Hard drive age

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Many people don’t think of the age of hard drives as a potential concern when they evaluate systems. Many IT professionals don’t even know what they should really be expecting from hard drives, or when they should be replaced. In most cases, hard drives fail and then are replaced / dealt with. It’s pretty rare, at least in my real world experience, for anyone to do any ‘preventative’ measures in regards to hard drives. This could mean anything from deep scan diagnostics to scheduled, planned replacement.

As you know, my company offers 3rd party IT support services to clients. Part of these services includes advising clients on best practices, and making decisions on courses of action that keep cost, productivity and reliability in mind. Often, when we assess the network of a new client, they’re surprised when we bring up the concern of hard drive age. And I’m not talking 8 month old hard drives here….. The oldest running hard drive I’ve seen was a 13 year old IDE drive…. Hard drives simply aren’t something that people, even some professionals, think about. They think of a system, whether it be a server or workstation as one whole unit, not as many different parts.

The issue of hard drive failure rates became so important that Google actually commissioned a study on it. It can be found here:

Remember, hard drives store the most important component of just about every computer network: data. We need to pay special attention to hard drives and their potential failure, and ensure that we’re executing well laid out plans when it comes to protecting data from loss.


Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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