Hard drives all have failure rates. There’s a common system called SMART that hopefully will give you an advance warning. Many drives will last quite a number of years. Western Digital is coming under fire, as their business drives are giving an automatic warning label at 3 years. Further, once the drive is flagged as having a problem, it can’t be used in any situation where we would normally just use auto-repair. So, it’s like saying your car is no longer reliable after it hits 50,000 miles, and now you have to just go buy a new car. There are some additional specifics, but the idea here is similar to what we’ve seen from Epson and HP in the printer world, and we’re likely to see more sneaky tricks in other areas in the tech world.
Drives automatically get a “warning” flag if powered on for 3 years.