HARDWARE: Retire old hard drives?


Should we pre-emptively retire old hard drives?
« on: August 02, 2012, 01:52:50 AM »

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We all know that hard drives can and will fail eventually, and often unpredictably and without warning. That’s why we make sure we back up regularly.

But here’s is a question I’ve been thinking about lately, and I don’t know the answer to:

Should we pre-emptively retire old but perfectly-working hard drives, and migrate data to a new drive? If so, after how many hours?

Or should we just run them into the ground until they fail?

Here’s a screenshot of one of my favorite tools (CrystalDiskInfo), showing smart data of my oldest drive, with 39,000 hours powered up:

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What a GREAT question?

I’ve have NEVER heard it asked before. (And, I’ve been in and around it for a LONG time!)

I’ve been burnt by hardware failures a few times. Couple of times the hard disk died. Couple of times it was the supporting hardware.

(The disk might have well died. Thanks, DELL, for using a proprietary motherboard / disk drive combination. Couldn’t just take the good drive from a dead mother and slap it in another DELL as a primary or secondary. That consumed a HUGE number of hours of me, my hardware savvy tech friend, and DELL “technical support”. That one HURT! Turns out most of the backups I’d taken were corrupt. Good thing I’m a “belts ‘n’ suspenders” kinda guy. Had PRINTED copies of data. Paperless society my <synonym for donkey>!]

Cloud is the ultimate backup.(Another great business idea missed thanks to my “huevos muchos pequeño”!) But even that cloud solution can fail. What do you do if you can’t connect?


Two of my more SPECTACULAR failures were, both times in a corporate setting — different employers — where I was REQUIRED to depend on centralized IT back up service, when I depended upon those others and … (wait for it) … one time my platform was “overlooked” and at the other place “ALL my backups for THREE <synonym for the act of procreation in real time> YEARS were corrupt”.

Double Argh! or is that (Argh!)**2?

Just writing this I’m now getting crazed because my current employer is another of those “you must use the centralize backup service” kinda places. 

(Note to self: ask them to restore some random file every week!)

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