Your Hard Drive’s Lifespan & How to Tell If It’s Dying – What to Know

If you’ve ever visited a computer shop, chances are that you’ve run into a whole host of storage options, from hard disk drives (HDD) and solid-state drives (SDD), to USB sticks and more. Storage is one of the essential features in most systems, from laptops to phones and many other devices. As such, you can never have enough storage!  

That said, one of the most critical and most affordable storage options would be from the use of hard disks. They’re a fraction of the cost of SSDs, yet provide considerably more storage compared to USBs. Because of this, they’re most often used in systems that require plenty of storage, such as video-editing machines and the like. However, there is one question that many people ask when it comes to using HDDs, and that’s how long the hard drive will last.  

There isn’t a simple answer to how long an HDD will last, as there are many factors that play a role in it. However, we’ll tell you about these different factors, how they affect an HDD’s lifespan, and the signs that your storage device is dying in the sections below. 

What are the factors that’ll affect the lifespan of a hard disk drive?

Many factors affect the lifespan of your hard drive, some of which include storage size, brand, storage conditions, usage, and more. As a good rule of thumb, if you use your hard drive regularly—meaning that you consistently put in and take out data—chances are that it’ll last around four years. However, that number can change drastically, depending on the factors we’ve shared. 

For example, if the hard drive, while full, isn’t used as often, it can surpass that number by a considerable number. However, if that hard drive ends up not being used at all, it would be as if you had gears that haven’t turned in forever, slowly rusting away. Another example would be if the surrounding conditions that a storage device finds itself in are ideal. If this is the case, then it’s also going to last a lot longer. However, if it is stored someplace that isn’t climate-controlled, meaning that temperatures are extreme and humidity levels are high, then its lifespan is going to shorten. 

What are the signs of a dying hard drive?

There are so many factors to consider that it is almost impossible for you to determine the exact lifespan of your drive. A hard drive, when it starts dying, doesn’t stop working immediately. Instead, symptoms will pop up, warning you of what’s to come. 

The signs that you can expect to pop up when you’re dealing with a dying storage device include disappearing folders, error messages popping up, hard drive noises, more frequent crashes, and the slowing down of the hard drive, forcing you to wait longer when accessing files. If any of these symptoms occur, backup all your data right away. If it is severe and the hard drive dies before you can back up your data, send the drive to a computer shop for repairs.


To conclude, if you’re facing any problems related to your hard drive, we highly recommend that you send it to a computer shop to get it backed up and replaced right away. With a professional’s help, you lower your chances of losing all your data. As a preventative measure, always practice backing up your data. After all, you never know when your hard drive will decide to die, so you won’t want to be caught off guard.

Are you looking for a computer shop in Barnsley? We’re here for you! Contact us and let us know how we can help you.

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