ATTENTION: You are viewing a page formatted for mobile devices; to view the full web page, click HERE.

Main Area and Open Discussion > Living Room

How long do hard drives actually live for?

<< < (10/12) > >>

^^ Thanks. I got the impression that it could/would be an extremely time-consuming process, since, in bad drive sectors, Spinrite apparently goes down to the level of individual bits of data on the disk, and then resorts to an almost analogue-type approach where the bit has an indistinct magnetic polarity.

If I really need to know if there is a platter problem with a drive, I have found a free tool that tells me the exact location of an error, which type of error and where future problems will arise. It will also point out to you which sections of the drive are faster than others as well.

The tool is called: MHDD  you have to (re-)boot your computer with the included iso, which enables (very) low level access to the drive.  The DOS-like interface will be a turn-off for people that are accustomed to a point-and-click interface, even for keyboard jockeys the interface can be daunting.

It has more tricks up it's sleeve, but I use it mainly to check for (possible) hard disk errors. While this software runs, there is still a rudimentary help system available. But beware, this software comes with a lot of power, so be ready for the responsibility it demands. If in doubt, don't use it as you can do a lot of really irreparable damage.

Depending on the size of the disk a hard disk check can take quite some time, mainly because of the missing speedup functionality of the BIOS and file system being used by the operating system on the hard disk that is being checked.

No link is provided on purpose, only a little bit of <insert preferred search engine here>-fu could get you into a lot of trouble, but that will not be on my head at least.

^^ Thanks @Shades. Never heard of this before. I have downloaded the 2 current versions of MHDD 4.5 and 4.6 and the documentation website page, for reference.
Looks very interesting. Similar to, but probably not quite the same as Spinrite though, methinks.

Yes, MHDD could be drive obliteration time if you're not careful.

Extremetech has an article today on an issue we've discussed before -- the longevity of hard drives.

This data covers only the first 4 years, but i have to admit it's a bit scary to me:

If you buy a hard drive today, there’s a 90% chance that it will survive for three years. If your drive makes it to the three-year point, you would be wise to back up your data, as there’s a 12% chance per year that your drive will die.

--- End quote ---

If you don't have a good backup plan in place, start one this week.  I recommend a combination of monthly full drive imaging combined with a constant online backup service for your documents and/or file mirroring.

(see attachment in previous post)


-mouser (November 12, 2013, 03:47 PM)
--- End quote ---

Heh my tech skillz are feeble. The best I have done so far is use that Bvckup2 program from that other thread. So my "soft data" is prob in passable shape, except maybe the last few months, but it was an easy prog to run. (Though I should test the "apps" copied over to be sure they are legit files!)

I think on a bigger scale, not counting building a list of progs to install, is thinking about Win 7. Last I knew scuttle was that was due to be "safely supported" for a while ... though with MS's prev rumblings about "not supporting more than three OS's back", and with the advent of 8.1, does that mean they'll drop support as of Win 9? (Will there be a Win 9? Or will  they call it Windows Secure or some other meaningless name?)

I we tried to look pretty far ahead when we custom built my current box with an eye at the future in 2006. First QuadCore Kentsfield series, 2 Terabyte drives, including the fresh D drive I can re-label as C. (Re that article ... if a Hard Drive sits in a "forest" and does absolutely nothing, does it still die?)

So I *think* we looked far enough ahead that my comp can run Win 7, maybe with an extra Ram chip if I feel like splurging. But all that is so far away, and a multi ...week... project I'm not up for yet!


P.s. If I have a Fresh OS install maybe Skwire won't hate me anymore!


Kentsfield Quadcore would put it sometime between 2006 and 2009. Overall a machine that age that was well built and kept clean should survive another 2+ years without too much of a change in the failure rate.

It probably would handle 7 as long as it has a generous amount of RAM, and any performance changes would probably be only slight. The Yorkfield machines I built in 2010 were all outfitted with 4GB of ram and Windows 7 64-bit when they were assembled.

(Re that article ... if a Hard Drive sits in a "forest" and does absolutely nothing, does it still die?)
It still can. If the drive was powered and controlled, Windows will periodically spin it up and give it instructions just to make sure it is still ready to use. Even without data being moved, the drive's mechanical parts are still accumulating some wear and the electronics are still under the effects of aging.

Leaving a drive sitting completely unplugged inside a casing, the only aging phenomena it would see are electronics aging and thermal cycling effects- mechanically it would remain a new drive, and as long as the controller did not fail it would still be a like-new drive when you finally did decide to plug it in and use it.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version