Hard Disk Drive Intensive Programs Killing my HDD

AK
Posted By
Aftab_Kazmi
Mar 12, 2008
Views
659
Replies
12
Status
Closed
Hi, I have a Dell D630 Latitude which has a Core 2 Duo processor, 2 gigs of RAM, a SATA HDD @ 7200 rpm, running win xp pro with sp2. I have Dreamweaver CS3, Photoshop CS3, Illustrator CS3, and Flash CS3 installed on it. I run all these programs at same time and now my hdd is about to go. This is going to be the first one on this system but on my previous system, I had to replace my hdd 3 times before I just changed systems. But it seems, I’m still having the same problem on my new system. The old system was an IBM Lenovo T60p with a Core Duo processor, 2 gigs of RAM, a SATA HDD @ 7200 rpm, running win xp pro with sp2. Is any one else having this problem?

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EL
Ernie_Longmire
Mar 12, 2008
I suggest, in the following order:

a) revising your workflow so you don’t need to run four production applications simultaneously;
b) maxing your RAM so things don’t have to be paged out to disk as often; and
c) not expecting a dachshund to do a sled dog’s job.
P
Phosphor
Mar 12, 2008
And whatever you do, don’t go cheap by buying no-name HDDs.

Stick with Seagate or similar, with recognised reliability ratings.

And get a good back-up routine in place.
JJ
John_Joslin
Mar 12, 2008
Implicit in Phos’s post was the need for another HDD to use as dedicated PS Scratch disk.
AK
Aftab_Kazmi
Mar 12, 2008
Thank you guys for your suggestions. I’m doing alittle research into adding more RAM and creating a scratch disk space.

I’ll post back a follow-up message.
BD
Brett_Dalton
Mar 14, 2008
Also HEAT is a major killer of hard drives. make sure your case has adequate cooling, "adequate" is releative to how hot the environment the computer is operating in.

One of the best investments I’ve ever made is one of these or simmilar, there’s a bunch of different versions around.

< http://www.coolermaster.com/products/product.php?act=detail& amp;id=2542>

Keeps my drives VERY cool and supplies additional air flow to the rest of the case, just make sure you vacume it out occasionally.

BRETT
BC
Bob_Chase
Mar 14, 2008
In addition to sufficient cooling, be sure your case has a quality power supply. Some of the lower-end desktop cases skimp in that department, & insufficient or irregular power can wreak havoc on hard drive reliability. With multiple HD failure in a system, that would be my 1st suspect.

Regarding cooling, select carefully because some of the "enclosure" type hard drive coolers can actually cause more heat to be retained on the drive than is dissipated.

Not sure just how much impact "thrashing" or excessive drive-head jumping around the drive will have on longevity, but for performance alone it’s probably worth separate physical drives (not just a different partition) for isolating competing activities such as scratch-space and paging files, etc.
BD
Brett_Dalton
Mar 16, 2008
Thrashing will wear drives quicker due ti increased heat and the physical vibrations caused by many rapid movements but it’s not somthing that I’d be worrying about on a desktop. The increased wear is only minor compared to "normal" usage. Unless your running a huge database with a few thousand users……

Bob’s right about some of the hard drive coolers out there and power supplies. Getting good quality for both will make a huge difference to your whole system, not just your drives.

Also remember that drives have a reasonable life time but will die eventually. I’ve still got a 2.1Gb drve that have been used heavily for over 10 years without issues but had a 120Gb only last barely 2. BACKUP anything you value even slightly, prefferably to another physical system.

BRETT
AK
Aftab_Kazmi
Mar 20, 2008
Thank you all for your great suggestions and just to update everyone who has posted to this thread. I’ve built an Acer Power FH desktop with a 75 gig c:\ partition and 5 gig d:\ partition. I’ve reinstalled all my Adobe CS3 software on this system and this system will only be used for this purpose. I went into Photoshop Preferences and set the d:\ partition for a scratch disk and allocated the maximum for RAM usage. The system has 2 gigs of ram, I tried to add another gig but there were only 2 slots. I believe desktop will address the heating issue as well, as it is much more efficient with more space for air flow than a laptop. Hopefully, this is resolves my issues. Once again, thank you all.
JT
John_T_Smith
Mar 20, 2008
Partitions are actually WORSE for drive wear

You only have one physical set of read/write heads, and now they are doing evem MORE work by having to jump between the software area and the 2nd partition

You would do better to add a 2nd physical hard drive for data
DM
dave_milbut
Mar 20, 2008
You would do better to add a 2nd physical hard drive for data

ditto.
AK
Aftab_Kazmi
Mar 20, 2008
I think I’m going to go that route and John, you’re right, it will be doing even more work. Thanks for that tip.
I
ID._Awe
Mar 20, 2008
Hard Drive Myths: <http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=84>

Or: <http://labs.google.com/papers/disk_failures.pdf>

Partitions are not actually worse for drive wear, after a decade I would have noticed. I agree with adding additional drives, but your comment is full of IT.

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