In ten years, across several different machines, different companies, and different operating systems I've noticed a trend that External Harddrives die long before their internal counterparts. What's more everyone I've spoken to who has used external harddrives for any period of time has shared the same experience. In short: There seems to be a lot of anecdotal evidence that external drives have a much shorter life than internal harddrives.
At first I thought it was because they are moved a lot more than internal drives, but my laptop internal harddrives seem to last as long as my desktop ones, and I've had the same short lifespan when external drives are never moved.
Is this a known issue? Do external harddrives have substantially shorter lifespans than internal drives? If so, why? And what can be done?