HHD lifespan

For system help, all hardware / software topics NOTE: use Coders Corner for all coders topics.

Moderators: Krom, Grendel

Post Reply
User avatar
Tunnelcat
DBB Grand Master
DBB Grand Master
Posts: 10610
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: Corvallis, Oregon, where you don't tan, you rust.

HHD lifespan

Post by Tunnelcat » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:25 pm

My current Steam library is on a Western Digital Black 7200rpm 1 T HHD and it's now 6 years old. It was originally my OS drive, but when I bought an SSD for my OS a few years back, I moved my entire Steam library over to the HHD after it was reformatted. My question is, should I replace this drive before it takes the deep six or cross my fingers? I kind of hate to put more money into my Win7 64bit 6 year old computer right now, but I also hate the thought of having my most used drive die on me unexpectedly. I'd like to keep it running for a few years more before I HAVE to upgrade the whole system. I've already recently invested in a GTX 1070 and this system is still humming along.
Cat (n.) A bipolar creature which would as soon gouge your eyes out as it would cuddle.
User avatar
Krom
DBB Database Master
DBB Database Master
Posts: 15164
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 1998 3:01 am
Location: Camping the energy center. BTW, did you know you can have up to 100 characters in this location box?
Contact:

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Krom » Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:42 pm

What does crystal disk info say about the drive?
http://crystalmark.info/software/Crysta ... dex-e.html

Green light or normal means the drive isn't showing any signs of wear, which may be a long shot for a drive that old unless its power on hours is still fairly low.

Statistically speaking, hard drives start failing more rapidly after about 3 years of operation. But for an individual drive, there really isn't any way to tell when its going to give out. Note, operation being "power on hours", drives that only spin up for an hour or two a day will accumulate wear at a slower rate than drives that run 24/7.

On the bright side, hard drives more often than not fail "gracefully", meaning in the couple of disk failures I've had in my own system, I was able to copy most or all of the data from the failing drive to the replacement drive without using any special programs or tools. Basically all you can do is be vigilant and know the signs of a failing drive.

See also:
https://www.backblaze.com/blog/how-long ... ives-last/
User avatar
vision
DBB Defender
DBB Defender
Posts: 3422
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:54 pm
Location: Mars

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by vision » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:46 pm

Dude, replace that shit right away. Storage is hella cheap. Two years ago I was a little too stingy about a drive that was around six years old and by the time I noticed the very minor corruption I had lost about a dozen files. That's not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but I could have lost zero files if I just spent $100 instead of gambling with priceless data.

Buy two drives and clone/backup one to the other. That's what I do. I have 2, 1TB drives, both with a "Data" partition. One is in my laptop and the other is in a computer in a different part of the house which I use for backing up over my network. I have a Bash script that copies my shit every night. There are some good, free backup solutions out there. Get smart about data!
This post may have been edited by moderators for content and delivery.
User avatar
Spidey
DBB Grand Master
DBB Grand Master
Posts: 10348
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 2:01 am
Location: Earth

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Spidey » Tue Jul 18, 2017 8:56 pm

You should always have multiple backups of all your valuable files, so you don’t have to worry about any particular drive failing, and keep one drive offline so you don’t have to worry about ransom ware either.
.
When Republicans go low...Democrats go even lower.
User avatar
Tunnelcat
DBB Grand Master
DBB Grand Master
Posts: 10610
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: Corvallis, Oregon, where you don't tan, you rust.

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Tunnelcat » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:34 pm

I'm still thinking of replacing the drive anyway. I have a Western Digital utility that gives the drive a pass. Is that utility you gave the link for any better Krom? My Steam library is large, 610 Gigabytes, which makes it a bear to back up, although I do back it up occasionally to a portable 3 T WD USB drive. Unfortunately, it takes a couple of hours to get it done. Now that I've thought about it, I'm leaning towards replacing the drive with a larger capacity drive, 2 T's or more perhaps. Any caveats or special changes that have to be made with a 4 T 7200 WD HHD and Windows 7?
Cat (n.) A bipolar creature which would as soon gouge your eyes out as it would cuddle.
User avatar
Krom
DBB Database Master
DBB Database Master
Posts: 15164
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 1998 3:01 am
Location: Camping the energy center. BTW, did you know you can have up to 100 characters in this location box?
Contact:

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Krom » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:15 pm

Tunnelcat wrote:Any caveats or special changes that have to be made with a 4 T 7200 WD HHD and Windows 7?
None, it will just work in Windows 7.

(Windows XP on the other hand couldn't boot from it.)
(More reading: https://www.howtogeek.com/193669/whats- ... g-a-drive/ )
User avatar
Tunnelcat
DBB Grand Master
DBB Grand Master
Posts: 10610
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: Corvallis, Oregon, where you don't tan, you rust.

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Tunnelcat » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:08 pm

OK, one more question. My other game drive is also a 1 T HHD and I want to leave it alone because it hasn't been run nearly as much. Can there be 2 drives of 2 different sizes in the same system, say a 1 T HHD and a 4T HHD as a pair, or will that cause issues? Right now both drives are of equal size, 1T, along with the 500 gig OS SSD.
Cat (n.) A bipolar creature which would as soon gouge your eyes out as it would cuddle.
User avatar
Spidey
DBB Grand Master
DBB Grand Master
Posts: 10348
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 2:01 am
Location: Earth

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Spidey » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:16 pm

Mix and match any size drives you want...internal or external.

Just don't exceed what your BIOS or OS can handle. (per drive)
.
When Republicans go low...Democrats go even lower.
User avatar
Tunnelcat
DBB Grand Master
DBB Grand Master
Posts: 10610
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: Corvallis, Oregon, where you don't tan, you rust.

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Tunnelcat » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:36 pm

What's the easiest way to find that out?
Cat (n.) A bipolar creature which would as soon gouge your eyes out as it would cuddle.
User avatar
Tunnelcat
DBB Grand Master
DBB Grand Master
Posts: 10610
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: Corvallis, Oregon, where you don't tan, you rust.

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Tunnelcat » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:39 pm

Well, I did some searching to see if my system booted into a legacy BIOS or UEFI. There are 3 ways to figure this out. The first one was a fail because my system won't even allow me to open the setupact.log file sitting in Windows/Panther. The second way through System Summary doesn't even list either way if the BIOS is legacy or UEFI. The third way was through Disk Management and there's where I found out that I'm probably running a legacy BIOS. I gather from that little detail that I can't install a non-OS HHD larger than 2 terabytes on this system. :x
Cat (n.) A bipolar creature which would as soon gouge your eyes out as it would cuddle.
User avatar
vision
DBB Defender
DBB Defender
Posts: 3422
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:54 pm
Location: Mars

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by vision » Thu Jul 20, 2017 4:43 pm

Windows 7 supports GPT, which is required for any drive larger than 2TB. You can install it internally or externally. Check your motherboard manufacturer's website for GPT compatibility. You might need to update the BIOS/Firmware. You don't need UEFI to have GPT drives. If your computer is only six years old it probably has some GPT support. To find out if you are booting to BIOS or UEFI, restart your computer and read what's on the screen when it boots!
This post may have been edited by moderators for content and delivery.
User avatar
Krom
DBB Database Master
DBB Database Master
Posts: 15164
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 1998 3:01 am
Location: Camping the energy center. BTW, did you know you can have up to 100 characters in this location box?
Contact:

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Krom » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:19 pm

What motherboard/CPU does your system have? Not that it really matters, you will still be booting from your SSD and not the 4 TB hard drive and BIOS doesn't need to know the correct size or layout of non-boot drives for windows to correctly access them after booting. Once BIOS hands over control to the windows drivers the system should be able to read the full extent of the drive just fine. You only need UEFI to boot from a 2.2+ TB drive, it is not required to use one as a non-boot drive (BIOS may report the size incorrectly on the POST screen, but windows will still read the correct size).
User avatar
Tunnelcat
DBB Grand Master
DBB Grand Master
Posts: 10610
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:32 pm
Location: Corvallis, Oregon, where you don't tan, you rust.

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Tunnelcat » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:57 pm

It's an older ASUS Rampage III Gene motherboard with an Intel i7 960 3.20GHz processor. Is that important? I also did find that UEFI is only needed for an OS drive bigger than 2.2+ terabytes as you said, but thanks for refining that one for me Krom. :)
Cat (n.) A bipolar creature which would as soon gouge your eyes out as it would cuddle.
User avatar
Sirius
DBB Master
DBB Master
Posts: 5434
Joined: Fri May 28, 1999 2:01 am
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: HHD lifespan

Post by Sirius » Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:24 am

The only situation where different hard drive capacities is a problem is if you have a RAID array, but if it's a self-built PC, you would generally know if you do since they don't get set up accidentally :)
Post Reply