Data recovery is big money...

Yes you are right, more and more modern hard drives are junk models.

I have noticed that too. I run my own computer repair business and the amount of people that come to me with a computer that's not working. I then take a look at it, and a few years ago it used to be because they'd got a virus or something. But now more and more often I'm finding that it's because the hard drive has failed in some way.

Sometimes using Linux Live CD's you can still retrieve some information off faulty hard drives. But years ago hard drives used to last for ages, now they're getting more and more unreliable.

I have got a few thoughts on this

1. It could be that due to the increase in size, it is leading to a less stable drive - the more data you cram into a smaller area even a small amount of damage could wipe out quite a lot of disc space.

2. SMART drive checker - I don't exactly know how this checks the hard drives for failure, but maybe something in this could be making them fail more rapidly, or maybe it's a hidden program to ensure the hard drive does die so the manufacturer can sell you another drive.

3. Data recovery - it could also be some of the hard drive manufacturers are cashing in on data recovery. They know how important data is on people's computers now - lost photos, documents, accounts, etc and people will pay big money to get their data back.

4. Company take overs - Many hard drives are no longer made by individual companies, quite a few were bought out by Seagate/Maxtor. As they're using the same process for making the different branded drives then it is highly likely that any faults in their manufacturing process would also spread across the various brands as they're all made in the same way.

At one point I used to use a lot of Seagate drives as they were good, however recently there has been an increase in reports that their range of drives are suffering from the click of death, most recently I built my own external drive and used a Samsung drive in that. The Samsung has anti-shock technology in it, and it has really surprised me at times. I have my laptop quite often on top of a high bed (about 6ft from the ground) and regularly use the external drive. I have dropped that external drive numerous times off the bed straight onto wood flooring. The external casing is a bit damaged, however the drive itself is still absolutely fine, so there must be something to this Samsung anti-shock.