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Old April 12, 2011, 12:23 PM
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AkG AkG is offline
Hardware Canucks Reviewer
Join Date: Oct 2007
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HDDs will indeed degrade with time, whether or not they are used. The older ones (pre-FDB based ones) were notorious for ceasing up while on parts bin shelves (as in it was the backup for your online server and when a drive in your RAID went tits up...your "known good" replacement also failed on stratup). The newer ones are just more resilient but anything which is A) delicate b) requires PRECISION to work and C) relies on mechanical parts can and will degrade when talking about a decade+ of inactivity. IMHO the real killer is the fact that no one keeps them in hermetically sealed environments and over time the expansion & contraction + humidity...kill ems dead. THe motors cease, the heads get wonky, the magnetic layers of the platter degrade, etc etc.

IF we were talking like 3 or even 5 years on a shelf...then meh, I doubt many would die, but 10,20 or more years...many (probably most) would be toast. Now if ANY were to surive...then they would just be "slow" by modern stds..but I wouldnt be surprised if they too "wear out" faster than expected. one knows. They havent been around long enough for a warehouse to "lose" and then find a crap ton of them from 10/20 years ago! :)
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