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Thread: Hard Disk Myths and the Truths!

  1. #1

    Post Hard Disk Myths and the Truths!

    I found this interesting article that talking about the commonly held myths and the real truths about all our favour needed item, the Hard Disk!


    Hard Disk Drive Myths Debunked
    The Hard Disk Drive Myth Guide

    This guide was written in response to the numerous fallacies about the hard disk drive that are still being propagated in many forum discussions. Although many articles have covered these topics, it is apparent that hard drive urban legends are still more popular than the simple truth.

    So, let's get down to basics and examine some of these common fallacies or myths and debunk them!


    Myth #1 :
    Formatting a hard drive too many times will cause it to fail.

    Truth :
    To put it shortly, formatting your hard drive will NOT reduce its lifespan. Yes, formatting is popularly thought to reduce hard drive's lifespan but that is nothing more than a myth.

    Formatting is NOT a stressful event for a hard drive. The read/write heads do NOT touch the platter surface, so damage to the platter only occurs if there is any shock to the drive during operation.

    You can format your hard drive 20 times a day, 365 days a year and it will be no more likely to fail than a hard drive that is not formatted at all.



    Myth #2 :
    Formatting a hard drive causes a layer of [material / dust] to be deposited on the platter surface, creating bad sectors.

    Truth :
    Formatting will not deposit any layer of "anything" on the platter. The read/write heads are not in contact with the platters, so it is physically impossible for them to deposit anything on the platter surface.

    In addition, the hard drive is a sealed environment assembled under clean room conditions, so there is very little dust inside the hard drive. Even if there is dust, why would formatting deposit anything on the platter? The platters are constantly spinning - any dust would not be able to deposit itself on the platter, much less create bad sectors or an alien colony.



    Myth #3 :
    Formatting the hard drive will stress the needle (head actuator).

    Truth :
    Formatting is done contiguously. This means formatting is done in a serial order - sector 500, sector 501, sector 502, etc. There is very little movement of the head actuators. Therefore, formatting will NOT stress the head actuators, which is why you don't see jokes about psychiatrists prescribing Prozac to head actuators.


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  2. #2
    R.I.P. 2017-10-02 Joint Chiefs of Staff's Avatar
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    I won't believe a word until these guys below get involved.

    >>Cult Master of International Affairs<<

  3. #3
    Senior Member ghettoside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joint Chiefs of Staff View Post
    I won't believe a word until these guys below get involved.

    ROTFLMAO JCOS
    Quote Originally Posted by Norm View Post

    There are idiots everywhere.

    At work, in forums, in poetry classes, everywhere!

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    Certified SG Addict CableDude's Avatar
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  5. #5
    How about this one. I have even had computer repair store owners and employees give me opposing info on this one.

    Will it harm, cause bad sectors, corrupt or otherwise reduce the life span or health of your hard drive if you defrag too much?
    Also if so what is too much or too often defragging? Every day, week, 2 weeks, month, 6 months, per year or what?

    I can't imagine defragging less that once a month at least with a system that sees a fair amount of activity.

    Also I read a few articles that said defragging will not bring about a system speed up. I know this one is way wrong. I have noticed major system speed up after a good defrag. Especially after installing a large program or large amounts of data.
    Well that was with XP. Now with Vista defragging takes all day and there is no system speed up and my hard drive is still fragmented after it is done.

    Stupid de evolved Vista OS.

  6. #6
    Forum Techie terrancelam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joint Chiefs of Staff View Post
    I won't believe a word until these guys below get involved.

    lol I go away for a little while and I see this in the hardware forum. . . haha man, I need a beer~
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  7. #7

    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by osuprowler View Post
    Will it harm, cause bad sectors, corrupt or otherwise reduce the life span or health of your hard drive if you defrag too much?
    Also if so what is too much or too often defragging? Every day, week, 2 weeks, month, 6 months, per year or what?
    My 2 cents:
    If you defrag often, then there is likely to be only minimal fragmentation at any given time and the defragmenter works only for a few minutes or seconds to clean that up. Without fragmentation, the defragmenter has nothing to do, so 'too much defrag' does not really occur. Anyway, since it takes fewer seeks to read a contiguous file as opposed to a fragmented one, a defragmented drive is 'healthier' than a fragmented one (logical assumption).

    As for the vista defrag, IIRC, it does not defrag fragments larger than 64 MB by default. That's why a third party defragger may report the disk as fragmented although vista does not. I haven't used the Vista defrag in ages since Diskeeper 2008 handles all the defrag duties on my Vista laptop and does a fine job without being intrusive.

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