Question I heard the life expectancy of a hard drive ranges between three to five years. I've had my hard drive for about four years now. Should I replace it?

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geofelt

Titan
1. If you value any data on a drive, back it up externally.

2. On drive reliability, it would seem that there is no contest.
Samsung ssd's have virtually no failure rate in this report:

Here are some longer term stats for HDD devices.


Since it would be a pain to replace a failed drive in the cabinet, you are better off with a ssd.
It may be worth it to upgrade to a samsung device.
 
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Alright, so before someone responds with "Why would you need to replace something that works?". There is more to my situation that meets the eye. The hard drive is no longer going to be used in my personal computer. I have plans on potentially using it in a bar-top arcade cabinet with a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (2GB) as well as a power supply.

The problem is, I'm unsure if it is worth using this hard drive in the arcade cabinet if it will die in the near future. So I've had my Western Digital Blue 7200RPM 1TB for about 4 years now, however, on CrystalDiskInfo it says the health status is "Good" and that it has only clocked 14358 power on hours. For anyone who does not know, 14358 power on hours basically equates to the hard drive being on for approximately 1.64 years.

So when I google "How long should I expect my hard drive to last?", it will most commonly say 3 to 5 years. When it says this, is it referring to the physical age of the hard drive starting from the moment it was produced in a factory (since I've had my hard drive for 4 years at this point, I shouldn't be surprised if it died any day)? Or is it referring to the total time it has been powered on (since it has only been powered on for 1.64 years, it should be good for another 3 or 4 years)?

Honestly, it would be a headache if the hard drive died inside the cabinet. I have an older Intel 760P NVMe 256GB SSD that I don't use other than having it in an NVMe to USB 3.1 Type C enclosure (using it as an external drive but I honestly don't really need it). Even though it was pulled out of a brand new laptop in 2019, it has less than 500 power on hours.

Do you think it would be a safer bet using the SSD instead of the hard drive? It's a shame it is only a quarter of the storage, but I honestly don't want to worry about replacing the hard drive down the line as I plan on keeping this arcade cabinet for basically as long as possible. It would just be a big headache having to replace the drive. I know I keep saying it would be a "headache", well even though it would be a hassle opening up the cabinet and reaching into tight spaces to remove and replace the hard drive, this isn't the "headache" that I am referring to. I am referring to the headache of going back and having to redownload all of the game ROMs.

Anyway, I hope someone can give me some advice on what they think I should do.
I would personally not worry much about it. Although it is always best to backup your files early, hard drives often make clicking noises and start to seriously slow down before they break. They really let you know when they're going to fail. I've had 3 laptop hard drives fail and it is EXTREMELY obvious when they are going to die. My hard drive is 3 years old and Im not worried about backing anything up yet. Check your task manager and see what it says under "disk usage". If its 100% when not doing anything this often means its not working properly and you should replace it. If it's an ssd on the other hand, these dont give you signs when they are going to die, they have limited read and writes they can do in their life, and once they reach the limit they will just fail without warning. This usually takes 10 + years though so I wouldn't worry.
 
they have limited read and writes they can do in their life, and once they reach the limit they will just fail without warning. This usually takes 10 + years though so I wouldn't worry.
It's not 10 years usually. It can be 1 year or 3 years or whatever.
Depends highly on workload and nand chip technology used in SSD.
Latest QLC nand chips have abysmal endurance ratings compared to early SLC and MLC chips.
 
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It's not 10 years usually. It can be 1 year or 3 years or whatever.
Depends highly on workload and nand chip technology used in SSD.
Latest QLC nand chips have abysmal endurance ratings compared to early SLC and MLC chips.
I've had mine for 3 and a half years now. Before that I never used an SSD so I've never owned one for 10 years, so I guess I dont really know for sure. I just have heard that they last a long long time, up to 10 years. I guess they can fail early like you have said though.
 

Co BIY

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Even for the simplest arcade set up I think I'd want the performance of the SSD over the hard drive. The slow spinning disk is so frustrating.

What will the power supply be for the Pi? Will it drive a physical HDD?
 

lordmogul

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Jun 14, 2014
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I have many drives, multiple that are at over 40k runtimes, including an SSD with over 52 TBW (MLC drive with daily usage over more than 8 years) and all of those work still fine. But I also have drives that died well under 5000 hrs.
I had some die slowly with minor errors creeping up over time and others that died from one day to another.
In the end it can happen at any time, with previous warnings or without, and the only truly safe solution is backups. There is no definitive answer to when a drive dies, but only afterwards will you know the importance on backing up your stuff measured on the amount of data lost.
 
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If you think that the performance has deteriorated then yes look to change it. But if its working fine then just dont. However, do keep regular backups of your stuff.
 

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