A new approach to development hard drive (hard drives) and SSDs (SSD) drives make the former less durable and more prone to failure, a new study claims.
AND report (opens in a new tab) Secure Data Recovery cites the dogmatic pursuit of increased storage capacity and access speed as the reason for changes in manufacturing processes and increased stress on components.
When testing drives from six leading manufacturers in 2007, including Western Digital and Seagate (who shipped 80% of all drives in 2021), the average hard drive spun for 25,233 hours before failing, or roughly two years and ten months.
New drive manufacturing processes
The report noted that the storage drive industry is constantly on the lookout for the next cutting-edge technology to make exponential improvements to products in the face of physical constraints, mainly size.
Note that most of the drives available for purchase were in the industry-standard 3.5 or 2.5-inch form factor, even though storage capacity only increased.
The need for larger capacity drives without making them bigger will always be difficult. When more platters and read/write heads are squeezed into the same space, these components can eventually fail and wear out from each other.
The first significant development on this path, in 2005, was conventional magnetic recording (CMR), offering higher data density than previous methods of recording data and enabling the release of the first 1TB hard drive in 2007.
But now the industry standard is shingle magnetic recording (SMR), characterized by a more complex, overlapping platter surface that increases the likelihood of wear.
The wear of SSDs is easier to analyze – they can store a finite amount of data, so ultimately the lifespan can vary from a few years to more than five, depending on how they are used.
As physical memory becomes less and less reliable, it is worth investing in it cloud storage AND backup solutions. For secure data recovery, remember the 3-2-1 rule: Keep three copies of important data on two devices, one of which is saved offsite.