I am trying to find out the best way to prolong the life of my hard drives.
Is it best to turn off hard drives using the power options? I have heard mixed feeling about it. Some say this will cause your hard drive to crash. Others say its pointless since the hard drives never stop spinning. If you know any articals online concerning this please let me know.
I don't want to hear speculation. If you don't know then don't bother replying.
Leave the power options set to never turn the drive off... and if you use your computer every day, leave it running overnight. the more times a drive stops and starts from constantly shutting down the computer, the shorter its life will be. My dad has always left his computers on overnight and in the 20 years he has been working with computers, has never once had a hard drive die on him. He usually does a complete rebuild every 4 or 5 years.
Well, let me counter that with the fact that the past 2 machines I've built for myself have run 4 and 6 year, respectively, without a single hdd failure, and I turned the machines on and off almost every day. One person's experience shouldn't be the basis of an oppinion, simply too small of a sample. You are going to find people that say one thing and some that say the other, some claim, like you, the start-and-stop issues, the others will say MTTF of the motor/bearings/etc. While there may be an answer for particular systems or particular drives, to thing one of those two schemes will work for everyone is specious at best.
The real answer is to the issue is simple: back up your important data and get a tool that watches the SMART data all current harddrives report to watch for trouble signs.
Edit: a link with all the information about SMART you could want.
I don't make enough money to leave my computer running 24/7. I need another solution.
Then never turn it on....the HD's will bee like new 100 years from now.
All lame jokes aside,the best thing is to leave the computer running all the time.
The system will not use very much power just being on (a 500watt psu does not use 10 amps just becuase it can...only when it needs to). If your monitor is a CRT you would want that off for the night.
Then i should have added that it was also partially based on my experience as well. The only thing is that my total experience isn't nearly as much as my dad's. I've only been doing this for 4 years... not long enough to be able to raise a valid argument in this case.
On a side note... I agree with ZOldDude. a 500W supply doesn't use power just because it has it available.... only when it needs it, and yes turning CRT monitors off everynight is definitly a good idea.