The hard drive

Hard drives – Can they last?

You’ve been using your carefully chosen PC for a couple of years now, and have experienced no problems at all. The warranty has just run out but as things are working well, there are no funny noises when you boot it up and it doesn’t seem to have slowed down at all, you’re happy.

But, while things are working well at two years old, you might want to consider the fact that the average lifespan for a PC’s hard drive has dropped to around 4-6 years. That could mean you have a good four years to go and don’t need to worry. Or, it might mean your half way through your PC hard drive’s life and need to ensure regular and appropriate back up.

In reality, regular and appropriate backing up of your hard drive should be something you do regardless of how old your PC is. And, you should always be vigilant where your hard drive is concerned, any unusual sound or function should be promptly investigated.

Hard drive related costs

As companies increasingly go digital, the use of technology has soared. That has helped encourage the development of new, faster and more reliable tech as well as more of the components that are required to build it. In turn, as more technology is being developed and improved, there is more competition on the market.

That combination of increased production of parts and technology has culminated in a number of changes. One significant change is that the cost of technology has been driven lower.

When prices come down, concerns can arise that the quality of the product might decline too. Due to the growing importance of technology – and the constantly growing market for it – this is less true for computer-related components than it might be of other industries. Although, because technology is updated so often and older components become out of date more quickly than they used to, there is likely some truth to that expectation.

So, while a shorter hard drive lifespan means more frequent PC replacements, lower costs mean that while replacing your hard drive, or PC can be a pain, it isn’t as expensive as it used to be.

Data storage boom

Those lower technology-related costs have also fed through to data-storage fees. Demand for data storage and archiving, combined with suitable technology for it, has also helped to lower the price of data storage. From large-scale, off-site data storage business use, to personal storage devices for data files including photos and spreadsheets, you can get more for less.

In particular, external hard drives for personal home use, are cheaper than ever. But remember, those hard drives also have a shorter lifespan of around the 4-6-year mark. That means you’ll need to keep on top of your dates and provide replacements at regular intervals.

Think you can get around the shorter lifespan with a more expensive option? Think again. Rigorous testing of PCs, laptops and hard drives show that while some brands do perform better than the warranty states, the more expensive options rarely do better than the market standard.