Questions about hard disks' performance, issues, tips, and software.

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72
votes
17answers
12k views

Does orientation affect hard drive lifespan?

Are there any studies or evidence which show that mounting a hard drive horizontally is better than vertically for the lifespan of the device? Or upside down, or any direction for that matter.
2
votes
6answers
2k views

Can a Virtual HDD be shrink down?

I have a Virtual machine and i am using VMWare Workstation to run it. The vmdk file, which is the virtual hard drive, is in excess of 40GB. When i start the virtual Machine i can see that i have only ...
-1
votes
6answers
1k views

Is it worth putting high-performance drives in a home NAS? [closed]

I'm looking at a QNAP NAS setup, and in the options for disks they have the very enterprisey Western Digital RE3. I'll be using the box for backing up my laptop, and streaming media either to the ...
15
votes
3answers
757 views

Is S.M.A.R.T. smart to use?

A few years ago I was told to avoid S.M.A.R.T. like the plague. The reasoning was that the stress the testing puts on the drive will actually cause it to fail. Is this still the case? If not, what is ...
8
votes
5answers
6k views

OSX - Full Disk Encryption [closed]

What options are available for OSX full disk encryption? Which of them is the best?
18
votes
4answers
22k views

Intro to Laptop Hard Drives

I've had my first notebook hard drive death (well, actually, it's currently dying... clicking noises, super slow windows boot up ...) Anyway, I now I realize I don't know anything about laptop hard ...
3
votes
4answers
10k views

Onboard RAID and Ubuntu Install - Why Does it See Separate Disks?

Ok, I have never tried to install Ubuntu to a RAID setup before. I am running a Supermicro X8DT3-LN4F motherboard with onboard Adaptec RAID controller with six 160GB drives attached to form a RAID10. ...
2
votes
3answers
238 views

WD hdd connected to MSI P35 Platinium mb goes to sleep and wakes up instantly [closed]

I have a sata WD hdd (WDC WD500) connected to MSI P35 Platinum motherboard. It goes to sleep and wakes up instantly. I can hear how it starts (spins out) and after a few seconds it goes sleep (no ...
1
vote
2answers
138 views

Maximize hard drive performance of Linux guest on Windows vista/7 desktop host

Whats the best software/configuration option? Linux has good hard drive performance on its own and its bound to be slower running on top of windows. There is no hypervisor that lets you do windows ...
2
votes
2answers
347 views

Installed Windows7, DVD Drives No Longer Recognized

I just wiped XP and installed Windows 7 on my PC. The install went great, no errors reported. However as I popped in some CDs to install some of my software, I notice that neither of my DVD drives ...
4
votes
4answers
785 views

Are there freezing issues with the Seagate Barracuda ST31500341AS anymore?

I found this hard drive on NewEgg: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive (bare drive) - OEM http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product....
1
vote
3answers
112 views

Dual hard disks on Vista - what goes where?

I'm setting up some Vista boxes with dual hard drives (a 250GB and a 1TB). What should I install on both disks for best performance? They are for general use by developers. Windows and programs on ...
18
votes
4answers
80k views

Is it possible to mount/unmount a physical hard drive in Windows XP?

Is it possible to mount/unmount a physical hard drive in Windows XP? Ideally, I'd like to be able to do this from the command line so that I could have batch files to do it, ie: mount.cmd unmount.cmd ...
5
votes
7answers
4k views

What is faster? A local mechical hard drive or a solid state drive over gigabit ethernet?

SSDs are rather new, so I couldn't find this information on the Internet. Would the performance of a local hard drive connected using SATA2 get out performed by a SSD over gigabit ethernet? In terms ...
15
votes
9answers
57k views

How much space should you leave free on a hard disk? [closed]

Is there a rule of thumb for how much space to leave free on a hard disk? I used to hear you should leave at least 5% free to avoid fragmentation. [I know the answer depends on usage (eg: video files ...
4
votes
3answers
603 views

Diffing two filesystems

Is there any sensible way to diff two filesystems? On occassion, you have a box that is working, and, say, perform an update and it no longer works. You have dozens of other machines that are (...
4
votes
4answers
570 views

Can any hard drive of the same format be put into a hot-swap tray?

I'm looking at buying a hot-swap NAS that supports SATA/SATA II hard drives. Can I get any SATA drive and put it into the hot-swap trays it comes with, or will I need to find a certain kind of drive?
-1
votes
3answers
149 views

What to look for in a hard drive that will be reformatted constantly? [closed]

should I be looking for certain features if I plan on repaving this drive a lot?
3
votes
3answers
262 views

Is there still a reliability problem with >250GB drives versus < 250GB drives?

Are there still reliability problems with high capacity magnetic disk drives? When 500GB and 1TB drives first appeared on the market, they had significantly lower reliability than their smaller (...
0
votes
4answers
588 views

What's the normal ops of a normal disk?

How fast a disk can perform? Does 700k writing operations per second a reasonable upper bound? Each operation is a random write with 1024 Bytes as block size .
59
votes
8answers
88k views

How can I monitor hard disk load on linux

Is there a good command line utility to monitor hard disk load on linux? Something like top but then monitoring disk activity i.s.o. cpu usage. More specifically, I suspect that for some (heavy load) ...
3
votes
2answers
760 views

Normal disk read/write value for a ubuntu server

How would your determine a max value to set an alarm on the I/O activity of a ubuntu/linux server hosting upto 4 sites running apache, mysql and upto 4 tomcats? Or in general (if there is one such) ...
6
votes
11answers
1k views

A way to finish off a dying hard drive so it can be sent in for “repair”

I have a 500G SATA hard drive in my machine that all the sudden started giving me I/O errors, until Linux simply disconnects the drive. Reboot, and then it works for a random period before failing ...
44
votes
3answers
50k views

What are the merits of SAS vs SATA drives? [closed]

What are the merits of buying SAS drives over SATA drives, or vice versa?
5
votes
8answers
2k views

Best places to free space on Windows? [closed]

Prompted by Adam.. I would like your suggestions as to freeing up space on a Windows machine. Yes, yes, I know disk space is cheap but sometimes, you have older machines that just need more space and ...
2
votes
5answers
522 views

How long should the delay be before automatically “Turn off Hard disks”

I've got a Win XP Pro machine that we're using as a Server. It's mostly used during the day (and early evening for backups) but can be on for days at a time. To reduce power consumption and extend ...
16
votes
10answers
26k views

What brand(s) of hard disk has the lowest failure rates? [closed]

Wiki for information on which storage manufacturer(s)'s drives have the longest life / lowest failure rate? Everyone has a favorite, but if you can refer to a (hopefully recent and somewhat impartial)...
0
votes
2answers
195 views

Hard disk broken after having to rescue files with dd_rescue?

Normally, a hard disk should take care of bad blocks by marking them unsuable. If that isn't any more the case with a hard disk, is it still possible to do keep track of those bad block with some ...
13
votes
4answers
26k views

Would SSD drives benefit from a non-default allocation unit size?

The default allocation unit size recommended when formatting a drive in our current set-up is 4096 bytes. I understand the basics of the pros and cons of larger and smaller sizes (performance boost vs....
5
votes
2answers
28k views

How do you repair a damaged or corrupt partition? [closed]

I have a user with an external hard drive that is no longer recognised: the drive letter does not appear in My Computer. The drive is a Western Digital My Book Essential Edition (WD2500C032) With ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Manage USB hard disk on Ubuntu

I have some USB drives attached to my Ubuntu machine, I was looking for some commands to: Power-Off a drive after umounting it. Power-On and Re-Mount. Does it make sense to power-off and on a USB ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Is SATA-2 backwards compatible with SATA-1?

As per the title, are the two versions compatible?
32
votes
14answers
11k views

Is it safe to store data on a hard drive for a long time?

Is it safe to backup data to a hard drive and then leave it for a number of years? Assuming the file system format can still be read, is this a safe thing to do. Or is it better to continually ...
0
votes
4answers
114 views

Heat issues with Hard Drives

Have you ever had to alter your deployment plans because of thermal dissipation issues with your chosen hard drives? Was your solution to increase the cooling solution, or to move to a cooler drive ...
15
votes
8answers
38k views

How can I find out what hard disks are attached to a Linux box?

Here's an easy question for you guys: How do I find out what hard drives are attached to a linux box? I'm hoping for a single command that can give me a nice list of all ata/scsi/etc drives. I've ...
5
votes
5answers
717 views

WipeDrive Utility?

What is the best and fastest wipe drive (zero fill) utility that can be burned to a CD?
3
votes
5answers
3k views

Windows Delayed Write Failure - USB 2.0 Hub and External HDD

I have a test server that runs Windows XP, and we attach an external hard drive to it via USB 2.0. (And yes the computer has USB 2.0 ports on it) The drive is a 1.5 Terrabyte Segate FreeAgent ...
5
votes
4answers
320 views

Hard drive data rescue services

Inspired by the question Crashed Hard Drive Data Retrieval which is currently concentrating on software tools and self-help methods of data rescue, I am curious what the community's experiences are ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

Which file system to use for portable hard drive shared among different operating systems?

Something similar has been asked already but my criteria is a little different. I need to share a portable hard drive (USB/Firewire) between Mac OSX, Linux and Windows XP systems where the files being ...
15
votes
7answers
7k views

How many SMART sector reallocations indicate problems?

I have a NAS appliance that is just over a month old. It is configured to email me alerts generated from the hard drives' SMART data. After one day, one of the hard drives reported that a sector had ...
44
votes
23answers
9k views

How do I destroy a hard disk?

I have an old hard disk (Maxtor 250Gb) from about 3 years ago that started giving errors and now sits in a draw in my desk. It has some confidential data on it but it's unlikely that it can be read ...
3
votes
7answers
309 views

Secure Formatting Disks [closed]

I heard about people that used tools to recover deleted data and found a lot of unusual data, that after discovered that the their brand new pc in truth was used... When discarding HD's, as sysadmin, ...
6
votes
5answers
593 views

Why do they use laptop form factor HDD's for storage servers?

The storage servers I've seen generally use 2.5" drives instead of 3.5" drives. In my experience the larger drives have better capacity, speed, and durability. Why are the smaller ones favored in ...
14
votes
5answers
23k views

Virtualbox booting from a real drive?

I'm about to take the plunge and install Win7 RC1 on my desktop machine. However I want to preserve access to my old HDD with XP on it. I don't really want to use full dual-boot since that would ...
4
votes
2answers
56k views

How do I mount a “GPT Protective Partition” in Windows XP?

I formatted an external USB harddrive while it was connected to a 32-bit Windows 2003 Server Std. edition server. After loading it up with files, I moved it to my Windows XP SP3 where it didn't show ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Dell error code 0141 - No drive detected

Has anyone seen the error code 0141 and it isn't a failed hard drive? I'm guessing the motor or board failed on the drive, but I'd prefer if there is a chance the motherboard or controller failed ...
16
votes
8answers
2k views

Optimal UNIX File System Partition + Setup Strategy

When partitioning a new system disk(s) for UNIX, what is your prefered strategy for both desktop and/or servers? Please include disk partition layout, file system format(s) and options, mount points, ...
1
vote
7answers
525 views

Mirroring Drives

I'd like to mirror a drive between two windows servers for fail over/disaster recovery. I assume there is a software package for this. What do you use?
1
vote
3answers
672 views

How Would You Monitor Remaining Drive Space for VM Servers?

We've got most of our servers as Virtual Machines. Every once in a while, they get low on disc space. I'm not the guy who manages them, but obviously, I'm affected by this. I want to somehow ...
11
votes
2answers
552 views

Do I need to defrag MacOSX filesystems?

The equivalent linux question reminded me of the bad performance of my MacBookPro. I'm not even sure what the default FS nowadays is. I read somewhere that there is a cron job which runs on friday or ...