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Re: Using spindown to prolong the life of old hard disks

Posted by: Anonymous [ip:] on April 24, 2008 05:23 PM
I've been around computers and servers nearly my entire life and, [in my experience] in general, leaving the drives running 24/7 significantly prolongs the life expediency of a drive. I have an old 386 20 MHz system that an on a UPS for nearly 10 years. The only reason I shut it down was to move to another house and I never bothered to set it back up. I'm sure it would still run today. In addition to this system, I had an email server run on a 486 DX2/66 that was also on UPS power. It too ran 24/7 for about 5 years. Ironically, when I switched the system off to upgrade the processor to an Evergreen Overdrive processor, the disk died. On servers that were shut down more frequently, drive life was substantially lowered.

I've had to replace desktop drives a lot more frequently than server drives. I attribute this to both the environment (people banging their knees into the desk, etc.) as well as more frequent shut downs.

I'm basing my non-scientific study on hundreds of servers and thousands of desktops that I've been exposed to in my lifetime. I'm sure others have more experience than I do, but this has been my experience.


Nothing to do with servers using more expensive 24/7 operation certified drives that most OEM PC suppliers don't put in their desktops? For servers I 100% agree with you - but comparisons with the desktop segment is apples and oranges. At the end of the day, a hard drive is a physical chunk of metal spinning very rapidly on a bearing. Cheap desktop drives are made with cheaper physical components so don't last as long. For me it's like saying 'my cars engine wears the most in the first 10 minutes, so when I get home tonight I will leave it running all night'.


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