an external WD 7200 hard drive as well, and that has lasted me 5+ years so far.  It's just a backup drive for my E:\ drive, where all of my games are installed to, so it just sits up in my closet in the motherboard box.

    EDIT: Just to add, I stay away from Seagate.  I never saw them as being reliable.

  • 2 months ago

    Old fashioned electro mechanical hard drives last 5 to 10 years depending on the amount of use the computer gets.

    Newer Solid State hard drives have no moving parts and should in theory last indefinitely.

    By the time you've had a computer about 5 years though the manufacturer will begin to drop support for it and repairs will become more difficult.  So that tends to be the factor that makes people sell on and upgrade.

  • 2 months ago

    It depends on frequency of usage, manufacturer. Generally it lasts for 5 or 5+ years. But no guarantee!!

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I replace my internal hard drives because they ran out of space. When bought brand new, I've had very few problems with Seagate. Western Digital is also a good brand. The problems I've had with internal hard drives happen when I bought them secondhand so I don't know exactly how abused they were in the past. I assume problems occur due to storage as I've noticed that when bought secondhand, the drives aren't handled carefully at all.

    I've been into external drives for just a couple of years and so far, I have no problems with them yet. I've been buying branded ones only from Seagate and Western Digital.

  • 2 months ago

    Most companies give either an average lifespan or on some models a guaranteed lifespan.

    They could last a year if you have a dud or 10 years or more if you have a good one or it has low usage.

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