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Just because we are so dependent on hard drives, it is very strange that no one has ever studied how long that 's hard drive lives on average. All we of course do have stories of a hard drive that will last for more than five years, but we want objective charts. What is the realistic life of a hard drive? is it one, three or five years? If we replace our hard drive today, how long can we sleep on our two ears?




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These are all questions that remain unanswered and which is about to be published today no investigation. Backblaze is also the first who has studied this extensively. They are a company that offers unlimited online backup and always run 25,000 hard drives. From their experience, they have drawn a conclusion, and that is very interesting.


Life of a hard drive


The past four years have Backblaze therefore always maintained around 25,000 hard drives. Every time one of those drives was failing, she noted it and she replaced . Thus it is that Backblaze can create beautifully detailed charts after four years on the moments in which hard disks their last breath.


 Failing hard drives follow the bathtub curve - a curve that nicely illustrates the three phases of the product lifecycle.


We can actually distinguish three periods. In the first period, which lasts one and a half years, comes every year as "n 5.1 percent of the discs each. In the 18 months that follow, that number drops to 1.4 percent. And then, after three years, it rises some crashing hard drives again phenomenal, to 11.8 percent per year. That means that 92 percent of the hard disks survive the first eighteen months, and that of those drives 90 percent of the stand it suddenly three years.


 All hard drives that have given up the ghost over a period of four years.


Slightly less than 80 percent of the hard drives do with their fourth birthday. Backblaze does not have figures for what happens next, but engineer Brian Beach suspect will fail 12 percent of the discs annually. In practice this means that half of the hard drives will be just six years.


Why go hard disks piece?


We see next three periods also three reasons why a disc suddenly stops working. Drives that do not survive the first year are usually the victims of a manufacturing defect. This is called "lemon" effect, with some discs suddenly stop working after a few months, while most years running without problems.


Between 18 and 36 months crashing drive through any problems that happen to you especially since you're unlucky. Retrieves your disc then he starts to get old age ailments of age four years. The various components can rotate only so many times before something breaks.


 The number of damaged hard drives per quarter over the first four years.


Backblaze works the way ordinary consumers disks, but in addition you also have special drives for businesses. Usually come with a warranty of five years. We do not know for sure, but these discs may be subject to stringent quality tests and can more actions by their design. Presumably, the number of disks that are crashing prematurely here is also lower, though, a number of these disks also start after four years of experience problems.


Backup is the message


Thanks Backblaze we now know for sure that if you buy today a hard drive, there is 90 percent chance that it will last three years. Then it is advisable to backup your data, because 12 percent chance each year that you will crash disk.


also realize that these figures include built-in hard disks. External hard drives are vulnerable for various reasons, all of which keep it maybe longer if you put them but used so often to create a backup.


Another caveat: the discs of Backblaze continuously active: these figures are also applicable to disks that are 24 hours in 24 hours. In a home environment that may not apply, so the death rate from your hard disk is just a little later.


Because there is 5.1 percent chance that your drive his first year not perfect, you have to either your regular data backup or - if you are very careful - the first year and a half not put important data on that disk. After 36 months, it is highly recommended in any case to back up your data or copy them to a new hard drive.


Backblaze now remains just tracking statistics so that we can see in the future what happens after those four years.


NAND Flash


Now it is waiting for a company that enough SSD 's in-house to give us a good idea of how long NAND Flash stand it. Compared to a hard drive, which is in computers for over 30 years, an SSD exists in its present form only a thick five years. Here's the rub mainly.  Because of the extensive development of hard disks is a much less high failure rate in the first three years. SSDs are much more sensitive to errors in the first and second phases with respect to the hard disk. What it is clearly makes the difference, is in the third phase, after four years.


Because of the wear and tear on moving parts of the hard disk failure rate rises very sharply. In SSDs, this is not the case, and the wear remains relatively stable. There is talk of a maximum number of writing assignments before a memory is worn, but a practice test with a Samsung SSD 840 proves that this particular SSD card is unusable after 75 years when you 10GB daily writes. No reason to panic. Because SSDs are still relatively young, there are few hard numbers to make a direct comparison with hard drives.


Find the glutton on your hard drive


Hard drives in desktop computers today are large enough to careless copying files or install programs.That seems a luxury, but just why you stack byte after byte. Until the moment when your computer reports that no write capability is available. Then there is no choice but to delete files or remove programs. Remove Programs in Windows Control Panel do handy, but how to sleuth the large files on your disk? SpaceSniffer provides a handy overview of your drive!


SpaceSniffer  is a tiny program that you do not need to install once. Top, click Download and choose the most recent version. In the downloaded ZIP file to copy your really only one file to your desktop:Spacesniffer.exe . To get started, you just need to double-click. Choose the disk where you want to perform the analysis, and then click Start .

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What follows is a very strange situation. SpaceSniffer will analyze the entire disk, with flashy boxes as a result until he has finished the analysis (see top right). Then flashes occasionally a box, which means that a file is written to that folder. At a glance you can see which applications or folders occupy the most space. 'm Certainly not like crazy to get started by removing all large. You will eventually not want your Windows installation is running in the soup.


Where are you most like? The Windows directory is off-limits, as is the large files pagefile.sys and hiberfil.sys. The place where you probably can recover the most storage, the folder Users . I could include recovering all simple 60GB, such as the download of your Internet browser, anything in My Documents , or just on your desktop . Because SpaceSniffer representing the visual, you sit right where the big gluttons. To know what's under a specific folder, click the large box for another visual subdivision. The blue boxes are files, the orange boxes folders.

SpaceSniffer has some extra tricks to help you with specific quests for large files. The bar filter can be an extension, for example, * .jpeg , type to start looking at that. If you prefer to filter by date? Enter for example > 2years next filter to get an overview of the file size of older files. A convenient way to quickly find large dormant files. To use multiple filters, you separate them by one, sign, for example * .jpg;> 1mb; <3months . You will be amazed how much you can regain lost capacity with SpaceSniffer.



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