Even though the reliability of hard disk drives has improved immeasurably over the last two decades, it would be a mistake to think that just because you’ve purchased a brand new drive, it cannot fail. In spite of the years of experience the manufacturers have, the odd model of drives may contain a design flaw, which may affect the firmware, electronics or in the worst case be a physical problem.
It is also possible that an incident may occur during shipping or installation, such as an impact event or static shock damage when fitting the hard drive. If such an issue is present, these are quite likely to present themselves as a failure within the first few weeks of the drive being used and in almost all cases will require professional data recovery.
Shipping and Installation Issues
Checking online reviews for any hard disk drive will usually reveal at least one incident of a drive being classified dead on arrival, either as the result of an impact event, such as the drive or box containing it being dropped, or through poor installation procedure, whereby a static shock has damaged the electronic circuitry. It is all too common now to buy computer components and find that the packaging is sub-standard or the hard disk drive is packaged only in an anti-static bag and placed at the edge of the box, where it may be hit during shipping.
An impact event may however, not cause an immediate failure in all cases, causing the drive to operate in a degrade state before the problem finally causes a catastrophic failure. Maintaining another copy of your important could save you having to send the drive for data recovery.
Manufacturing and Design Flaws
The drive manufacturers are always pushing the boundaries of the technology in an attempt to stay ahead of the competition. This does however result in the occasional family of drives being produced with an inherent fault, some of which may be revealed early in the life of the drive, although many only become apparent after many months or even years of use.
Reviews from online retailers may reveal drives with an issue, but for a new drive model any problems may not be revealed for some time. It is only a small subset of drives which tend of have these issues, but these are often some of the most popular models. Manufacturing issues are now rare, although these still crop up occasionally.
Hard Disks Will Fail
The harsh reality is, that all hard disk drives will fail, ranging from those dead on arrival upwards. The majority of hard disk drives will remain working for their intended operational lifespan, depending upon how often you upgrade your computer systems.
You have little or no control over manufacturing or designs flaws and the shipping of the drive, but the handling and installation procedure should only be entrusted to personnel who will take all the necessary anti-static precautions. Having to send an almost brand new hard disk drive for data recovery is a problem the end user can do without.