Failure rates of 25,000 HDDs over 4 years

Too bad they didn't say which drive, company, or model they used.

You can also find that article here.

But this does show us why backing up your data is so important.

On a secondary note, it also highlights the importance of using RAID 1 (redundancy) as a means of helping to protect your data from faulty disks.

However, there's no substitute for backups. You may end up with corrupt data due to a sudden shutdown (blackout, blue screen of death in the middle of an OS update, blue screen in the middle of resizing your partition, etc), corrupted data due to a memory error when writing to the disk, a virus corrupted a file, your HDD was taken hostage by a virus that encrypted all your data with a key that's kept online, etc.

So even though this says that an HDD may still be running more than 80% of the time over the course of 4 years, backing up critical data is still essential. And, once we consider that most of our essential files can be stored on less than 32GB of data (well, most people - not content creators, business execs, etc), we don't really need anything more than a few flash drives, a small home NAS, and/or some cloud storage to backup our data.