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How long?

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There's no absolute answer to your question. However, drive failure probability is highest in the first couple of months of use, and then rises again after about 5 years. Factors like ambient temperature and the amount of use a disk gets play a role as well. The manufacturer of your drive may quote Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) numbers. So, if you really are wondering, you can use that as a guide and figure in how much you are using your drive to get a sense of how much problem-free use you *might* get. :-)


Best advice - be sure to backup regularly.

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