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Hard drives and spin up/down question

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2008
Mason
 

Posts: n/a
Hard drives and spin up/down question
Here's the situation:

I have a computer with 2 hard drives. I have a 250 GB which has all data on
it and a 160 GB which I use to do a daily system backup.

In everyone's honest opinion, which of these is better?

I have read a couple of mixed feelings: Turning the hard drive on/off is
worse for it than leaving the computer running 24/7 and will shorten its
life. On the other hand, others say that it shortens the life to leave it
running and is better to turn it off when not in use.

If the it is the latter, is there any way to make it so that my backup hard
drive be only on while I make the backup and be off all the other times, but
the main hard drive stay on until I power the computer off? Basically, a way
to have separate power rules for each hard drive?

Thanks!


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2008
Rick Rogers
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Hard drives and spin up/down question
Hi,

Both schools of thought are correct, it's basically a matter of personal
preference. I prefer to leave mine running 24/7 for ease of access and to
support my home network of shared files. Businesses often do so as well so
that network people can remotely update systems during periods of non-use by
employees. Most modern systems will power down a drive not in use
automatically. The hardest thing on any mechanical device is the initial
application of power, that is when most failures occur. However, running
constantly also produces wear on a device, albeit at a slower rate. Either
way, all mechanical devices eventually fail, so not being 100% reliant on
them is the only truly safe backup method (meaning you should transfer data
to more permanent media like CD/DVD storage).

--
Best of Luck,

Rick Rogers, aka "Nutcase" - Microsoft MVP
http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/
Windows help - www.rickrogers.org
My thoughts http://rick-mvp.blogspot.com

"Mason" <Mason@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
news:14643FB7-BA7B-49F6-92FD-A546AE05869D@microsoft.com...
> Here's the situation:
>
> I have a computer with 2 hard drives. I have a 250 GB which has all data
> on
> it and a 160 GB which I use to do a daily system backup.
>
> In everyone's honest opinion, which of these is better?
>
> I have read a couple of mixed feelings: Turning the hard drive on/off is
> worse for it than leaving the computer running 24/7 and will shorten its
> life. On the other hand, others say that it shortens the life to leave it
> running and is better to turn it off when not in use.
>
> If the it is the latter, is there any way to make it so that my backup
> hard
> drive be only on while I make the backup and be off all the other times,
> but
> the main hard drive stay on until I power the computer off? Basically, a
> way
> to have separate power rules for each hard drive?
>
> Thanks!
>
>


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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2008
Hans-Georg Michna
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Hard drives and spin up/down question
On Sat, 12 Jan 2008 23:14:00 -0800, Mason wrote:

>Here's the situation:
>
>I have a computer with 2 hard drives. I have a 250 GB which has all data on
>it and a 160 GB which I use to do a daily system backup.
>
>In everyone's honest opinion, which of these is better?


Mason,

hard disks die like flies. Keep them off for as long as you can
and don't switch them on and off more often than necessary.

I personally go a step further. I have my backup disks outside
the computer and connect them only when I do a backup. I use
external SATA disks.

What you should particularly try to avoid is to have both disks
in the computer and running for any longer time, because that
may create a heat problem. Most computers cope easily with one
hard disk, but can't disperse the heat of two through the metal
or through the air. Check your disks' temperatures anyway.

Hans-Georg
--
No mail, please.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-13-2008
Ken Blake, MVP
 

Posts: n/a
Re: Hard drives and spin up/down question
On Sat, 12 Jan 2008 23:14:00 -0800, Mason
<Mason@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote:

> Here's the situation:
>
> I have a computer with 2 hard drives. I have a 250 GB which has all data on
> it and a 160 GB which I use to do a daily system backup.
>
> In everyone's honest opinion, which of these is better?



It's not a direct answer to your question, but if I were you, I would
seriously rethink your backup strategy. I don't recommend backup to a
second non-removable hard drive because it leaves you susceptible to
simultaneous loss of the original and backup to many of the most
common dangers: severe power glitches, nearby lightning strikes, virus
attacks, even theft of the computer.

In my view, secure backup needs to be on removable media, and not kept
in the computer. For really secure backup (needed, for example, if the
life of your business depends on your data) you should have multiple
generations of backup, and at least one of those generations should be
stored off-site.

If I were in your shoes, I would buy a USB drive enclosure ($20-25 US)
and mount your backup drive in it (mounting the drive is very easy and
takes under five minutes). Keep it connected only when you are backing
up and restoring and, besides being much more secure, your question
goes away.

You can read my general advice on backup here:
http://www.computorcompanion.com/LPMArticle.asp?ID=314

--
Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP Windows - Shell/User
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