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Old 2008-01-20, 16:21   Link #21
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
Age: 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
Anyway, regarding what Myname say, watching anime that resides in external hard drive is not recommended? (I play music from there, and burn stuffs from there too so...) As said, I abuse my drive too much...
I don't really think it makes a difference. The hard drive of an external hard drive isn't any different than a hard drive you'd stick in your computer. The only difference is that it's outside of your computer case, and thus a little more vulnerable. Unless the drive is specifically made for transport (certain externals are, laptop HDs are) the drive will almost certainly become damaged if the enclosure is knocked while the drive is on.

In general, using a drive for a long period of time isn't a bad thing. Two things that can damage the drive are having it do constant reads/writes (listening to music is not constant access, as the drive makes an access, caches the data, and makes another access a bit later when the cache is used up), and having the drive frequently spin up and down. Externals tend to spin up and down often if not used consistently as a measure of preventing excess heat or power usage.

Quote:
EDIT:
On another note, my disk fails rather quickly... I have only gotten it for several months. Don't other people usually be able to preserve theirs for a few years? I know I abuse it too much. (to add to the list above, I never turn my disk off unless my computer is turned off, which it barely does...)
As Sazelyt mentioned, it purely depends on the drive. By looking at data of hard drive failures, people noted that the greatest number of failures occurred in drives that were under one year old and drives that were older than five years old. This doesn't mean that your drive won't fail between years one and five, but it means that you probably have a good one if you've made it past one year of usage.

And again, your usage of the drive shouldn't impact it. Unless you're having your drive spin up and down many, many times per day, or unless you're doing extended periods of pure read/write activity (secure formats are an example of this, where the drive may be writing for hours on end) then your usage patterns of watching anime, listening to music, etc. wouldn't cause a drive to fail.

Heat was mentioned as another drive-killer. In general, excessive heat is bad for any component. A study by Google showed that heat actually plays less of a role in HD failure, and that temperature variation had a greater role. In other words, if you're cooling your drives to 27˚C, but then during usage the drive temperature jumps up to 37˚C, that's damaging to the drive as it's experiencing a temperature range of 10˚C. It would be better to have the drive operating at 30˚C and only jump to 34˚C during usage (example numbers), as the temperature range is much less. Of course, if your drive is experiencing 50˚C+ temperatures, even if there's a very low range of temperature change it's probably not very good for it.

Quote:
I'm more worrying that my future external hdd will fail in such a small amount of time than anything else... Also, I'm still needing to recover some more data. So I tried the fridge trick again; this time it doesn't work
The fridge trick isn't guaranteed and it doesn't work indefinitely. It's something you should only rely on to get absolutely what you need. It's possible that it could not work at all, or it's possible that it could work 20 more times. You don't know, but what is for certain is that if you need to use the freezer to get the drive working, then every single time you turn the drive on you're bringing it one step closer to never working again.

If your data matters to you, be efficient about your recovery. Without accessing the drive, map out (either on paper or in your mind) what you need to recover and where it is. You don't want to waste time thinking about what you need, searching the drive for those files, and you don't want to risk having the drive make any more accesses than it has to. It could fail at any moment. Make sure that you have enough free space available for those files. Don't waste time with anything. Once you've recovered the essentials, feel free to keep trying to get off everything else that you can.

If it didn't work for you this time, it's quite possible that the drive died for good. But don't give up - let the drive come down to room temperature, and then put it in the freezer for 4+ hours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiamat's Disciple
I've found that larger hard drives are more prone to failures. I've had one 250 external for near 3 years, and it's used almost 24/7 as an anime dump/store that i watch from. It also houses over 80gb of osts and stuff that if im not watching anime, is blasting.
I'd think that larger drives would be more prone to mechanical failures only if they had more platters and reading heads. I don't really know why IDE drives would last longer than SATA - if anything, given that most SATA drives support native command queuing I'd expect that their overall wear and tear is a bit less than regular PATA drives.
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Old 2008-01-20, 18:15   Link #22
teachopvutru
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Although... look like I have to wait for a bit of time before I can put it into the freezer that's full of stuffs inside... <_< But sob, no anime for the weekend.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ledgem
You don't know, but what is for certain is that if you need to use the freezer to get the drive working, then every single time you turn the drive on you're bringing it one step closer to never working again.
This sentence almost made me feel sad... To tell the truth, that skipping while I was watching anime described in first post, it also happened one or two times as well a few hours before that, although reboots fixed them. If I recognized the sign and realized what happened, there wouldn't be this hassle. (kinda caught off guard since I always thought hard drive would take a few years to fail...)

Also, thank you very much for the informative post regarding the temperature range thing.

Anyway, just in case I won't get the warranty, would there be any advantage of getting a drive and enclosure myself instead of buying an external hard drive as a whole?
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Old 2008-01-20, 23:30   Link #23
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
Anyway, just in case I won't get the warranty, would there be any advantage of getting a drive and enclosure myself instead of buying an external hard drive as a whole?
Only that you have more control over enclosure features, as well as what drive you're getting. I'd imagine that enclosure-based drives are chosen to be optimal for spinning down and up more quickly, however. My WD MyBook takes ~3 seconds to spin up. By comparison, a Seagate drive that I threw into an enclosure probably takes close to double that amount of time. The enclosure it's in does wait a bit longer before spinning the drive down, but I don't have any control over HD spindown times in either case (not sure if this is an option in my power saving, but I believe that the enclosure handles that).

If you can catch them on deals, it's theoretically possible to get an enclosure and a HD for cheaper than an external unit. However, I've found that it's very difficult to match the price of an external unit when buying a regular HD and enclosure separately, unless you go for the absolute cheapest ones available (not always a good idea).
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Old 2008-01-21, 00:21   Link #24
Sazelyt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
Anyway, just in case I won't get the warranty, would there be any advantage of getting a drive and enclosure myself instead of buying an external hard drive as a whole?
Many people buy external drives (or build the drive themselves) based on the price tag and the possibility of having more control over the drive, be it, accessing, performance, or cooling of the drive.

Typically, you can build an external drive yourself at a cheaper price, if you are only considering major hard disk manufacturing brands (maxtor, seagate, wd) on the other side of the equation. If you don't mind other known-for-external brands, like fantom, buffalo, lacie, etc., you can buy them at cheaper price compared to building yourself.

I mostly build the drive myself, if I plan to use it as storage. Otherwise, if I plan to use the drive like an internal, I usually prefer Seagate. But, my preference, just like many others' is typically based on previous experience (which is typically subjective). The performance you get from the drive highly depends on how you use the drive, in addition to how the drive is built, so, it is better to check the reviews of the popular external drives before making a decision. You can get a better view by reading both the positive and negative aspects of a drive from a lot of people.

For reviews of externals, try amazon, newegg, epinions, as they usually have extended reviews and many times present tiny details that you do not normally pay attention to.
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Old 2008-01-21, 02:47   Link #25
teachopvutru
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Yea.. I have read about building external hard drive yourself is cheaper but after digging around a bit, I can't say the same. Also, on best buy there's a 500 GB external hard drive on sale; it's a WD MyBook Essential for $129.99, but after seeing the words WD, and Essential, and the external hard drive looking rather similar (only difference is the light, which is blue instead of green and forms a short line rather than a circle), I felt a bit skeptical (and lame). Anyway, that was the whole reason why I even brought that up, but I just found out that other places had hard drives for around similar price... so at least my choice wouldn't be as limited.

On another note, my drive is in the freezer now. I know it's more recommended to put it in for longer amount of time, but how would there still be a need to leave it there if until enough time has pass for the temperature of the hard drive to no longer cool down?

Also, if anyone here used to have hard drive failing and went through the hassle of recovering it before, usually how long would the hard drive still continue to run after taking it out of the freezer? Just so I know what to expect... I don't doubt there's no exact answer for this time, but an estimation is good.
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Old 2008-01-21, 03:55   Link #26
Sazelyt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiachopvutru View Post
Yea.. I have read about building external hard drive yourself is cheaper but after digging around a bit, I can't say the same.
You can find 500gb drives around $90 (frys has maxtor 500gb at that price right now), and newegg usually has those drives starting around $95 (those are the normal prices, but, you can also find around $70-$80 with normal rebates and coupons - excluding the case of extreme price matching techniques). You can buy a reasonably good external enclosure between $20-$30. The (maxtor-wd-seagate brand) externals are, unless there is a deal, usually above that price (since there is always tax and possible additional cost over that). But, of course you can get really good deals on those externals, like the 500gb FreeAgent around $80, which I have seen a few times during the last few months offered by different sellers, or like the $90 (ugly and bulky) maxtor external deal at staples right now.

Quote:
On another note, my drive is in the freezer now. I know it's more recommended to put it in for longer amount of time, but how would there still be a need to leave it there if until enough time has pass for the temperature of the hard drive to no longer cool down?
The freezer trick is more like helping the drive by making the problematic pieces mesh together. So, the more you can keep the drive around that temperature, the better that temporary joint would be. Naturally, there should be a limit to how much that trick can help. But since the effectiveness of that trick may depend on the condition of your drive, you can only learn the level of effectiveness through trial and error.

Based on the operation principle of that trick, one thing that may increase the time you can keep the drive on is possibly running the drive at colder temperatures (so that appearance of the problem would be delayed). If the weather outside in your region is cold enough, open the window and place the drive in front of the window (just make sure there is no rain or snow outside that can create electrical problems). You may save some time with that.
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Old 2008-01-21, 05:25   Link #27
samurai666
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Age: 31
Download HDTune run some tests and see what it says, all of this guessing in the dark is just a waste of time. The problem could be the drive, power connector or something else.

hdtune.com/hdtune_254.exe
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