Thanks for the tip Adam! I remember reading somewhere Seagate drives have been crappy lately. I'll go check what the HDs in those Lenovos are then.
Main culprits are the "green" or "low power" ones. Those are constantly parking the heads, thus stressing the mechanism.
Yeah, in fact I believe the Green Routine is driving the conversion to SSD storage. My last hard drive purchase had to be a drive with "green technology" to hit my price/performance/capacity needs (and on sale at Newegg). Problem is, when I'm multitasking, I might read an article, then go back to Youtube and download a video onto my 3rd drive, which requires that hard drive to drop its cigarette, get its ass off the couch, warm up, then resume doing its damn job. Its only a 2 second delay, but its 2 seconds 5 times a night. Maddening.
BTW, re: SSD, ISTR reading somewhere that it's not entirely reliable, that these are prone to malfunctioning, and that it's a bitch to replace.
SSD storage now is highly reliable. They do suffer from "crib death" but extremely rarely. If an SSD drive survives the first week, it'll last you much longer than a disk drive. Replacement is no different than a hard disk. Main thing is you need to have a big USB external disk for making images and backups (which you need to have, regardless). Then you just image the existing drive, swap the new drive in, and copy the image to the new drive. You can then use the previous hard disk as a backup drive somewhere.
In fact, due to SSD's vastly better shock & vibration tolerance, I highly recommend buying a new laptop with a small, cheap hard disk and doing the swap to SSD yourself. Or customize the laptop with a big but slow hard disk, then swap in an SSD, and put the big/slow hard disk in a USB3 external enclosure for use in backups. In your case, working with big huge video files, you can run with a smaller SSD for your OS and everyday use, and store your big bulky video data on the external.