I have a 4TB WD My Passport sitting in a shelf with archived data for about 3 years. I have recently learnt that if a hard disk sits in a shelf for too long, unpowered, it slowly starts to lose the data. Does it still apply to modern drives? Also, to prevent such data loss, is a read-write cycle necessary, or is a simple read sufficient to “refresh” the data? Also, is there any estimated rate of the data loss per year?
The data cannot be lost from the drive automatically. However, it is recommended to use the drive consistently as it is made of mechanical precision parts.