How Long Do External Hard Drives Last?
Consumer Electronics
THOA NGUYEN  

How Long Do External Hard Drives Last? Things You Wanna Know!

In our modern lives, external hard drives are now a must-have. For keeping and moving huge amounts of data, they are a useful and movable option.
No matter if we use them to back up our data, store video, or carry important files. These small gadgets are now an important part of how we handle our info. But there is always one question that people have about any new technology: How long do portable hard drives last?

How Long Do External Hard Drives Last?

In most cases, within five years
Several things affect how long an external hard drive lasts: the quality of the drive, how often it is used, how it is operated, and how the user handles it. We can’t give an exact number of years, but here are some things to think about:

Influencing factors

Manufacturer Quality
Getting drives from a reliable brand that is known for making good ones can make them last longer. Most of the time, promises from trustworthy companies will tell you how long something is likely to last.
Drive Technology
Some parts of traditional spinning hard drives (HDDs), like the platters and read/write heads, can wear out over time. On the other hand, solid-state drives (S.S.D.s) don’t have any moving parts and tend to last longer.
Usage Patterns
Using a portable hard drive a lot and all the time can shorten its life. A lot of reading and writing to the drive can damage it. Especially when sending large files or running programs that use a lot of resources straight from the drive.
Operating
It may not last as long if you put the portable hard drive in an inappropriate place. Like places with high or low temperatures, high or low humidity, physical shocks, or magnetic fields.
It’s important to be careful with the drive and keep it somewhere cool and dry.

In general, a portable hard drive should last for a few years. While some might last longer than five years, others might break down sooner.
Using the manufacturer’s diagnostic tools to check on the drive’s health on a regular basis can help you find any signs of possible failure so that you can take the right steps, like saving up data and replacing the drive if needed.

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How to Judge the Status of External Hard Drives?

How to Judge the Status of External Hard Drives?

S.M.A.R.T. Monitoring

Self-monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology is what S.M.A.R.T. stands for. These S.M.A.R.T. traits tell you about the drive’s health and how well it works.
To check the S.M.A.R.T. state and look for any important numbers or warning signs, you can use tools like smartmontools (Linux) or CrystalDiskInfo (Windows).

Noise and Vibration

Strange noises like clicking, grinding, or repeated sounds coming from the drive could mean that there are technical issues. A problem could also be caused by too much shaking that wasn’t there before.

Slow Performance

If the drive slows down a lot, causing file access delays or data transfer speeds that are much slower than normal, it could mean that there are issues with the drive’s hardware or the data itself.

Error Messages or File Corruption

If you get a lot of error messages when you try to view files or see problems with data corruption. That could mean there is something wrong with the drive.

Bad Sectors

You can find bad sectors on the drive by running a disk cleaning or troubleshooting tool. A lot of bad sectors could mean that there are problems with the drive’s surface or the data it stores.

Overheating

During normal use, if the drive gets too hot, it could mean that there is a problem with the internal parts or not enough airflow. Too much heat can shorten the drive’s life and cause it to fail before its time.

Compatibility Issues

If the drive isn’t recognized by the computer or only connects sometimes. It could mean that the USB port isn’t working right or that there are problems with the drive’s electronics.

How to prevent it?

How to prevent it?

Handle with Care

Be careful not to drop, bump, or otherwise damage your portable hard drive. Shocks can ruin the drive’s sensitive internal parts and cause it to stop working.

Avoid Extreme Conditions

Keep the drive away from strong sunlight, high humidity, extreme temperatures, and water. Being close to these kinds of situations can hurt the electronics in the drive or make the data saved on it less reliable.

Proper Power Management

Don’t switch off the power or unplug the drive while it’s being used. Make sure you safely remove the drive from your computer by following the steps provided by your operating system. Then, unplug it physically.

Use a Stable Surface

If you want to keep the portable hard drive from shaking, put it on a stable, flat surface. Do not put it on areas that are uneven or moving, as this could damage the motor parts of the drive.

Backup Regularly

Make regular copies of the important files that you have on the extra hard drive. If you do this, even if the drive breaks, your data will still be safe and can be accessed from other places.

Use Surge Protection

To protect your portable hard drive from power spikes and voltage changes, connect it to a surge protector or an uninterruptible power source (U.P.S.).

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