Prolong the life of HDD’s

Discussion in 'hardware' started by GroomLake, Mar 1, 2008.

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  1. GroomLake

    GroomLake Registered Member

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    Most failures of hard drives is caused by powering them up when they are cold. It is far better to never turn them off. Western Digital has confirmed this fact. It is far better to just let them spin then turn them off.
     
  2. FastGame

    FastGame Registered Member

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    Do you have a link ? because I don't agree.......
     
  3. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    I always turn off my computer sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. I turn it on, do what I got to do then turn it off. To me a computer is like a toaster, why keep it on all day, if I only have to use for 30 minutes?

    What will kill your hard drive is heat, and even then it might take years to render it useless. Everytime I buy a hard drive, I always buy a fan for it (cost 10.00) and screw it to the bottom of the drive. That will drop the temperature of the hard drive by at least 10 degrees.

    Of the 20 hard drives that I've had over the years, I've only had 3 fail, 2 120gb IBM deskstars (which each failed exactly 12 months after I bought them) and 1 WD 80gb which was about 3 years old. I couldn't pinpoint a cause for failure, but this happen before I started installing fan's on them.
     
  4. GroomLake

    GroomLake Registered Member

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    WD recommends that hard drives be powered off when not in use, although it is safe to leave a hard drive running continuously. The hard drive should be placed away from any electronic devices and in a well ventilated area to allow airflow to the hard drive. Western Digital also recommends that the drive's power supply is connected through a surge protector. In the case of a power surge, or brown/black out, the hard drive's sensitive electrical components will not be damaged.

    The initial power-on process is generally harder on the internal components of a hard drive than spinning for extended periods. However, Western Digital drives are designed to handle either scenario. Most users outgrow their drive before repeated turning on and off becomes a problem. Turning on the drive a few times per day is considered normal usage and should not pose any problems. If a drive is turned on and off excessively on a daily basis, this could affect the longevity of the hard drive’s components.
     
  5. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    So nowadays it really doesnt matter one way or the other-its splitting hairs.
     
  6. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Re: Prolong the life of HDD’s

    I wish they'd put their money where their mouth is. The precise reason, I didn't buy Western Digitial external USB drives, is they automatically turn on when the computer comes on. Then on some of them you can turn them off. DUMB.
     
  7. Bob D

    Bob D Registered Member

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    No wonder I'm confused.
    The debate continues...
     
  8. Hairy Coo

    Hairy Coo Registered Member

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    Pete
    Much better to get an eSATA case with switch and insert SATA drive with 3 or 5 year warranty,but no doubt you had specific reasons!
     
  9. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    My experience leads me to agree with you on this. I have 2 HDs here, I think they are WD's, and I have been running both now 24/7 for over 6 years without a single problem.
     
  10. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Re: Prolong the life of HDD’s

    Yep. Bascially I wanted to buy something out of the box I could plug in. Ended up buying one the Lacie's that has said switch and it has been fine.
     
  11. chrisretusn

    chrisretusn Registered Member

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    WD recommends
    I think I'll take all of my hard drives out of the computer casings with all of those other electronic devices inside, make custom extension cables so I can and screw a fan to the bottom of each one. ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
     
  12. tepe2

    tepe2 Registered Member

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    I have WD MyBook ext. It does not automatically turn on when the computer comes on. I have to push the power button to turn it on.
     
  13. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    I can't speak which is better, I can only tell from experience. I have drives that date to 1999 (including a 10GB HD). Never powered down. They all work well, touch wood, knock on hill, salt and pepper, and a black cat.

    I would recommend these three things:

    - UPS / surge protector
    - Cool temperature
    - Keep dust off the drives

    Seems to me that a powered on drive has less chance of catching dust, rust, mold etc due to being at constant temp and rotating.

    Mrk
     
  14. GroomLake

    GroomLake Registered Member

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    We have 350 hard drives here at the data center. We never tune them off.
    In our study of failed drives we found that overall the ones that eventually fail are the ones that were the least used. In other words the heavy hitters last the longest.
     
  15. Tony

    Tony Registered Member

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    What about using the sleep function in Vista, does this have the same effect on the hard drive as powering off - powering up a hard drive??
     
  16. SnTholiday

    SnTholiday Registered Member

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    The sleep funtion in Vista turns the HD off, and if you check the advanced power options you may also find that Vista powers off the HD after so many minutes. Click on advanced power settings and check the HD option.
     
  17. GroomLake

    GroomLake Registered Member

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    Believe it or not the power cable connectors and HDD cables give us great concern. Over the years as a suspect drive intermittently fails or goes off line and/or cannot be detected it is in all probability a wiring problem. We started soldering the wires in the power connectors before connecting them and are now using round cables instead of flat ribbon cables. This action has saved considerable drive down time.

    Because we are approximately 600 feet under ground we do have some protection from cosmic rays and gamma bursts unlike you boys on the surface.
     
  18. innerpeace

    innerpeace Registered Member

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    I just bought a set of the round IDE cables myself. I wish I knew about them a long time ago.

    Should you be posting this information? I just made the connection between this sentence and your screen name :ninja:.
     
  19. lucas1985

    lucas1985 Retired Moderator

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    I've been reading a bit on disk failure and it seems that you're right:
    Working on a military facility?
     
  20. Tony

    Tony Registered Member

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    Thanks SnTHoliday, it was set to turn hd off after 20 mins.
    I have now changed it to never:thumb:
     
  21. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    this pc here has been running for 4 months solid 24/7 and its never gone to sleep. the drives are fine. what hurts drives is powering up and down. just let em spin. my drives will last a long time. they raptors they come with a 5 year guarantee :D
     
  22. Stijnson

    Stijnson Registered Member

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    Why leave a pc on constantly when you hardly use it? Just to keep the hard drives in shape?
     
  23. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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    @Stijnson
    Folding@Home
     
  24. Stijnson

    Stijnson Registered Member

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    What does this mean? :)
     
  25. markymoo

    markymoo Registered Member

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