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Thread: May be a silly question but....

  1. #1
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    May be a silly question but....

    I've noticed/read where the majority of the 500+ GB drives (external) are used for the purpose of backup and/or storing movies and photos. My question is, are these drives prone to failure if used as a primary drive? I currently have 4 drives connected (2 external) to my PC (80, 120, 200, 40 GB). I do have a few games (things to play when I need a break) but for the most part, basically used for developing applications (i.e. VB, .NET, Oracle, etc.) I would like to consolidate the drives (i.e. have 2 500+ GB). Can the 500+ GB withstand the daily I/O without causing concern? Diskspace is relatively cheap and I want to benefit from it.

    Thanks in advance,

    FBM357

    P.S. just exercising caution
    "If you want SQUARE work, you DON'T CUT CORNERS!!!!"

  2. #2
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Any drive can fail at anytime. I really don't think that any one is anymore prone to failure than any other.

    JMO

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    Platinum+ Member veronica's Avatar
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    My fantom external hard drive failed after 6 months. It was warrantied for 1 year. I was told that an external hard drive is not meant to be on 12 hours a day. It over heats. I was advised to get a dock with a fan in it and install an internal hard drive in the dock.

  4. #4
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    As Rik said, any HDD can fail at any time. The big drives however are more likely to have more hours usage since you are consolidating your data, so you will be accessing 1 place for all the data, so that is the point where the danger comes from. Also, bigger plates, mean more time reading the same place. When you have 4 drives, you divide the point of failure, so if your 40GB drive dies, you only lose access to 40GB, which very likely you could recover with GetDataBack for NTFS.
    Basically, a drive will last an X amount of hours which are influenced in the condition of the drive (heat, dust). This is normal since HDD are mechanical, so they suffer from wear off.
    At Veronica, external drives (just are internal) can get damaged with heat, however there is better airflow inside the computer case than inside the external enclosure. Disabling the indexing on the external drive will reduce the amount of reads that the drive would have. I always disable index for my PC (not just external drives) since I never use it (twice a year I search for files, and I prefer to wait 30 minutes than to reduce 300 hours from my drives).
    357, a big advantage of having 4 drives, is that you have 4 independent I/O, so lets say your OS is in the 40GB, then your music in the 80 GB, Videos on 120GB and programs and games in the 100GB, you could play a video game, and your own music with a less performance impact that if everything was in 1 drive.
    I actually do that with most of my PCs, and I even go one step further by placing the virtual memory in a separate hard drive (sometimes in the same drive as the music).
    If you are worried about losing data, then I would suggest that you get 4 drives the same size and set them up in RAID 10, so 4 500GB would give you 1 TB stripped and mirrored storage. and you can go another step by setting another external drive to put data outside the RAID.

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    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    Good Posting from Dehc (he puts the Master in HD config )

    There are also some 'server' rated HD's designed for almost 24/7 operation for 3-5yrs...

    Google has done some analysis on HD survivability (as they have quite a few lying around the office ) From the report, there was no real pattern of failure in terms of hours/heat/dust/age of drive/vibrations/etc... they've had some drives last 10+years while others are DOA (even with the same brand/model)

    In the end, unless you drop the thing or get bad power spikes etc, you'll typically find MTBF of around 100,000 hrs (about 3yrs 24/7)...

    You can't totally remove the risk of data loss, only minimise it... so, depending on the 'value' of data, there a couple of options.

    1. RAID-mirror your drives
    2. While not raid, just another backup HD
    3. online storage
    4. DVD/Tape/etc backups

    For fairly safe configurations you'll probably find a 3 to 1 ratio of Capacity Requirements to Actual Data.

    LOL, so back to your original thought/concerns... i'd probably buy at 500gb with perhaps your 200gb drive as an 'important' data backup location.

    Just FYI, I think Western Digital has a 1TB or 2TB one-touch external backup device... so you're right for saying Capacity is cheap!!

    --- 0wN3D by 3gG ---

  6. #6
    Nobody knows I'm a dog. TZ Veteran petard's Avatar
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    Always check the MTBF. MeanTime Between Failure

    Many thanks to egghead for the cool .sig

  7. #7
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    MTBF... Oooo... the acronym brothers

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dehcbad25 View Post
    As Rik said, any HDD can fail at any time. The big drives however are more likely to have more hours usage since you are consolidating your data, so you will be accessing 1 place for all the data, so that is the point where the danger comes from. Also, bigger plates, mean more time reading the same place. When you have 4 drives, you divide the point of failure, so if your 40GB drive dies, you only lose access to 40GB, which very likely you could recover with GetDataBack for NTFS.
    Basically, a drive will last an X amount of hours which are influenced in the condition of the drive (heat, dust). This is normal since HDD are mechanical, so they suffer from wear off.
    At Veronica, external drives (just are internal) can get damaged with heat, however there is better airflow inside the computer case than inside the external enclosure. Disabling the indexing on the external drive will reduce the amount of reads that the drive would have. I always disable index for my PC (not just external drives) since I never use it (twice a year I search for files, and I prefer to wait 30 minutes than to reduce 300 hours from my drives).
    357, a big advantage of having 4 drives, is that you have 4 independent I/O, so lets say your OS is in the 40GB, then your music in the 80 GB, Videos on 120GB and programs and games in the 100GB, you could play a video game, and your own music with a less performance impact that if everything was in 1 drive.
    I actually do that with most of my PCs, and I even go one step further by placing the virtual memory in a separate hard drive (sometimes in the same drive as the music).
    If you are worried about losing data, then I would suggest that you get 4 drives the same size and set them up in RAID 10, so 4 500GB would give you 1 TB stripped and mirrored storage. and you can go another step by setting another external drive to put data outside the RAID.
    Good 'stuff', thanks! Not worried/concerned about losing data as I use this machine for development. But looking to 'redesign' my current configuration by providing/allocating more space where needed. Was concerned in the area of reliability of 500+ GB drives used as everyday performers... I will more than likely go the route and purchase a 500 and 1 TB (TB used for backup)
    "If you want SQUARE work, you DON'T CUT CORNERS!!!!"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by veronica View Post
    My fantom external hard drive failed after 6 months. It was warrantied for 1 year. I was told that an external hard drive is not meant to be on 12 hours a day. It over heats. I was advised to get a dock with a fan in it and install an internal hard drive in the dock.
    Wow, my experience with my Fantom drive is just the opposite! I've had it over a year and many times left it on doing some intense SQL related stuff. Guess I'm fortunate, but the drive has been working wonderfully. I also own an enclosure (Venus DS3) and can swap drives when needed. No complaints with that as well.
    "If you want SQUARE work, you DON'T CUT CORNERS!!!!"

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cash_site View Post
    LOL, so back to your original thought/concerns... i'd probably buy at 500gb with perhaps your 200gb drive as an 'important' data backup location.

    Just FYI, I think Western Digital has a 1TB or 2TB one-touch external backup device... so you're right for saying Capacity is cheap!!
    Exactly what I plan to do.

    Thank you and all for the help.
    "If you want SQUARE work, you DON'T CUT CORNERS!!!!"

  11. #11
    Succeded in braking Windo TZ Veteran Dehcbad25's Avatar
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    Glad we can help. That is why we are here

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