Hard drives are the place where you save your precious photos, music and files. So it’s important that you can trust them to keep these files safe.
But if you own an expensive Apple external hard drive, Which? research has found that the brand has a higher fault rate than the other major brands included in our survey. And what’s worse, Apple hard drives were the most likely to develop a fault within the first twelve months of ownership, according to our findings. Read on for all the details.
We wanted to find out just what brands are most dependable when it comes to looking after your data, so we surveyed nearly 2,000 members of the public to find out what their experiences had been with their current and previous hard drives.
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Can you trust your hard drive?
Doing well with an 11% fault rate are Buffalo hard drives. This is significantly below the 22% average across the sample as a whole, according to our survey of 1,926 members of the public. At the other end of the scale is Apple. Its hard drives have a worryingly high 49% fault rate. That means that nearly half of all Apple hard drives developed a fault, according to the findings of our survey.
Another well-known brand with a disappointingly high fault rate is Samsung. We found that 26% of Samsung external hard drive owners experienced a fault with their device.
The most commonly reported faults were the computer being unable to recognise the device, the hard drive freezing and complete start-up failure where the hard drive won’t do anything at all.
How long do hard drives last?
In the case of Apple, the answer isn’t great. Of our respondents that experienced a fault with their Apple device, 67% of them report that the problem occurred within the first twelve months of ownership.
Owners of hard drives from other big names such as Sony and Samsung also report a high instance of devices going wrong within the first twelve month – with 56% (Sony) and 52% (Samsung) of those who suffered a fault finding this in the first year.
By comparison, Western Digital owners experienced fewer faults within the first twelve months – just 37% of its faulty devices went wrong within that time. The average across the sample was 47% of faults occurring within the first 12 months.
What goes wrong with Apple hard drives?
Freezing was the most common fault with Apple devices; 38% of those who experienced a fault reported their device freezing. And 37% reported the computer not being able to recognise the device, and a further 37% reported the hard drive making an increased noise over time.
It’s not all bad news for Apple, however. Of the Apple hard drive owners whose device developed a fault, 88% were able to successfully recover their data. So although more faults were reported by owners of Apple hard drives, a good level of data recovery kept customers happy.
Responding to our research, Apple stated, “Some Time Capsules sold between February 2008 and June 2008 may not power on or may shut down unexpectedly. We repaired or replaced these units free of charge.”
The good news is that if you do experience loss of data due to a faulty hard drive, we have plenty of tips and tricks to help recover your files – just click on the links below.