SMART projecting HDD failure?

February 21, 2009 at 13:54:44
Specs: Windows XP, AMD Athlon 64x2 3800
I have a program called HDD Health that is showing a nearest possible TEC date of today. (It says its precision is 25 percent.)

It lists all the current values, their threshold and their worst ever values... and things don't look real good, to my untrained eye. Here's a screenshot:

Is my HDD going to die soon? I can't remember how old it is. I'm guessing like 7 years. How long do hard drives usually last? I have backed up my stuff on an external hard drive. Anything else I should do? Any way I can know for sure when I need to replace my hard drive? I recently got laid off and I'm trying to be a little frugal, but I can't afford to lose all my data, either!

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February 21, 2009 at 14:05:58
I have used the application you are using and I wouldn't take much notice of it. It was predicting imminent failure of a hard disk for weeks, a hard disk that is still in use three years later.

The best place to check SMART is in the BIOS and even then it can be misleading.

As for losing your data, you should be doing backups as a matter of routine, even on a brand new straight out of the box hard disk. Hard disks can fail without warning for a variety of reasons.


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February 21, 2009 at 14:08:55
Thanks. I just tried another program and got some better results:

I guess I won't panic and I'll check the self-reporting SMART that comes with the HDD in the BIOS, I guess.

Any guesses for how long hard drives usually last? I got new RAM and a new case, so if I'm swapping this stuff anyway, I could upgrade if it's time.

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February 21, 2009 at 14:24:42
I think our four-years old thread below may still be relevant to your last question. In any case keep in mind that there is no scientific answer to how long a hard drive will last.

average life of hard drive


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Related Solutions

February 21, 2009 at 15:03:49
I remember that thread. At the time my main hdd was a 80Gb/8Mb Maxtor and it was 3 or 4 years old then; it's still my main drive.

It could just be the luck of the draw but WD drives give me the worst fitness reports and Maxtor the best. My 120Gb Samsung gives better fitness reports than WD but not much better.

All the drives are 6 to 8 years old and have been installed in multiple machines. Never a hitch with any of 'em. Pretty amazing equipment when you think of the amount of data read and written over the years.


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February 21, 2009 at 15:56:01
Hard drives can fail the day after being installed or last for decades. I also advise not trusting SMART, I have it disabled. Take Stuart's excellent advice and do regular backups. Then you won't have to lose sleep over a drive failing.

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