Hard Disk Drives

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Hard Disk Drives

Post by iistapp on Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:50 pm
([msg=63098]see Hard Disk Drives[/msg])

Hiho!
So, what are we gonna talk about in this topic? Oh yes, HDD's!

Simple question, I guess, but I really can't google my way to it. So, here we go! How long on average should a HDD be on, before turned off? I mean, they must get pretty exhausted running 24/7? I turn off my computer every night, I'm not sure why, but I believe that it will make my PC manage a little longer in the long run because it first of all, will only run for half the time (12/3.5) instead of full time (24/7).

Am I right or am I wrong?

What else is there to HDD's to make them survive longer?
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Re: Hard Disk Drives

Post by edone automaton on Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:35 pm
([msg=63100]see Re: Hard Disk Drives[/msg])

I used to hear people say that computers should always be left on to maintain a more even temperature range, some people would say that since most stress is placed on a device during startup it stands to reason that by starting it up less.... you get the idea.
I dont know how true that is and suspect it may be a remnant of solid state times due to the fact that since devices are designed to be turned on and off frequently, there will be provision for these actions in their design, as you say, people are more reluctant to leave stuff on.

As for prolonging the life of a HDD it's hard to say, the above mentioned temperature thing is a definite issue, but again, normal working conditions shouldn't cause problems. Like many people i've had HDDs die for no apparent reason where others in exactly the same conditions are ten years old and still fine.

There are a few sites with little tips like this:
http://www.freshtechtips.com/2011/08/how-to-prolong-your-hard-drive-life.html
I'd say I manage half of those tips :)
Not moving a computer about too much during use makes sense.

I would say that its worth buying a recognised brand drive and paying a little bit more if necessary but sometimes, in my experience, you can just be unlucky. Always backup.
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Re: Hard Disk Drives

Post by VPR3 on Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:11 pm
([msg=63112]see Re: Hard Disk Drives[/msg])

One thing would be how the HDD is used. A lot of users use it as a primary storage, using external drives as your main storage area and leaving the PC HDD to OS duties should make it last longer.
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Re: Hard Disk Drives

Post by fashizzlepop on Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:42 pm
([msg=63114]see Re: Hard Disk Drives[/msg])

Most modern OSes turn all hard drives off after a certain amount of non-usage. If you're running something that's constantly accessing the HDDs though, I imagine they will stay running. I know in my laptop, I will hear the hard drive turn off if I'm watching a DVD or something. Same with my desktop if it's just idling.

Check your power saving settings.
The glass is neither half-full nor half-empty; it's merely twice as big as it needs to be.
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Re: Hard Disk Drives

Post by edone automaton on Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:03 am
([msg=63131]see Re: Hard Disk Drives[/msg])

fashizzlepop wrote:Most modern OSes turn all hard drives off after a certain amount of non-usage. If you're running something that's constantly accessing the HDDs though, I imagine they will stay running. I know in my laptop, I will hear the hard drive turn off if I'm watching a DVD or something. Same with my desktop if it's just idling.

Check your power saving settings.


I was wondering whether when a HDD spins down like this it was actually the same as turning it off, in terms of energy and strain required to start it back up again. Turns out it is, though one would assume that complications due to repeated heating and cooling would be somewhat negated by the heat from the rest of the system.
The jury is out on whether the amount of energy used to keep a HDD spinning is outweighed by the amount needed to keep powering it up, it probably depends on useage.

I found this report, 'Disk failures in the real world' which may be of interest.
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Re: Hard Disk Drives

Post by tremor77 on Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:15 am
([msg=63132]see Re: Hard Disk Drives[/msg])

good points:

- OS HDD with separate file storage - with the cheapening cost and portability, I find that a handful of 16GB USB sticks make for great data storage and also in some cases housing an OS as well.
- sleep modes - however, for something like a server it's best if they are disabled, instead - to prolong data and OS life, consider a RAID.
- SSD get cheaper every day... this is the future... from what I can tell these won't nearly die or corrupt as easily as magnetic media.
- maintenance! chkdsk and disk defragmenting really does help. I had my HDD die last month on my main PC.. it's been running since 2001... perhaps it was just telling me i need to upgrade to a new machine.
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Re: Hard Disk Drives

Post by VPR3 on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:35 pm
([msg=63142]see Re: Hard Disk Drives[/msg])

SSD is the future. The fastest HDD I've seen so far runs at 15,000rpm and at that rate data transfer is really only keeping up with what current SSD's can do. I can't help but to think that pushing HDD's to 20, 30 or 40,000 rpm will only shorten the drives life span.
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Re: Hard Disk Drives

Post by iistapp on Fri Dec 02, 2011 4:38 pm
([msg=63163]see Re: Hard Disk Drives[/msg])

Tremor, you are saying your HDD have been running since 2001, are you saying you have kept your main PC on for 10 years, or have you been turning it off now and then?

Second, as always I end up being lazy checking back, so I'm first gonna check the links from the earlier posts and see what they have to say.

Honestly I have disabled the "sleep" mode on my HDD, as I often take 5 minutes to watch TV now and then, and there I am back at the computer and it goes into a 3 seconds freeze. (because of what I believe is the HDD waking back up to life) Which happened a few times each day so I ended up just turning it off, and instead I turn off my computer when I'm not going to use if for say 2-3 hours.

I read on some page that computers shouldn't be turned off that often, as when the temperature raises on the components "stuff" expands and when they then are turned off, they "unexpand" which can damage the components, no idea if this is true, but honestly, I have to say it sounds kind of logic. Still, I'm not sure if my PC ever reaches such a temperature that this actually have any effect on my components at all, so any thought about that?

I'll check back in a bit, I'm just gonna check out the links when I get the time, sort of busy, christmas time and stuff, you know, the normal December stuff.. :)
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Re: Hard Disk Drives

Post by tremor77 on Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:23 pm
([msg=63209]see Re: Hard Disk Drives[/msg])

iistapp wrote:Tremor, you are saying your HDD have been running since 2001, are you saying you have kept your main PC on for 10 years, or have you been turning it off now and then?


On and off.. however i'd estimate I logged atleast 6-8 hours daily.
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Re: Hard Disk Drives

Post by VPR3 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:57 pm
([msg=63219]see Re: Hard Disk Drives[/msg])

On the other end I've got a 10+ year old computer and will turn it on and off 5 to 6 times a day....run it for 30 mins shut it down...come back later. There have been times where I've left it running for extended periods. But there have never been any HDD or any other related problems. The whole thermal expansion bit, though logical, isn't valid. If components were that sensitive to heat expansion hardware related failures would be significantly higher.
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