What are the effects of continuously writing and deleting files on a magnetic hard disk? Specifically, do these files continue to be written on the recently cleared space or is there some sort of balancing mechanism to even out the wear on the drive?
Details on my situation: I have a batch of performance testing machines that constantly write and delete data to and from their individual magnetic hard drives. I keep replacements available and I'm not worried about data loss, just availability and comparable performance between drives (I can't switch to SSD, for instance). Is there anything I can do to extend the life of these drives or is uneven wear a necessary consequence of constant r/w testing?