How can I determine the life expectancy of my laptop’s hard drive?

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QUESTION :

My laptop is three and a half years old. When I go off to college, I’ll either replace the entire system, or just the hard drive. So far I have not encountered any hardware errors, and the computer seems very well-built – an ASUS N53JF. However, I am still concerned about the reliability of the drive over the next one and a half years. I’m somewhat familiar with S.M.A.R.T. tests, but all I see is a slew of “OK.”

How can I predict the life expectancy of this drive?

What recommendations do you have in general about hard drive health/longevity?

ANSWER :

The simple answer is you can’t. I have hard drives that have been on for 10 years and work great and drives that have last for days, weeks or months.

With good S.M.A.R.T. reports the chances of the dying today are low, but present. Lasting another 1.5 years would be anyone’s guess, but only realistically a guess.

The best you could do to try and measure it is get the full model number of the drive and google for experiences with that model/ series. As even the same brand can vary wildly in reliability from series to series.

Considerations

  • More platters in a drive increases chance of a failure
  • Average temperature – lower is better
  • Mobility – The more the PC or laptop has moved, on or off, the more likely it is to fail.

But again, there is no way to know or even guess with a good degree of accuracy.

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