[Questions]About HDD

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EevaLeena

EevaLeena

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This has been bugging me for so long.. So, I had to ask around.

First, I explained my situation. I've been using my own computer about 5 years. Each time, I "inherit" them from my brothers. Hard disk, mother board etc.... They bought a new one, so they gave me the old ones. Not that I mind... as long as I can use it, I don't care. This past five years, I've used 4 HD. Why? I dunno why.. It got broken each times. The worst one is the one before this. I only used it for like... 7 month or something. Well, at that time I got a DSL cabel for internet. But I didn't d/l everything like crazy and leave my PC open for days. I on my PC in the morning, and shut it down to cool them for like... 1/2 hour and boot it back. And, well.. maybe this is part of the reason... formatting the HD too many times. Before this, I formatting my HD once a month. Yes, crazy.. But at that time I'm still using WinMe.. and it had lot's of problem.. So I had to format it each months. And I do it like.. once in 2 month after using WinXP. So, after my last HD crash, I got a new one (a real new ones.. not "inherit" from my brother) last July. And yesterday it's the first time I've formatting my HD. I got really nervous about it... I mean, I don't want my HD to crash again....

The questions is... Is it really okay to leave my PC on for days. One of my brother said that it can cause the hard disk to crash faster. But my other brother disagree. He always leave his PC on for a few days.. sometimes a week. But I've never heard about his hard disk crash or something. It really got me confused. And my brother also warn me not to on/shut my pc too often, it can cause it to crash faster too. Is it true?

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jusuchin-corocoro

jusuchin-corocoro

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well, first things first: FORMATTING does reduce the lifespan of the HD... well, i've done it so many times, like twice a month...and i don't see a problem with it...but then, i read somewhere that it does wear the HD a lot, so now i just reduce it.

about the leaving the pc on for a few days thingy... i had mine turned on for two weeks NON-STOP, as i was d/l Gundam Seed, RahXephon and V Gundam. theoritically, it is a problem. but from my personal experience, it doesn't hurt the pc much. so, no problem! and about the on/shut pc thingy...forgive me...it's bulls***.

hope this helps, EevaLeena!

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Taurec

Taurec

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Quote: well, first things first: FORMATTING does reduce the lifespan of the HD.


Bwahahaha maybe for a nano second....

Desktop HDD's aren't (weren't) made for continuous operation so if you run those for 24/7 it might go wrong ..

Then again I've been running my arrays for 24/7 with desktop HDD's for 5 years straight now and nothing has happened yet.

If the disk keep spinning without lots of read and write action there isn't really a prolem.. but if you use BT or P2P a lot the heads of the HDD keep active and this can reduce the lifespan a lot.

In my setup I use a dedicated HDD for p2p and when the download is finished the files get moved to the array.

Now that leech HDD has crashed after 3 years of continuous use..

HDD's don't like heat .. so be sure to keep them cooled..

- Too bad stupidity isn't painful

Airrrrrrr

EevaLeena

EevaLeena

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Quote by jusuchin-corocoro

about the leaving the pc on for a few days thingy... i had mine turned on for two weeks NON-STOP, as i was d/l Gundam Seed, RahXephon and V Gundam. theoritically, it is a problem. but from my personal experience, it doesn't hurt the pc much. so, no problem! and about the on/shut pc thingy...forgive me...it's bulls***.

Hmmm so, it was okay to leave them. But would't it be... overheating or something?

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“Touching people’s butts is bad. If it escalates, you’ll get a Red Card.” - Ueda Tatsuya to Kamenashi Kazuya
"There was no need to tell everyone about that..!!" - Kamenashi Kazuya
LOL.. perverted Kame-chan and his lonely hands. Poor Tat-chan...

jusuchin-corocoro

jusuchin-corocoro

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yeah, if you have good ventilation, it wouldn't be problem...

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LigerZSchnider

LigerZSchnider

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The main thing is to keep the HDDs cool.....a bigger case or round IDE cables instead of ribbon cables will help reduce heat inside your computer. I have my computer running in continuious operation for nearly 2 months now....can't stop downloading. :D

If you are running only one HDD, you may have a problem. Your OS needs ample disc space for proper and efficent operation. If the HDD is full, the OS will start to fail, and the system will crash.

"In the absence of orders, find something and kill it" - Erwin Rommel

  • Dec 25, 2005

EevaLeena

EevaLeena

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Quote by LigerZSchnider

If you are running only one HDD, you may have a problem. Your OS needs ample disc space for proper and efficent operation. If the HDD is full, the OS will start to fail, and the system will crash.

ahh... damn. I only had one HD... I've been wanting another one for Windows, even my brother reccomend it, but right now.. I'm low in budget. HD is pretty expensive right now. Anyways, thanks for the advise. By the way... 2 months? Wow.. that's one record...

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“Touching people’s butts is bad. If it escalates, you’ll get a Red Card.” - Ueda Tatsuya to Kamenashi Kazuya
"There was no need to tell everyone about that..!!" - Kamenashi Kazuya
LOL.. perverted Kame-chan and his lonely hands. Poor Tat-chan...

LigerZSchnider

LigerZSchnider

Litterbox Trained........

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That is probally whats wrong. I used to run 1 HDD too; as soon as it was full, it started having problems. Then it crashed. If you see a Windows warning that you HDD is full, you will have to start deleting files. If not, then Windows will start deleting its own files to support your files. That is when the crash occurs. I use 3 HDDs: one for the OS (37 Gb), one for the programs I want (120Gb), and one strictly for anime (120Gb). You'll need an extra HDD for storage for all computers, don't see why manufacturers don't build them with two large HDDs.

"In the absence of orders, find something and kill it" - Erwin Rommel

  • Dec 25, 2005
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Leaveing your PC on does not make the hard drive crash. It's the constant turn on and off which does the most damage. The reason why constant turn on a off does the most damage is because when you first turn on your PC the energy from the PSU is the greatest, and as that burst of energy is send out through the components such as your hard drive, motherboard, optical drives, and all other components that needs power from the PSU. If too much energy is send out, then it will shorten the life of a component or in a worst case senanrio, it might damage the component right away.

Most good hard drive can last up to 5 years (if you handle it with care, and used good PSUs) or so, heck there was even a customer who came in with a hard drive he and had used for 10 years already and it still going strong.

Another reason your hard drive crashes, is your PSU (power supply)
Check your PSU and see if it's faulty. If it is change it, cheap PSU is not reliable
and can really cause damage to your components not just the hard drive, but
the entire computer as well.


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  • Dec 25, 2005
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For my experience, I leave my PC on for a long time too due to downloading. I've been using the same HD for around 4 years now and I've never had a problem with it. If your HD is crashing often, try to check other things that could cause it like your motherboard or power supply.

  • Dec 26, 2005

Jim3535

Jim3535

Shinigami

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I think I should clarify that crashing windows is not the same as crashing a hard drive. A hard drive crash refers to crashing the read-write heads into the media, thus damaging it. Windows can be crashed by a number of things including corrupted memory, corrupt files, software / driver bugs, etc. or faulty hardware causing one of those.


Formatting will not reduce the life of your drive. However, disk activity such as installing an OS and programs does slowly wear parts out. If your disk gets fragmented, the amount of seeking your drive needs to do will go up dramatically. This greatly reduces the data rate of the disk and wears it out faster. Keeping things fragmented is really good; but defrag programs don't work so well. It's better to reformat or keep a scratch partition for downloading to.

Spinning the disk up and powering it off is really hard on the drive because the heads are in contact with spinning media. It is better to leave the disk spinning than power it off when not in use. It is especially bad if you set an automatic spin down timer after a period of inactivity.

Heat is also bad for drives. Proper cooling is necessary for 7200+ rpm drives. When the drives seek a lot, such as when they are fragmented or under heavy load, they generate much more heat from the voice coils in the servo arm.

The easiest way to crash a drive is physical shock or vibration. Try to avoid knocking, kicking, banging, or shaking or a drive while it is on. Moving a drive while it is on is a really good way to damage it.

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I agree with Jim3535 , you should buy some HD cooler , it doesn't have to be some super expensive , to lower the HD temperature , if you're burning stuff (torrents for example) from your hard alot , you should definitly buy it

  • Dec 28, 2005

Jim3535

Jim3535

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I haven't been too impressed with most add-on hard drive coolers. The best cooling option is if your case has a 80-120mm fan that blows across the hard drive(s). That will keep it much cooler than any crazy heatsink combo.

I have also had bad experiences with those coolers. See the pictures here for more on why I hate small fans (almost caught my computer on fire and may have been on fire itself).

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Lol does the motherboard still work?
And you can't really put a 120 mm fan , since its too big , it can't fit , i think max that you can put is 100mm.
or you ment to put it like this:
f~~ ~ represent the wind blowing from the fan
a~~ hard
n~~
because i have 2 90mm weaker fans above and below of the hard

and BTW my friend's heatsink was also on fire , and it melted the plastic part of the hard lol

  • Dec 29, 2005

Jim3535

Jim3535

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Yes, the rest of the computer works fine. Luckily I was there to shut it down right away. The moral of this story is: if you hear the bearings going out, shut it down and RMA / trash it right away.

My case, Antec Sonata (v1), does have a 120mm fan mounted to cool 4 hard drives. There aren't many pictures showing it online since the fan doesn't come standard (but has mounts for it). This page has pictures of the setup on the Sonata II which is has the same HDD tray setup. http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=getarticle&number=4&artpage=1411&articID=351

The other Antec cases that have 80mm fans that blow across 2-3 drives work well also. However, I would only put 2 drives in the cage to allow for better airflow.

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ueon

ueon

Think outside the class...

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I would suggest you on leaving it on for more than 24 hours, i mean it gotta rest for somewhile. But as for a new HD, it'd probably be best if you leaving on for the first few days.

  • Jan 03, 2006

chingetscook

chingetscook

Net Slacker

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I see a lot of myths in here about hard drives, some of you have corrected them but there are a few that are still floating here.

1) Hard drives need to "rest" or be shut down to cool off.

False! While it is true hard drives need to be kept cool, turning them on and off to get the cooling effect is completely worthless and counterproductive, it is much harder on a drives bearings and motor to do all those stop/start cycles then it is for them to run constantly.

For that matter, some people tend to think computers need rest in general, this is also false, computers are machines, they wear out over time any time they are running, the mechanical hard drives wear out faster then most parts just because they are mechanical. The rest of the computer, board, PSU, processor, etc are all generally rated for 100,000 hours or longer of operation before they might start to fail. 100,000 hours MTBF is over 11 YEARS, I doubt anyone here is using a computer that old that they would want to use. The only good reason for turning off a computer is to save energy, a running computer under load uses quite a bit of electricity and they add up on the electric bill over a year.

2) downloading, defragging, formatting, installing programs or operating systems, anything that causes excessive disk activity reduces the life span of your drive.

False! Someone commented perhaps by a few nano-seconds, and they would be correct. Running bit torrent, disk defragmenters, downloads, formatting every 10 minutes, or running with a very fragmented drive have almost zero impact on the life span of a hard drive. You have to look at the nature of how the drive heads move over the disk, they do not use a normal electric motor that you would expect, the actuator is driven by a electro magnet that pulls the arm to the outer edge of the disk, the arm itself has a spring that counteracts the magnetic force, this is why when you lose power while your computer is running you hear a click from the hard drives, it's the spring snapping the read head back to the parking position to help protect the drive from damage.

As someone else stated, the most important thing to keeping your hard drives running for a long time is to keep them properly cooled while they are running. But that is no guarantee that your drives wont crash either, hard drives fail it is just the nature of mechanical devices. Eventually all hard drives crash and there is no way to prevent it.

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  • Jan 03, 2006

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