RetouchPRO

Go Back   RetouchPRO > Tools > Hardware
Register Blogs FAQ Site Nav Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Hardware Computers, displays, tablets, scanners, cameras, printers, etc.

Are large files bad for hard drives?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 06-08-2007, 10:29 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Janitor
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,068
Blog Entries: 21
Are large files bad for hard drives?

I'm in the process of replacing my backup drive as I type this. It struck me that this is my 3rd replacement drive in about 5 years. Granted, it's not replacing a drive that's been replaced before, none of them were. But I'm starting to suspect I'm hard on drives.

About the only unusual thing I might suspect is I have a large number of very large (>1gb) files. Do large files "wear out" a hard drive faster than the same storage amount of smaller files?
Reply With Quote top
  #2  
Old 06-08-2007, 10:42 PM
mistermonday's Avatar
mistermonday mistermonday is offline
Moderator
Patron
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 3,028
Re: Are large files bad for hard drives?

Doug, I do not think so. Drives are mechanical and have a target life span of so many rotations or hours of operation. Probably the best thing you could do to prolong the drives life is to put it to sleep when not in use for prolonged periods of time (>20 mins). If you allow them to spin during all the system idle time, you are just wearing out the mechanics faster.
Regards, Murray
Reply With Quote top
  #3  
Old 06-09-2007, 12:27 AM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Janitor
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,068
Blog Entries: 21
Re: Are large files bad for hard drives?

That could very well be it. One of the first things I do whenever I buy a new computer or reinstall an OS is go in and turn off all power-saving features (they tend to kick in during long operations such as rendering, etc.).
Reply With Quote top
  #4  
Old 06-09-2007, 09:40 AM
PeteyB PeteyB is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 67
Re: Are large files bad for hard drives?

Doug, Google researchers examined hard drive failure rates. A brief summary of that study can be found here.

http://www.engadget.com/2007/02/18/m...resting-thing/



The full Google report is here

http://209.85.163.132/papers/disk_failures.pdf

Pete
Reply With Quote top
  #5  
Old 06-09-2007, 11:11 AM
Dave.Cox's Avatar
Dave.Cox Dave.Cox is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: GrandPrairie.TX
Posts: 536
Re: Are large files bad for hard drives?

Doug, Having files, or not having files of any size on a drive makes absolutely no difference to the life of the hard drive. What wears a hard drive out is caused by the spinning of the platter, the bearings may wear out, or the drive may be worn by the read/write heads if the bounce on the surface of the platter. Not so much of a problem as it used to be, but it can happen. Other than that, normal electronic failures in the control components. That is the reason that backups are so important. The other thing that happens is that over time the platter can loose its ability to hold a magnetic field. This usually happens in very tiny regions, that will cause sectors to go bad. This is usually the worse in areas that get rewritten the most. Areas that have static files stored there will have the least loss. Usually the areas that are written the least, but read the most are areas that contain the OS.

Also, remember, and photo stored on the hard drive is no different to the computer than any other file type. It doesn't matter if it is a program, or a graphic. To the computer, it is still just a data string of 1s and 0s. So storing a large photo, is no different that storing a large program file, such as Photoshop, or a large word document.

So the important thing is, backup, backup, backup!

I hope that this helps.
Reply With Quote top
  #6  
Old 06-09-2007, 01:31 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
Janitor
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 7,068
Blog Entries: 21
Re: Are large files bad for hard drives?

The google study was fascinating. I wish they'd release their final choice for drives, but it probably wouldn't be a surprise.
Reply With Quote top
  #7  
Old 06-09-2007, 02:17 PM
Photo678's Avatar
Photo678 Photo678 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 328
Re: Are large files bad for hard drives?

My understanding is that it has nothing to do with sizes of files, as much as it does how much reading and writing is done to the drive over it's life which determines it's life.

Problem is, that as our lives become more and more computer integrated, we need some bulletproof back up options....with archival life expectancies.
Reply With Quote top
  #8  
Old 06-10-2007, 09:33 AM
PeteyB PeteyB is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 67
Re: Are large files bad for hard drives?

Doug, here is a reaction to that Google study.

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070225-8917.html


One of the comments that i found interesting was that hard drive manufacturers have little economic motive to produce highly reliable drives. Hard drives have become disposable commodities with a two year life---
Reply With Quote top
  #9  
Old 06-10-2007, 08:26 PM
toe's Avatar
toe toe is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 26
Re: Are large files bad for hard drives?

Doug, De-fragmenting the drive every now and again is supposed to help with lifespan too, If you're anything like me deleting files all over the place and adding new one's all the time some of the newer lager files can end up spread right across the disk making the drive work harder to access them, mind you i don't do it much but I'm pretty hard on drives too.
Reply With Quote top
  #10  
Old 06-10-2007, 09:04 PM
Jerryb Jerryb is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 397
Re: Are large files bad for hard drives?

Hi doug,
well this is my 2 cents worth... first 3 drives in 5 years... something not kosher.... with the exception of 1 drive... it was about 3 years old, all of my other drives has lasted at least 5 years..... call me lucky, call me fortunate but that my experience..!! and looking at my friends... they have had a similar experience.... even my old 20meg and 40 meg hd lasted ....lol......
note: my hard drive on my other old win98 system HD is about 9 years old and still running.....

size of files... I don't think that that would effect the longivity much... especially since with winxp your always working large system files to begin with.... nothing unusal really

on your issue.. I would take a closer look at the hd manufacturer and the particular model you keep buying.... some models just don't last as long or built as well as others....

if your buying more or less generic HD.... and if there made in china or india... I would avoid those...

another thing i would look at... especially in your case... HD manufacturers will have there own gurantee.... now some models will only have a 2 or 3 year guarentee... but the ones I always bought generally had a 4 or 5 year guarentee....
note: if this last one only has a year or two.. give the hd manufacture a call and find out specifically what there guarenttee is... they may give you a new free one ...!!

so I guess what i am saying... on your next replacement... do a search on the net.... for that model your going to get and see if there any trend on it longivity.... well that my 2 cents worth... good luck



Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Nelson View Post
I'm in the process of replacing my backup drive as I type this. It struck me that this is my 3rd replacement drive in about 5 years. Granted, it's not replacing a drive that's been replaced before, none of them were. But I'm starting to suspect I'm hard on drives.

About the only unusual thing I might suspect is I have a large number of very large (>1gb) files. Do large files "wear out" a hard drive faster than the same storage amount of smaller files?
Reply With Quote top
Reply

  RetouchPRO > Tools > Hardware


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Working large files question.. nebgranny Software 1 10-31-2005 05:10 AM
Large files for RP DARCgull Image Help 5 09-22-2005 06:12 AM
E-mailing large files Benny Input/Output/Workflow 8 07-03-2005 02:57 PM
Printing large files tonysab Input/Output/Workflow 5 08-10-2004 10:32 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:20 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
Copyright © 2016 Doug Nelson. All Rights Reserved