Things I knew:
- Brand name computers have lower failure rates than white box computers.
- Overclocking processors will increase the failure rate. This is why they call it a rated frequency.
- Memory failures have a high likelihood of failing again at the same memory address. I have seen this dozens of times.
Things I didn't know:
- Memory failures and disk failures are independent.
- Computers with more memory have less disk failures. In retrospect this makes sense, as more memory translates to more caching and less disk I/O.
- Laptop hardware is more reliable than desktop hardware. This is counter-intuitive of the theory of reducing reliability through miniaturization, but advances in technologies such as hard drive platter parking and passive cooling could easily offset this.
- A hard drive failure will happen again. Okay this I knew, but I didn't know the statistical likelihood was so high as 1 in 3.4 for a second failure within 5 days or 1 in 1.9 for a third failure in an additional 5 days. If it fails once, replace it right away or you can guarantee a loss of data.