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Old 03-18-2008, 12:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hard Drive Life Expectancy

I couldn't find too much info on Google and was wondering, what is the life expectancy of most hard drives? I'm specifically worried about my 5 year old HDDs that are in my computer right now. I only back them up around once a month, and would be really bummed if one of them died after a few weeks without a backup.

Also, what is the lifetime of video cards? Mine has developed a grinding hum that comes and goes. Sometimes I'll hear it for up to a week and sometimes only for a few minutes, but it drives me crazy! I really just want an excuse to buy a new computer, but this one still works so I can't justify it yet.

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Old 03-18-2008, 01:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Life Expectancy

After 5 yrs. any hard drive can go simply from normal use. More frequent backups would be advisable. With a new system you can also use external drives for storage in case your OS drive gets trashed by a bug or simply lets go on you.

Some hard drives make it to almost 20yrs but on rare occasions for the most. A lot has to do with how the drives are treated like monitoring temps as well as periodic maintainence.

Video cards are similar in some ways while usually being swapped or upgraded a little faster especially with gaming machines. "Gee those latest Radeon 3870s are out." pow! New card goes in! Yet some cards seem to last for a long time from not being oced and cooked at times but simply ran on a normal pc.

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Old 03-18-2008, 10:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Life Expectancy

graphics cards can last for a very long time as they are mostly solid state components. the grinding noise is coming from the fan which should be replaceable in one way or another.
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Old 03-18-2008, 07:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Life Expectancy

There's enough vpu coolers to find. when clicking on one at a vendor you simply read the description to see which series of cards it will work on. To give you a look at one selection coolerguys as well as newegg and others have their own sections for that. Video Cooling
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Old 03-18-2008, 09:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Life Expectancy

you can check out this program called HDD Health,
it gives some info about your hard drive such as serial, and temp

also gives you the nearest estimated time of failure...
I do not know how accurate they are, since I haven't had a HD fail on me yet, but seems fun
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Old 03-18-2008, 11:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard Drive Life Expectancy

I generally wouldn't count too much on any software since hard drives are mostly mechanical in nature. One thing that will certainly help extend the life of any drive is seeing low temps.

I had one 6yr. old drive reliable as ever until loaning it out to a friend who supposed use it only temporarily until getting Windows installed on his own new drive. Unfortunately over a year later when asked to find out why XP wasn't loading up I found a blanket of dust inside the case covering the board. Neglect and high temps saw the drive fail there.

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