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5 Simple Changes to Reduce Hard Drive Failures

Oct 07, 2009, 00:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Rubens)

"1. Put your drives in a nursery before you use them
Hard drives suffer from high rates of what has been termed "infant mortality." Essentially this means new drives — particularly ones subject to high utilization — are especially prone to failing in the first few months of usage. This may be because of manufacturing defects not immediately obvious that quickly manifest themselves once the drive is put to work.

"Whatever the reason, disks that survive the first few months of use without failing are likely to remain healthy for a number of years.

"4. Better too hot than too cool
Google's research found that temperature doesn't affect the reliability of hard drives very much, and certainly not in the way many people expect. In the first two years of a drive's life, it is more likely to fail if it is kept running at an average temperature of 35 degrees C or less than if it was running at over 45 degrees C. That's surprising, and it suggests that spending too much time worrying about air conditioning systems may be counterproductive — a warmer environment actually suits disk drives better."

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