According to a recent report by Sebastian Anthony of, it is quite important to understand the limitations of hard drives. For more than 30 years, computing has relied heavily on disk drives for storage and learned the hard way that they don’t last forever.

We too try to educate our clients on the limitations of disk drives. Thankfully, there is a study that has been completed by Backblaze, an online backup company that has undertaken a monster four-year study.

To gauge the longevity of disk drives, Backblaze kept 25,000 disk drives constantly online for the entirety of four years.

Disk Drive Failure Rates. Backup your backup!

Disk Drive Failure Rates. Backup your backup!

As the above chart indicates, used hard drives like Seagate and Dell enter into three phases. The first is 1.5 years in which the failure rate is 5.1 percent. The second phase is another 1.5 years that sees the failure rate drops to 1.4 percent. And the third leads to a 11.8 percent increase in failure rate.
This means that nearly 20 percent of all hard drives fail within four years. The study further revealed that drive deaths between 18 and 36 months of purchase tend to be caused by random failures. Those that fail beyond the fourth year tend to fail because they simply wear out.

What does this mean for your data? Without a doubt, it points to the importance of backing up your data!

At Big Data Supply, we strongly suggest considering tape as a means for longterm data storage. With the advancements in LTO tape and LTO data libraries of late, you have the power to secure your data for 30 years and more -- while saving yourself from short-term data failures that require immediate recovery.

Benefits of tape for long-term storage include (but aren’t limited to):

- It’s less expensive than online disk storage.
- It’s reliable/stable and can be stored for decades.
- The newest version of LTO tape (LTO-6) holds up to 6.25 TB compressed data.
- Tape can be recycled and reused.

Have questions about hard drives, tape, data storage in general, or you want to sell your old Western Digital hard drive or an old HP hard drive? We can help!

Give our offices a call or drop us an e-mail, and we’ll get you on the right track! | Toll Free 800-905-7329 | Local 949-679-6633