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Is there any reason to regularly format HDD's anymore.

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August 6, 2012 8:05:44 PM

I've been doing IT work for about 13 years now, and one of the old rules was that is was good practice to format your hard drives about once a year for good measure.

I can't remember if there was any other logic behind this besides just a fresh start...

Hard drive tech has come a long way in the last 10 years, and ignoring SSDs, cuz they really don't need to be formatted or defragged, was there ever any other purpose to regularly formatting?

Dry

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a b G Storage
August 6, 2012 9:14:35 PM

I have nothing to back this up with, except some experiences in the IT world myself, but I find there are a lot of lazy and/or very busy techs out there who either don't want to, or don't have time to, really root out the source of a problem. So the default response in either condition tends to become to simply format and restore from a backup.

I don't think there was ever any real reason behind formatting on any kind of a schedule. Probably one of those things that gets started when a less technical person is trying to impress some friends/family by incorrectly relaying some information they heard. Or maybe after a year, they'd regularly screwed up their computer, so the IT staff where they worked had just decided to be proactive about it.

The only time you need to format a drive is when things are screwed up to a point where rebuilding is faster than repairing. That's the way it has always been, and probably the way it will always be.
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a b G Storage
August 6, 2012 9:18:57 PM

When i had Win98 i reinstalled that probably 4 or 5 times in the lifetime that i used it. Each time i reformatted. But now with all these diagnostic tools and more stable OS's i really see no reason to format unless there's a serious problem with the OS that can't be fixed by any other means or if the hdd goes dead.
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August 6, 2012 9:36:36 PM

cl-scott said:
I have nothing to back this up with, except some experiences in the IT world myself, but I find there are a lot of lazy and/or very busy techs out there who either don't want to, or don't have time to, really root out the source of a problem. So the default response in either condition tends to become to simply format and restore from a backup.

I don't think there was ever any real reason behind formatting on any kind of a schedule. Probably one of those things that gets started when a less technical person is trying to impress some friends/family by incorrectly relaying some information they heard. Or maybe after a year, they'd regularly screwed up their computer, so the IT staff where they worked had just decided to be proactive about it.

The only time you need to format a drive is when things are screwed up to a point where rebuilding is faster than repairing. That's the way it has always been, and probably the way it will always be.



When i read this i was LOL, Your 100% right.
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August 6, 2012 9:38:15 PM

cl-scott said:
I have nothing to back this up with, except some experiences in the IT world myself, but I find there are a lot of lazy and/or very busy techs out there who either don't want to, or don't have time to, really root out the source of a problem. So the default response in either condition tends to become to simply format and restore from a backup.

I don't think there was ever any real reason behind formatting on any kind of a schedule. Probably one of those things that gets started when a less technical person is trying to impress some friends/family by incorrectly relaying some information they heard. Or maybe after a year, they'd regularly screwed up their computer, so the IT staff where they worked had just decided to be proactive about it.

The only time you need to format a drive is when things are screwed up to a point where rebuilding is faster than repairing. That's the way it has always been, and probably the way it will always be.



When i read this i was LOL, Your 100% right.
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August 7, 2012 3:51:44 PM

cl-scott said:
I have nothing to back this up with, except some experiences in the IT world myself, but I find there are a lot of lazy and/or very busy techs out there who either don't want to, or don't have time to, really root out the source of a problem. So the default response in either condition tends to become to simply format and restore from a backup.

I don't think there was ever any real reason behind formatting on any kind of a schedule. Probably one of those things that gets started when a less technical person is trying to impress some friends/family by incorrectly relaying some information they heard. Or maybe after a year, they'd regularly screwed up their computer, so the IT staff where they worked had just decided to be proactive about it.

The only time you need to format a drive is when things are screwed up to a point where rebuilding is faster than repairing. That's the way it has always been, and probably the way it will always be.


Haha such a true statement, completely right though
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a c 314 G Storage
August 7, 2012 4:41:12 PM

I can think of two possible benefits, although I agree with the previous responders that this is probably not something one should do.

1) By making a backup (not sector-by-sector), wiping the drive, and restoring the backup, you can do the ultimate defragment. Not applicable to SSDs. I have actually tested this before-and-after using Norton Ghost, and it does wonders for fragmentation.

Definitely not worth the trouble in most cases. Defrag runs fine.

2) Windows OSes bloat over time, getting full of badly-removed crap and just inefficiency. I used to believe in doing a complete OS rebuild every so often. But formatting the drive had nothing to do with this.

Are those obscure enough?
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August 8, 2012 3:11:04 PM

I agree, when the OS gets so bad its faster to reimage than to repair... Especially now that Windows basically takes less than 20 minutes to really do the initial install (not including drivers and updating)

I reinstalled WinXP for the first time in a long time on an old Precision 390 we has here at work and I FORGOT how long it takes to install and how often you have to baby sit it...

You get spoiled when you have imaging software :) 

Thanks for the answers!

Dry
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August 8, 2012 3:11:14 PM

Best answer selected by DryCreamer.
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