It’s a Hard Drive gonna fail: HDD failure rates revealed

Cloud storage service supplier Backblaze has revealed the annualised failure rates for its installed hard disk drives and Seagate is the worst performing manufacturer.

The percentage failure rates are revealed in a Backblaze blog and presented in a table:

The drives are listed in descending order of capacity. Blocks & Files wondered how the manufacturers would be graded if we re-ordered the table entries by Annualised Failure Rate per cent and charted them.

The results starkly illustrate that Toshiba drives are excellent, with its 14TB and 4TB drives experiencing zero failures. Western Digital’s HGST has four of the next five positions, and a 10TB Seagate drive pops up at number 5.

But then it’s wall-to-wall Seagate with positions 9 to 13.

We averaged the AFR percentages per supplier as a crude way of highlighting the differences between them;

  • Toshiba – 0.00%
  • HGST – 0.62%
  • Seagate – 1.71%

All the numbers are low because in general hard disk drives fail infrequently. But Seagate drives have an AFR that is 2.76 times worse than that of HGST, while both are put to shame by Toshiba’s zero AFR.

Now read our article ‘Why hard drives fail’.