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Hard disk life

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May 9, 2006 3:06:18 AM

I know that hard disk life is always different but on average will it last longer if you turn your computer off as much as possible or is it better to leave your computer always running?

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May 9, 2006 3:55:04 AM

maybe 5 years



but .. heat kills so if u have a cruddy case that always hott expect 2-3 years on it
May 9, 2006 3:59:31 AM

That question has was being asked back before hard drives were common. Back in the 386 days.

Basically, if you are a active user, someone whouses your computer several times a day for both brief and long periods of time, then it makes since to turn your computer on once a day and shut it down every night.

Some people suggest leaving it on 24/7 but I don't, some people do and have for years without issue.

I am a very active user but am uncomfortable with leaving my computer on for hours when I am not home during the day, so I tend to turn to cycle my computer two or three times a day. I have done so for years without problem.

I guess it is really up to you how you want to do it.

As for life...some drives I have had are very long lived. Some have die very quickly. I think a good average is something like 3 or 4 years. Depending of course.
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May 9, 2006 7:53:13 AM

I bought a Seagate 160BG drive that died within 3 months. I had too RMA it.

On the otherhand, I have the IBM Deskstar 75 GXP 60GB HD (yes the dreaded "DEATHSTAR") from 1999/2000 and it is still alive and kicking with no lost data. I can't say the same for Seagate, Western Digital, and Maxtor.
May 10, 2006 9:05:07 PM

Turn your computer on and off whenever you feel like it.

I fully expect all my hard drive to outlast their waranty in 24x7 operation.

I got 3 120 GB (3 year warranty) WD that were run for over 4 years 24x7 wihtout a problem.

Only drives that have dissapointed me were 1) drives with 1 year warranty and 2) IBM 45 GB "deathstars".

I do however keep my drives in a hard drive cage with two quiet 80 mm fans for ventilation. And I handle my computer's gently when moving them.

I always suggest having a sound backup strategy and a 5 year warranty.
May 10, 2006 10:11:37 PM

MTBF is massive these days. Early drive failures are because of misuse or anomaly.

I think the MTBF is calculated for an 'always-on' scenario. In reality, on/off is going to affect it.

Just like revving up your car every time you get to traffic lights will wear your engine eventually so will spinning up a hard disk. Motors fail, components fail. It just happens.
May 10, 2006 10:47:57 PM

hello,
for what its worth i hate maxtor drives and so does my flatmate. i had one and it died on me after about 1 year 3 months, my flat mate had one that died on him just under a year old and got a replacement that lasted 4 months. I have a coffee table thats like a draw with a glass top, i put old computer relics in it like my old voodoo card and a pentium II etc. The Maxtor is in their with the other dinosours.
May 11, 2006 8:29:03 AM

Maxtor drives rock. Cheaper, faster, quieter, more reliable than all others in my experience.
May 11, 2006 9:42:42 AM

i had a maxtor a 10gb one and it was very stable for a year or so then it started causing me trouble not good.... and i heard that there early sata ones where not very stable too a lot of trouble for mobos to recognize them, i always go for western wether is for me or my clients.in case i can't find western and i need hd fast i go seagate, not bad to ;) ....
May 11, 2006 12:24:46 PM

Too many ppl I think treat one failure as representative of a whole company. Two or three maybe is getting trend-y, but out of how many HDDs you have come into contact with?

Of all PCs I've come into contact with, only one 1Gb (yes, that's 1000Mb) laptop HDD did a BSOD (Big Spin Of Death) after 3 years, lucky I bought extended warranty, the replacement lasted until the BIOS chip shorted 4 years later.

I've also ridiculously badly mistreated a 20Gb Toshiba HDD that's many years old (from another dead laptop) by putting it in an external 2.5" case and carrying it around in the front pocket of the bag of the new lappy for 18 months now. Not a problem.

My desky has been shifted so much it's got frequent flyer points - and the only time that Seagate 60Gb's had a problem was when the power died while defragging (27Gb worth of FAT corruption... :evil:  )

Like everything else in electronics... luck of the draw, and how you treat it
May 11, 2006 1:51:38 PM

Quote:
I bought a Seagate 160BG drive that died within 3 months. I had too RMA it.

On the otherhand, I have the IBM Deskstar 75 GXP 60GB HD (yes the dreaded "DEATHSTAR") from 1999/2000 and it is still alive and kicking with no lost data. I can't say the same for Seagate, Western Digital, and Maxtor.


I'm not sure comments like this provide any meaningful information... even the most reliable disk drive line will inevitably have some drives fail prematurely... maybe the UPS man smashed the box up before you got the drive... maybe the factory goofed... if a legit site did a review of a drive that died on their test bench, that would in no way discourage me from buying that particular drive... it happens.

To me the length of warranty a manufacturer offers is a better indication of the life of the drive and the manufacturer's confidence in their quality control... as for me, I'm happy with my WD Raptor and its 5 year warranty.

That's just my 2 cents and please don't think I was picking on this particular poster.
May 18, 2006 3:44:59 PM

I think its a combination of factors:

The amout you use it and to a certain extent how you use it eg for games or for office work etc.

A bit of luck some ppl who own maxtor hds are happy some are not (im happy)

How you have handeld your hd ie if its been bumped is it in an external enclosure does it have a fan to cool it down etc etc.

Ive never seen a HD with a massive life time warranty, usually they are covered by a 2 or 3 year warranty.

Back ups are still the best way to go.
May 18, 2006 4:07:16 PM

Quote:
I think its a combination of factors:

The amout you use it and to a certain extent how you use it eg for games or for office work etc.

A bit of luck some ppl who own maxtor hds are happy some are not (im happy)

How you have handeld your hd ie if its been bumped is it in an external enclosure does it have a fan to cool it down etc etc.

Ive never seen a HD with a massive life time warranty, usually they are covered by a 2 or 3 year warranty.

Back ups are still the best way to go.


You've never seen a WD Raptor?!?
May 18, 2006 10:26:07 PM

Is the WD raptor perfect?
Spins at 1k would that not increase the chane of stuff up?
Do they have lifetime warranty?

I do have one by the way..... 150g raptor, ( currently cant install windows I think my bios tho driving me nuts)
May 19, 2006 11:59:40 PM

We are a computer sales and service company and have used various brands of hard drives, except for Hitachi which has too much legacy to the IBM Deathstars that gave us fits several years ago. We have had very few failures of any brand, and no more really of one brand more than the others. I have heard several people in this thread, and others railing against Maxtor, but we have had a good experience with them. Some of their DiamondMax 9 series had some manufacturing problems, but it has been corrected with the 10 series. Don't just avoid Maxtor because another person in this forum had one fail. All makes have failures. For example, many in this forum think Asus makes the best motherboards, based on their smashing results with one or two of their boards. Our experience with them has been considerably greater, and quite dismal, both from hardware and service standpoints. Does that mean you shouldn't buy Asus? No. It just means we won't. My best advice is to search the web for better, more objective opinions on anything and weigh them with the feedback you get here before you buy. Don't just simply believe a few posters here, including me. An excellent site for hard drives is www.storagereview.com.
May 20, 2006 12:34:54 AM

When western digital first introduced the Raptor series they were their only drives to feature 5 year warranties. Like there other 5 year drives (RAID Edition) they are build with better components and to higher standards.

5 year warranties are also the norm with SCSI drives some of which spin 50% faster than the 10k Raptor.

All my western digitals have outlasted their warranties, and the one drive I had to do an advance RMA replacement on because it started vibrating, lasted long enough to transfer all my data to the new drive.

I give WD credit for quickly agreeing to an Advanced replacement RMA even though the drive passed all the tests. I was expecting an argument. The new drive worked create.

IBM treated me like dirt when my "Deathstar" failed
May 21, 2006 8:38:42 AM

Quote:
MTBF is massive these days. Early drive failures are because of misuse or anomaly
May 21, 2006 5:56:33 PM

I think a HDD life is somewhere between 4-5 yers, but hey! there are exceptions on both sides :D 
I'm that kind of user that leaves his computer on 24/7 and so far, I didn't experienced any problems. In the past, 2 of my HDD (Maxtor and Seagate) died after almost 4 years of service, but that was in the PII era, when HDDs were slow and nosy .
May 22, 2006 10:31:09 PM

Ok, I'll put my experince in this....

I have used nothing but Western Digitals for the past 7 years. I owned 7 total and 3 of them have died. Usually just before 3 years and the longest was a month just after the 3 year warrenty expired. I had a fan on them also to reduce heat in a well ventilated case. I used mine for mostly music playing which is on and off throught time when I am home.

Now, what is wierd is Maxtor is a cr*ppy brand in my opinion, but at my work there is a Maxtor that is 6 years old and even though it makes a loud whineing noise it is still kicking.

I think I am going to start useing Seagates instead because I think the 50% fail rate after 3 years I have had with Western Digitals is not good enough for me. After seeing how long that Maxtor lasts I think the Western Digitals should of done better for me.
May 23, 2006 1:02:24 AM

Many computer components don't have a long enough lifespan to for accurate MTBF data. By the time a products been out long enough for good statistics to be available its obsolete.

So a high MTBF for a new product really means that all the standard components have been proven to be highly reliable, the best guess about the unproven components is that the are highly reliable, and the manufacturing process is asserted to be highly reliable.

Plus by the time you find out whether a manufactures past MTBF numbers bore any relation to reality they might not even exist. Quantum, IBM, Maxtor all are gone now.

I wonder what the MTBF was on that 45 GB deathstar that lasted me all of three months (and which IBM refued to replace).

The numbers I trust to be the most accurate are warranties, because it starts to get real expensive if they get that number wrong.
May 23, 2006 2:16:18 AM

Quote:
*whimpers away*


your Sig says epox user !


freakin sweetness


srry i had to point that out

- why the hell did i Quote u, mehh
May 24, 2006 1:26:33 AM

basically, MTBF rating is meaningless... and many numerous reports collected of user failures are a better sign of actual drive reliablity.
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