How Long Does a 12TB External Hard Drive Last?

red external disk drive connected to a laptop

For computer users, external hard drives stand as a vital asset. External hard drives provide swift backup and convenient storage for your digital files, allowing you to carry your documents, images, videos, app preferences, and programs on the go. Despite lacking a specific expiration date, external hard drives do come with a life expectancy. Nevertheless, ensuring their prolonged lifespan is achievable through regular maintenance and testing. Regular care can significantly contribute to the endurance of these invaluable storage companions.

Why Failures Occur

Failures in HDDs can stem from diverse factors, such as a breakdown in the magnetic field leading to data corruption, exposure to environmental conditions like geomagnetic storms or proximity to magnetic fields, and mechanical issues like motor failure in devices left inactive for extended periods. To extend the lifespan of your HDD, computer support experts recommend adopting certain practices for data safety and optimal drive performance. It’s crucial to handle the hardware with care, given the sensitivity of HDDs; even a minor bump can result in damage. Common issues observed by computer support technicians often involve external hard drives that customers have accidentally dropped. Additionally, proper storage is essential, as temperature and humidity significantly influence an HDD’s lifespan. High temperatures may cause media degradation, while moisture can lead to internal component oxidization. Storing your external hard drive in a location with a consistent room temperature is advised, avoiding places like hot attics, garages, or closets. Despite potential damage, data recovery from a corrupted HDD is possible. Some IT companies provide software for self-repairs or retrievals, but seeking assistance from a professional team member is recommended. They can not only perform the necessary work but also assist in backing up data to another device or server, minimizing the risk of losing critical business information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it advisable to keep an external hard drive powered on at all times?

It’s generally recommended not to keep it constantly on since increased activity raises the likelihood of wear and tear. Instead, power on your external hard drive when you need to utilize it.

How can I enhance the longevity of my external hard drive?

To extend the lifespan of your device, follow these practices:

  • Activate the drive only when necessary.
  • Avoid moving or turning off the computer while the drive is in use.
  • Safely eject the drive from the computer before powering it off.
  • Steer clear of humid, hot, or cold environments.
  • Refrain from overloading your external hard drive.
  • Regularly monitor the health condition of the external hard drive.

Can an external hard drive keep running for a decade?

While it’s possible, most external hard drives typically last between three to five years. Diligent care practices can contribute to prolonging the lifespan of your device beyond this range.

Size Doesn’t Matter

Seriously. The size of a drive doesn’t affect the length of life. 1TB or 12TB – makes no difference. Regrettably, external hard drives are susceptible to corruption, vulnerable to water and fire damage, and prone to overheating. Experiencing the loss of crucial data due to a malfunction can be particularly disheartening, especially when one believes they have securely backed up their important information.

The majority of IT equipment tends to operate effectively for a span of five to ten years. In contrast, the average lifespan of an external hard disk drive (HDD) is approximately three to five years. Solid-state drives (SSDs), which are pricier and employ flash memory instead of spinning discs, typically boast ten years or even more longevity.

Glyph has been a pioneering company in the digital data storage industry for almost three decades, specializing in product design, assembly, and testing within the USA. Their external storage solutions are meticulously engineered to address the most rigorous and challenging workflows.

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