back to article Hardware biggest cause of HDD failure, says Freecom

External hard drive maker Freecom has revealed that almost half of all hard drive crashes are caused by hardware failure. While launching a new, low-cost data recovery service, Freecom said its internal estimates suggest manufacturing flaws and age together account for 49 per cent of all hard drive failures. By contrast, …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    No shit, Sherlock?

    And in other new, cutting your head off results in a 100% probability of death, and pouring water down the back of the TV results in a 90% chance of it breaking.

    Incoming shock news - failure of hardware is the biggest cause of ....errr ....hardware failure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Au contraire, I cut my head off this very morning

      okay, I'm now a quadriplegic supported only by a vast array of machines, but I am very much alive

  2. Don S.

    I would imagine ...

    100% data recovery from a drive hardware failure is probably next to impossible.

    Cheaper, easier and safer would be a basic backup strategy.

  3. Matt_V

    external drive?

    Erm assuming it was a drive head crash etc and not a natural disaster wouldn't you like the PC that it was in back as well?

  4. Psymon


    compared to the quotes i've seen elsewhere that's a pretty good deal!

    Certainly worth baring in mind when we get the odd-bod who insists on storing stuff locally. certainly more cost effective than high maintenance and troublesome client backup solutions

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In an unrelated news...

    Car crashes are caused by cars crashing into each others and into static objects.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hardware biggest cause of HDD failure

    bears biggest cause of bear shit in woods

  7. Stone Fox
    Thumb Up


    A couple of years ago the main drive in my PC suffered a head crash. Unfortunately that HDD has loads of irreplacable photos on it, and as such the HDD in question has been sat in a box on my shelf awaiting the price of professional recovery dropping (it was somewhere around £400 last time I checked)

    Time to take out an insurance policy I think...

  8. Shady


    Hardware failure is caused by hardware failure?

    Reminds me of the old Mac error message - "An error occurred because an error occurred"

  9. El Pollito

    Hardware Failures

    If hardware failures are the biggest cause of data loss and Freecom make the hardware wouldn't it be better if they just made their hard disks so that they didn't break in the first place?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      not exactly

      Freecom only make the enclosures. The actual disks could be anyone's (likely the cheapest going at the time).

      That's why I make sure to buy external drives from a manufacturer that actually makes internal drives, in my case I choose Western Digital. Otherwise you don't know what crap you're getting in there, and cracking open the case to find out will void the warranty.

      That said, I'm sure even WD have a supply of crap drives that didn't quite pass muster as internal drives, that they are fitting in their external units. It only needs to push 30MB/s over a crappy USB data link until the warranty expires then no one can complain.

      1. Harvey Trowell

        What up.

        FYI & FWIW, my 1TB Freecom external drive contains the same small-cached variant of the Green that WD use in the MyBook, only in a nicely machined piece of aluminium.

  10. vincent himpe


    ny a nas and set an automated backup schedule.

    or buy an external usb drive

    windows 7 has automatic backup for that purpose and there is tons of freeware backup tools for other Os's.

    If you have dual drives ,turn on automatic backup and install a nas with its own backup... and if that nas happens to be an LG network storage with two drives where you turn on replication between drives ... you have 4 copies of all your stuff. ( 2 in the computer, 2 in the nas ) and on two different physical locations.

    the nas costs around 249 for a single 1tb version. slap in a 50 dollar second drive and off you go. you can protect all computers at home.

  11. Daniel von Asmuth
    Paris Hilton

    HDD = hardware + software

    Just when you though that a hard disc drive was a piece of hardware, you had forgotten the firmware. So it would be the hardware or the software or both that failed.

    The cause of hardware failure could be human error, natural disaster or component wear. The cause of software failure would be human error, malfeasance, or maybe an act of God or decree of Government.

  12. Al Jones

    Do you get the computer back too?

    or do you send them the computer with the bad hard drive, and just get a new hard drive back?

    I'm not sure I'd want to work on their customer support line!

  13. Lennart Sorensen

    RAID would be cheaper (and faster and more reliable).

    Simply using two identical disks and RAID1 would take care of the hardware failure in most cases, usually for less money than this costs.

    Also disk recovery is not a sure thing. The RAID1 is.

    Neither protects you against filesystem corruption, user error, malware, etc, but that's what backups are for and not something this product claims to cover either (It can't after all).

    The RAID1 option also doesn't expire in 3 years, and can continue to work after a failed disk is replaced. Much cheaper long term, and you can continue using your computer when a disk fails, rather than wait for data recovery to (maybe) happen.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Lost in transit

    I see they keep the data for 15 days just in case the drive with the recovered data is lost in transit, but what about the other way around, what if the original drive gets lost in transit on the way to be recovered?

    I'll just take my coat and leave now.

  15. NemoWho

    What does this mean, exactly?

    "The package - described by Freecom as an insurance policy for data - covers sending the damaged drive, which be kept within its host computer; you don't have to remove it - getting the data off, and the return of the recovered information on a brand new Freecom external drive."

    What is this statement trying to describe? The damaged drive (which "be kept" in its host computer") doesn't need to be removed. I don't understand. Are you somehow saving yourself a hassle by shipping a whole PC (or enclosure, sure) to these guys for recovery? Is this a remore application and your damaged drive stays put and online (huh?) whilst they do this?


  16. Mike Gravgaard

    A title?

    I think the biggest issue with drives failing is how they are treated not manufacturing issues... We get drives fail at work in laptops where they are dropped or heavily placed on desks and the users wonder why the drives fail.

    I normally only buy highly rated drives myself though and I threat them well and I also RAID 1 then and use a good journalling filesystem (not NTFS) and don't seem to have many issues.


  17. Dr_Spain


    £29.95 is a bargain for a 'Safe Feeling' - thanks Freecom or NearlyThirtyQuicdCom.

  18. John Sturdy

    They don't make them like they used to in the good old days

    Years ago (OK, decades, in fact) I heard a repairman tell how he was called out to a VAX in an old building. He set off up the stairs as usual for that site, only to be told "No, the VAX is down. Literally. The floor gave way and it fell into the room below."

    He got the pieces together somehow, and found the disk contents intact. (I think this was when the disk drive was a free-standing cabinet next to the computer.) As the drive had fallen, its mains connector (already the IEC `kettle-flex' even back then) had pulled out, cutting the power to the drive, and by the time the drive hit the floor below, the heads had been pulled back to their landing area by a spring, so there was no head crash.

  19. James R Grinter

    External drive enclosures

    Often seem to fail because of the cheap, "no-brand", power supplies they use.

    (and the Freecom ones I've seen didn't look very good, either.)

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