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"Stressing" an internal HDD


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#1 PGHinBKK

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 10:51 PM

I was recently told that the internal HDD in my laptop is failing. The unit is only about 3 years old (I think, I bought it used but I'm pretty sure it was almost new when I purchased it ), but in the past month I've been using it a lot for downloading movies, and I sometimes leave it on for several days in a row. It has a 12" desktop fan (about 2 feet away) blowing on it at all times that it is on, and it sits on a base with an internal, upward-blowing fan as well. Does running for long periods of time stress a laptop HDD more than a desktop HDD?

 

Also, in the past week or so, Windows froze repeatedly on me, and the only way I could shut down was to use the power button held down for several seconds until the unit powered down. Could this have stressed the HDD as well?

 

Thanx!


Edited by PGHinBKK, 20 July 2015 - 10:53 PM.

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#2 TsVk!

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 12:08 AM

I hope you have your contingency plan in place, because a failing hard drive that is freezing your OS is about to blow a tyre... it will all be gone soon.

 

HDD's are HDD's... they cannot really be compared to each other if they are in the same class of disk. (ie: desktop and laptop drives are the same technology, unless you are talking SSD's) Desktop drives do tend to spin faster and have faster read times, which would mean they have less work to do to read/write the same amount of information. But that is all. HDD disk life is normally about 3 years, depending on usage of course.

 

I highly recommend you get a new drive and clone your current installation. Now. Or be prepared to start from scratch.



#3 YeahBleeping

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 08:04 AM

Lets face it.. a laptop hard drive does not have a lot of 'room' to be cooled as much as a desktop hard drive does.  A laptop is a small cramped hot box of computer parts so It does not surprise me that a laptop hard drive may fail before a desktop one.  I am typing on a Old sony laptop right now.  Its over 10 years old and was not a top of the line model when it was purchased.  But if you bought a used part ... you have no idea how it was used and possibly 'abused' so, you can only blame yourself for purchasing a used hard drive that is failing.



#4 PGHinBKK

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 10:28 PM

Yeahbleeping,

 

 

 

"...you have no idea how it was used and possibly 'abused' so, you can only blame yourself for purchasing a used hard drive that is failing."

Uummmmm...who said I was looking to blame anyone else?  My question was about the longevity of laptop vs desktop HDDs under extended usage, and the nature of  any excessive 'wear' incurred by using the power-button to shut a HDD down. 

 

Your tone was not very helpful, and completely unnecessary. :nono:


Edited by PGHinBKK, 22 July 2015 - 10:29 PM.

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#5 TsVk!

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 10:47 PM

Was my tone suitable to your sensibilities?



#6 PGHinBKK

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 11:16 PM

TsVK,

 

  Your post was informative and helpful. I kind of figured that excessive heat would occur in a laptop more than in a desktop, but I thought perhaps the design of laptop HDDs allowed for this, somehow.   Anyway,  thanks for the info. :thumbup2: 

 

But, since you seem tech-knowledgeable, what about using the power button to shut down a unit that has 'frozen' ? 

Does that 'stress' the unit more than a normal power-down?  Or is it the same?


Edited by PGHinBKK, 22 July 2015 - 11:19 PM.

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#7 TsVk!

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 11:30 PM

Laptops air intakes are smaller and tend to clog up with dust more easily. So even though they are designed top cool correctly they tend to need cleaning more often to prevent overheating. Compressed air is the best way to do this. If you don't have a compressor you can buy cans of compressed air online easily and cheaply.

 

Using a the power button to hard shut down frozen systems causes file damage and disk inconsistencies. If the OS is freezing regularly you should be looking at your event viewer first to try and determine the cause.

 

So yes... it is bad for the data and the disk.

 

I have fixed plenty of PC's where the users have been hard shutting down the PC with the power button because the OS is freezing, and now the disk will no longer register... let alone boot. Total HDD write off, all data is lost in this situation.



#8 Angoid

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 02:51 AM

Agree 100% with what has been said above, especially by TsVk! but if the HDD does suddenly die on you then you may be able to retrieve the data if you can't boot from it any more but it will spin up and run by connecting it via an adapter and recovering your data that way.

 

I had an external HD (NAS device to be exact) go south once and was able to retrieve everything from it and I used a device such as this one:

http://www.span.com/product/StarTech-USB2-adapter-USB2SATAIDE-USB-2-0-to-SATA-IDE-Adapter~50338

 

to get everything back (it wasn't that one exactly, but it was the same type of product, sorry but can't remember offhand exactly what I bought now).

 

In my case there were further complications because the firmware interfaced a Linux filing system to Windows, so I had to also get hold of a program that would read the disk, but the disk itself was fine.

 

In your case, the disk is about to give up by the sounds of things.  To echo what TsVk! said, do it sooner rather than later if you don't want this to end in tears.


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#9 TsVk!

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 02:57 AM

TestDisk is an excellent application to use to recover files from toasted drives, too :)



#10 YeahBleeping

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 07:29 AM

Yeahbleeping,

 

 

 

"...you have no idea how it was used and possibly 'abused' so, you can only blame yourself for purchasing a used hard drive that is failing."

Uummmmm...who said I was looking to blame anyone else?  My question was about the longevity of laptop vs desktop HDDs under extended usage, and the nature of  any excessive 'wear' incurred by using the power-button to shut a HDD down. 

 

Your tone was not very helpful, and completely unnecessary. :nono:

In truth my ' tone ' was not meant to be condescending or to ' blame ' you for purchasing a used laptop.  It was simply meant to point out that you have no idea how a used system was ' used '.  Laptop drives usually incorporate a 5400RPM speed drive which are way more forgiving than desktop hard drives.  They are not intended to be speed demons but to be more durable.  The reason I stuck that line at the end of my post was to be more of a afterthought and not of ' its your fault ' - However I can see how it could be taken to heart which was not really my intention - simply to point out that a used system could have been ' abused ' and you have no way of knowing.  Regardless, I stand by what I said, as a way to get across my point and not to place blame even though I see where your coming from.



#11 PGHinBKK

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 12:51 AM

 

Yeahbleeping,

 

 

 

"...you have no idea how it was used and possibly 'abused' so, you can only blame yourself for purchasing a used hard drive that is failing."

Uummmmm...who said I was looking to blame anyone else?  My question was about the longevity of laptop vs desktop HDDs under extended usage, and the nature of  any excessive 'wear' incurred by using the power-button to shut a HDD down. 

 

Your tone was not very helpful, and completely unnecessary. :nono:

In truth my ' tone ' was not meant to be condescending or to ' blame ' you for purchasing a used laptop.  It was simply meant to point out that you have no idea how a used system was ' used '.  Laptop drives usually incorporate a 5400RPM speed drive which are way more forgiving than desktop hard drives.  They are not intended to be speed demons but to be more durable.  The reason I stuck that line at the end of my post was to be more of a afterthought and not of ' its your fault ' - However I can see how it could be taken to heart which was not really my intention - simply to point out that a used system could have been ' abused ' and you have no way of knowing.  Regardless, I stand by what I said, as a way to get across my point and not to place blame even though I see where your coming from.

 

 

No problem, thanks for taking the time to post that.   

 


Using a the power button to hard shut down frozen systems causes file damage and disk inconsistencies. If the OS is freezing regularly you should be looking at your event viewer first to try and determine the cause.

 

So yes... it is bad for the data and the disk.

 

I have fixed plenty of PC's where the users have been hard shutting down the PC with the power button because the OS is freezing, and now the disk will no longer register... let alone boot. Total HDD write off, all data is lost in this situation.

 

TsVK's comment (above) was more like what I was looking for...a specific answer to a specific question.   Thanks TsVK! :thumbup2:


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#12 YeahBleeping

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 08:26 AM

Also I really don't recommend using compressed air on a laptop.  The first thing you will do is spray it in the exhaust holes like most people do and 'spin' the exhaust fan the wrong way.  This has a tendency to be very stressful on the fan and can 'kill it' .. and since they are usually attached to the Heatsink in a laptop now you have to take it apart and replace the heatsink compound AND the fan.  Just my 2 cents and not mean to be condescending or argumentative .. only my two cents.



#13 TsVk!

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Posted 29 July 2015 - 04:31 PM

Also I really don't recommend using compressed air on a laptop.  The first thing you will do is spray it in the exhaust holes like most people do and 'spin' the exhaust fan the wrong way.  This has a tendency to be very stressful on the fan and can 'kill it' .. and since they are usually attached to the Heatsink in a laptop now you have to take it apart and replace the heatsink compound AND the fan.  Just my 2 cents and not mean to be condescending or argumentative .. only my two cents.

 

So you don't recommend the way that most professionals clean dust out of computers, fair enough. Offering another solution to clean a dust clogged laptop would be apt.

 

ps: a known issue with spinning the fan too hard with compressed air is that it can create a voltage that feeds back to the motherboard and damages other electronic components. I have never heard of a fan dying from getting spun a little bit whilst cleaning dust out though.






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