The Facts of Life (about Hard Drives)


Industry Facts and Stats

● The average service life of a modern hard drive is 3–5 years. <http://www.storagereview.com>

● Disk drives have annual failure rates of 0.3%–3% per year, with hard drive manufacturing companies claiming a 1% failure rate per year.

● A 2003 study estimated that the cost of data loss—including technical services for repair, lost productivity, and the value of lost data—is approximately $3,400 per episode, or a total loss of $18.2 billion dollars per year for US companies (“The Cost of Lost Data: The importance of investing in ‘that ounce of prevention’”, by David M. Smith, PhD. <http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/033/dataloss.html#return15>

● Bill Gates says that 5% of Windows machines experience some type of crash, on average, twice daily. <http://www.pcmag.com>

● 31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control. <http://www.bostoncomputing.net/consultation/databackup/statistics>

● 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster, filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster. 50% of businesses, that found themselves without data management for this same time period, filed for bankruptcy immediately. (National Archives & Records Administration in Washington. <http://www.bostoncomputing.net/consultation/databackup/statistics>

● According to a MacInTouch survey of 4,000 iPod users, accounting for 8,926 iPods, 1,416 failed in the 5 years since Apple started selling iPod products. Some models showed a failure rate as high as 29.9%. <http://www.macintouch.com/reliability/ipodfailures.html>

● Hard drives are more sensitive to altitude than other components and have a higher rate of failure at heights over 10,000 feet. <http://www.storagereview.com>

● According to the Harris/Symantec Data Back-Up Survey 2006, just 57% said they back up their data, with digital pictures the most commonly backed up files. The other 43% don’t back up—ever—despite the fact that nearly a quarter of the respondents (24%) admitted to losing data from a computer crash over the past six months.

● Gartner estimated that 5% of desktop PCs purchased in 200–2006 will break within the first year and that 12% will break within four years. In contrast, 15% of laptops will break within a year and 22% will break within four years.

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