I have a Compaq Presario 2100 series notebook computer which has gone through 4 Toshiba hard drives in 4 years. So essentially i'm going through a drive per year. They have all been Toshiba 5400rpm hdd's.
I understand that drives can have a pretty rough life in a laptop system because of vibration or bouncing in a mobile computer but my notebook system never leaves my desk. So are these Toshiba drives not as good as WD or Seagate, or Fujitsu? Or is my notebook computer eating them somehow? I know there are virus's that can cause your hdd to pan the platters indefinitely and wear it out that way but i'm clean of virus' etc. My disks spin about 8 hours a day on average and all it really does is download torrents.
So are Toshiba 2.5" drives not good or is this typical?
to be honest, all hdds are just as reliable between one another, between different brands even (if they werent, companies would probably go under, due to a bad reputation even)... the only difference possibly being that some hdds may undergo higher QoS testing before being released (usually server intended batches and similar do, i believe anyhow, and they usually cost more as a result too, because of the testing that they underwent)... sometimes whole batches of hdds may be bad, thats just a bad luck of the draw really if you end up getting that many bad in such short succession (i remember ibms 'deathstar' hdds, they were called that for a reason, lol). some people end up switching brands for that reason, and may have a lot of good luck with a different brand as a result.
but, to answer your last question, i would say it could be considered typical. because all mechanical hdds eventually fail (regardless of manufacturer), you just never really know when, much in advance (other than the usual warning signs of imminent drive failure).
the only real recommendation, is to purchase numerous hdds with a long enough warranty (that way you at least have some possible data redundancy), that way also if the drive does die under warranty, it can just be rma'd for a replacement.... or to instead try a different brand, it may work out for you better. (some of the hdds you had may still be under warranty too actually)