How often do Hard Drives fail???

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by big dainjerus, Jan 29, 2008.

  1. big dainjerus macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2007
    I know it is just common sense to do everything to prepare for a possible HD crash, but how often does this really happen? I have only had imacs, ibooks, and powerbooks, and have never had an issue. But sometimes the idea of HDs crashing gets thrown around here like its a sandwich and a normal occurrence!!!

    All this RAID talk, backing up to externals (and hearing about those crash a lot), it just always seems like every HD is on the verge of exploding! Like you have a piece of gold because it didn't fail on you yet! Is the science and technology behind them still not to the level we would want them to be, or is that impossible? What about HDs makes them more likely to fail than anything else?

    With 4 HDs going to be in place for me, are the chances pretty high that at some point at least one of them is going to take a dirt nap? Or are there some guys that never, ever, have a problem with HDs? It seems that everyone always has a story about some HD that acted a fool.
  2. echoout macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    I'm that guy. I've probably lost aboout 10 HDs over 10 years. All different situations. My last one was on my MBP a month ago. Clicked twice in a row, real fast-like, in Safari and WONK!, total lock-up. Salvaged about 80% of my stuff via DiskWarrior. Luckily I'm organized and had most stuff backed up. The replacement drive Apple installed started making crazy noises about 2 days ago. I do video work and typically push the drives pretty hard if that matters.

  3. JesterDev macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2008
    Can't say for macs as I've been a PC user for the past 22 years, but I'm sure it's about the same. I have had well over 200 HD's at the least 30 of them have crashed. Sadly it seems that the majority of them where Western Digitals. Perhaps I just hit a bad bunch or something. I had 2 Maxtors, and 1 Seagate fail on me that I can remember.

    Modern drives seem to fail more often then the older ones. Perhaps it's a trend; I don't know. All in all I wouldn't worry about it too much. I find that most drives that are going to fail will do so before the warranty is up. :)
  4. astrostu macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    Bought my computer in 2001. First hard drive died in August 2004. Ever since then, almost like clockwork, I have had one drive or another (internal or external) die within the last 5 months of the year. 2005, 2006, and 2007.
  5. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    They are a mechanical part.

    All you can really do is avoid buying drives that are known to have failure issues and have a backup system in place.
  6. Reach macrumors 6502a

    Sep 7, 2006
    Had Macs for 15 years, and I've NEVER had a drive fail on me..

    Guess I'm lucky..
  7. JasO macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2008
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've never had a hard drive fail. Don't backup. Should but don't...
  8. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    I don't think I've ever had a drive fail on me. Never the less, it can and does happen to people frequently, which is why I still put 2 x 750GB drives in just to have a full backup of one to the other. It might be hard to justify the cost of 2 drives when you're only getting the use of the space from one, but if/when a drive does fail you'll be very glad you spent the extra on having a backup. Especially given the increasing amount of prized personal data everyone keeps on computers these days (not just work, but almost more importantly music, and very importantly irreplaceable photos).
  9. Jsingh macrumors member

    May 8, 2007
    I've had wayyy to many drives fail on me, but i backup frequently so its not as painful. Also, most of my hard drive setups have been raid 0 arrays which are pretty risky as it is.
  10. tersono macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2005
    Hard Drives are generally pretty reliable, but the old axiom holds true:

    There are those who have at some point lost all their data, there are those who are, sooner or later, going to lose all their data and there are those who religiously make backups....

    Which one are you? :p
  11. juanster macrumors 68020


    Mar 2, 2007
    i hear pretty often but i ve never had an HD fail or die on me before so i dunno
  12. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    Hard drives only fail when you least expect it. Stop thinking about the consequences of a drive failing on you for a second and I can assure you that's when they'll choose to go south :D

    Roll on SSD!
  13. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    Might as well pretend like this is the case. :) A HDD only has to fail once for you to loose all your data (if you don't backup). And besides the DVD drive and fans, it's one of the few moving parts, obviously a critical one too.
  14. officerdick macrumors regular

    May 4, 2006
    Q: How often do Hard Drives fail???
    A: Seldom, but it happens
  15. kresh macrumors 6502a


    In 24 years I have only had one hard drive failure. Oddly enough, my original AT&T 6300, Amber Monochrome, and 10MB external hard drive still works. The hard drive isn't full either, imagine that.

    I guess I've been lucky too.
  16. macgruder macrumors 6502

    Oct 29, 2007
    Parachutes rarely fail either, but you'd be nuts to skydive without a reserve.
  17. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    I think about 2 years ago, I had four hard drives die on me within one month. Lost tons of data.

    I see hard drives fail all time. I have helped lots of friends replace drives in their laptops. I can't wait until solid state hard drives become the norm.
  18. CalfCanuck macrumors 6502a

    Nov 17, 2003
    I also lost 4 HD's within 3-4 years. A couple were the IBM deskstar AKA "deathstar".

    Not sure how much this design defect at one of the major manufacturers skewed the data, but nevertheless you should BACKUP and plan for the time when your hard drives fail in the future.
  19. jwt macrumors 6502

    Mar 28, 2007
    Ditto (for Apple products)! But I did have a Dell laptop drive fail on me at work.

Share This Page