Apple salesman at the apple store told me that hard-drives have a 100% failure rate

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Laughingman13, May 31, 2010.

  1. Laughingman13 macrumors member

    May 30, 2010
    And it would cost a lot to get a new hard-drive and to replace it.

    How long do Hard-drives in Mac book pros usually last?
  2. Gorilla Power macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Mar 19, 2010
    Everything has a 100% failure rate. Nothing lasts forever. Hard disks - depends on a lot of factors - how frequently you power it up or down, how frequently you read or write and so on.

    If you Google hard disk life expectancy, you'll get a lot of documented results. This doesn't have much to do with a Mac. SSDs on the other hand are much more rugged and yields you a longer lifetime.
  3. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    In the long run/grand scheme of things? Yes, they do. But then again so do people.

    It is not hard or that expensive to replace a hard drive.
  4. SPNarwhal macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2009
    no harddrive lasts forever.
    but i think anything would have a 100% failure rate given a forever time limit.
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Hm, I'm a bit skeptical of this statement. In my PowerBook the drive lasted or has lasted 6 years. All hard drives can fail in or out of a mac. Not sure this guy has any information suggesting macs caused hard drives to fail. If an Apple employee said that to me I'd complain to his boss for being stupid.
  6. elpmas macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    he failed as an employee. just buy a ssd, but then again it might fail :/
    but at least you'll get to enjoy it!
  7. Laughingman13 thread starter macrumors member

    May 30, 2010
    Your drive lasted 6 years??!?!

    I was wondering... do you usually turn off your mac when you don't use it overnight or do you put it to sleep?
  8. Gorilla Power macrumors 6502

    Gorilla Power

    Mar 19, 2010
    There's nothing technically wrong with the statement. You used your HDD for 6 years. Try running it for another 50 years and you'll see it will fail sometime in between.

    What you mean is drives don't have such a high failure rate during the life time of the computer operated by the user.
  9. Mirabella macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    My hard drives in my Apple laptops have tended to last from 2-4 years before failing.
  10. aiqw9182 macrumors 65816

    Apr 22, 2010
  11. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Why would the Apple salesman tell you hard drives have a 100% failure rate anyway? Was he trying to sell you an upgrade to an SSD? Even SSDs fail too.

    Anyway Apple even provides instructions in the manual for replacing the HD.
  12. Schtumple macrumors 601


    Jun 13, 2007

    Even in PC laptops the hard drives fail, it isn't just a mac thing.

    The saleman (I'm guessing), is either stupid, or worded his statement poorly to give you the illusion that mac drives fail faster than any other drives.
  13. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I put the computer to sleep most of the time even through travel. It was my college computer and it traveled with me quite a bit. As I've written below, all hard drives can fail eventually but mine had not yet.

    I did not say that my drive lasted 6 years and it would never fail. I was saying that my drive has lasted 6 years and has not failed yet. The statement made by the OP suggests that the Apple employee made some wild assumption that all drives put into a Mac will fail prematurely. That is how I read into the statement and yes, I realize I read into the statement. I also recall my post saying that that all drives can fail or did you miss that part? Reading comprehension FTW my friend. ;)
  14. niuniu macrumors 68020


    Mar 29, 2009
    A man of the people. The right sort of people.
    I'm on the 2006 16 inch MBP that's always on. It's maybe been off for less than a few of weeks in total since it's been bought, partly because I hate waiting for it to start up, but mostly because of, well, torrents :eek:

    The hard drive seems fine, it's gone through numerous re-formats and partitions but is yet to fail me. It's the battery and optical drive in this thing that I think is its weak points.
  15. wirelessmacuser macrumors 68000


    Dec 20, 2009
    To respond to this question I would need more info on the context, and what point the salesman was making.

    Here's my take. First since Apple does not make hard drives, this has nothing to do with Apple. They source them from OEM manfacturers like every other laptop maker. In general Apple chooses top quality components so that's not an issue.

    Hard drives are rated as: MTBF. That translates to: Mean Time Between Failures. For more see the link below.
  16. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    The salesperson was probably just using this language to get the idea that you should NEVER trust your data to just one HDD.

    Yes, your internal drive will probably fail at some point. If you have a backup, who cares?

    All drives will eventually die. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A BACKUP. It should just be a matter of course for all computer purchasers.
  17. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Hard drives in MacBook Pros last at least as long as any other hard drives; Apple doesn't put cheap rubbish into their MacBooks. The salesman was hundred percent right though: Every hard drive ever built in the world will eventually fail. Even if it doesn't fail, computers get stolen, or they break, or they get run over by a truck, and so on. That's why the first thing you buy is an external drive and use TimeMachine to backup your computer regularly if there is anything on your computer that you don't want to lose.

    Getting a new hard drive and replacing it is cheap. Anyone who doesn't have two left hands can order a new hard drive anywhere on the internet and replace it within ten minutes. The expensive bit is replacing the data on the hard drive. If you didn't use TimeMachine to backup your data then either the data is gone, or you'll have to pay through the nose for a professional data recovery service that can pull your data off a damaged drive, and there is no guarantee that they succeed.

    Just a note: MTBF doesn't mean how long your hard drive will last. Like tyres on your car, they should never "fail" but at some point you need to replace them. The rotating parts in a hard drive will wear out after a few years and your hard drive will stop working; they don't call this "failure". Five years is a good time for a hard drive to last. (I think those companies that gave five years warranty calculated that if you bought a drive today, drive sizes would be growing so much in five years so that if it breaks after 4 1/2 years, you wouldn't even want a replacement drive of same size. )
  18. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Quoted for truth. Everyone buying a computer should read this.

    Backup. Backup backup backup.

    There's no excuse not to have at least a Time Machine backup for your computer. External drives are cheap, Time Machine is easy and unobtrusive. There's no excuse for any Mac user not to have at least a Time Machine backup, if not something a little more robust.
  19. drewyboy macrumors 65816

    Jan 27, 2005
    I think this is spot on. But also have to consider, he's a computer geek, and I think it's safe to say that most of us are. I'm a computer engineer and when I was going to school, just graduated, we would tell stupids jokes and sound really nerdy and only us engineers would get them. So my point is, this could have been his attempt to make a joke.
  20. MacTech68, Jun 1, 2010
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68020


    Mar 16, 2008
    Australia, Perth

    I think the above by Chundles is exactly what the salesperson was trying to get across.

    I've seen brand new drives fail within a month. Yes, drives are rated with a MTBF usually quoted in terms of tens of thousands of hours but that doesn't mean it won't fail until then.

    I would also mention that most drive manufacturers haven't been terribly interested in failure rates over the warranty period. Circa 1999-2001 I noticed many new drives failing near a 12 month time-span as drive manufacturers pushed profit against quality concerns.

    So is the statement correct? In a sense, yes. Was it worded poorly? If that is exactly what he said, without further qualification, then yes, it was.

    But regarding the statement about it being expensive to replace. There are a few "if"s.

    If you need to pay somebody to replace it, re-install your software, drivers, and set it up for you on site then yes. But the actual hard drive is not what I'd class as expensive, nor is it difficult to replace in later MacBooks or MacBookPros.

    If you need to attempt data recovery on a failed drive then yes, this can be VERY expensive, depending on the type of failure.
  21. qaz2 macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2003
    Traditional hard drives are extremely complex devices. Though all electronics will fail eventually, hard drives are more prone to failure because of all the moving parts.

    But that's not all. Your hard drive has already started to fail — even on the day you get your new computer. In any traditional hard drive, some bits of it just don't work, even when brand new. As time goes on, more and more bits of it start failing.

    Fortunately, the drive can work around these failures. It detects them and pretends these bad blocks don't exist by using other parts of the drive reserved for this purpose. However, it eventually will run out of these replacement blocks. At this point the drive will fail.
  22. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    You could say the same about MLC SSDs. An individual cell is not that durable and can only withstand a very limited number of writes. It's only through sheer volume and reserved space that MLC SSDs can have any sort of longevity at all.
  23. TheWatchfulOne macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    I must say, you have a very unique MacBook Pro! Is it a prototype or is it just a very, very expensive BTO option?;)
  24. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    Your hard drive could fail tomorrow...or it could last another 20 years... Replacing the hard drive in your mbp is inexpensive and very easy to do. You can buy a 500 GB hard drive that will fit in your mbp for roughly 100 dollars give or take 20.
  25. wrboyce macrumors 6502

    Oct 30, 2007
    On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.
    –Tyler Durden

Share This Page