Don’t Buy A Hard Drive Until You’ve Read This.

So it’s just after Christmas and your PC is so full of video and photos that you’re thinking of upgrading your hard disk. Or maybe you still have a bit of cash left to spend in the sales, and you want to replace your existing mechanical drive (so-called “spinning rust”) with an SSD.

But where do you start? You probably know what physical size of drive you need (2.5 or 3.5 inch, pretty much), and the capacity (anything from a few hundred megabytes to 12 terabytes). But which manufacturers’ drives are the most reliable, and which models are worth paying slightly more for?

Ultimately, with hard disks it’s all about the reliability. And if you want to find out about reliability, then you need to speak to someone who’s used a particular drive for a while and ask them whether it’s broken yet. Even better, you need to speak to an organization that has about 90,000 drives in operation, and look at all their stats about which drives are still working and how many have broken.

And, as luck would have it, you can do just that, through the excellent reports that are put out by a company called Backblaze. They’re a US-based cloud backup provider, which is why they have 90,000 drives. And they produce regular reports, broken down by manufacturer and model number, on which drives are working and which aren’t. And the latest figures are fascinating, as they reveal that one particular manufacturer’s drives seem pretty unreliable, with a 31% failure rate.

Check out all the details for yourself, before you even think about buying a new disk (spinning rust or SSD). The best place to start is https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-drive-failure-rates-q3-2017/ and all the information is free to access. You can even download some very detailed data if you want to do your own analysis.

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