Hard Drive Life Expectancy

How dangerous is heat to a hard drive. I usually think of heat within a case as being more dangerous to the cpu and possibly mobo components.

Yet I have a history of hard drive failures that seems inordinately high. I seem to barely get a year out of the average drive.

Here are the facts of my situation:

1. My pc is almost always on when I’m awake, a good sixteen hours a day..

2. Most of that time the pc is idle but not in any kind of sleep mode. I would think the drive access during these times would be minimal.

3. The rest of the time I use the pc for hard drive intensive operations like gaming, downloading.

4. Because I do a certain of amount of tinkering—plugging in one drive, unplugging another--I almost never have the case closed. Is this bad or good for keeping things cool?

5. My drives are in a tight stack with no space between them.

6. Although I try to be careful with grounding, I don’t use an anti static strap. I discharge myself against the case.
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  1. My current PC has been on 24/7 for 5.5 years straight with the same hard drives in it and no failures.

    Keep the case closed and your temps should drop. The airflow for the case is designed around a closed cased.

    Put some space between your drives, and a fan in front of them.

    I have 3 drives in a cage with maybe 1/3" between them, and a fan in front of the 3. It's enough to keep them decently cool.

    Discharging with the chassis should be fine.
  2. Hard Drives aren't meant for 24/7 use. You may be having continual drive failure because your drives can't handle the continuous load. You may want to try getting a server hard drive, such as the WD RE or a Seagate ES.2 (i have the latter, it is extremely fast, with the 32mb of cache and all).
  3. i am an advocate of never never never ever leave the case open for extended periods of time. If it is unusually hot where you are at (Like death Valley) i would look into a HD Cooler and maybe some better fans. Discharging on the Chassis i believe is fine also, i have never used a AS pad either. Woud maybe put it in somekind of sleep mode if you are not in front of it for the 16 hours it is on, if anything else to cut down on the ole electric bill lol.
  4. Thanks for good information. My system too failed due to over heat. After few days I found the reason that fan which is fitted at the back side of the system was failed due to some stuck in it. I din't notice that. This small thing failed my system.
  5. I have drives that I have been running for over 5-7 years, and out of literally dozens of them, have only had 1 WD drive ever fail on me.
    Gaming and downloading are NOT hard on drives.
    Leaving the side off of your case is hard on your drives, especially if you have them stacked in the front of the case. Most cases are designed to pull cool air in the front over the drives. With the side off your case, the drives have no airflow over them and are getting hot. Leave the side on your case and invest in a good case intake fan to help keep cooler air moving over your drives. Buy some thumb screws to make taking the side off and on easier.
  6. I agree with jitpublisher, you need to get some air across those drives, HDs should last a 5 year minimum and if kept cool and not over handled (Another problem you could be facing) 10 years. Get a fan for your front intake if you dont already have one, that should place it directly infront of your drives, helping keep them cool. If you put your side-cover on, it will help create a wind tunnel effect that will keep all of your PC that much cooler.

    Ive been tinkering in my case for 10 years and Ive never owned an anti-static strap or mat, the case is fine, just be diligent about touching it.
  7. Airflow is very critical. I have "too much" airflow and I like it that way. Its sort of a redundancy thing so if a single fan goes out and I dont know it right away it wont matter.


    I have never had a hard drive to go out or any other component for that matter. I can consider myself lucky I suppose but cautious as well.

    Do as others stated, get extra case fans, keep the door closed and use thumb screws for fast, easy tooless removal and you wont mind putting your door back on right after your done.

    Touching the side of the case is fine, I do it all the time. Antistatic wrist straps are good for those people who cant remember to touch the case often before poking their grubby little hands inside thier case, If your one of those people, get a wrist strap...
  8. the key question is how warm are those drives getting?
    Google did a report on hardrives and their failure late... an interesting read.
    http://research.google.com/archive/disk_failures.pdf
    If they get to hot they will die...
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