I have 4 1tb external hard drives and 1 320gb external hard drive. 1 of the 4 1tb external hard drives I've had for a little over a year. The other 3 I bought December 2012, but didn't activate them (or even unbox them) until August 2013. The 320gb I've had since May 2011. All these hard drives work fine. No problems what-so-ever. They're all Seagate products by the way. I use my hard drives 2-3 times a year, from 1 hour to 24+ hours depending on how much I need to transfer. After that, I put them in my cases and leave them in a dressor drawer until the next time I use them. How long do you think they will last if I keep using my hard drives this way? I usually use my flash drives for data transfer. I once purchased a 1gb flash drive back in 2007. I use that until it died in 2013. I worked that flash drive like crazy. Do you think it's possible for my hard drives to last this long? Also, are there any serious differences between external hard drives and flash drives, or is it just size and convience?