An anonymous reader writes "The impact of heavy use and high temperatures on hard disk drive failure may be overstated, says a report by three Google engineers. The report examined 100,000 commercial hard drives, ranging from 80GB to 400GB in capacity, used at Google since 2001. From the article: "The report also looked at the impact of scan errors — problems found on the surface of a disc — on hard drive failure. "We find that the group of drives with scan errors are 10 times more likely to fail than the group with no errors," said the authors. They added: "After the first scan error, drives are 39 times more likely to fail within 60 days than drives without scan errors.""