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Old 22-09-14, 11:31 PM
Darkherow Darkherow is offline
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Does torrenting wear out HDDs?

So in the past I've had HDDs fail on me due to bad sectors, I'm wondering if this has anything to torrenting and wearing out the drives through read/writes?

Just by going off my recent activity, I'd say I've downloaded about 2GB of data a week. This is conservative as I think, I may do 4GB or more when I do a lot. However lets go with the higher amount as many probably do that, say I DL about 4GB of data a week=208GB a year. Read and writing constantly throughout the year.

What do people think?

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Old 23-09-14, 12:08 AM
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Remmy Remmy is offline
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The amount of data transfer isn't the issue, a few GB a week isn't a great deal. If anything is going to cause a problem it's the excessive runtime it experiences. Many read/write cycles will probably also take a toll on it, but I doubt such a small amount will contribute much.
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Old 23-09-14, 12:16 AM
iBeInspire iBeInspire is offline
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(Quick tip - Don't expose your piracy publicly like this)

But no, 4gb a week will not have a significant toll on your mech drive. Even an SSD would be fine for about 5/6 years at that rate so I doubt that's the reason your drive crapped out.

To be honest though, PSUs and mech drives are the most failure-prone components in a system (at least in my experience) so It shouldn't be anything to worry about. Just call in the warranty and you'll be fine
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Old 23-09-14, 12:46 AM
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Wraith Wraith is offline
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4GB per week as said above is nothing on a mech drive, it's the constant power state that reduces drive life.. I always have my mech drives power down when not in use (power settings in control panel) it's not a wise thing to have on SSDs though as not all SSD controllers support sleep states. If your really concerned about drive life while torrenting I'd recommend Western Digital Green or Purple drives which are designed for specifically continuous server use.
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Old 23-09-14, 02:16 AM
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shambles1980 shambles1980 is offline
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just to mention..
just because it came from a torrent site does not mean it is "piracy" or something that you do not have the permission to download.
torrents are perfectly fine the problem only comes arround when some one uploads a file or file(s) that they do not have the right to distribute..

this blanket tarring of "torrents" = "pirated" really annoys me. Isps block torrent sites because some of the content on there can be illigal. but some people may be genuinly uploading their own content up..
or things athat arent within their copy right any more. for instance some of the original phill silvers show episodes.. or some older bbc shows. that would have been lost forever if it wasnt for torrent sites with one person who decided to upload that really crappy betamax recording they made. Or if we think of mega uploads because it gathered a reputation for being a illigal file host it was taken down "and i wont get in to that" but because of that blanket tarring a LOT of honest people musicians and so on lost a LOT of files and work.

not trying to have a go here. but torrent sites should not be known as a place you pirate stuff from. it really is simply p2p networking.
how would you like it if you said I went to the pub last night. and then every one assumed that you were drinking and driving.. Its true that SOME people may go to the pub get drunk then drive home. but its not fair to assume every one does. its also not fair to assume that only people who go to the pub drink and drive.

Again sorry for my rant. but this is something that annoys me, when it comes to torrents its a good system that works. and they are doing everything they can to take it away from us buy saying its only for pirating. and then people who really should know better say the same thing in less words.
They just cant be bothered to spend the money to get the uploaders basically theres only a hand full of them so they wont get much money out of it. so they target the hosting sites. and even if thse hosting sites stay within the safe harbour rules and remove anything that violates copyright when they are informed about it. and they give the copyright holders the ability to delete the files them selfs unhindered. they still get arrested...

ok really im going to stop my rant here because i know i could go on and on. and that is not what the topic was about at all..


as for the question..

with a mechanical hard drive that is not exessivly fragmented i do not see any reall issues with that ammount of data reads and writes.
rediculous fragmentation could cause the read write arm some more strain than is needed but honestly i dont see that being a huge issue either.
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  #6  
Old 23-09-14, 03:20 AM
BigBlue1 BigBlue1 is offline
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The short answer is yes, torrenting will wear out a hdd. In fact any use at all will eventually wear it out. It is mechanical and has a limited life span as do all machines, but there are things you can do to prolong the life.

To keep a drive alive longer:
1. Don't drop them.
2. Excessive vibration is bad while the drive is active. This increases the probability of the drive heads impacting and thus scratching up the platters. When a drive is off and the heads are in the parked position, vibration isn't likely to damage a drive.
3. Frequent spin up / spin down cycles add wear & tear to the drive through the heating and cooling process. Remember, HDDs are mechanical. The most stressful points of a HDD's life are those spin up and spin down cycles.
  • failure rates are higher for temperatures above 40°C, but only for drives older than 3 years
  • it is not true that colder is always better; drives require certain operating temperature and the study indeed found that failure rates are higher for drives colder than 30°C
  • most drives fail young, so when you buy a new drive stress-test it

As for defragging - this practice is becoming less and less important as access speed increases. Unless you spend lots of time fetching data, I'd not worry about it at all.

The most reliable drives are those in servers that run 24/7 so there is some empirical data as to keeping it always on (and always warm) being better than the off and on cycles of daily shutdowns.

Always expect a drive to fail, one day you will be right, so always back up 2 copies on site and 1 remote copy of all critical data.
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