File wipers wear out HD's ?

Discussion in 'ten-forward' started by eyespy, Feb 4, 2003.

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  1. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    Hi all !
    I think this has been disussed here before but here goes...

    I'm having a discussion with a friend about this.
    The discussion revolves around the use of "file wipes" and "daily AV/AT scans". That these functions can put an extra load on the HD and may cause it to wear out prematurely.
    Personally I don't believe it does any harm !

    Comments please !

    regards,
    bill :)
     
  2. root

    root Registered Member

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    I think it's only common sense to think that the more wear you put on something, the sooner it will wear out.
    The question is, how much extra wear does scanning, file wiping, and defragging put on a hard drive. I have to believe with file wiping and with scanning you are working the motors that move the heads and the mechanisms the heads use. With defragging, probably even more.
    Let me ask you, why scan and wipe file space so much? I have never ran a wipe program, I occasionally defrag, and only scan if I have something going on that might be a bug. Haven't caught one activated yet>knock on wood. ;)
    I go all over the net, I download programs from Russia, China, Viet Nam, and the US. I do draw the line at IRC. Too much risk for too little reward there.
    Anyway, I just don't see the need for that kind of stuff. The only time you need to wipe your disk, is five minutes before the Feds get it. If you scan files that you download, you don't need to scan the whole disk.
    Maybe my paranoia is slipping. o_O :D :D
     
  3. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    Thanks for responding Root !
    Users may want to wipe certain files after use. (Like shredding files I suppose)
    As for doing a weekly or Daily scan with an AV/AT...I consider that to be normal.
    Defragging is needed if volumes of Data are installed/downloaded and than deleted, which I think a lot of users do.
    As for the Virus Scans.....Root.....you should be scanning your System on a regular basis ! :eek:

    regards,
    bill ;)
     
  4. Detox

    Detox Retired Moderator

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    Man I never thought about that; not sure why it seems like common sense but I run internet sweeper every single time I go online just because it's ahabit from before I had IESPYAD to stop the garbage from getting on my machine. I suppose that I'm just overusing my hard drives when I do that... In fact I use eraser to delete things usually just becuase I think it's neat; not like sensitive data but just old files etc... I will think about it and "conserve" more once I get the ol' gal up and running again.
     
  5. root

    root Registered Member

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    Why? There's nothing majik about how malware gets on ones computer. You get it thru:
    1. an infected floppy or CD
    2. an email attachment
    3. downloading files
    4. file sharing
    5. IRC
    6. going to a website that has an ActiveX or JS exploit
    7. screwing around with live viruses or trojans when you don't know what you are doing.

    Solutions:
    1. If you have one you are not sure of, scan it.
    2. I use Poco and it is not susceptable to infection and I don't click on attachments.
    3. I scan all files when I download them.
    4. I don't.
    5. I don't.
    6. If my AV doesn't catch it when the page opens, it won't catch it with a scan.
    7. I don't.

    Plus, I have an AV and an AT I trust that will catch any infected file upon execution. If it doesn't catch it on execution, it wouldn't catch it with a scan either.

    I'm not trying to be argumentative. That's just my attitude about scanning. If others feel safer by scanning, fine. If you do it daily, I have to believe you are putting unnecessary wear and tear on your hard drive, which is my answer to your question.
    I always try to stress the first and best line of protection needs to be the brain. I feel if you use that, and I believe you do, Bill, it is not so necessary to do a ton of scanning.

    I know many are not going to agree with my philosophy and that's fine. People need to be comfortable with their methods of protection just as I am comfortable with mine.
    I don't think too many people wear out a hard drive before they decide to buy a new bigger and better one anyway.
    :D
     
  6. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    Well....
    It's nice to hear that fellow posters consider me to have a brain !! :D


    As for the "file wiping" and "defrags"...well I'm not doing those every day or week or whatever, just when it needs to be done.
    As for the daily AV scan...well if I or another user happen to run an attachment that has a virus that is fairly new (and I'm very careful with any attachment) and it is not yet detected by my AV, than hopefully after the next AV update, my AV would detect it, during the Daily Scan.
    Also, I might add that I'm not the only user on my PC, another reason for the Daily Scan !
    I know we are kind of getting "off" topic here and I respect your comments in response to the original question..... I appreciate it ! ;)

    kindest,
    bill :)
     
  7. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

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    lol! Do they call that far ahead before they come, root? How considerate of them!

    But it brings up a very good question:

    How long does it take that little program you can get that nukes your HD to do its' job? Does anyone know?

    (And, remember, everyone - it is absolutely imperative that you have one of those UPS devices with battery back-up! - that way - assuming you've got enough steel plate on the doors and windows - when they cut the power, you'll still be able to erase your HD! ). :D Pete
     
  8. eyespy

    eyespy Registered Member

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    C'mon now......
    somebody else must have an opinion !! :D

    regards,
    bill :)
     
  9. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Okay, sure - bully us!! ;)

    I'm not really sure... In the past, on a much older system, one where you can hear every move of the head within the disk drive, I used the built-in Wipe function from PGP (I think it was version 5 or 6 of PGP from NAI, Windows desktop version) and WOW could you hear it!! The head never made that much noice in a Scandisk or Defrag...

    Now, this could very easily have to do with things like the disk access routines, (under Windows 95 at that time), and how the data was clustered on the drive. But, it was so extreme that I never wiped files larger than just a few KB from that point forward. I've used some wipe routines on my current WinXP system, using NTFS for the file system on the disk, and haven't heard too major a change in how the disk sounds between a wipe (like that) and any normal large disk access.

    But, overall, I think disks were designed to be used. As long as the operation is not too extreme, (like the obviously terrible access routines used on that old Win 95 system with PGP Wipe), I doubt it's a big problem.
     
  10. jamming

    jamming Guest

    I think Scandisk and Defrag promote disk health by not allowing the charge to the material to be unrefreshed, I don't think that there is significantly enough damage done by such programs, disks tend to fail less now than they use too and we are using more of the same physical space. So I say no.
     
  11. Checkout

    Checkout Security Rhinoceros

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    An efficient defragmenter would operate on a full-track read and write basis, so I wouldn't expect much (if any) significant wear. An inefficient one, reading sector-by-sector, would cause more wear simply by slamming the heads down so much.

    Just theory, but HTH.
     
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